New From the Federal Register
Below please find summaries of environment-related rules, proposed rules, and notices recently published in the Federal Register.
SIP Proposal: Wyoming (disapproval of interstate transport requirements for the 2015 eight-hour ozone NAAQS).
SIP Approval: Idaho (incorporation by reference updates).
SIP Proposal: Nevada (disapproval of interstate transport requirements for the 2015 eight-hour ozone NAAQS).
EPA announced grant funding guidance for fiscal year 2022 CERCLA state and tribal response programs with funding provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
SIP Approval: Missouri (restriction of emissions credit for reduced pollutant concentrations from the use of dispersion techniques).
SIP Proposal: California (partial approval and partial disapproval of contingency measure requirements for the San Joaquin Valley 2008 ozone nonattainment area).
United States v. United States Steel Corp., No. 2:22-cv-00729-CRE (W.D. Pa. May 17, 2022). A settling CAA defendant that violated visible emissions opacity standards, requirements to minimize fugitive emissions, and the operations and maintenance plan at the Edgar Thomson steel mill in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, must perform injunctive relief and pay a $1,500,000 civil penalty.
SIP Proposal: California (disapproval of interstate transport requirements for the 2015 eight-hour NAAQS).
SIP Proposal: Utah (disapproval of interstate transport requirements for the 2015 eight-hour ozone NAAQS).
SIP Proposal: Minnesota (infrastructure requirements for the 2015 ozone NAAQS).
EPA announced a proposed consent decree in a CAA citizen suit alleging that the Agency failed to perform a non-discretionary duty to establish 2023 renewable fuel volumes; the decree establishes deadlines for EPA to establish these volumes.
EPA proposed to update requirements for outer continental shelf sources for which New York is the corresponding onshore area under the CAA.
EPA proposed to withdraw the proposed listing for three foam blowing agents under the Significant New Alternatives Policy program.
SIP Approval: Illinois (maintenance plan and redesignation to attainment for the Illinois portion of the Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 2008 ozone nonattainment area).
SIP Approval: Indiana (maintenance plan, nitrogen oxide reasonably available control technology waiver, serious plan elements, and redesignation to attainment for the Indiana portion of the Chicago-Naperville, IL-IN-WI 2008 ozone nonattainment area).
SIP Proposal: Missouri (vehicle inspection and maintenance program in the St. Louis area).
NMFS proposed to implement management measures in three new fishery management plans (FMPs) that would replace regulations implementing the U.S. Caribbean regionwide FMPs with regulations implementing the approved island-based FMPs.
SIP Approval: Nevada (revisions concerning title change of Clark County Department of Air Quality to Department of Environment and Sustainability).
SIP Proposal: Indiana (maintenance plan and redesignation to attainment for the Indiana portion of the Louisville, Indiana-Kentucky 2015 primary and secondary ozone nonattainment area).
EPA announced the preliminary results of its review of the new source performance standards (NSPS) for automobile and light-duty truck surface coating operations under the CAA; the Agency proposed a new NSPS subpart with revised volatile organic compound emission limits and other amendments.
SIP Approval: Arizona (rescission of clean data determination and call for attainment plan revision for the Yuma 1987 24-hour particulate matter nonattainment area).
SIP Approval: Pennsylvania (revision of maximum allowable sulfur content limit for Number 2 and lighter commercial fuel oil from 500 ppm to 15 ppm in Allegheny County).
The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced it intends to issue a series of revised conservation practice standards in the National Handbook of Conservation Practices.
EPA proposed new and revised standards of performance for particulate matter emissions from electric arc furnaces and argon-oxygen decarburization vessels in the steel industry.
EPA announced any enforcement activity for the Agency's Agricultural Worker Protection Standard (WPS) regulations under FIFRA related to the application exclusion zone should be conducted based on the 2015 WPS.
SIP Proposal: Alabama (nitrogen oxide SIP call monitoring rule).
NOAA amended the National Marine Sanctuaries program regulations with an interim final rule that updates the existing regulations, eliminates redundancies, eliminates outmoded regulations, adopts standard boundary descriptions, and consolidates general regulations and permitting procedures.
FWS initiated five-year status reviews for 35 species under the ESA.
EPA Region 8 entered into a proposed prospective purchaser settlement agreement under CERCLA that requires the purchaser to perform a removal action and pay certain response costs incurred by the United States at or in connection with certain areas of the Idaho Pole Company Superfund site in Bozeman, Montana.
SIP Approval: Colorado (regulations of ozone precursor and hydrocarbon emissions from oil and gas operations, and reasonably available control technology for sources covered by the 2016 oil and natural gas control techniques guidelines for the Denver Metro/Fort North Range 2008 eight-hour ozone nonattainment area).
FWS proposed revisions to regulations for the nonessential experimental population of the Mexican wolf.
SIP Approval: Colorado (nonattainment new source review permit program requirements for the Denver Metro/North Front Range 2015 eight-hour ozone marginal nonattainment area).
SIP Proposal: California (limited approval and limited disapproval of revisions concerning volatile organic compound emissions from crude oil and natural gas facilities).
SIP Proposal: California (new source review permitting program for new and modified sources in the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District).
SIP Approval: Oregon (new air contaminant discharge permit fee and basic air contaminant discharge permit category).
SIP Approval: California (deferral of sanctions triggered by previous limited disapproval of San Diego County Air Pollution Control District's new source review permitting program).
EPA finalized a list of additional areas subject to the mitigation plan requirements found in the 2016 Exceptional Events Rule.
SIP Proposal: Oregon (vehicle inspection program for the Portland and Medford areas).
SIP Approval: California (particulate matter emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles).
FWS initiated five-year status reviews for 167 species in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands under the ESA.
SIP Approval: South Carolina (general assembly miscellaneous revisions).
SIP Approval: Georgia (incorporation by reference of federal PSD new source review regulations and PSD elements for the 2015 ozone NAAQS).
SIP Proposal: Oregon (redesignation to attainment and maintenance plan for the Oakridge 1987 particulate matter nonattainment area).
SIP Approval: Kentucky (fugitive emissions control).
SIP Approval: North Carolina (second 10-year limited maintenance plans for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, and Rocky Mount 1997 eight-hour ozone areas).
SIP Approval: California (revisions concerning volatile organic compound emissions from metal coating operations and general regulatory definitions for the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District and Placer County Air Pollution Control District).
SIP Proposal: Missouri (removal of control of emissions from bakery ovens in St. Louis City and Jefferson, St. Charles, Franklin, and St. Louis Counties).
SIP Approval: New Hampshire (amendments to testing and monitoring procedures for air pollution sources; air quality requirements in the PSD permitting program; infrastructure requirements related to PSD permitting requirements for the 2015 ozone and 2012 fine particulate matter NAAQS; and volatile organic compounds reasonably available control technology).
EPA announced the availability of and seeks comment on data related to the aquatic toxicity of chitosan salts that will be considered in the Agency's decision regarding whether to finalize the proposal to add chitosan to the list of permitted active ingredients in exempted risk pesticide products under FIFRA.
EPA finalized the residual risk and technology review conducted for the mercury cell chlor-alkali plants source category regulated under NESHAP; these final amendments prohibit mercury emissions from existing mercury cell chlor-alkali plants based on the results of the Agency's technology review and beyond-the-floor maximum achievable control technology determination.
EPA proposed reporting and recordkeeping requirements for asbestos under TSCA that require certain persons that manufactured or processed asbestos and asbestos-containing articles in the four years prior to the publication of the finalized rule to electronically report certain exposure-related information.
SIP Proposal: Colorado (addressing remanded portions of the previously approved infrastructure requirements for the 2015 ozone NAAQS).
EPA approved Texas' CAA §111(d)/129 plan for sources subject to other solid waste incineration units emission guidelines.
SIP Proposal: Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota (revisions to startup, shutdown, and malfunction provisions).
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation proposed an exemption that would relieve federal agencies from requirements to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties that involve the installation of certain electric vehicle supply equipment.
SIP Proposal: Oregon (redesignation to attainment and maintenance plan for the Oakridge 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter nonattainment area).
SIP Approval: Oklahoma (interstate visibility transport requirements for the 2015 ozone, 2010 sulfur dioxide, and 2012 fine particulate matter NAAQS).
EPA Region 8 entered into a proposed prospective purchaser settlement agreement under CERCLA that requires the purchaser to perform a removal action and pay certain response costs incurred by the United States and Colorado at or in connection with Operable Units 3 and 6 of the Sand Creek Industrial Superfund site.
FWS proposed to list the silverspot butterfly as a threatened species under the ESA with a §4(d) rule.
EPA listed the refrigerant HFO-1234yf as acceptable in the motor vehicle air conditioning end-use for certain types of newly manufactured nonroad vehicles under the Significant New Alternative Policy program.
EPA entered into two proposed administrative settlements under CERCLA concerning the U.S. Smelter and Lead Refinery, Inc. site in East Chicago, Indiana, that require the purchaser to perform remedial action on a portion of the site and the respondents to pay $18,000,000 in past response costs.
EPA entered into a proposed consent decree that resolves a case alleging that the Agency unreasonably delayed taking action on a petition to list discarded polyvinyl chloride as hazardous waste under RCRA.
EPA announced its intent to redesignate a portion of Caton, Ohio, in northeastern Stark County from unclassifiable/attainment to nonattainment for the 2008 lead NAAQS.
FWS published an updated list of plant and animal species that the agency regards as candidates for or has proposed for addition to the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the ESA.
EPA proposed to authorize changes to Hawaii's hazardous waste management program under RCRA.
DOE seeks comment on its request for information regarding formula grants to be awarded to states and tribes to support investments for preventing outages and enhancing the resilience of the electric grid with funding made available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
EPA announced the availability of drafts of recommended aquatic life ambient water quality criteria for perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid under the CWA.
EPA authorized Hawaii's changes to its hazardous waste management program under RCRA.
FWS removed the coral Siderastrea glynni from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife under the ESA.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finalized revised fuel economy standards for passenger cars and light trucks for model years 2024-2025 that increase at a rate of eight percent per year, and increase at a rate of 10 percent per year for model year 2026 vehicles.
SIP Approval: Wisconsin (maintenance plan and redesignation to attainment for the revised Door County 2015 ozone partial nonattainment area).
United States v. Evansville, City of, No. 3:09-cv-128 (S.D. Ind. Apr. 25, 2022). A proposed modification to a consent decree extends interim deadlines for up to five years for bid and construction dates on four integrated overflow control plan projects for settling CWA defendants with violations in connection to their operation of a municipal wastewater and sewer system.
EPA denied four petitions for reconsideration, rulemaking, or reopening of the endangerment and cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under §202(a) of the CAA, published in the Federal Register in December 2009.
EPA announced the availability of and seeks comments on a draft document titled Policy Assessment for the Reconsideration of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, External Review Draft.
United States v. Toledo, Ohio, City of, No. 3:91-7646 (N.D. Ohio Apr. 19, 2022). A proposed second amendment to a consent decree requires settling CWA defendants that violated their wastewater treatment discharge permit to construct separate storm sewers instead of the Swan Creek North Tunnel Extension, change one of the discharge locations, and conclude the pathogen removal study early.
FWS proposed to remove Nelson's checker-mallow from the federal list of endangered and threatened plants due to the agency's finding that the threats to the species have been eliminated or reduced to the point that the species no longer meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the ESA.
NMFS announced its 90-day finding on a petition to list the tope shark as an endangered or threatened species under the ESA and to designate critical habitat concurrent with the listing; the agency found that listing may be warranted and initiated a comprehensive status review for the species.
EPA proposed to add (2E)-1,1,1,4,4,4-hexaflourobute-2-ene to the list of compounds excluded from the Agency's regulatory definition of volatile organic compounds under the CAA on the basis that this compound makes a negligible contribution to tropospheric ozone formation.
The Office for Coastal Management announced the availability of final evaluation findings for the Illinois, Indiana, and Massachusetts state coastal programs and the Apalachicola and Delaware national estuarine research reserves under the CMZA.
The Federal Transit Administration announced preliminary implementation instructions and guidance, funding apportionment, and descriptions for future plans for several competitive programs in accordance with amendments to federal public transportation law by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The president issued Executive Order No. 14072, Strengthening the Nation's Forests, Communities, and Local Economies; among other things, the order directs federal agencies to inventory old-growth and mature forests on federal lands and develop policies to protect them from threats like wildfire and climate change, and to develop a federal goal for meeting agency-specific reforestation targets by 2030.
United States v. Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., No. 1:22-cv-10604 (D. Mass. Apr. 21, 2022). A settling defendant that violated Title V of the CAA and its implementing regulations at 40 metal cycling facilities throughout the United States must pay a civil penalty of $1,550,000, plus interest, and implement compliance measures at all 40 facilities worth over $1,700,000.
SIP Approval: Missouri (revised plan for 1978 and 2008 lead NAAQS in portions of Iron County surrounding the former Glover smelter).
SIP Proposal: North Carolina (best available retrofit technology for regional haze).
EPA Region 1 announced the availability of and seeks comment on draft NPDES general permits for discharges from sites engaged in certain dewatering and remediation activities to certain waters in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, sites in Connecticut and Rhode Island located on Indian Country lands, and federal facilities in Vermont.
SIP Approval: Kentucky (emissions statement requirements for the Cincinnati, Ohio-Kentucky 2015 eight-hour nonattainment area and some counties in the Louisville, Kentucky-Indiana 2015 eight-hour ozone nonattainment area).
SIP Proposal: Kentucky (changes to reasonably available control technology determination for specific major source of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compound emissions).
EPA proposed corrections and updates to regulations for source testing of emissions under various rules that will improve the quality of data but will not impose new substantive requirements on source owners and operators.
EPA denied 36 small refinery exemption petitions under the Renewable Fuel Standard program.
SIP Approval: Utah (emissions statement rule and nonattainment new source review requirements for the Uinta Basin, Northern Wasatch Front, and Southern Wasatch Front 2015 eight-hour ozone nonattainment areas).
EPA provided an alternative compliance demonstration approach to certain small refineries whose 2018 petitions for small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program were denied in the April 2022 denial of petitions for RFS small refinery exemptions after being remanded.
NMFS announced the availability of and seeks comment on draft Climate Science Regional Action Plans designed to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information in its stewardship of the nation's marine resources.
SIP Approval: New Hampshire (second 10-year limited maintenance plan for the 1997 ozone NAAQS in the Boston-Manchester-Portsmouth area).
SIP Proposal: New Jersey (removal of excess emissions provision).
SIP Approval: Nevada (clarification and amendments to an administrative rule for the Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability).
SIP Proposal: Nevada (clarification and amendments to an administrative rule for the Clark County Department of Environment and Sustainability).
CEQ amended certain provisions of its regulations for implementing NEPA that address the purpose and need of a proposed action, agency NEPA procedures for implementing CEQ's NEPA regulations, and the definition of "effects"; these amendments generally restore provisions that were in effect for decades before being modified in 2020.
United States v. New York, City of, No. CV-19-1519 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 13, 2022). A proposed amended consent decree under the SDWA revises the schedule for construction of a new hydraulic interconnection in Yonkers, New York, to simplify construction of all of the projects required under the decree.
United States v. Cleveland-Cliffs Steel Corp., No. 0:22-CV-00029-HRW (E.D. Ky. Apr. 13, 2022). A settling defendant that violated RCRA nine times at a former coke production facility in Ashland, Kentucky, between 2010 and 2012 must pay a $490,000 civil penalty, conduct site-wide sampling and analysis, and clean up four specific locations at the facility.
The Department of State announced that the United States and Singapore intend to hold a biennial review under the United States-Singapore Memorandum of Intent on Environmental Cooperation.