EPA Offices, Washington DC

EPA Proposes New Rules on Lead and Copper

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced proposed rules that would strengthen its regulation of lead and copper. These new regulations, if approved, would require water systems across the country to replace lead service lines within the next 10 years. They would also lower the allowable amount of lead in drinking water from 15 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion and require that lead service lines across the country be replaced within 10 years.  

Sampling protocols would improve throughout the country, too. The …

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Firefighting foam.

Doomed from the Start: Sixth Circuit Extinguishes Hardwick Class-Action PFAS Litigation

“Seldom is so ambitious a case filed on so slight a basis.”

That was the first sentence of Judge RaymondKethledge’s opinion vacating a district court order that certified a class of over 11 million Ohio residents who alleged various companies put their health at risk by manufacturing and selling products containing PFAS.  The panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit— Kethledge, Thapar, and Mathis — instructed the district court to dismiss this much-talked-about case for lack of jurisdiction. …

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California not just dreamin’ about expanding Prop. 65 product-notice requirements

If a company makes, distributes, or sells consumer products—including food products—containing chemicals that might turn the leaves brown, proposed amendments to California’s Proposition 65 may saddle it with additional warning-notice requirements. Affected companies should respond not only by preparing to update their relevant product warnings, but also submitting comments on the state’s rulemaking while they still can.

Proposition 65 requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide a “clear and reasonable” warning of possible exposure to the 900+ chemicals California has determined to cause …

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water coming out of a pipe

Green Technologies and their Impact on Groundwater: How Green is Green?

As the Biden Administration pushes to transition the country away from fossil fuels to green energy sources, we have been faced with the reality that demand for these necessary minerals could soon outpace supply. For example, electric vehicle manufactures have been searching for additional sources of lithium to meet the Administration’s call for electric vehicles to make up approximately 50 percent of all cars by 2030. Similarly, it is estimated that the world will need almost 50 percent more than its current supply of copper …

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The flags of the North Carolina state and United States of America waving in the wind. Democracy and independence.

North Carolina Joins Growing List of U.S. Environmental Justice Policy Proponents

At the end of October, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 292, which reestablishes the Secretary of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Board (EJ Board) as the Governor’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council (EJA Council), originally established by the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Michael Regan, who previously served as North Carolina’s DEQ Secretary.

In a “whole of government” approach to policymaking, EO 292 also directs equity-promoting actions that reflect the needs communicated by local communities overburdened …

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House Eyes New Version of the Clean Water Act in Response to Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision

In what has already been a major year for the Clean Water Act, there’s now another attempt to redefine its scope.

On October 17, the Clean Water Act of 2023 was introduced by ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Rick Larsen (D-WA), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) and 114 House Democrats.

The proposed bill — H.R. 5983 — comes on the heels of the U.S. …

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Pollution Factory Smoke in Air with Sky Bad for the Environment

California Enacts First of Its Kind Legislation Requiring Climate Emissions Information

Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted into law two bills, both of which will — for the first time in any U.S. state — require large companies doing business within the state to release a wide array of climate emissions information. Specifically, on October 7, Newsom signed into law Senate Bills (SB) 253 and SB 261, which affect both private and public businesses and their accountability towards what carbon footprint they are making in the state and their climate-related financial risks.

These new …

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person cleaning

Next On EPA’s Chopping Block: Trichloroethylene

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a risk management rule as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that would ban the production, processing and distribution of trichloroethylene (TCE) for all uses. TCE is used in a variety of applications, including cleaning and furniture-care products, paints and coatings, solvents, laundry and dishwashing products, degreasers, lubricants, brake cleaners and tire-repair sealants. 

According to EPA, the proposed rule is meant to address “the unreasonable risk of injury to human health presented by [TCE]” associated with its …

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Food Waste, Methane Gas, and the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency on Oct. 19 released new reports regarding the impact of methane emissions from food waste. As previously discussed in this space[i], many states have passed regulations to address methane emissions. These regulations include — among other things — waste collection programs so food waste does not end up in landfills. 

Over one-third of the food produced in the United States is not consumed. When the food waste is sent to landfills, it generates methane gas. Methane gas is a major contributor …

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Chemical hazard pictograms Toxic focus

CERCLA’n the Wagons: Even as it Seeks to Expand PFAS Regulations, EPA Will Not Enforce Rules Against Certain Groups

Since early 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency has pursued authority to establish a rule designating PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the Superfund Act. 

On August 12, 2022, the CERCLA PFAS designation effort advanced significantly when the Office of Management and Budget approved the EPA’s plan to designate PFOA and PFOS — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) — as hazards. This opened the door for the EPA …

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