Ninth Circuit Sends San Joaquin Valley Ozone Plan Back to EPA

On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a petition for review of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final rule approving the State of California’s plan for meeting the ozone air quality standard in the San Joaquin Valley and remanded the plan to EPA for further consideration. EPA approved the plan in 2019, which included a single contingency measure that would be activated if the plan did not achieve reasonable further progress toward meeting the ozone standard. A local environmental group, the Association of Irritated Residents (AIR), challenged the approval and argued that the single contingency measure was arbitrary and capricious because it provided for only nominal emissions reductions.

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Massachusetts to Adopt Expansive List of PFAS Chemicals Covered by State’s Chemical Regulatory Program

On August 19, 2021, Massachusetts’s Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Administrative Council voted to add PFAS to its TURA List of Toxic or Hazardous Substances here. Specifically, following a public meeting, the council added to its list “PFAS Not Otherwise Listed,” which includes “those PFAS that contain a perfluoroalkyl moiety with three or more carbons (e.g., –CnF2n–, n ≥ 3; or CF3–CnF2n– , n≥2) or a perfluoroalkylether moiety with two or more carbons (e.g., –CnF2nOCmF2m− or –CnF2nOCmFm–, n and m ≥ 1 ).”

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Environmental Protection Agency Takes Action to End All On-Food Use of Conventional Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) has issued a prepublication rule that will revoke all on-food tolerances for the conventional pesticide called chlorpyrifos and has announced that it will also issue a Notice of Intent to Cancel all food uses for the pesticide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA stated that “taking into consideration the currently available information and the currently registered uses of chlorpyrifos, EPA cannot make a safety finding to support leaving the current tolerances for residues of chlorpyrifos in place” consistent with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

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U.S. Senate Advances Bipartisan Infrastructure Package

This week, the U.S. Senate advanced a much-anticipated bipartisan infrastructure bill. After months of negotiations and a failed procedural vote last week, the White House and a bipartisan group of Senators unveiled a bipartisan infrastructure deal to provide $550 billion in new spending on July 28. That same day, in a 67-32 vote, 17 Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill. Today, the Senate passed another bipartisan procedural vote to officially consider the bill on the Senate floor. While the Senate continues to work on finalizing the legislative text, the following topline funding provisions were released:

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Federal and State Legislative Activity Continues on PFAS

Federal and state lawmakers continue to advance legislative efforts to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS have been used in a variety of consumer products and industrial processes and are often recognized for use in nonstick cookware, waterproof apparel, and fire-fighting foam. The U.S. House of Representatives voted this week to pass legislation that would further regulate PFAS. In a bipartisan vote of 241 to 183, lawmakers advanced HR 2467, the PFAS Action Act of 2021, which would impose federal requirements to address PFAS under many environmental statutes, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

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