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Tag Archives: Environment

TSCA Reform: Major Chemical Management Changes on the Horizon

Posted in Articles, Environment
The Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) became law in 1976 with the objective of regulating chemicals in commerce that posed an “unreasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment.”  While originated with good intent, TSCA had become a stale law that lacked clarity for industry and regulators alike.  Now, after years of legislative… Continue Reading

EPA Proposes More Stringent Ozone Standard

Posted in Environment
On November 26, 2014, U.S. EPA proposed a more stringent national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The proposal reduces the current ozone standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) to a level that is proposed to be between 65 and 70 ppb. This lower level would require states to submit compliance plans to U.S. EPA that… Continue Reading

Joint-Agency Letter Addresses Ohio Landfills’ Acceptance of Horizontal Well Wastes

Posted in Environment
On November 17, 2014, Ohio EPA, ODNR and ODH jointly published a letter addressing the acceptance and disposal of waste substances from horizontal wells at Ohio landfills. The joint-agency letter provides clarification on the regulation of drilling wastes in light of the amendments to Ohio law under House Bill 59 (effective June 30, 2013). Issues addressed… Continue Reading

Ohio EPA Issues Draft Amendments to Air PTI/PTIO Rules

Posted in Environment
On November 13, 2014, Ohio EPA issued draft amendments to the rules in OAC Chapter 3745-31 governing the Permit-to-Install New Sources and Permit-to-Install and Operate Program. The draft amendments include: ·         reorganizational changes throughout OAC 3745-31-03 addressing exemptions and permits by rule (PBR) to clarify the difference between a true exemption from New Source Review and… Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Amends All Appropriate Inquiries Rule

Posted in Environment
On October 6, 2014, U.S. EPA published a final rule amending the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule, 40 CFR Part 312, to remove the reference to ASTM International’s E1527-05 standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. The E1527-05 standard was replaced with the E1527-13 standard by ASTM in November 2013 and, on December 30, 2013, U.S. EPA… Continue Reading

Pavillion, WY Update

Posted in Energy, Environment
We’ve commented previously on the contamination claims related to Pavillion, WY.  The Casper Star-Tribune has an update for us:  "Natural gas wells in the Pavillion Gas Field were properly drilled and maintained, but more study is needed to prove if energy operations contaminated drinking water in the region, according to a draft report released by… Continue Reading

Ohio Residents Allege Unlawful Transfer of Discharge Permit Authority for CAFOs

Posted in Environment
On August 4, 2014, two Ohio residents filed a complaint in federal court alleging that Ohio EPA violated the Clean Water Act in 2001 when the agency transferred its discharge permitting authority for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to the Ohio Department of Agriculture without notifying U.S. EPA until 2006.  The lawsuit seeks a court order directing that only… Continue Reading

OH: Prison Time for Illegal Dumping

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Columbus Dispatch is reporting that an Ohio brine hauler will be serving time in prison for dumping brine down a stormwater drain.  "The owner of a northeastern Ohio business that collected and stored toxic fluids from oil- and gas-drilling operations was sentenced yesterday in Cleveland to 28 months in federal prison and fined $25,000."… Continue Reading

ESA Determination Overturned by Alaskan Court

Posted in Energy, Environment
SitNews is reporting on a recent decision out of the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska finding that a National Marine Fisheries Service rule declaring a population of bearded seals to be "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was inherently arbitrary and capricious.  "Judge Beistline emphasized that ‘the lack of any articulated discernable,… Continue Reading

Sue and Settle

Posted in Energy, Environment
If you haven’t heard of this yet, now is the time.  From Forbes:  "The U.S. House of Representatives should be applauded this week for passage of HR 4315, the 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act. As its title indicates, the bill is designed to require public transparency and real-time information related to proposed listings under… Continue Reading

PA: Review of DEP Oversight of Unconventional Gas Drilling

Posted in Energy, Environment
According to this news release, the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office recently issued a report finding "no instances where DEP [i.e., the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection] failed to protect public health, safety or the environment with respect to unconventional gas drilling activities."  But there were some hiccups … not necessarily agreed with by the DEP: … Continue Reading

Harmonizing Gas Emissions

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences recently published a peer-reviewed study on the life-cycle of methane emissions due to shale gas development.  "Recent technological advances in the recovery of unconventional natural gas, particularly shale gas, have served to dramatically increase domestic production and reserve estimates for the United States and internationally. *** Through… Continue Reading

EPA Releases Final Risk Assessment on TCE

Posted in Environment
On June 25, 2014, U.S. EPA released a final risk assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE). The TCE risk assessment, developed as part of EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act Work Plan, identified health risks from TCE exposures to consumers using spray aerosol degreasers and spray fixatives, and the health risks to workers when using TCE as a degreaser… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Limits U.S. EPA’s Regulation of Carbon Emissions

Posted in Environment
On June 23, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision limiting U.S. EPA’s regulation of carbon emissions from stationary sources under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Tailoring Rule (Tailoring Rule). The Tailoring Rule phases the applicability criteria to determine which stationary sources become subject to GHG emission permitting requirements under PSD and Title V Clean Air… Continue Reading

New Way to Reduce Emissions?

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Farmington Daily Times has an interesting article on a way to address – possibly – emissions from compressor stations.  "Emissions from natural gas production could be reduced to near zero if a local man’s patented idea proves successful. *** His idea involves installing piping hardware on the engine exhaust that feeds into the gas… Continue Reading

Texas RRC Finds No Evidence That E&P Operations Caused Methane Contamination (Again)

Posted in Energy, Environment
We reported previously on methane contamination claims being investigated (and ultimately rejected) by the Texas Railroad Commission (Texas RRC) (e.g., see here).  Last week, the Texas RRC again found those claims to be unsupported by the evidence with respect to additional wells.  See here.  From the report:  "The occurrence of natural gas in the complainants’ water… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Strikes Down U.S. EPA Aggregation Memo

Posted in Energy, Environment
On May 30, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down U.S. EPA’s attempt to limit the jurisdictional scope of the Sixth Circuit’s 2012 decision in Summit Petroleum Corp. v. EPA. In Summit, the Court held that “EPA’s determination that the physical requirement of adjacency [for purposes of aggregating multiple emission sources… Continue Reading

Ohio EPA to Develop Rules for Beneficial Use of Material From Horizontal Wells

Posted in Energy, Environment
On May 13, 2014, Ohio EPA published notice of an Early Stakeholder Outreach (ESO) regarding the beneficial use of material from a horizontal well that has come into contact with refined oil-based substances that are not TENORM. Ohio EPA, pursuant to R.C. 3734.125, is considering either (1) developing a rule requiring an Ohio EPA authorization for… Continue Reading