Di-can’t-a? Three Midwestern States Act to Limit the Use of Dicamba

On July 14, 2017, Tennessee joined Arkansas and Missouri in limiting the use of dicamba. Dicamba is an herbicide used to combat broadleaf weeds that have developed resistance to glyphosate and other herbicides. The use of dicamba has increased significantly since the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of dicamba on soybeans and cotton that are genetically modified to tolerate the chemical. Older formulations of dicamba had been reported to drift after application and affect other crops
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EPA’s “Sham Recycling” Rule Partially Discarded by D.C. Circuit

On July 7, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down portions of a 2015 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency final rule designed to limit “sham recycling” of hazard waste materials. See American Petroleum Institute v. Environmental Protection Agency, 2017 WL 2883867 (2017). In 2015, EPA promulgated a final rule (Final Rule) under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) attempting to prevent “sham recycling.” The Final Rule came as a result of years of negotiation,
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California’s Groundwater Protection Plans Seek to Protect and Preserve the State’s Most Scarce Resource

This past winter, California finally experienced the rain it had been desperately awaiting for several years. The state Department of Water Resources is tracking more than 22 million acre-feet of water in its reservoirs, hoping that it will replenish the losses sustained from 2012 onward when a drought began ravaging the state. While California residents must be excited at the prospect of longer showers, state water officials are researching how to best make the bounty last. California precipitation is unpredictable,
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The Rollback Begins: Is it the Beginning of the End for the Clean Water Rule?

President Trump recently got the ball rolling on rescinding or revising The Clean Water Rule (the Rule) — a President Obama-era environmental regulation that sought to expand the federal government’s reach under the Clean Water Act (CWA). For background, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, enacted in 1948 and later reorganized and expanded in 1972, is known today as the CWA. The CWA establishes a structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulates
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Back to the Drawing Board for Clean Coal

Kemper County Power Generation Facility, the flagship “clean coal” project in rural eastern Mississippi, will rely on natural gas rather than coal to produce electricity. After years of delays and cost overruns totaling over $4 billion over the facility’s original budget of $2.9 billion, the facility’s coal gasifier project has been shuttered. The Kemper facility had been central to the Obama administration’s energy plan and to the administration’s assertions that it was not anti-coal. However, the worsening situation prompted the
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Water Alert — PFAs Detected in North Carolina’s Cape Fear River Raise Immediate Concerns Over Safety of Community’s Drinking Water Supply

On June 20, 2017, the Chemours Company announced that it will now “capture, remove, and safely dispose of wastewater that contains the byproduct GenX,” from North Carolina’s Cape Fear River — a main supply source for the City of Wilmington’s drinking water. The announcement last week comes on the heels of reports that the EPA is investigating whether Chemours complied with a 2009 order issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that allowed DuPont (from which Chemours was spun-off) to
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Slow the Flow? U.S. District Court orders Army Corps of Engineers to Reconsider Environmental Analysis of the Dakota Access Pipeline

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a pipeline built by Energy Transfer Partners to move oil from western North Dakota to Illinois, where it can be shipped to the Gulf Coast and points beyond. The Army Corps of Engineers approved the completion of the DAPL on February 8, 2017. The DAPL began operating June 1, 2017 and has the capacity to move half of North Dakota’s daily oil production. In the summer of 2016, the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River
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A Gang of Thirteen — The Attorneys General Condemning Rollback of Federal Emissions Standards

On March 15, 2017, President Trump rescinded “executive action of new vehicle emission standards” claiming that the previous administration had set these federal fuel efficiency standards “far into the future” and then threatened auto jobs by cancelling a previously promised midterm review of the standards. Trump stated that “if the standards threatened auto jobs then common sense changes could have and should have been made.” Trump claimed that “[j]ust days before my inauguration the previous administration cut short the promised
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EPA Postpones Effective Date for TSCA Nanomaterial Reporting Rule and Releases Draft Guidance for Public Comment

On January 12, 2017, the EPA finalized a rule on nanomaterial reporting and record keeping under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). See 82 Fed. Reg. 3641. The rule, called Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials; TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements (Final Rule), was in development for years and was set to go into effect on May 12, 2017. Id. The Final Rule establishes reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain chemical substances when they
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Residents, Lawyers, and Advocates Still Skeptical After Imperfect Study of Cancer Rates from PFOA Exposure in Hoosick Falls, NY

Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), also known as C-8, is a synthetic man-made chemical that is both toxic and persistent in the environment. It has been used in the manufacture of commercial products like non-stick cookware, stain-resistant clothing and carpets, food wrappers, dental floss, electrical insulation, fabrics, firefighting foam, as well as many industrial products. PFOA has raised health concerns because long-term exposure has been linked to testicular, kidney, and thyroid cancer, as well as high cholesterol, and pregnancy-induced hypertension. Our readers
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