detail of white smoke polluted sky

Court Denies Challenge to EPA Emissions Rule, Defers Due to Rule’s “Complex and Technical” Nature

Companies operating in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia – whose operations involve the release of emissions — will need to consult the Environmental Protection Agency’s Revised Cross-State Air Pollution Update Rule to determine whether their operations might be affected by the Federal Implementation Plan.

The rule requires power plants and other high-emitting machinery to install emission-reduction equipment and update pollution controls.

The District of Columbia Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals unanimously …

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Garbage pile in trash dump or landfill. Pollution concept.

Waste Reduction Programs to Take on Climate Change

In 2015, California’s former governor Edmund Brown Jr. set methane emissions-reduction targets for the state. Senate Bill 1383 requires that California reduce organic waste disposal 75 percent by the year 2025. Although most Californians did not begin to understand what these targets meant, 2022 marked the beginning of new waste disposal requirements for many statewide. These requirements include organics curbside-collection services and new waste collection bins designed specifically for organic waste (including, in some areas, bins designed to go inside residential refrigerators for food waste.)

Each city …

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"justice concept, selective focus on nearest part ,lens blur f/x"

New Sprawling EtO Litigations Mount as Our Pandemic-Shaken World Increasingly Relies on Commercial Sterilizers

Right on the heels of the eye-popping $408 million settlement between a major commercial sterilizer and plaintiffs claiming injuries resulting from exposure to ethylene oxide (EtO) emitted from the company’s Illinois facility (covered by ELM here), the company now faces two different legal actions initiated by two new groups of plaintiffs but similarly stemming from fugitive EtO emissions from the company’s U.S. facilities. These legal battles come at a time when there are not yet viable alternatives to EtO, a highly efficient medical-equipment sterilizing …

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Judges Or Auctioneer Gavel On The Dollar Cash Background

$408 Million Ethylene Oxide Settlement Resolves Over 870 Claims

On January 9, 2023, Sotera Health Company announced it reached agreements to settle more than 870 ethylene-oxide cases pending against its subsidiaries, including Sterigenics, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill. and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The claims arose out of operations of Sterigenics’ Willowbrook, Ill. medical sterilization facility, which closed in 2019 following backlash regarding ethylene oxide emissions. Per the terms of the agreements, Sterigenics will pay $408 million, “subject to substantially all of the plaintiffs …

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18 wheeler trucks on the road

EPA Sets New Guidelines for Diesel Emissions

On December 20, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized regulations aimed at reducing harmful emissions from trucks, delivery vehicles, and buses. These regulations will impact vehicles manufactured after 2027 and are designed to cut 50% of smog and soot-forming emissions by 2045. These regulations are slated to become final 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register.

The regulations announced this week are the first in this area in approximately 20 years. The regulations mainly target the emission of nitrogen oxides. Nitrogen oxides …

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SEC on Cusp of Radically Expanding Emission-Disclosure Requirements

The Securities and Exchange Commission in March gave initial approval to the Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors. These disclosures include three different categories:

  • Scope 1 – Emissions that come directly from company-owned sources.
  • Scope 2 – Indirect emissions from energy purchased, and consumed by a company.
  • Scope 3 – All other indirect emissions that occur during the course of a company’s business.

One of the major proposed changes essentially eliminates the “materiality standard” for companies’ Scope 1 and 2 emissions disclosures. The …

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Black Friday, Woman holding many shopping bags while walking in the shopping mall background.

The Environmental Impact of Black Friday

Consumers spent a record $9.12 billion shopping online during Black Friday this year, and are expected to spend $210.1 billion this holiday season, according to Adobe Analytics. That’s an anticipated increase of 2.5 percent from 2021.

Each year, holiday shopping statistics prompt a look at the environmental impact of consumerism in the United States and around the world. Black Friday and the surge in spending during the holiday season, sparks conversation regarding environmental concerns involving waste, emissions, “fast fashion,” and most recently Environmental, Social and …

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Power Plant in the sunrise

Interior Department Aims to Crackdown on Gas Flaring on Public and Tribal Lands

ELM readers may remember our October 6th post detailing a study that found gas flaring actually releases much more methane into the atmosphere than previously thought. The emission of methane gas, given it is a potent greenhouse gas, contributes significantly to global warming.

Flaring is the process of burning excess natural gas at a well. Venting is the direct release of natural gas into the atmosphere. While some amount of venting and flaring is expected during oil and gas exploration and production operations, venting …

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Single wind turbine, a coal burning power plant with pollution and electricity pylons in the background.

Outsmarting Climate Change: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Greenhouse Gas Regulation

For nearly a decade, there has been a trend of decreasing industry greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions … that is, until now. According to the World Meteorological Organization, atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide—all reached new record highs in 2021. In addition, these emissions have increased almost an additional 1% in the United States for 2022. Although the reason for this increase is not entirely clear, it is likely the result of both biological and human-induced processes, including a …

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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 …

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