Environmental Law Portal

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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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EPA Unveils Scoping Analysis for Risk Evaluations under Amended TSCA, Requests Comments on the First Ten Chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the three framework rules called for by the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to direct future review of chemical risks.  Without waiting for those rules, however, EPA had previously launched risk evaluations for the initial ten chemical substances.  On June 22, 2017, EPA posted the scope documents (follow the links under “First ten chemicals for Risk Evaluation”) for those substances.  They present a less complete scoping process than what the scope analysis will look like in the future.  For each of the ten chemicals, EPA has opened dockets for public comments.  The next step for these ten chemical substances is problem formulation . Read More ›

EPA’s Risk Evaluation Framework Rule Incorporates Key Industry Suggestions

Under the 2016 TSCA amendments, risk evaluation is the critical step toward EPA banning or restricting chemicals, or else determining that they will not be regulated.  As required by those amendments, EPA has promulgated a final rule governing the risk evaluation process for the foreseeable future.  This important development means that stakeholders have a better idea of how they can impact EPA’s review of chemicals important to them. Read More ›

OSHA Proposes December 1, 2017 Deadline for First Phase of Electronic Reporting, Foreshadows Rulemaking on Anti-Retaliation Provisions

On June 28, 2017, OSHA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register delaying the initial compliance deadline for the electronic submission of worker injury and illness logs to December 1, 2017. Read More ›

Unique Identifiers: A Little-Noticed TSCA Provision Could Have a Big Impact on CBI

Protection for confidential business information (CBI) could be at risk under one provision of the amended Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) now under consideration by EPA.  Read More ›

The TSCA Inventory Reset Clock to Start Ticking

Virtually all manufacturers and importers of chemicals for the past 11 years are now subject to a new TSCA reporting requirement known informally as the TSCA Inventory Reset.  Reports will be due six months after the final rule is published.  All processors of chemicals have an opportunity and an incentive to report as well.  EPA released a prepublication version of the final Inventory Reset rule on June 22, 2017. Read More ›

EPA Releases TSCA Final Rule on Prioritization of High-Priority and Low-Priority Chemical Substances

Under the amended TSCA, prioritization – EPA’s process for selecting which chemical substances to evaluate for possible regulation – is the gatekeeper.  EPA has just adopted a final rule describing its process for selecting chemicals for designation as a high or a low priority for a risk evaluation.  Only those designated as High-Priority will receive detailed scrutiny; a decision on whether or not they present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment under the conditions of use; and risk management requirements (where a finding of unreasonable risk is made). Read More ›

California Supreme Court Refuses to Take Up Challenge to Cap-and-Trade Program; CARB Confirms Board Hearing Will be Held in July

The California Supreme Court yesterday refused to take up the appeal in California Chamber of Commerce v. CARB, ending litigation that would have struck down a key element of the California Cap-and-Trade program (the “Program”).  The Third Appellate District Court of Appeal had previously ruled against the California Chamber of Commerce’s argument that the Program’s auction of allowances was an unconstitutional tax under state law.  The Court of Appeal’s ruling is now the final say on this issue. Read More ›

EPA Issues NPDES Remediation General Permit Renewal for Massachusetts

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) renewed the NPDES General Permit for Remediation Activity Discharges in Massachusetts effective April 8, 2017.  This permit authorizes discharges from contaminated sites as well as a collection of miscellaneous discharges that may be contaminated.  A companion permit was issued covering these discharges in New Hampshire.  According to the US EPA Fact Sheet, discharges from about 750 remediation projects were authorized under the 2010 permits, mostly in Massachusetts.   Read More ›

Is Offshore Wind Power Riding a Rising Tide?

Recent Offshore Wind Developments in the Northeast

State action in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maryland may help to advance offshore wind projects in those states, while a new federal proposal would extend the investment tax credit for offshore wind through 2025, improving the outlook for offshore wind projects on the eastern seaboard.    Read More ›

Massachusetts Appeals Court Upholds Applicability of Wetlands Protection Act to Commercial Fishing Techniques Using Hydraulic Dredging Methods

The Massachusetts Appeals Court upheld the applicability of the state’s Wetlands Protection Act (WPA) to commercial fishing activities using hydraulic dredging methods on land under ocean and nearshore areas, clarifying municipal authority to impose additional requirements on activities in wetlands in relation to shell fishing.  However, in the same opinion, the Court concluded that a town bylaw prohibiting hydraulic dredging in nearshore areas without a permit is preempted by state law as applied to sea clam and quahog harvesting.  Read More ›