Environmental Law Portal

Welcome to the Beveridge & Diamond Environmental Law Portal.

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. 

Subscribe for updates via:

Meet the Contributors


Recent Posts

Click here to learn more about us

Showing 21 posts in Hazardous Waste/RCRA. View our practice description for Hazardous Waste/RCRA.

EPA Proposes New Rules for Pharmaceutical Wastes That Qualify as RCRA Hazardous Wastes

On August 31, 2015, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) signed a proposed rule that would establish special management standards for pharmaceutical wastes that are classified as hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  The new standards would include separate requirements for healthcare facilities and pharmaceutical reverse distributors, such as rules for storage, labeling, recordkeeping, reporting, and off-site shipment.  The Proposed Rule would also conditionally exempt hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that qualify as controlled substances under the rules of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), add new provisions for hazardous waste pharmaceuticals from households, and amend the requirements for residues of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals in containers.  It requests comments on amending the acute hazardous waste listing for low-concentration nicotine products, and on a potential strategy for listing additional pharmaceutical wastes as hazardous.  Read More ›

FedEx Enters Settlement with California District Attorneys to Partially Resolve Allegations of Mismanagement of Damaged Products, But Related Actions Still Pending in State and Federal Courts

On July 28, 2015, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) entered into a settlement agreement (“Settlement”) with a group of California District Attorneys to partially resolve allegations that the company stored and transported packages of products that it found to be damaged or leaking, without complying with the applicable California requirements for hazardous and medical wastes.  Under the terms of the (partial) Settlement, FedEx will pay a total of $1,750,000, consisting of civil penalties, reimbursement for the costs of investigation and prosecution by the District Attorneys, and funding for supplemental environmental projects and a program of customer outreach for waste minimization and improved packaging.  The company is also enjoined from future violations of the hazardous waste and medical waste regulations, as well as fromfailure to maintain the confidentiality of customer and employee records. Read More ›

EPA Proposal to “Improve” Hazardous Waste Generator Rules Is a Mixed Bag, with Many Parts Likely to Have the Opposite Effect

On August 31, 2015, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) signed a proposed rule designed to “improve” the long-standing requirements for generators of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”), by addressing purported “gaps” in the regulations, providing additional flexibility, clarifying the rules, and making them more user-friendly.  While some of the proposed changes may, in fact, have the desired effects, others appear to introduce more confusion and/or impose substantial new burdens for little or no environmental benefit.  If finalized, the proposed amendments could significantly affect tens of thousands of hazardous waste generators across virtually all U.S. industrial sectors. Read More ›

Maryland Legislative and Regulatory Updates

Legislative Updates

Maryland’s annual legislative session ended on April 13, 2015, and with the close of the session came new legislation that affects environmental regulation in Maryland.  Read More ›

EPA Commits to Respond in Early 2016 to Petition Seeking to Make the RCRA Corrosivity Characteristic 10 Times More Stringent

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) recently informed a federal appeals court that it intends to respond no later than March 31, 2016 to a rulemaking petition submitted to EPA in 2011 by one of its own employees and a group of other government employees (“Petitioners”), which asked the Agency to dramatically increase the stringency of the corrosivity characteristic used to identify wastes as hazardous under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  The Petitioners claimed that EPA had acted “erroneously and fraudulently” in establishing the characteristic in 1980, and thereby endangered public health, most notably among first responders at “Ground Zero” on 9/11 who breathed in dust from the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Read More ›

California Continues Hazardous Waste Enforcement Campaign Against Retailers With Two New Multi-Million Dollar Settlements

The first quarter of 2015 brought two significant settlements against retailers for alleged violations of California’s hazardous waste laws.  The settlements are the latest in a string of similar California enforcement actions that have seen total penalties of over $150 million levied against retailers in the last five years involving waste products.  Through settlement orders, California prosecutors continue to impose increasingly onerous obligations for employee training, hazardous waste determinations, mandatory third party auditing, and other oversight of hazardous waste compliance programs that go above and beyond the regulatory requirements.  This puts a premium on retailers to develop and maintain a robust hazardous waste compliance program that can withstand enforcement scrutiny.  Read More ›

FedEx Asks Federal Appeals Court to Block California Enforcement Case Alleging Mismanagement of Damaged Products

On February 23, 2015, FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (“FedEx”) filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (“9th Circuit”), seeking to block an enforcement action brought by the State of California alleging that the company improperly stored and transported packages of products that it found to be damaged or leaking without complying with the State’s hazardous waste regulations.  FedEx is arguing that its process for handling such packages in California (which has since changed) was consistent with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (“HMR”) issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”), and that such regulations preempt State rules governing transport of hazardous wastes, pursuant to the preemption provisions of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (“HMTA”).  This argument, if successful, could potentially have broader implications for others who initiate or transport shipments of products and/or wastes. Read More ›

EPA Regulates Coal Combustion Residuals as Solid Waste and Retains Exclusions for Beneficial Use

Today EPA issued a final rule regulating coal combustion residuals (CCR) as solid waste under Subtitle D of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  This ends years of speculation regarding whether EPA might decide to regulate CCR as a hazardous waste under the more onerous RCRA Subtitle C “cradle to grave” regulatory scheme.  EPA reported that it received over 450,000 comments on the proposed rule, most of which focused on which regulatory path would be followed: Subtitle C or D.  The final rule may be found here. Read More ›

EPA Revisions to Definition of “Solid Waste” Change the Regulatory Landscape for Hazardous Recyclable Materials

On December 10, 2014, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) signed a final rule revising the definition of
“solid waste” for purposes of the federal hazardous waste regulatory program
under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).  This definition is a
key element of the RCRA regulations, inasmuch as only solid wastes can be
subjected to regulation as hazardous wastes.  Read More ›

Beveridge & Diamond Secures Favorable CARB Determination in Offset Investigation for U.S.’s Largest GHG Offsets Provider

Attorneys in Beveridge & Diamond’s San Francisco office recently helped the
largest developer of greenhouse gas (GHG) offset credits in the U.S.,
Environmental Credit Corp. (ECC), secure a favorable determination from the
California Air Resources Board (CARB) with respect to its investigation of GHG
offsets generated at the Clean Harbors facility in El Dorado, Arkansas. Read More ›