Environmental Protection Agency Proposes New Air Emissions Reporting Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced July 25 proposed updates to its Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR), including a proposal to require the reporting of hazardous air pollutants, or “air toxics” (substances known or suspected to cause cancer and other serious health effects). This update seeks to provide the EPA with accessible data allowing it to identify locations in need of solutions for people exposed to harmful air pollution, which communities can use to understand sources of air pollution that may be affecting them ­– …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading
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 …

Continue Reading
crypto mining

Crypto Mining Not Going Anywhere – Maybe Just Not How You Think

It has been a rough year for cryptocurrency mining. Just a year ago, the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing addressing the environmental effects of cryptocurrency mining, with a particular focus on the process’s use of energy and resulting high rates of emissions (covered by ELM here), but with a noticeable bent of optimism and openness from the presiding representatives who ran the panel. Millennial U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres of New York even went so far as to declare: “With a multi-billion-dollar market …

Continue Reading
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 …

Continue Reading
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 …

Continue Reading
"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 …

Continue Reading
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 …

Continue Reading
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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading