Now Effective: EPA’s Sewer Ban and (in some states) Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals

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Today, August 21, 2019, EPA’s Final Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals takes effect federally.  The sewer ban component of the new rule applies in all states.  Healthcare facilities are now prohibited from flushing hazardous waste pharmaceuticals, including DEA controlled substances and “pharmaceutical wastage” that are hazardous waste.  This sewering ban may drive many facilities to stop flushing pharmaceuticals entirely (even those that are not hazardous waste), given how complicated it is in practice for healthcare provides to determine which drugs are hazardous [...]Read more

New California Air Quality Reporting Requirements May Apply to Over 50,000 Businesses

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In late 2018, the California Air Resources Control Board (CARB) proposed a new statewide reporting program for air quality of both criteria pollutants and toxic air contaminants. The new reporting rules will apply to more than 50,000 businesses in California, including auto body shops, retail gas stations, print shops, dry cleaners, and facilities with backup diesel generators or emergency fire pumps among may others. Many of these businesses may need to hire engineers and consultants to assist in calculating the emissions and in the preparation of the new reporting as early as January 2020. The [...]Read more

Proposed New Definition of “Waters of the United States”

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The EPA and Department of the Army submitted their revised proposal to amend the definition of “waters of the United States” for purposes of establishing federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The public comment period on the revised proposal has opened and will close on April 15, 2019. The agencies will host a two-day public hearing on February 27 and 28, 2019. It appears the agencies intend to finalize the new rule this year. The proposed waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule is a result of the February 2017 presidential Executive Order that directed the agencies to review [...]Read more

California Agencies Disclose Imminent Issuance of PFAS Investigative Orders

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On March 6, 2019, the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) hosted a workshop featuring a panel of representatives from various federal and state agencies and environmental advocacy organizations to present information to the SWRCB and the public regarding per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS). The PFAS workshop resulted in a wide diversity of opinions and criticisms from both public and nonprofit organizations. PFAS consist of thousands of different fluorinated compounds that have attracted significant regulatory attention nationwide based on their widespread use and release [...]Read more

California Raises Maximum Enforcement Daily Penalty from $25,000 to $70,000 per Day

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On February 8, 2019, DTSC released a new proposed penalty matrix.   Talk about inflation!  The new proposed penalty matrix will raise the maximum $25,000 per day penalty to $70,000 per day penalty. The proposal amends section 66272.62 which provides the minimum and maximum penalties that are multipliers and go into the equations DTSC uses to calculate the penalties.  The Legislature raised the maximum penalty in a bill signed into law by Governor Brown on October 5, 2017 (AB 245), so this proposed regulation is implementing this new authority in regulation. The processing of this [...]Read more

Final Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Released

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On December 12, 2018, the EPA released its long-awaited Management for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule. The EPA addressed industry concerns by amending the hazardous waste listing for nicotine to exclude nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) in this rulemaking, but challenges remain in the new management standards. Here are a few noteworthy takeaways as we continue to analyze the rule and its implications: The exclusion of NRTs is a big win … so long as states follow suit FDA-approved, over-the-counter NRTs (nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges) have been removed from the P075 hazardous [...]Read more

California Adopts First-in-Nation Stormwater Permit Incorporating TMDLS

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On November 6, 2018, California adopted the first-in-the-nation stormwater permit incorporating TMDLs and NELs. The new Industrial Stormwater Permit will take effect on July 1, 2020. Is your facility located in the Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Diego or San Francisco regions?   Those are the four regions in California that have adopted TMDLs. Do you know the water body receiving the stormwater running off your facility? Well, now you really need to know. Stormwater is regulated even though it is simply the rain that falls on our roofs, our property and roads, because it picks up trash, chemicals, [...]Read more

California’s Drug and Sharps Takeback Bill Triggers Statewide Obligations

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All entities selling drugs and sharps in California should be aware of California’s pharmaceutical and sharps waste stewardship bill, SB 212, which recently passed both houses of the state Legislature. It currently sits on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature. SB 212 requires manufacturers of sharps and pharmaceuticals to create and fund a statewide take-back program covering prescription and OTC drugs. If a manufacturer is not located in the state, responsibility shifts down the chain to the wholesale distributor, then repackager, followed by the owner or licensee of the trademark, and lastly [...]Read more

Paint, Varnish, and Graffiti Remover Products: Next Up for Regulation by California

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Paint and varnish stripper products containing 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) are proposed as the fifth category of products to be regulated as a “Priority Product” under the California safer consumer product regulations. The first category of products listed in July 2017 is children’s foam-padded sleeping products containing certain flame retardants.  The second category, spray polyurethane foam with unreacted MDI, was just listed in July 2018.   Since no one manufactures the sleeping products and the spray polyurethane foam listing is brand new, we have yet to see any business implement [...]Read more

New Product Labels Required in California after August 30, 2018

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The deadline of August 30, 2018 is fast approaching for all products sold in California, as well as their catalogues, phone and on-online sales sites, to provide the revised warning and label requirements if required under California Proposition 65. Examples of a few of the potential new product warning labels are below.  Note that new features include a yellow triangle with an exclamation, new font sizes, new wording, new website reference and if the long form is chosen, a need to identify one or two chemicals depending if the product may result in a cancer and/or reproductive toxin exposure.  [...]Read more