Indiana Waving Flag

Will Industry Push Back Proactively on Potential PFAS-Use Restrictions?

Over the past seven years, our blog has reported extensively on PFAS developments, litigation, and regulations — most of which has focused on the attention surrounding potential risks associated with PFAS, and the scrutiny given to that chemical class by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Today we are providing a wrinkle seldom seen recently in the PFAS world: a proposed law that would protect PFAS uses.  

This week, state of Indiana senators chose to abandon a bill that reportedly would have excluded thousands of the …

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Low angle view of airplane flying against sky,Tallinn Airport,Estonia

FAA to Implement Final Rules for Most Large Aircraft to be Built

As part of the United States Aviation Climate Action Plan – which strives to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions for United States Aviation by 2050 – the Federal Aviation Administration announced earlier this month its final rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from most large aircraft in U.S. airspace. 

The new rules go into effect on April 16, and requires aircraft built after January 1, 2028 to incorporate more fuel efficient technologies. The rule applies to aircraft of certain sizes, regardless of the fuel …

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Close up of conveyor belt in bottling plant

Regulatory States: Further Limitations on PFAS-Containing Products Now in Effect

Right out of the gate in 2024, we’ve seen several states further regulate the sale of PFAS-containing products. On Jan. 1, a Connecticut statute took effect prohibiting the sale or promotion of any “food package to which PFAS has been intentionally introduced during manufacturing or distribution in any amount.” The law defines “food packaging” to mean “any package or packaging component that is applied to, or in direct contact with any food or beverage.”

Connecticut defines “intentionally introduced” to mean any “deliberately utiliz[ing] regulated metal …

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Smoke stacks at a power plant.

SCOTUS Poised to ‘Shove Thy Neighbor’ on EPA Law

In March 2023, the EPA issued its final Good Neighbor Plan, the last in a series of legislations designed to reduce emissions of ozone-forming nitrogen oxide (NO2) which cross state borders. Specifically, the Plan was intended to assist 23 identified states to maintain the EPA’s 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for smog (ground-level ozone) production into downwind states, by reducing NO2 from electric generating units and industrial plants. Smog, of course, has been identified for decades as a cause for whole gamut of respiratory …

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Crypto Currency Mining Rig

Feds Zero in on Energy-Guzzling Crypto Mining Giants

As closely monitored by ELM over the last couple of years, the expansion of cryptocurrency mining in the United States has resulted in the industry simply devouring the country’s energy resources (see here for general background on cryptocurrency mining effects on energy use, and here for an explainer on the federal government’s increased attention to crypto’s energy use).

Some analysts have concluded that the crypto mining industry releases between 25 and 50 million tons of CO2 annually – roughly the same amount as the U.S. …

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A River Runs Through Glacier National Park in Montana

Green Amendments and the Rise of Environmental Constitutional Rights

There has been a recent push across the country placing “green amendments” at the forefront of the fight to combat climate change and promote environmental justice. Analogous to the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, such as freedom of speech or freedom of religion, a green amendment is an amendment to a state Constitution’s Bill of Rights that guarantees its citizens the inalienable right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment. These amendments serve to create a constitutional mandate that every citizen has a …

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Flag of California

California Air Resources Board Receives Legal Challenge to the State’s New Climate Disclosure Laws

Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was named as a defendant in a new U.S. District Court, Central District of California lawsuit challenging California’s two new climate disclosure and financial reporting laws introduced late in 2023 — Senate bills SB 253 and SB 261.

The case is Chamber of Com. Of the U.S. v. Calif. Air. Res. Bd., C.D. Cal., No. 2:24-cv-00801, complaint 1/30/20. The basis for plaintiffs’ lawsuit claims the two new laws unconstitutionally require disclosure by qualifying public and privately held …

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Net full of salmon being hauled onto purse seiner

The Fishing Case that Could Put the Chevron Doctrine Out to Sea

On January 17, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, No. 22-451, an environmental-law dispute concerning fishery management in federal waters.       

The case reached the court via a petition of four commercial fishing companies challenging a federal fisheries regulation, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which provides that the National Marine Fisheries Service can require private vessels to “carry” federal observers onboard to allow for the enforcement of the agency’s regulations (federally-prescribed fishing “catch” limits being the most …

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A large construction excavator removes contaminated soil from an urban brownfield development site.

Leading with Lead: EPA to Implement Strategy for Lead in 2024

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency kicked off the New Year by strengthening its guidance for investigating and cleaning up lead-contaminated soil at residential properties, especially in areas where children live and play. Toward this end, the EPA lowered the recommended screening levels for lead in residential soil, from 400 parts per million to 200 ppm, for the first time in 30 years. 

While screening levels are not cleanup standard, this change is expected to assist the EPA in making site-specific cleanup decisions, which may include …

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Filling glass of water from the tap

Anyone Want Some Wastewater to Drink?

Last month, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) unanimously approved regulations to allow water systems throughout California to develop treatment protocols to quickly convert wastewater into drinking water. This process is known as direct potable reuse and should allow municipalities to generate a climate resilient water source while reducing the amount of wastewater that is discharged into California’s rivers and oceans. Recycled water is also a more reliable source of drinking water than imported water or stormwater sources – the availability of which …

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