New Regulatory Hurdles Proposed for Hazardous Waste Facilities in California

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On September 22, 2017, DTSC commenced the public comment period for its proposed regulations to update the criteria for the issuance of hazardous waste facility permits and permit modifications pursuant to SB 673. The 70 pages of the proposed regulations are a radical departure from the permitting process of the past 25 years in California. In some respects, the burdens proposed are so high that one wonders if this portends the end of hazardous waste facilities in the state. On the positive side, this will have local EJ (environmental justice) communities cheering and it does present an enormous [...]Read more

Is That Regulation Affordable? If It’s Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, It Better Be

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You open your mailbox. There’s your monthly water bill. Inside, you notice it’s gone up nearly $500—but your use hasn’t changed. How could this be? And maybe more important, can you afford it? This is an essential question, concludes the Sacramento Superior Court. So essential that it must be considered when enacting standards under California’s Safe Drinking Water Act. The regulation in question, a primary drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium, was enacted in 2014 and set the maximum contaminant level—or MCL—at 10 parts per billion. The rulemaking was controversial, [...]Read more

Cannabis Industry Jammed With Extensive Environmental Regulations

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The surge of new cannabis-related regulations continues in California this month, this time courtesy of the State Water Resources Control Board.  In response to Senate Bill 837, the agency recently released a draft Cannabis Policy and General Order aimed at regulating the water-quality impacts of cannabis cultivation. The proposed Order lists well over 100 requirements and prohibitions, which range from the expected, such as riparian setbacks, in-stream flow limits, and water-use recording mandates, to the burdensome:  under the Order, legacy impacts from poorly-designed logging road would [...]Read more

California Air Resources Board New Draft Enforcement Penalty Policy

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Today, CARB held another workshop to explain its new draft enforcement penalty policy and the factors it will use in assessing penalties in future enforcement cases. The factors are qualitative and narrative and subjective, which is bad for business that craves certainty and predictability but fun for the art of lawyering (our quills are aquiver). An increasing problem for industry is that the reporting requirements under the climate change rules, such as diesel fleet, low carbon fuel and cap and trade, are becoming so voluminous and complex that it is easy to make honest errors in these reports. [...]Read more

EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) Facility Safety Rule Delayed Until Feb. 2019

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The effective date of EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) Facility Safety Rule has been delayed from June 19, 2017 to February 19, 2019.  EPA issued a Final Rule on June 9 explaining that the 20-month delay will “allow EPA to conduct a reconsideration proceeding and to consider other issues that may benefit from additional comment.” [1] This delay—and the signal that EPA may be reviewing “other issues” with the original RMP Rule that may not have been affected by the now-delayed amendment—show that Pruitt’s EPA intends to act on its goal of minimizing regulatory burden on industry. Environmentalists, [...]Read more

New Regulatory Program for Cannabis Industry Proposed

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On April 28, 2017, the Bureau of Marijuana Control proposed 58 pages of a brand new regulatory program for the newly legalized marijuana industry. The Bureau will hold hearings on June 1, 2017 in Eureka, June 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, June 9, 2017 in Sacramento and June 13, 2017 in San Jose.   Written comments will be received until 5 pm on June 13, 2017. It is the first comprehensive regulatory framework of its type.   The regulations propose specific licensing, specifying the voluminous documentation and information required to be submitted to the State, specifying packaging, labeling, [...]Read more

Regulatory Attorneys – Ready Yourself for California’s “Track and Trace” Product Supply Chain Regulatory Regime: First product up, Marijuana Cannabis

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As close and jaded observers of the colliding worlds of environmental regulation, consumer product and global supply chain regulation sitting and toiling daily in the center of the world’s most talented, creative and aggressive government regulators (i.e., Sacramento, not DC) for the past 25 years, even we are in awe of what is proposed to regulate the newest legalized product in California – marijuana. Proposition 64 passed by in a voter initiative on November 8, 2016 and establishes a licensing and regulatory framework for legalized cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and sales. Last [...]Read more

Maybe 2018 will be the year we finally see how the California Safer Consumer Product Regulations will work in practice? Spray Polyurethane Foam may be first up at bat

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DTSC has released the rulemaking for its second selected “priority product” which is spray polyurethane foam systems with unreacted methylene diphenyl diicyanates. This is a product that is actually manufactured and sold in California and thus if adopted, the program’s regulatory requirements would attach to an actual entity. (As compared to the first “priority product” DTSC selected –see children’s foam-padded sleeping products   - which we understand no one actually makes or sells (and begs the question as to how the State of California could select it as a “priority”?) Makers [...]Read more

EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) Facility Safety Rule Delayed Again

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EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) Facility Safety Rule continues to face an uncertain future, particularly given EPA Administrator Pruitt’s historical opposition.[1]  On March 16, EPA again stayed the effective date of the Rule and “will prepare a notice of proposed rulemaking in the near future” that will allow industry groups and the public an opportunity to comment again.[2]  This new notice and comment period could also allow EPA to scrap the new Rule altogether if it so desired.  What’s more, a coalition of GOP states are asking Administrator Pruitt to delay the Rule for an [...]Read more

Forthcoming California Phase 2 GHG Emission Regulations Foreshadow Compliance Challenges

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Last August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finalized the more stringent “Phase 2” greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles.  As discussed at a CARB hearing on February 6, California will propose its own Phase 2 GHG emission standards this summer, and is predicted to release the proposed rule for public comment in September.  California’s rules are expected to differ from and go beyond the EPA Phase 2 rules.  They will move forward [...]Read more