EPA

February 18, 2019

EPA’s New Proposed WOTUS Rule – the good and bad news . . .

The U.S. EPA and Army Corps issued the long awaited proposed waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on February 14.  84 Fed. Reg. 4154 (Feb. 14, 2019) (“Proposed Rule”).  Settling the WOTUS question is a major priority for this Administration.  The Proposed Rule has sweeping implications and affects all promulgated Clean Water Act (CWA) […]
December 3, 2018

Company pleads guilty to failing to properly supervise Clean Water Act discharge monitoring and reporting . . .

We are likely to see an increase in these types of criminal negligence prosecutions by DOJ/EPA, involving companies who fail to provide sufficient oversight over employees who collect, monitor and report environmental quality reports to the state regulatory agency or to EPA.   The company in the present case admitted to failing to meaningfully supervise the […]
November 23, 2018

Hyundai settles federal clean air criminal case for $1.9M

The recent sentencing of Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas for Clean Air Act crimes is the latest in EPA and DOJ’s efforts at cracking down on the mobile source market.  This represents another Obama era investigation, but indications are that the Trump administration will continue to make enforcement of violations in the mobile source sector a priority. *** […]
October 19, 2018

Court decision involving EPA temperature TMDL for Columbia and Snake Rivers has implications for climate change, warming waters, and species . . .

On October 18, the District Court for Western District of Washington rejected EPA’s motion for summary judgment arguing that the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq. did not require EPA to develop a temperature Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Columbia and lower Snake River.  (court order linked here)  The Columbia […]
October 1, 2018

Coal-ash policies are not wrong-headed . . .

Author: Dave Moore USA Today Op-Ed Published Sept. 30, 2018 Hurricanes like Florence are force majeur under environmental laws — chance and unavoidable accidents: Opposing view Three years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency placed restrictions on new coal-ash storage and disposal areas as part of laws enacted 30 years ago to address solid wastes. Ash […]
August 30, 2018

DOJ/EPA pursue criminal charges involving environment and worker safety . . .

The recent indictments out of Nebraska related to the deaths of two workers and mishandling of hazardous waste demonstrates EPA’s and DOJ’s continued focus on the intersection of environmental protection and worker safety.  With substantially larger criminal penalties for certain environmental violations than available in worker safety statutes, the DOJ, EPA and OSHA will look to apply […]
August 27, 2018

EPA Announces New National Compliance Initiative

EPA’s Enforcement Chief, Susan Bodine, issued new guidance this week, announcing movement away from “enforcement” to “compliance” initiatives.   The initiative underscores the approach the agency is taking to lighten its civil enforcement footprint, encourage states and tribes to take the lead where they can, and promote compliance over enforcement as a matter of policy.   National Enforcement […]
July 27, 2018

Feds criminally charge water company for hazardous waste violations . . .

The recent multi-defendant indictment against companies in the water and waste industries is one more sign that the environmental cop remains on the beat.  Keep an eye on staffing levels in EPA’s criminal program to see if this type of critical enforcement work can continue at the level needed to keep the playing field level and the public […]
July 18, 2018

GAO issues new report – millions of school children at risk for harmful lead levels in drinking water . . .

According to the GAO report, Nationwide, school districts vary in terms of whether they have tested for lead in school drinking water, with many not testing. According to our survey of school districts, an estimated 43 percent tested for lead in school drinking water in at least one school in the last 12 months, while […]
May 23, 2018

EPA proposes 4-step plan to regulate PFOAs in drinking water . . .

Administrator Pruitt Kicks Off National Leadership Summit on PFAS Announces EPA’s four-step plan WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt opened the National Leadership Summit on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) by announcing concrete steps the Agency plans to take following the Summit: EPA’s Four-Step Action Plan: EPA will initiate steps to evaluate the need […]