PFAS Alert: New U.S. EPA Effluent Guidelines Program to take on PFAS

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prepares Preliminary Effluent Guidelines Program Plans pursuant to 33 U.S.C. 1251, more commonly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The purpose of these plans is to give an overview of the EPA’s Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG), or national standards for wastewater discharges to surface waters and municipal sewage treatment plants. The plans identify industrial categories, existing or new, which have been chosen for ELG regulation, and set forth the expected scope of that regulation.

On September 8, …

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The “Green” Fashion Police and the Renaissance of the Fashion Industry

Sustainability is the new black dress in the fashion world. As the need to address climate change becomes more urgent, it is no longer fashion forward, hip, or trendy to walk the red carpet in non-durable apparel/garments. Likewise, designers and textile manufacturers who neglect to embrace the paradigm shift toward making fashion a remedy for climate change will likely be left behind.

The fashion value chain is complex and threatening to the environment, with greenhouse gas emissions generated from the beginning to the end of …

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Another Citizen Suit Under the Clean Air Act Doomed on Standing Grounds

On August 30, 2021, a North Carolina federal court dismissed a Clean Air Act citizen-group lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club (plaintiffs) against defendant University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) for certain violations of its Title-V permit, which comprehensively regulates a particular facility’s emission sources. In granting UNC’s summary judgment motion, and denying the plaintiffs’ cross-motion for summary judgment, the court found that the plaintiffs lacked standing, pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution, as a …

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EPA’S Chlorpyrifos Ban Likely to Increase Pesticide Litigation

As we previously reported, the U.S. EPA recently issued its ban on the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

Chlorpyrifos has been widely used in food crop agriculture since the late 1960s. Unlike for the glyphosate-based pesticide commonly sold under the brand name Roundup®, most residential uses of chlorpyrifos were banned in 2001. However, it was not until on August 18, 2021 that the EPA took more aggressive action and banned the use of chlorpyrifos for all agricultural purposes.

Unlike for the weed …

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EPA Bans Use of Pesticide Chlorpyrifos

On August 18, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a pre-publication notice of a final rule banning the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on food in order to better protect human health. Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide used for a number of agricultural and non-food applications. It has been linked to numerous health risks including neurodevelopmental risks to infants and children, and harm to agricultural workers who work with the pesticide.

Per the final rule, the EPA announced the revocation of chlorpyrifos “tolerances”—which establish the …

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The Green Bank—Part of New York’s Mission to Become a National Leader in Clean Energy

In 2013, New York State set course to become a national leader in clean energy. Later declaring a mission to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030, New York developed an aggressive and robust plan to radically change energy production, transportation, and consumption in the state. New York dedicated itself to upgrading its energy infrastructure, promoting renewable energy portfolios to consumers, and most importantly investing in large scale-renewable projects.

Though not an invention of New York, a unique piece of its clean energy plan was …

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Fracking Ban Defeated in New Mexico

On Aug. 3, 2021, Chief U.S. District Judge William P. Johnson rejected the effort to prevent hydraulic fracturing (fracking)—the method of extracting oil and natural gas by injecting high-pressure fluid into subterranean rock formations—near archeological and cultural sites in the Mancos Shale geological formation in New Mexico, determining that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had done sufficient environmental review to back up its decision and that it didn’t predetermine it would approve drilling permits.

In rejecting the injunction sought by the Sierra Club and …

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Ethylene Oxide—Back in the Spotlight with 150 New Lawsuits

Ethylene oxide (EtO) is a chemical long used to sterilize products that cannot be sterilized with steam, such as medical equipment and surgical devices. One of 187 hazardous air pollutants that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates, EtO has been shown to cause various cancers when inhaled over time. In December 2016, the EPA concluded that EtO gas, a human carcinogen, was more dangerous than previously thought, and updated its risk value. Although the EPA subsequently moved to update rules under the Clean Air Act …

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CERCLA Alert: NJ Petitions to Designate Superfund Status to the Hackensack River

If the hallmarks of Jersey summers are languid days down the Shore, time-off, and welcomed passivity, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection missed the memo. Late last month, the NJDEP roused potential responsible parties from their summer slumber with its unexpected announcement that the state intends to aggressively pursue the lower Hackensack River as a federal Superfund site in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. The NJDEP’s mid-summer announcement puts past and present industrial players throughout the Garden State on …

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CA Department of Insurance Takes Aggressive Action to Help Mitigate Against Climate Change Environmental Risks

In recent years, the effects of climate change have greatly impacted many California residents. Climate change events are a growing concern along the West Coast, where property development has greatly increased the number of risks exposed to wildfires. Among other challenges, Californians are struggling with higher insurance costs due to climate change impacts.

In response to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s climate insurance law, Senate Bill 30, Chapter 614, Statutes of 2018, which formed a group of environmental advocates, researchers and insurance experts, the California …

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