Stormy White House

New Executive Order Renews & Strengthens America’s Commitment to Environmental Justice

Right on the heels of Earth Day, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14096, titled “Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All” (full text of the Order can be found in the Federal Register, accessible here).

This “whole of government” EO will affect how the federal government oversees permitting and funding for industry building and expansion in already overburdened communities, in which low-income and people of color typically reside. This is only the latest of many actions undertaken by this administration signaling …

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Elevation Sea Level Sign, Death Valley National Park, California, USA

Using Technology to Turn the Tide on Climate Change

A 2022 Interagency Sea Level Rise Technical Report, authored by various governmental agencies, found that global mean sea levels could rise between one and seven feet by 2100.  This would me significant impacts to the more than 40 percent of Americans who live near coastal waters. Coastal flooding can have major impacts to infrastructure, such as roads and homes, as well as many other impacts to human health. For example, rising sea levels can also threaten hazardous waste facilities, such as landfills, that are located …

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Round droplets of water over the circles on the water. Ripples on sea texture. Closeup water rings

No Resolution in Sight for WOTUS Definition

The Environmental Protection Agency’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Revised Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’” (WOTUS) rule became final on March 20, 2023. However, the rule is facing challenges from nearly every conceivable angle. Implementation of the rule has already been halted in 24 states, the rule is facing disruption by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Legislative Branch sought to rescind the rule altogether.

As Sarah Mangelsdorf highlighted in her March 2, 2023 Environmental Law Monitor post, New Year, New WOTUS: Is

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Recycle waste management

Could Plastic Recycling Facilities Be Contributing to the Microplastics Pollution Problem?

Earlier this month, a team of researchers out of the UK, Canada, and New Zealand published a first-of-its-kind study in the peer-reviewed Journal of Hazardous Material Advances, examining the microplastics pollution potential for plastic recycling facilities. The study found that the recycling process, even with plastic pollution mitigation and high removal efficiencies, might potentially discharge tons of microplastics into waterways.

The purpose of the study was to identify if the state-of-the-art unnamed UK plastic recycling facility (PRF) subject to the study discharged microplastics into …

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Pollution Factory Smoke in Air with Sky Bad for the Environment

The Supreme Court Denies Fossil Fuel Companies’ Bid to Have the Climate Deception Cases in Federal Court

Since 2017, a number of state government entities from cities, counties, and states across the country have gone after fossil fuel companies in court charging them with violating state law by marketing their products as not harmful. These 11 cases have collectively been dubbed the “climate liability cases” or “climate deception cases.” Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a petition dealing with the issue of whether or not these climate deception cases should be heard in state court …

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Man showing compost

PFAS ALERT: The Arrival of Increased Regulation in Composting

By Joshua Fine, Manager, Environmental Claims, Crum & Forster and George Buermann, Partner, Goldberg Segalla LLP

Composting has long been viewed as an important tool for sustainability with benefits for the environment as it has reduced the amount of waste incinerated or sent to landfills. Since the 1920s, municipal biosolids, or treated sewage sludge, has been used in agriculture in the United States. Only since 1993, however, has the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided standards for the use or disposal of biosolids, or treated sewage sludge, through …

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flammable liquid

EPA Proposes Ban on Common Solvent and Processing Aid Methylene Chloride

In a proposed rule published on May 3, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended a ban on most uses of methylene chloride (also called dichloromethane), a common solvent and processing aid. It is used in a variety of consumer and commercial applications including adhesives and sealants, automotive products, and paint and coating removers. The chemical was manufactured in significant volumes — the total aggregate production volume ranged from 100 million to 500 million pounds between 2016 and 2019, according to Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) – …

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California Hits Harder on Heavy Truck Emissions

On April 28, California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) approved new regulations which would phase out the sales of medium and heavy-duty combustion trucks in California by 2036. The goal is to fully transition existing fleets to zero-emissions vehicles by 2045.   

Known as the Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) regulation, the ACF is part of CARB’s latest initiative to accelerate California’s transition to zero-emission medium and heavy duty vehicles. The purpose of the regulation is to protect communities that are near trucking corridors and warehouse locations. Studies have shown …

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Close-up side shot of hands shows microplastic waste contaminated with the seaside sand. Microplastics are contaminated in the sea. Concept of water pollution and global warming.

California Looks to Expand Regulation of Microplastics and PPD Derivatives

California has begun the public process for a potential regulatory proposal expanding the list of chemicals that may be regulated under its Safer Consumer Products Program (SCP). The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), part of the California Environmental Protection Agency, has proposed adding microplastics and para-Phenylenediamine (PPD) derivatives to its Candidate Chemicals List (CCL) in an attempt to control their impact on human health and the environment.

PPD derivatives are a family of chemicals used in a variety of industrial applications. The only PPD derivative …

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Handle fuel nozzle to refuel the car.

EPA Gives the Green Light to Ethanol for Summer Travel

The EPA on Friday granted a waiver of its traditional summer ban on the sale of gasoline with 15-percent ethanol — or “E15” — to continue mitigating the disruption of fuel commerce around the globe caused by the conflict in Ukraine.

Ethanol is made by fermenting the sugar in the starches of grains such as corn, sorghum, and barley, and the sugar in sugar cane and sugar beets. The vast majority of gasoline sold in the United States is “E10,” or gasoline with 10-percent ethanol …

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