House approves bill seeking to upend EPA pesticide rule

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

The House on Wednesday passed a Republican-backed measure reversing an Environmental Protection Agency requirement that those spraying pesticides on or near rivers and lakes file for a permit.

Public To EPA On Cutting Regulations: ‘No!’

Read the full story from NPR.

As part of President Trump’s executive order to review “job-killing regulations,” the Environmental Protection Agency last month asked for the public’s input on what to streamline or cut. It held a series of open-mic meetings and set up a website that has received more than 28,000 comments, many of which urge the agency not to roll back environmental protections.

EPA Rule Amendment – Compliance Date Extension for Formaldehyde Final Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a direct final rule to extend the compliance dates in the final Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products, published in the Federal Register December 12, 2016. Compliance dates would be extended for: (1) formaldehyde emission standards, recordkeeping, and labeling provisions until March 22, 2018; (2) import certification provisions until March 22, 2019; and (3) laminated product producer provisions until March 22, 2024. Note that laminated product producers would still be required to comply with applicable fabricator provisions beginning March 22, 2018. Additionally, the direct final rule would extend the California Air Resources Board Third-Party Certifiers transitional period until March 22, 2019.

To save time in the event that the EPA receives an adverse comment on the direct final rule and must publish a proposal, the EPA is also publishing a companion Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the action to extend the compliance dates. If the EPA receives no adverse comment on the direct final rule or proposed rule, then the agency will take no further action on the proposed rule and the direct final rule will become effective. If the EPA receives relevant, adverse comment, then the agency will withdraw the direct final rule and proceed with the proposed rule through the normal rulemaking process. Both direct final and proposed rules are scheduled to publish in the Federal Register on May 24, 2017.

In the near future, the agency plans to issue a direct final rule to remove 40 CFR 770.45(f) to allow early labeling of compliant composite wood products as soon as compliance can be achieved. This will reduce the unnecessary burden for panel producers, fabricators, distributors and retailers who want to roll out compliant inventory prior to the rule’s compliance date. Another direct final rule will update several voluntary consensus standards referenced in the final rule.

Visit the EPA’s formaldehyde website for additional information on TSCA Title VI final rule. Please use the “Contact us” link here to send EPA questions.

New York’s Methane Reduction Plan: A Model for Other States

Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.

On Wednesday May 17, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new Methane Reduction Plan, designed to advance the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. To date, state efforts have primarily focused on lowering emissions of carbon dioxide, which is the most prevalent greenhouse gas. The state has, however, recognized the need to also address methane emissions. Although methane is emitted in smaller quantities than carbon dioxide, it is much more potent, trapping up to 84 times more heat in the earth’s atmosphere in the first 20 years after it is released (on a per ton basis). Thus, according to the Governor’s office, “methane reduction is a key piece of New York’s policies to address the risks from climate change.”

The Methane Reduction Plan targets the three major sources of methane emissions: (1) the oil and gas sector, (2) agricultural producers, and (3) landfills. It identifies 25 actions to be taken across the three areas by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”), Department of Public Service (“DPS”), Energy Research and Development Authority, and Department of Agriculture. Interestingly, of those 25 actions, almost half are aimed at controlling emissions from the oil and gas sector. Those controls go significantly further than existing regulations at the federal level and may provide a model for other states looking to more tightly regulate oil and gas operations.

EPA asked the public which regulations to gut — and got an earful about leaving them alone

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency put out a call for comments about what regulations are in need of repeal, replacement or modification. The effort stemmed from an executive order issued by President Trump earlier this year instructing agencies to reexamine regulations that “eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation” and/or “impose costs that exceed benefits.”

More than 55,100 responses rolled in by the time the comment period closed on Monday — but they were full of Americans sharing their experiences of growing up with dirty air and water, and with pleas for the agency not to undo safeguards that could return the country to more a more polluted era.

Upcoming RCRA Changes and How They’ll Affect Your Business

Read the full story from the Iowa Waste Reduction Center.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the law that oversees the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, is seeing some major updates go into effect on May 30, 2017. A majority of the rules within RCRA are from amendments made in 1984 so this marks the first time in over 30 years that we’re seeing major changes that affect our clients.

Senators Reject Effort To Roll Back Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rule

Read the full story from NPR.

In a rare victory for environmentalists under President Trump, the Senate rejected efforts to roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from energy production sites on federal land.