semi truck driving

How New Emissions Standards Are Leading to Selfies with Trucks

Just a few weeks ago, in late October, trucking and manufacturing representatives from across the United States convened in San Diego for the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference and Exhibition to discuss the impact that new and pending emissions regulations will have on the trucking industry and its equipment market. The conference’s particular focus was on standards announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year, and on California’s Air and Resources Board’s (CARB) finalized Advanced Clean Trucks rule and proposed Advanced Clean Fleets …

Continue Reading

The Clean Water Act’s Not So Clean Application in Close Cases

Just last week, on October 3, 2022, Sackett v. EPA found itself once again before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments, its first appearance at SCOTUS having been a decade before. In January 2022, when the Supreme Court agreed to hear Sackett for a second time following remand, the petitioner Sacketts had amended their complaint in order to challenge the subject compliance order issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prohibiting the Sacketts from modifying the wetlands on their property on the basis that …

Continue Reading

New Microplastics Requirements Put California’s Drinking Water to the Test

As previously reported in ELM, microplastics – plastic fragments smaller than 5 millimeters in length – have been found everywhere from Antarctica (https://environmentallawmonitor.com/emerging-issues/microplastics-found-for-the-first-time-in-freshly-fallen-snow/) to human lung tissue (https://environmentallawmonitor.com/emerging-issues/study-finds-microplastics-in-human-lung-tissue/) to, especially, bodies of water (https://environmentallawmonitor.com/emerging-issues/can-biofilm-engineering-be-used-to-address-microplastics-pollution/). This ubiquity has led to an increased number of studies and ever-improving sampling methods for the purposes of reversing the omnipresence of microplastics. 

After years of research involving several dozen laboratories, last week, California’s Water Resources Control Board approved microplastics testing requirements – the world’s …

Continue Reading

EPA Renews Push for New ‘EtO’ Regulations and Outreach   

Following a study of 100 commercial sterilizer facilities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on August 3 it would takes steps to inform communities throughout the country about the risks posed by ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions from 23 of specific sterilizer facilities.  

The agency further announced that, using data from the same study as well as ongoing critical EtO research, EPA will propose new regulations intended to protect public health from EtO emissions and protect workers at the facilities themselves, by the end of 2022 …

Continue Reading

New York State Continues to Slow Down Accelerating Crypto Mining Industry Growth Upstate

Just weeks after both houses of the New York State legislature finally passed an environmental-conservation moratorium on new cryptocurrency mining operations (as previously reported by ELM here: New York is Ready to Attack Crypto Mining), the Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announced its long-awaited decision concerning the air permit renewal application by a former coal-fired plant near Seneca Lake. The facility, purchased and refurbished by Greenidge Generation to run an extensive crypto mining business, has been dependent on roughly 17,000 servers. As previously addressed …

Continue Reading

Chevron Deference on Life Support?

The U.S. Supreme Court on June 15 issued a unanimous reversal of a lower appellate court, and in which, ruling against the federal government, struck down a Department of Health and Human Services rule significantly reducing Medicare prescription reimbursements to hospitals traditionally serving low-income patients.

Although the 2018 rule did not, on its face, seem to have anything to do with environmental rules or regulations, environmental lawyers, activists, and probably the Environmental Protection Agency itself closely watched the progress of American Hospital Association v. Becerra

Continue Reading

Colorado Drilling Project Stopped in its [F]racks!

On May 19, 2022, a Colorado federal district court judge, the Honorable Marcia S. Krieger, issued an opinion and order remanding action, preventing—for now, at least—an expansive fracking plan in Western Colorado from going forward even though it had previously been approved by the United States Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior, and United States Forest Service (collectively, Agencies) during the Trump administration. Specifically, the court vacated the Agencies’ approval of the North Fork Mancos Master Development Plan (Plan) for hydraulic …

Continue Reading

A REVERSED REVERSAL OF NEPA RULES

Last week, through the Council on Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) publication of a final rule at the close of phase one of a two-phase rulemaking process, the Biden administration began its efforts to reverse the prior administration’s reworking of the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Originally signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970, NEPA requires federal agencies to assess environmental, social, and economic impacts of any activities those agencies are seeking to undertake. The list of such actions is broad, but …

Continue Reading

Crypto: A Virtual Currency with Real-Life Energy Consequences

Although only 16% of Americans have personally invested in or exchanged cryptocurrencies, the ever-increasing use of this virtual currency in the U.S. will have very real ramifications for virtually all Americans. Arguably, the most consequential effect concerns the significant energy consumption required to mine cryptocurrencies, and its potential to act as a hindrance in the battle against climate change, as illustrated by a growing concern among several committees within the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as by an ongoing battle over a crypto-mining moratorium …

Continue Reading

Largest Oil and Gas Lease Sale in U.S. History Scrapped in Federal Court

A year to the day from when President Joseph Biden announced a moratorium on federal leasing for oil and gas drilling just a week after his term began, a federal district court judge for the District of Columbia invalidated the largest oil and gas lease sale—for 2,700 square miles—in U.S. History. The lease, which fetched a combined offer of $192 million from some of the largest energy companies in the world, was for offshore drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico. The November 2021 auction …

Continue Reading