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May 19, 2022

First Circuit Reverses Bar on CWA Citizen Suits

Drinking Water

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has overturned its bar on Clean Water Act (“CWA”) citizen suits seeking declaratory relief when a state is “diligently” prosecuting a violation.  In the opinion, the Court agreed with environmentalists and the EPA that its prior opinion was at odds with the text and congressional intent of the CWA.  In the language of the Court, “the limitations set forth in Section 309(g)(6)(A) bars only a citizen suit that seeks to apply civil penalty for an ongoing violation of the CWA and not a citizen suit for declaratory and prospective injunctive relief… Read more


May 10, 2022

SEC Proposes Climate Change Disclosure Rules

On March 21, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed rules that would require public companies to disclose extensive, climate-related information in their SEC filings.  The proposed rules would require companies to disclose climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on a public company’s business, results of operations, or financial condition.  In addition, companies would be required to report greenhouse gas emissions in a statement prepared by a certified, greenhouse gas attestation provider. The proposed rule is open for comment through at least May 21, 2022, and it is anticipated that significant comments will delay… Read more


Apr 25, 2022

Timber and Paper Industry Petition EPA to Ease Restrictions on Burning Paper Residuals

In December, 2021, representatives of the timber and paper industry petitioned the EPA to ease restrictions on the burning of railroad ties and paper residuals as fuel without triggering strict hazardous waste combustion emission requirements.  The EPA previously denied the coalition’s petition to revise the Nonhazardous Secondary Material criteria for treated railroad ties and certain paper residuals.  As outlined in its March 29 request for reconsideration, the issue is whether the railroad ties and paper residuals can be burned as “fuel” in boilers and avoid tougher emissions limits designated for incinerators. When a material is designated as fuel under the… Read more


Apr 7, 2022

EPA to Cease Accepting Expedited Corrections to TSCA Inventory

DuPont Toxic chemicals

On February 24, the EPA announced that it will stop accepting streamlined requests to correct entries on the TSCA Inventory of Chemicals in Commerce as of April 26, 2022.  Historically, the Agency has allowed corrections to chemical identities using the same forms and documentation used to add an existing chemical to the inventory.  This practice greatly streamlined and expedited the ability of industries to correct mistakes made in initial filings.  Under the EPA’s new policy; however, the Agency will require any changes to go through the same pre-manufacture notice (“PMN”) process required for completely new chemicals.   The decision has already… Read more


Mar 28, 2022

Department of Energy Announces Domestic Battery Strategy

Made In USA

On Friday, March 18, Energy Secretary, Jenner Granholm announced a program to develop lithium batteries in the United States as a part of a broader strategy to help Appalachia amid a transition away from coal.  The lithium batteries are necessary components of electric vehicles and are used for storage on the U.S. electrical grid; however, the U.S. relies almost entirely on international markets for the processing of most raw materials.  As a part of its plan, the Department has announced $5,000,000 in funding for pilot projects to be located in the 13-state Appalachia region.  One such project, the development of… Read more


Mar 16, 2022

Liquid Terminal Industry Seeks Superfund PFAS Waiver

The liquid terminal industry which provides the infrastructure, storage and transportation planning for bulk liquid products such as oil, gas, industrial chemicals and fertilizers, is petitioning the EPA to consider exemptions to superfund laws for PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam.  ILTA which represents over 80 terminal companies is requesting that the EPA work collaboratively with the industry for research and development efforts which would give rise to clear guidance on disposal methods, while waiving superfund liability for releases of PFAS used for fire suppression.  For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.


Feb 14, 2022

EPA to List New Hazardous Air Pollutant

The Environmental Protection Agency has added a new chemical to the list of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) for the first time since the list was created in 1990. The chemical, 1 bromopropane (1-BP), is used as a commercial degreaser and in dry cleaning operations. Now that 1-BP is added to the list of HAPs, the EPA will begin the process of proposing final regulations governing emission limitations which could take several years. Companies emitting 1-BP should begin the process of accessing their emission potentials, and to consider alternative products to eliminate the use of 1-BP altogether. Specifically, facilities that are… Read more


Feb 1, 2022

EPA on Track to List PFAS as CERCLA, Hazardous Substances

The White House Office of Management & Budget is currently reviewing EPA’s proposal to designate two of the most common PFAS compounds (PFOA and PFOS) as “Hazardous Substances” under CERCLA.  The listing effort is on track for EPA to meet its proposed March deadline for publication of a draft rule, and a final rule is expected in the summer of 2023.  Once issued, the final rule will trigger a host of regulatory and litigation activities – such as release reporting, cost recovery and contribution claims.  The listing is expected to trigger EPA investigations and enforcement at new Superfund sites, cause… Read more


Jan 20, 2022

Illinois Proposes Groundwater Standard for PFAS

The State of Illinois has proposed new rules and a law to address the threat presented by “forever chemicals” per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  The law, which took effect January 1, prohibits the knowing manufacture, sale, distribution for sale, or distribution for use of Class B firefighting foam containing PFAS.  In addition, the state has proposed a rule setting groundwater quality standards for five PFAS chemicals.  The groundwater standard is stricter than the health based standard currently published by the U.S. EPA.  The action by the state will lead to enforcement and cleanup actions at sites with measurable limits of PFAS… Read more


Jan 4, 2022

NYC to Ban Natural Gas in New Buildings

https://sgrlaw.com/statutory-changes-affecting-cooperatives-and-condominium-unit-owners/)

In a controversial move, the New York City Commission is set to approve a measure which would ban the burning of natural gas in all new buildings beginning as early as 2023.  Under the proposal, buildings smaller than seven stories must rely on electricity starting at the end of 2023, and larger buildings will have an extra four years to comply.  Buildings account for 68% of NYC’s greenhouse gas emissions, and most of the emissions come from the burning of natural gas.  Large cities such as New York cannot meet their greenhouse gas emission reductions without banning the burning of… Read more