First for First’s Sake or Sound Policy? New Jersey Again Focuses on PFAS MCLs

A few weeks ago, we reported on New Jersey’s adoption of the lowest Maximum Contaminant Limits (14 parts per trillion) for PFOAs (perfluorooctanoic acid) in the nation. And now we come to you with the latest development in the realm of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). This past week, New Jersey scientists urged the state to impose a strict limit of 13 ppt for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) as the level at which human health would be protected over a lifetime
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It’s High Noon: Showdown Between States, EPA on Ozone Regulations

On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 14 states — including California, New York, and Illinois — plus the District of Columbia filed suit in federal court in the Northern District of California against Scott Pruitt and the EPA. The states are trying to force EPA to announce a decision on whether all areas of the country are in or out of compliance with Clean Air Act ozone standards. According to the complaint, such designations trigger the steps necessary to protect the
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Rounding Up a Posse? Industry Groups and Manufacturers Fight Back Against California Listing World’s Most Heavily-Used Agricultural Chemical a ‘Carcinogen’

Glyphosate is sprayed on more than 200 types of crops across four million acres in California, making it the most widely used herbicide in the state, according to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. Globally, it’s available in hundreds of generic formulations from numerous companies, and accounts for 25 percent of all pesticide use worldwide. Glyphosate is a relatively simple molecule and breaks down easily. It works by targeting an enzyme found in plants, but not found in humans or
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PFAS Update: Class Actions Filed Stemming from Cape Fear River Contamination

Back in June, Environmental Law Monitor reported that GenX, the trade name for a class of perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFAS), had been detected in North Carolina’s Cape Fear River, a main supply source for the City of Wilmington’s drinking water, and that the US EPA and other state agencies had traced the PFAS upstream to the Chemours Company facility, Fayetteville Works, upstream. Federal and state authorities were investigating how long and at what detectable levels PFAS may have persisted in
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Happy Thanksgiving

We wanted to take a moment and wish all of our subscribers and their families a very Happy Thanksgiving. Environmental Law Monitor will return next Thursday (11/30) with new posts. Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!
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A Public Hearing Before the Death Knell Tolls on U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan

The U.S. EPA will conduct a public hearing in Charleston, West Virginia on November 28 and 29, 2017 that concerns the proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP, as passed under the Obama Administration in 2015, was designed to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emitted by power plants. Under the CPP, the EPA assigned each state a goal to reduce emissions from existing power plants and gave the states broad discretion to devise their own
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The California Wild Fires – A Looming Environmental Threat

Clean-up efforts are underway following the devastating Northern California wildfires of last month. Early damage estimates are in the $3-6 billion dollar range. While property damage estimates continue to be updated, Cal Fire reports that 8,400 structures were destroyed by the fires that spanned 245,000 acres. The health impact on residents and workers, as well as the impact to the environment during cleanup efforts from toxins and fire residue in the air and watershed are serious concerns. Asbestos siding, treated wood
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Garden State Leads the Nation in Adopting the Strictest MCLs for PFOAs

A couple of random things you might not know about Jersey. We’ve got great tomatoes, corn, and peaches, and some of the strictest environmental regulations in the country. By way of example, the NJ DEP now leads the nation in setting the lowest Maximum Contaminant Limits (MCL) of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOAs (perfluorooctanoic acid) — a chemical used in the manufacture of consumer products that essentially everyone has used, such as nonstick cookware, food packaging, stain resistant
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PCB Suit Under Federal Waste Statute Gets Court Go-Ahead

In a decision that may invigorate the plaintiffs’ bar, a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The decision in Liebhart provides the plaintiffs with a simpler path to an award of damages in their case and allows the plaintiffs to litigate their other state-law based claims in federal court. PCBs have flame retardant characteristics and were used in a variety of products, including electrical equipment, hydraulic oils, paints, and
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Not Just for Delivering Packages, Drones Prove Critical in Damage Assessment and Disaster Recovery Efforts

Recreational use of drones has been around for several years now, and Amazon has even toyed with its delivery applications. However, in recent months, the application of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) has timely expanded to more practical and even life-saving uses. By August 31, 2017 — just a few days after Hurricane Harvey — the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had issued 43 UAS authorizations to drone operators supporting the response and recovery for Hurricane Harvey or covering it as part
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