White peeling paint wall

EPA Proposes Stronger Lead Paint Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency announced July 12 “a proposal to strengthen requirements for the removal of lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 buildings and child care facilities… to better protect children and communities from the harmful effects of exposure to dust generated from lead paint…” The agency estimates that the rule, if finalized, could “reduce the lead exposures of approximately 250,000 to 500,000 children under age six per year,” in furtherance of the Federal Action Plan to Reduce Childhood Lead Exposures and Associated Health Effects — …

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Smoke and fumes

Multiple States Seen Ramping Up Their Efforts to Facilitate Carbon Capture and Sequestration Projects

Several states have implemented steps to build up legislative frameworks needed for carbon-capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) projects in the first half of 2023.

CCUS refers to the process of capturing carbon-dioxide emissions from sources like coal-fired power plants, and either reuses or stores the CO2 so it will not enter the atmosphere. CO2 can also be captured directly from the atmosphere with the right technology. CCUS technologies also provide a foundation for carbon removal or “negative emissions” when the CO2 comes from bio-based processes …

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Premanufacture Notices and Significant New Use Notices for PFAS Face Uphill Climb Under New TSCA PFAS Framework

Introducing new PFAS into the market or using existing ones for new purposes likely just got much harder as the EPA has established a new framework requiring an intensive scientific review process that likely will result in restrictions or even bans. The “Framework for TSCA New Chemicals Review of PFAS Premanufacture Notices (PMNs) and Significant New Use Notices (SNUNs)” comes under the TSCA New Chemicals Program, which “regulates chemicals in a manner that promotes technological innovation while ensuring that chemicals are safe to …

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Chemical hazard pictograms Toxic focus

EPA Issues Final Rule Under Toxic Substances Control Act Consistent with 2016 Amendments

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) provides the EPA with needed authority to require reporting, record-keeping and testing requirements related to chemical exposures where risks or exposures of concern are found. The TSCA addresses the production, use, and disposal of multiple chemicals – including chemicals such as lead-based paint and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The TSCA applies to more than 83,000 chemicals, with new chemicals added when commercial manufacturing becomes available.

Under the authority of the TSCA, the EPA collects …

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NJ PFAS Alert: Solvay Enters $393 Million Settlement with Garden State to Remediate Contamination

New Jersey just announced a proposed $393 million settlement with Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC that would ensure the remediation of contamination near Solvay’s facility in West Deptford that manufactures plastic components for consumer products. This contamination included the release of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 

The proposed settlement commits Solvay to: 

  • Pay for and implement comprehensive remedial activities at and in the vicinity of its West Deptford facility; 
  • Provide financial support for certain public water system upgrades necessary to remove PFAS from drinking water; 
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EPA Offices, Washington DC

EPA’s New Renewable Fuel Standards Add Biofuel to the Fire

The Environmental Protection Agency issued its final rule establishing biofuel volume requirements for 2023 to 2025 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program on June 21. The Rule aims to reduce the United States’ reliance on foreign sources of oil by approximately 130,000 to 140,000 barrels of oil per day by requiring annual volumes of renewable fuels to be used in the fuel supply. While the EPA boasts that the rule reflects its ongoing efforts to “ensure stability of the program for years to come, …

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American Public Is Thrown Into the EtO Mix with Government and Industry

After a COVID-related dip, ethylene oxide (EtO) cannot seem to stay out of the news these days. Every week there is some EtO-related legal or technological development in the United States. And now the public is being encouraged to shape the oversight of EtO use and manufacture. 

Following a long pause in years-long and intense regulatory focus — a direct result of the pandemic, an emergency requiring exponential use of EtO, a highly efficient sterilizing chemical used on billions of medical devices and hospital supplies …

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Front Refrigerator

DC Circuit Pours Cold Water on Global Warming Legislation

Refrigeration technology has come a long way since ancient Chinese cultures harvested ice from frozen lakes and desperately tried to keep them insulated in ice cellars more than a thousand years ago. The technology advanced through the subsequent centuries, culminating in an exponential explosion of growth over the last hundred years or so, with the advent of artificial refrigerants in the 19-teens and 20s. Still, these early-model units relied on toxic, foul-smelling gases such as ammonia and sulfur dioxide as condensing agents, resulting in fatalities …

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EPA Announces Proposed Perchloroethylene Regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act

Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed regulation of perchloroethylene (PCE) under the Toxic Substances Control Act to protect public health.  

PCE, also known as perc and tetrachloroethylene, “is used for the production of fluorinated compounds; as a solvent for dry cleaning and vapor degreasing; in catalyst regeneration in petrochemical manufacturing; and in a variety of commercial and consumer applications such as adhesives, paints and coatings, aerosol degreasers, brake cleaners, aerosol lubricants, sealants, stone polish, stainless steel polish, and wipe cleaners.” …

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The Environmental Impacts of the Debt Deal

On June 3, 2023, President Biden signed into law the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 (FRA). The FRA was the result of an agreement between White House and congressional GOP negotiators. While the centerpiece of the agreement is the two-year suspension of the debt ceiling, the FRA surprisingly includes significant environmental provisions. Specifically, the FRA amends the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and expedites completion of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline.  

The most significant NEPA amendments relate to Environmental Impact Statements (EIS), Environmental Assessments (EA), …

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