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Showing 8 posts by Shengzhi Wang.

TSCA Nanomaterial Reporting Rule: EPA Delays Effective Date and Releases Draft Guidance for Public Comment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued its Draft Guidance on EPA’s Section 8(a) Information Gathering Rule on Nanomaterials in Commerce ( “Draft Guidance”) on May 16, 2017. See 82 Fed. Reg. 22452 (May 16, 2017).  EPA has requested public comment on the Draft Guidance, with public comments due on or before June 15, 2017. Read More ›

Fifth Circuit Tosses Coastal Damage Tort Lawsuit Against Oil and Gas Companies

Illustrating the challenges in using Louisiana tort suits to address large-scale environmental issues, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit dismissed claims seeking relief for alleged coastal damage from oil and gas operations off the Gulf Coast. See Bd. Comm’r Se. La. Flood Prot. Auth.-E. v. Tenn. Gas Pipeline Co., No. 15-30162 (5th Cir. Mar. 3, 2017). Read More ›

Federal District Court Declines to Declare that CERCLA Bars Pending State Law Tort Action

Highlighting the discretion a federal court may exercise to allow a state court to hear state tort claims, a federal district court in Montana dismissed a former smelter operator’s claim for injunctive relief against plaintiffs where a related but separate tort action was pending in state court. See Atl. Richfield Co. v. Christian, 15-cv-00083 (D. Mont. Feb. 15, 2017). Even though the federal court acknowledged it had diversity jurisdiction, it found the state court was better situated to efficiently handle the matter. Read More ›

EPA Initiates Reviews of Three Clean Air Act Regulations, Following President Trump’s “Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth” Executive Order

A week after President Trump signed an Executive Order directing agency review of various energy-related regulations (see March 28, 2017, B&D alert here), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is initiating review of three such regulations under Clean Air Act.  The announcements were published on the Federal Register on April 4, 2017. Read More ›

The Congressional Review Act: Congress Dusts Off an Old Oversight Weapon

One of the great powers that Congress has to undo changes made by a prior administration is the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which was enacted in 1996.  As of March 17, 2017, this Congress has used the CRA to overturn more agency rulemakings than any Congress before it.  Many more regulations are on the potential chopping block; a lot of them address environmental, energy, and natural resources issues.  With this whirlwind of activity under the CRA, it is vital for the regulated community to stay informed of congressional action in this realm. Read More ›

States Consider 51 Bills to Restrict Chemicals in 2017

So far in the 2017 legislative cycle, 16 state legislatures are considering 51 bills seeking to restrict or otherwise regulate chemicals, just 8 months after sweeping changes to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) were signed into law on June 22, 2016. Many of these new state bills follow recurring themes from 2016, while others signal new trends.  The attached  chart provides details regarding active state bills in the 2017 legislative cycle. Read More ›

District of Columbia Proposes Much-Anticipated Synthetic Minor Air Permitting Regulations

On February 3, 2017, the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment (“Department”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announcing its much-anticipated synthetic minor air permitting regulations (“Proposed Rule”). The Proposed Rule will establish a synthetic minor permit program under Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the D.C. Municipal Regulations, set up and revise fees for air quality permits, and through the administrative amendment process, allow for the incorporation of Chapter 2 preconstruction permit requirements into Title V (Chapter 3) permits under the Clean Air Act. Read More ›

EPA’s Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Pose Challenges for Industry, Particularly Importers

Importers, retailers, and others that sell goods containing plywood or other composite wood products face significant compliance challenges from EPA’s new Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products (the Standards). The final rule adopting the standards was signed on July 27, 2016. The Standards implement Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act. They are based on the formaldehyde emission limits of the Airborne Toxic Control Measure to Reduce Formaldehyde Emissions from Composite Wood Products (ATCM) of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The Standards differ from the ATCM in several ways. But compliance with the ATCM will help substantially as companies work to meet their obligations under the Standards. Read More ›