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US EPA Proposes PFAS Hazardous Substances Designation

In a landmark action, US EPA recently proposed to designate two of the most widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as “Superfund.”  If finalized, this rule would require entities to report releases of those PFAS substances and would authorize US … Continue Reading

Environmental Justice for All: Expanding the US Environmental Justice Movement Through Permitting Decisions

Our team at Squire Patton Boggs continues to track environmental justice matters as the landscape evolves according to Biden Administration executive orders.  We have previously posted on environmental justice considerations in affordable housing and have updated readers on environmental justice initiatives under the Biden Administration.  This post explores how environmental justice considerations under Title VI … Continue Reading

Perspectives on the Evolving Regulatory Landscape for US Food and Beverage

There are a number of product safety challenges and risks facing the food and drink industry in the US, including balancing innovative products with regulatory compliance. Here, we explore what these risks are, how companies can prepare, how the recall landscape is evolving and our predictions for the future. What Do You See as the … Continue Reading

US EPA’s Submission of Reconsidered Fugitive Emissions Rule Signals Movement Forward on Agency Air Permitting Initiatives

While the US has begun considering the implications of the US Supreme Court’s monumental June 28, 2022 opinion addressing air emissions from power plants, without much fanfare US EPA sent a proposed rulemaking to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for pre-publication interagency review that could be significant for “major source” air … Continue Reading

US EPA Resurrects Long-Dormant DINP Rulemaking

While rulemakings under the Administrative Procedure Act typically take several years from proposal to enactment, that can vary significantly.  While some rules run a fairly standard course, others languish for years with no action nor any apparent reason for inaction.  EPA’s recent revival of a proposed rule that is now, were it a person, old … Continue Reading

The Revival of Supplemental Environmental Projects and How It May Impact Settlement Agreements Moving Forward

As the US Department of Justice (DOJ) begins to revive the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs), it is likely that they will appear again with increasing frequency in settlement agreements moving forward.  DOJ received comments through July 11, 2022 on its interim final rule to revoke the Trump-era regulation that prohibited payments to non-governmental, … Continue Reading

US EPA’S Draft Screening Level Approach May Broaden Scope of Chemical Risk Evaluations Under TSCA

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) continues to advance various aspects of its chemicals regulatory agenda under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). A key part of the Biden Administration’s revisions to the TSCA program is its planned new screening approach for assessing ambient air and water exposures to fenceline communities. This screening … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Limits EPA’s Authority to Regulate Carbon Emissions from Existing Power Plants Under Major Questions Doctrine with Implications for Agency Rulemaking Generally

On June 30, 2022, the US Supreme Court held that the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP) “[c]apping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that [would] force” energy generation shifting from coal to natural gas to renewables nationwide was not within the statutory authority that Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), codified as 42 … Continue Reading

China’s New Pollutant Control Action Plan: A Focused Plan that Could Impact the Chemical Industry Outside of China

It is no secret that China has long struggled with implementing measures for pollution control and regulating hazardous chemicals. We have watched this issue closely and published about it in years past here. However, on May 24, 2022, the China State Council issued its most focused plan yet, known as the “New Pollutant Control Action … Continue Reading

US EPA Announces Drinking Water Health Advisories for Certain PFAS Chemicals

On June 15, 2022, US EPA issued its prepublication notice announcing final drinking water health advisories for PFBS and GenX, as well as interim drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS.1 In this publication, we discuss US EPA’s recent announcement and consider how it could impact industries moving forward: Drinking Water Advisory Levels for … Continue Reading

Heavy Duty Regulatory Update: CARB & US EPA Proposed Rulemaking for NOx Heavy-Duty Offroad and Onroad Truck Standards

Our team at Squire Patton Boggs continues to track recent regulatory developments for the heavy-duty vehicle and engine sector. In our last blog post on this topic, we covered US EPA’s Cleaner Trucks Initiative, the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) heavy-duty engine and vehicle omnibus regulation, and CARB’s Advanced Clean Trucks Regulation. US EPA Heavy-Duty … Continue Reading

US EPA Adoption of New Phase I ASTM Standard E1527 Delayed by Adverse Comments

Back in November of 2021, ASTM International issued its revised Standard Practice E1527-21 to replace its 2013 version setting forth the specific procedures and requirements for environmental professionals preparing Phase I environmental site assessments.  Preparation of a Phase I report under this Standard satisfies one of the obligations under the All Appropriate Inquires (AAI) Rule … Continue Reading

US States Charge Into the Future with Federal Support for EV Charging Infrastructure

Earlier this year, a new $5 Billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program was established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  The Program will provide funding to States to help with the strategic deployment of a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2030, with the goal of providing convenient, reliable, affordable, … Continue Reading

Furthering the Biden Administration’s Environmental Goals Using the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee

Recently, in celebration of National Agriculture Day, US EPA Administrator Regan announced that US EPA had rechartered its Farm, Ranch & Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC).  Administrator Regan simultaneously announced a new charge topic for the FRRCC as well. The FRRCC was developed in 2007 and focuses on providing policy advice, information, and recommendations to … Continue Reading

Environmental Justice Consideration in Affordable Housing

Environmental justice has a natural connection to affordable housing programs.  It remains, however, a broad and somewhat elusive term.  There is no formal definition of environmental justice in US federal law.  However, relevant agencies have developed working descriptions for the term.  US EPA generally defines it as “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people … Continue Reading

Crunch Time for Critical Minerals in the US

Following up on Squire Patton Boggs’s continuing coverage of the critical minerals industry, we examine some recent reforms in the federal permitting process which aim to ease supply-side constraints by expediting the development and exploitation of critical minerals. Rapidly mounting geopolitical tensions, East/West decoupling, and longstanding supply chain stresses underlie a new reality—global logistics now … Continue Reading

A “Made in America” Supply Chain for Critical Minerals

The Biden administration recently announced major investments in the domestic production of key critical minerals and materials. The minerals targeted by the Administration are the rare earth elements, lithium, and cobalt—found in products from personal rechargeable electronics and television screens, to household appliances, as well as those used in clean energy technologies like batteries, electric … Continue Reading

Biden EPA Backtracks on Trump-Era Water Policy – Will the New Stance Lead to Efficiency or Add to Administrative Backlog?

US EPA recently issued two memoranda announcing a more flexible timeline for its review of state and tribal water quality standards (WQS), replacing a Trump-Era policy that set defined deadlines for these reviews.  On February 4, 2022, US EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox issued a memorandum entitled “Rescission of Memorandum Titled: ‘Policy for the EPA’s Review … Continue Reading

The Trend Toward Heightened Cybersecurity for the US Water Utility Sector

With high-profile cybersecurity attacks in 2021 such as those at Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods, there is no doubt that cybersecurity is of utmost importance to our nation, and cybersecurity for our water sector is no exception.  The potential ramifications of a cyber attack on the water industry are disconcerting—in one 2021 attack, hackers accessed … Continue Reading

Advertising, Media and Brands Global Compliance Challenges: The Rise of ESG and Global Workforce Challenges

2021 has provided unique challenges for businesses operating across the advertising, media and brands industry. Aside from the impact of the pandemic, we are seeing a changing and challenging landscape due to increasing economic, consumer, regulatory and compliance pressures. With increased exposure as a result of these pressures, Squire Patton Boggs and BDO will be … Continue Reading

Update on Environmental Justice Initiatives Under the Biden Administration

During his campaign and with several Executive Orders issued during his first week in office, President Biden made clear that environmental justice (EJ) reforms are a priority of his Administration.  So, where are we one year into his Presidency?  This post provides a brief update on federal programs, initiatives and policies aimed at environmental justice … Continue Reading

The ABC’s of ESG

ESG: What and How Significant Is It? With “proxy season” kicking into high gear, issuers are already beginning to think about how to address concepts that are both complex and amoeba-like: environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) matters.  According to some leaders in the field: 1. The ‘E’ captures energy efficiencies, carbon foot printing, greenhouse gas … Continue Reading

US Safe Drinking Water Act Section 1441: A Tool to Combat Supply Chain Issues for Public Water Systems and POTWs

As the United States continues experiencing nationwide supply chain issues, it comes as little surprise that these problems are also impacting the availability of drinking water and wastewater treatment chemicals.  Public water systems (PWSs) and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) have reported shortages of gaseous chlorine as well as other critical chemicals and supplies.  US … Continue Reading

Prop 65 Regulatory Update for the Food & Cannabis Industry: OEHHA Proposes Specialized Warnings for Exposures to Acrylamide from Food & Exposures to Smoke from Cannabis/THC Products

Food has become a bigger and bigger target for enforcement under Prop 65 over the last few years, and acrylamide in particular has been the subject of scrutiny by both the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and in pending litigation. You can find our prior post on this subject here. Now, OEHHA … Continue Reading
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