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Environmental News, Regulatory News

EPA Notice of Intention to Reconsider Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule

June 22, 2021

On June 2nd, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its Notice of Intent to Reconsider and Revise the Section 401 Certification Rule under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Section 401 Certification Rule was designed to give states and authorized tribes the authority to grant, deny, or waive certification of proposed federal licenses or permits that may discharge into waters of the United States if they determined that a project would have an adverse impact on their waters. In 2020, the EPA issued a revision to the Certification Rule which EPA described as establishing procedures that promote: Consistent implementation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act; andRegulatory certainty in the federal licensing and permitting process. However, many states and tribes feel that the rule changes issued by the EPA in 2020 limit states’ authority to protect their waters because the 2020 Rule changes made it impossible for a state to block a water permit for a project for any reason other than direct…
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Environmental News, Solid Waste News

Evaluating Potential Leachate and Landfill Gas Impacts to Groundwater at Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

June 18, 2021

(Written by Senior Project Manager, Anne Melia, CHMM, for Waste Advantage Magazine, June 2021) The need to evaluate potential leachate impacts to groundwater is an ever-present challenge for consultants working in landfill groundwater compliance. Developing a tool kit of methodologies to provide support in evaluating changes to groundwater chemistry is critical to provide high-quality consulting services to solid waste clients and for protection of the environment. (more…)
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Environmental News

OSHA Proposes New Rule to Update Hazardous Communication Standard

April 6, 2021

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed a new rule to update its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align it with the most recent version of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). (more…)
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Environmental News, Regulatory News

Certificates of Environmental Liability Release

January 8, 2021

Blackstone has assisted multiple clients with successful CELR applications. Properties have included commercial sites, former gas stations, and former manufacturing facilities. For one client, a Phase I ESA identified the possible presence of a historical gas station on the property in the early 1960s, and a subsequent Phase II ESA confirmed the presence of hydrocarbon impacts in soil and groundwater above residential risk-based concentrations.  The liability release provided by the CELR obtained for this site allowed the property transaction to take place. (more…)
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Environmental News, Regulatory News

PHMSA Advisory Bulletin 2019-0087: Potential for Damage to Pipeline Facilities Caused by Earth Movement and Other Geological Hazards

September 22, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued Advisory Bulletin 2019-0087 in April of 2019.  The advisory bulletin was issued to remind owners and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines that earth movement, particularly in variable, steep, and rugged terrain and with varied geological subsurface conditions, can pose a threat to the integrity of a pipeline if those threats are not mitigated. (more…)
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Environmental News, Regulatory News

Final Waters of the United States Rule

June 5, 2020

On April 21, 2020 the EPA published the final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in the Federal Register. Blackstone previously provided a summary of the finalized rule in a February 18, 2020 update. As discussed in our February WOTUS update, the new rule eliminates Clean Water Act protections for more than 18% of our streams and a majority of the nation's wetlands. (more…)
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Environmental News, Regulatory News

Nationwide Permit 12 Update

June 5, 2020

On April 15, 2020, the U.S. District Court for Montana vacated the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12). Specifically, the case involved the challenge by the Northern Plains Resource Council (plaintiffs) to the USACE’s authorization of the use of NWP 12 to permit the discharge of dredged or fill material to waters of the U.S. in connection with the construction of TC Energy’s Keystone Pipeline. (more…)
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Environmental News, Regulatory News

PFAS Regulatory Update

May 27, 2020

On May 19, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the next step to implement an important per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) requirement of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA added 172 PFAS to the list of chemicals required to be reported to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and established a 100-pound reporting threshold for these substances. (more…)
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Environmental News, Recycling News

Low-Impact Products and Environmental Impact Based on Characteristics and Attributes

April 16, 2020

We discussed low impact materials in a previous post. This post continues in that vein through the consideration of material attributes. Those of us who strive to make environmentally conscious purchasing decisions make many assumptions about the environmental impact of a product based on the characteristics or attributes of that product. (more…)
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Environmental News, Recycling News

New Paradigm of Low-Impact Materials Shifts Recycling Responsibility from Consumers to Manufacturers

April 8, 2020

Recent research conducted by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the USEPA has shown that although a product may be recyclable, that does not always translate into the packaging having the least environmental impact. Instead, the entire life cycle of products and product packaging should be evaluated to determine their overall environmental impact.   (more…)
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