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Showing 33 posts in Hazardous Waste/RCRA. View our practice description for Hazardous Waste/RCRA.

D.C. Circuit Invalidates Part of the RCRA Definition of “Solid Waste,” Altering the Regulatory Framework for Recycling of Hazardous Secondary Materials

On July 7, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit” or the “Court”) issued a decision invalidating two key elements of the regulatory definition of solid waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), as amended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) in 2015, and rejecting efforts to impose additional conditions on existing exclusions in the hazardous waste program.  See American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, 2017 WL 2883867, No. 09-1038 (D.C. Cir.); 80 Fed. Reg. 1694 (January 13, 2015) (EPA’s “Final Rule” revising the definition of solid waste). The definition is a cornerstone of the RCRA hazardous waste regulatory program, inasmuch as it specifies when recyclable materials may be classified as solid wastes and thus potentially hazardous wastes subject to the hazardous waste regulatory program promulgated by EPA under RCRA Subtitle C.  The Court decision upends a significant part of the RCRA regulatory scheme, has broader implications for the hazardous waste program and beyond, and creates implementation issues at the federal and state level that will likely take years to sort out.  Don Patterson of Beveridge & Diamond (“B&D”) presented oral argument on behalf of the National Mining Association and other Industry Intervenors in opposition to Environmental Petitioners’ challenge, and Eric Klein, another B&D principal, joined Don on the Industry Intervenors’ brief.    Read More ›

Introducing Our California Environmental Tracker

The San Francisco Office of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. is pleased to announce a new series of articles dedicated to developments in California environmental law. California has long been a driver of environmental policy, often setting demanding regulatory standards and leveraging its mammoth market share to compel national compliance. Read More ›

EPA Overhauls Rules for Hazardous Waste Generators, Imposing Substantial New Burdens on Hundreds of Thousands of Facilities in Virtually All Industries

1          Introduction 

On October 28, 2016, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) signed a final rule that completely overhauls the long-standing requirements for generators of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  By EPA’s own estimates, the new rules will affect tens of thousands of both large quantity generators of hazardous wastes (“LQGs”) and small quantity generators (“SQGs”) in practically every industrial sector, as well as hundreds of thousands of conditionally exempt small quantity generators (renamed “very small quantity generators” or “VSQGs” in the final rule).    Read More ›

EPA Revises Hazardous Waste Import-Export Rules

On October 28, 2016, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a rule finalizing significant modifications to the requirements governing the export and import of hazardous waste.  The rule changes will go into effect on December 31, 2016, although, as discussed below, certain requirements will be phased in over time.  The changes will affect transboundary shipments currently subject to 40 C.F.R. Part 262 Subpart H (regulating hazardous waste shipments for recovery between the United States and countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) other than Mexico and Canada), as well as shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F (regulating all other hazardous waste imports and exports).  The modifications make certain substantive changes to the requirements of Subpart H, as well as expand the scope of that subpart to cover transboundary shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F.  The modifications are largely consistent with EPA’s October 2015 proposed rule. Read More ›

New York Extends Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Damages Caused by Contamination from Superfund Sites

On July 21, 2016, New York Governor Cuomo signed into law New York State Assembly Bill No. A09568, which amends the statute of limitations for filing actions to recover damages for
personal injury caused by contamination from Superfund sites.  The legislation is a result of public concern about the discovery of water contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York, and  Flint, Michigan. Read More ›

FedEx Settlement with California Department of Toxic Substances Control Contains Important Lessons/Reminders for Product and Waste Shippers

On June 14, 2016, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) entered into a settlement with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (“DTSC”) to resolve allegations that FedEx improperly handled, transported, stored, recycled and disposed of damaged packages of hazardous materials (“DTSC Settlement”).  Under the terms of the DTSC Settlement, FedEx will pay a total of $3.4 million in civil penalties and is enjoined from further violations of California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law (“HWCL”).  See Stipulation for Entry of Final Judgment and Order on Consent, People v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., Case No.34-2014-00165454 (Sacramento County Superior Court) (filed June 14, 2016).  The DTSC Settlement also resolves a related case FedEx brought in federal court in April 2014 (“Federal Action”).  Read More ›

EPA Proposes to Amend the Site Remediation NESHAP to Remove the Exemption for Site Remediation Activities Performed under CERCLA and RCRA

Summary:  On May 13, 2016, EPA proposed to amend several provisions of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs): Site Remediation.  The Site Remediation Rule currently exempts from hazardous air pollutant standards remediation activities performed under the authority of CERCLA and those conducted under a RCRA corrective action or other required RCRA order. EPA is proposing to remove the CERCLA/RCRA exemption and to remove the applicability requirement that a site remediation must be co-located with a facility that is regulated by other NESHAPs in order to be subject to the Site Remediation Rule. Comments are due June 27, 2016. Read More ›

EPA Requests Comment on Tentative Denial of Petition to Expand Dramatically the RCRA Corrosivity Characteristic

Summary:  This news alert discusses EPA’s tentative decision to deny a petition from one of its own scientists and an environmental group, both seeking a dramatic expansion of the definition of “corrosive” wastes under the U.S. federal hazardous waste regulations.  The Agency will accept public comments on its tentative decision until June 10, 2016, after which time it will either issue a final decision denying the petition or initiate a rulemaking to change the corrosivity characteristic.    Read More ›

Auto and Appliance Shredding and Recycling Companies Settle with Mass AG over Allegations of Air, Hazardous Waste, and Mercury Management Violations

Two shredding and metals recycling companies recently settled a complaint brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General (Mass AG) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for alleged violations of the laws and rules governing air emissions, hazardous and solid waste, and mercury management.  The companies settling with the government, Prolerized New England Company, LLC (PNE) and Metals Recycling, LLC (Metals Recycling), both doing business as Schnitzer Northeast, operate three Massachusetts facilities located in Attleboro, Everett and Worcester. Read More ›

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Revises Regulations Governing Bulk Storage Tanks

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) issued revised regulations, effective October 11, 2015, governing the management and bulk storage of petroleum and hazardous substances. Corresponding revisions to used oil management regulations will be effective on November 10, 2015, and operator training requirements must be implemented by October 11, 2016 Read More ›