News


Blackstone digs deeper into technical topics and shares company news.

Regulatory News, Solid Waste News

U.S. House Passes Bill Targeting PFAS

January 17, 2020

On January 10, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill targeting per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The bill, H.R. 535, passed with a 247-159 vote. Despite the threat of a veto by President Donald Trump, 24 Republicans voted for the bill.  Significant items in the bill include: National regulation of some PFAS substances, specifically requiring the U.S. EPA to establish destruction and disposal guidance for a range of materials, including landfill leachate, biosolids, and "solid, liquid, or gas waste streams" from facilities that manufacture or use PFAS; Amend section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require a 'poses an unreasonable risk' finding and use prohibition in response to any new chemical notification for a PFAS, for a period of five years;Create a rule under section 8 of TSCA requiring manufacturers of PFAS to submit relevant data;Issue guidance for minimizing the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam; andRevise its Safer Choice standard to require that pots, pans and cooking utensils labelled with…
Keep Reading

Regulatory News, Solid Waste News

EPA Publishes Rules for Existing MSW Landfills

August 29, 2019

EPA published two actions related to the 2016 Emission Guidelines for Existing MSW Landfills in August 2019. The emission guidelines for MSW landfills (40 CFR Part 60, Subpart Cf) require existing landfills (constructed, reconstructed, or modified before July 17, 2014) that reach a landfill gas emissions rate of 34 megagrams of non-methane organic compounds (NMOC) or more per year or closed landfills that reach an emissions rate of 50 megagrams of NMOC or more per year to install a system to collect and control landfill gas. EPA issued a final rule that aligns state plan timing requirements with the updated Clean Air Act section 111(d) implementing regulations that were finalized with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. This rule revises the 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills by updating cross references to the implementing regulations that refer to amended timing requirements for the submission of state plans, the EPA’s review of state plans, and the issuance of federal plans. EPA…
Keep Reading

Regulatory News

EPA Proposes National Compliance Initiatives for FY2020-2023

August 29, 2019

EPA has selected six National Compliance Initiatives (NCIs) for fiscal years 2020-2023 for the enforcement and compliance assurance program. The six NCIs advance EPA’s objectives to improve air quality, provide for clean and safe water, ensure chemical safety, and improve compliance with environmental laws, while sharing accountability between EPA, states, and Indian tribes with authorized environmental programs. Creating Cleaner Air for Communities by Reducing Excess Emissions of Harmful Pollutants: EPA will focus on reducing emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from significant sources that have a substantial impact on air quality and may adversely affect an area’s attainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards or that may adversely affect vulnerable populations. Additionally, EPA will focus on sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that have a significant impact on air quality and health in communities. Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines: This initiative will focus on stopping the manufacture, sale, and installation of defeat devices on vehicles and engines used on public roads as well…
Keep Reading

Regulatory News

EPA Proposes Adjustment to Two-Step New Source Review Process

August 29, 2019

On August 9, 2019 EPA proposed the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Nonattainment New Source Review (NNSR): Project Emissions Accounting regulation to clarify and eliminate uncertainty relating to Step 1 of the New Source Review applicability process. EPA had previously issued the Project Emissions Accounting Under the New Source Review Preconstruction Program memorandum explaining that EPA interprets NSR regulations to allow emissions decreases, as well as increases, to be considered during Step 1 of the NSR applicability process as long as the decreases and increases are part of the single project being assessed. The August 2019 rule proposes revisions to the NSR regulations to codify this approach of including both increases and decreases resulting from the project. The rule also proposes to withdraw the Project Netting Proposal released in 2006. The comment period for the proposed rule closes on October 8, 2019.
Keep Reading

Regulatory News

What’s Going on with WOTUS?

May 2, 2019

Last year, Blackstone shared an article explaining that the definition of the waters of the United States (WOTUS) was in limbo. The 2015 Clean Water Rule attempted to provide a clearer definition of WOTUS but has been under numerous court challenges. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) published a proposal to rescind the Clean Water Rule in July 2017, and in February 2018, finalized a delay of the effective date of the Clean Water Rule to February 6, 2020 (the Applicability Date Rule) while they worked on a new rule to replace it. A year later we are still in limbo without a clear definition, but with one on the way. Over the past year there have been lawsuits over the Applicability Date Rule, a court case ruling that delay of lawsuits opposing the 2015 Clean Water Rule were unwarranted, a nationwide injunction issued for the Applicability Date rule, a court vacatur of the Applicability Date rule, court…
Keep Reading

Regulatory News

Recent EPA Policy Guidance for Air Quality Permitting

September 13, 2018

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released an applicability letter and draft policy memo that have a notable effect on how stationary source determinations are made for air quality permitting. EPA defines “stationary source” in the federal construction permitting regulations (40 CFR Parts 51 and 52) and the Title V operating permit regulations (40 CFR Parts 70 and 71) as all pollutant-emitting activities that meet three criteria: Belong to the same industrial grouping (same two-digit SIC code); Are located on contiguous or adjacent properties; and Are under control of the same person (or persons under common control). Aggregation of Facilities Using the Common Control Factor On April 30, 2018, EPA issued a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in response to a request for EPA to review whether Meadowbrook Energy LLC and Keystone Sanitary Landfill, Inc. should be aggregated for air permitting purposes. This memo establishes EPA’s revised interpretation for assessing “common control” when evaluating whether two facilities should be considered…
Keep Reading

Regulatory News

Superfund Target Lists Released

March 1, 2018

In May 2017, a Superfund Task Force was formed to provide recommendations to streamline and improve the Superfund Program. In July 2017, the Superfund Task Force recommended that EPA develop a list to target Superfund sites for immediate and intense action. This list was developed considering sites that would benefit from the Administrator’s direct engagement and that require timely resolution of specific issues to expedite cleanup and redevelopment efforts. The list is dynamic and will change as sites need to move on and off of the list. EPA has published a list of these sites targeted for immediate and intense action as of December 8, 2017. In January 2018, also in response to Task Force recommendations, EPA released a list of the initial Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) sites with the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential. EPA has indicated that they will focus redevelopment training, tools and resources towards the sites on this list.
Keep Reading

Regulatory News

Once In Always In Policy for NESHAP Major Sources Withdrawn

March 1, 2018

In January 2018, EPA issued a guidance memorandum that withdrew the long-standing “once in always in” policy for the classification of major sources of hazardous air pollutants under section 112 of the Clean Air Act, the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants or NESHAPs. A major source of HAPs is a stationary source that has the potential to emit 10 tons per year or more of any HAP or 25 tons per year or more of a combination of HAPs. An area source is a stationary source that does not emit HAPs above these thresholds. EPA’s previous guidance under the Seitz Memo, in place since 1995, stated that once a source became a major source of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), they could not be reclassified as an area source even if potential HAP emissions drop below major source thresholds. Once they were “in” as a major source, that facility would always be in. The new policy allows these sources previously classified as major sources…
Keep Reading