2016 TSCA Reporting

The 2016 TSCA Reports for chemical manufacturers are due by September 30, 2016.  Production volumes of chemicals manufactured are included in this report.  Under TSCA the import of a chemical is considered manufacturing.  Unlike previous years, the manufacturers are required to report production volumes from 2012 through 2015.  In previous reports only the previous calendar… Read More »

PA DEP Chapter 78 Rules for Conventional Wells – Gone But Not Forgotten

In late June of this year Pennsylvania Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 279.  This enactment, now known as Act 52 of 2016, created the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Advisory Council.  This seventeen member council will oversee DEP actions and policies that impact conventional oil and gas activities.  However and more importantly for the Commonwealth’s conventional… Read More »

New Guidance Requires Federal Agencies to Consider GHG Emissions and Climate Change in their NEPA Reviews

The President’s Council on Environmental Quality (“CEQ”) has finalized guidance to assist federal agencies in their consideration of the effects of greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and climate change when evaluating proposed federal actions under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”). According to the CEQ, the guidance will “facilitate compliance with existing NEPA requirements, thereby improving… Read More »

EPA Releases National Chronic Aquatic Life Water Quality Criterion for Selenium – But Environmental Groups are Unsatisfied

Selenium discharges from coal mines in West Virginia and other states have been the subject of contentious and expensive litigation, regulatory enforcement and EPA permit objections for over a decade, including stringent effluent limitations in NPDES permits and agency- or judicially-mandated construction of sometimes multi-million-dollar selenium treatment systems.1  The basis for the water quality criteria… Read More »

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection 2016 Rules Update

In an unusual turn of events, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (“WVDEP”) rules package for the 2016 legislative session did not gain legislative approval during the 2016 regular session.  Instead, the rules were added to the Governor’s call for the special session held earlier this month. During the special session, the issue that… Read More »

EPA Approves West Virginia’s Revised Selenium Water Quality Criteria

Over ten years after the first coal NPDES permit in West Virginia included a selenium condition, over ten years after the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) first proposed to revise its recommended aquatic life criteria for selenium, after years of litigation challenging permits for including – or not including – selenium effluent limitations, and… Read More »

EPA Finalizes its Zero Discharge Rule for Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater

EPA has finalized its proposed “zero discharge” rule for the oil and gas industry, with a Federal Register Notice published on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 [81 Fed. Reg. 41845].  The rule aims to protect rivers and drinking water supplies from direct discharges by municipal sewage plants of wastewater resulting from unconventional oil and gas (UOG)… Read More »

TSCA Reform Bill Signed Into Law

On June 22, 2016 President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, more commonly known as the “Toxic Substances Control Act  Reform” bill. The bill strengthens what environmental commentators considered to be one of the weakest environmental protection laws on the books. The bill revamps the Toxic Substances… Read More »

U.S. Supreme Court Speaks to Clean Water Act and Agency Implementation

On May 31, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court of Appeals issued the opinion in United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc, et al. (No. 15-290). This is a unanimous opinion which is noteworthy since the Court is thought to be of an evenly split philosophy of conservatives and liberals and therefore incapable… Read More »