EPA Commits to Hazardous Waste Retail Strategy, Policy Expected to Address Point of Generation Issues

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On September 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its Strategy for Addressing the Retail Sector under RCRA’s Regulatory Framework.  As part of this strategy, EPA will finalize the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule this fall, and is working to finalize the Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule, but appears to need additional time to do so.  While EPA states that it is focusing efforts on these rulemakings, it will also issue a Policy on Reverse Distribution and RCRA. EPA recognizes that [...]Read more

Prop 65 Warning Regulations Adopted

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Today, September 2, 2016, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published its notice of adoption of amendments to Prop 65 - essentially overhauling Title 27 of the California Code of Regulations, Article 6, which governs the warning requirements of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act The new regulations are not effective until August 30, 2018. In the interim, businesses have the option of complying either with the current regulation, or the provisions of the new regulation. OEHHA has published a side-by-side comparison of the newly adopted [...]Read more

CSB Report calls for Preventative Inspections at Petroleum Refineries, Bolstering EPA and OSHA Efforts

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Chemical and Safety Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issued a report calling for preventative inspections at petroleum refineries to prevent accidents and injuries.  The report highlights the value of robust, preventative inspections and proactive regulators in minimizing process safety incidents.  CSB, through the report, calls on California regulators to conduct preventative inspections and analyze facilities’ process safety history, including “near misses.”  CSB also calls for California to require refineries to report process safety indicators.  The conclusions [...]Read more

EPA and NHTSA Finalize Stringent Emission and Fuel Efficiency Standards

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Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finalized more stringent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles.  This “Phase 2” rule, applies to: 1) combination tractors; 2) trailers pulled by combination tractors; 3) heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans; and 4) vocational vehicles, such as buses, garbage trucks and concrete mixers, as well as engines that power combination tractors and vocational vehicles, and covers model years 2021 through [...]Read more

Global Manufacturers: DTSC Announces 45 Day Comment Period on Regulation to List the First of its Proposed “Priority Products”

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The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is proposing to list certain children’s foam-padded sleeping products as “Priority Products” under the Safer Consumer Product (SCP) Regulations and today announced a 45-day comment period that will close on August 29, 2016. The initial list of Proposed Priority Products, published March 2014, had included children’s foam-padded sleeping products, as well as the following categories of products: Paint and Varnish Strippers, and Surface Cleaners containing Methylene Chloride Spray  Polyurethane Foam Systems containing [...]Read more

US EPA Announces its Implementation Plan for TSCA Reform

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TSCA Reform was signed into law just one week ago on June 22, 2016, but a mere one week later, on June 29, U.S. EPA has published its implementation plan, which sets an aggressive schedule to get into place the basic rulemaking frameworks to implement its vast new authorities. U.S. EPA is proposing to establish its regulatory framework for implementation of its new authorities into four main rulemakings, and propose three of them by mid-December 2016 in the twilight days of the Obama Administration. The four main rulemakings are: 1) prioritization process rule, 2) risk evaluation process [...]Read more

Historic TSCA Reform Signed Into Law

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The outdated Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has just received the most significant update in decades. On Wednesday, June 22, President Obama signed into law sweeping reforms, which had bi-partisan support in both houses. Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to approve a revised version of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform bill, H.R. 2576, originally approved by the House last year. The Senate passed the bill on June 7. The newly signed bill was a compromise following House and Senate negotiations to reconcile differences between last year’s House [...]Read more

NOx Emission Reductions for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks Forthcoming

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The timeline for federal NOx emission reductions for medium and heavy-duty trucks is uncertain, but expected in California in 2017.  The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is expected to issue a NOx standard in 2017 that should reduce NOx emissions by up to 90 percent:  the expected lower standard is 0.02 grams per brake horsepower hour (g/bhp-hr), a significant decrease for the current 0.2 g/bhp-hr.  Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), California may issue emission standards that are more stringent than federal standards.  While California is the only state with such authority, other states [...]Read more

California – New Prop 65 Product Label Requirements Likely to be Adopted

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Today, May 17, 2016, OEHHA released a second set of revisions to its proposed regulations to change the warning labeling requirements for Prop 65.  This is the first major change to the words required on product labels and shelf signs and catalogues selling products into California in several decades.  OEHHA has been working on these warning wording and method changes since 2013.  The most recent proposal commenced in November 2015, and has gone through several public comment periods and revisions.  Today’s May 17th revision is probably the last set of revisions before adoption.  Comments [...]Read more

I See a Prop 65 Label On This Product, But What Does It Mean? New California Website to Explain

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At the beginning of 2016, the State of California (OEHHA) adopted a new regulation to give itself authority to create and operate a website to provide information about the Prop 65 labels the public sees on everyday products and in everyday locations such as restaurants, gas stations and airports.  New section 25205 allows OEHHA to post information about pathways of exposure to chemicals in products and strategies to avoid exposure, while also providing a disclaimer that OEHHA cannot assure the accuracy of anything it posts.   It creates a petition process for manufacturers, sellers and the [...]Read more