The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued, on May 5, 2023, a request for information seeking input on the availability of zero-emission technologies in the heavy-duty vehicle and port sectors toward establishing funding programs under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). EPA requests comment from manufacturers, distributors, installers, fleet operators, and port operators about their products and experience with zero-emission technologies.
Join Sidley for the Environmental Law Institute’s People Places Planet Podcast series, “The Enforcement Angle.” Through this series, Sidley partners discuss state and federal enforcement of environmental laws and regulations with senior enforcement officials and thought leaders on environmental enforcement in the United States and globally. The featured guests offer their insights into the challenging environmental issues facing corporations today.
The Biden administration has recently reinforced the President’s environmental justice (EJ) agenda through two actions. Stakeholders who engage with the federal government should be aware of how the administration is expanding these efforts, which inform the government’s enforcement actions and review of projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to approve Louisiana’s request for control over the permitting of carbon sequestration wells in the state. EPA’s approval would provide Louisiana authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program to administer a “Class VI” injection well program for the geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, following similar such approvals for North Dakota and Wyoming. Stakeholders should take note of this proposed action because EPA approval of Louisiana’s program could advance carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects stymied by the backlog of permit applications pending before the EPA.
On April 20, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule seriously restricting the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride. EPA is exercising its authority under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which allows the agency to impose such prohibitions on chemical substances that it determines, following a risk evaluation, to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. Methylene chloride is most commonly used as a solvent in adhesives and sealants, automotive products, and paint and coating removers, and this rule could affect, among others, the automotive, pharmaceutical, and chemical manufacturing sectors.
On April 21, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the draft “National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution” that could have serious implications for the regulated community, including the packaging industry, retailers, plastic manufacturers, solid waste management facilities, and recycling facilities, among others. According to the draft strategy, EPA is seeking to eliminate the release of plastic and other waste from land-based sources into the environment by 2040 through the following objectives: reducing pollution during plastic production, improving postuse materials management, preventing trash and micro/nano plastics from entering waterways, and removing escaped trash from the environment. Within these objectives EPA identified various research and regulatory actions under consideration. Among the regulatory actions under consideration, EPA signaled it was exploring new rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act for advanced recycling facilities that use pyrolysis to process recovered feedstocks into recycled plastics. The agency also called for ratification of the Basel Convention, which the United States agreed to in the 1990s but failed to ratify, as another approach to addressing international plastic waste.
On April 13, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court in Axon Enterprise, Inc. v. Federal Trade Commission et al. unanimously held that federal district courts can hear constitutional challenges to an agency’s administrative enforcement powers without waiting for the outcome of administrative appeals to that action.
On April 13, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) asking the public for input concerning potential designations of seven per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Based on public input and data to be received, EPA will evaluate whether these PFAS may present substantial danger to the public health or welfare or the environment.