New From the Federal Register
Below please find summaries of environment-related rules, proposed rules, and notices recently published in the Federal Register.
EPA proposed to authorize changes to Delaware’s hazardous waste management program under RCRA.
EPA took direct final action on the authorization of Delaware’s changes to its hazardous waste management program under RCRA.
EPA proposed to determine that the Libby, Montana, fine particulate matter nonattainment area is attaining the 1997 annual fine particulate matter NAAQS based on 2014-2021 data, to approve Montana’s plan for maintaining the 1997 annual fine particulate matter NAAQS, and to redesignate the Libby Area to attainment for the 1997 annual fine particulate matter NAAQS.
EPA issued a supplemental proposal to update, strengthen, and expand the standards proposed on November 15, 2021, which were intended to significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful air pollutants from the crude oil and natural gas source category; the Agency proposed standards for certain sources that were not addressed in the original proposal and revisions that strengthen standards for sources of leaks, provide greater flexibility to use innovative advanced detection methods, and establish a super emitter response program.
United States v. Container Life Cycle Management, LLC, No. 22-cv-01423 (E.D. Wis. Nov. 30, 2022). A settling RCRA and CAA defendant, in connection with violations at its container reconditioning facilities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, must pay a $1.6 million civil penalty; implement a container management plan for a two-year period; continuously operate a previously installed regenerative thermal oxidizer at and construct additional emissions capture systems within the St. Francis facility; install and continuously operate a new digital data recorder to record the temperature of the drum reclamation furnace afterburner and maintain an afterburner temperature at or above 1,650 degrees at the Oak Creek facility; and conduct performance testing at both facilities.
SIP Proposal: Missouri (marginal nonattainment area requirements for the 2015 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for the Missouri portion of the St. Louis, MO-IL nonattainment area).
SIP Approval: California (revisions governing the issuance of permits for stationary sources in the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District).
EPA proposed revisions to the federal CWA water quality standards regulation to clarify and prescribe how water quality standards must protect aquatic and aquatic-dependent resources reserved to tribes through treaties, statutes, executive orders, or other sources of federal law, where applicable.
EPA approved a delegation request submitted by the Washington State Department of Health for full delegation of authority to implement and enforce NESHAPs for radionuclide air emissions.
EPA proposed to add per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances subject to reporting under EPCRA and the Pollution Prevention Act pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 to the List of Lower Thresholds for Chemicals of Special Concern.
SIP Proposal: Arizona (partial approval and partial disapproval of revisions to infrastructure requirements for the 2015 ozone NAAQS).
EPA announced the availability of federally enforceable SIPs in each state.
SIP Proposal: California (revisions governing the issuance of permits for stationary sources in the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District).
SIP Proposal: Tennessee (revisions to control of sulfur dioxide emissions).
EPA clarified its NPDES Stormwater Phase II regulations due to recent changes made by the Census Bureau; changes are limited to clarifying that the designation criteria for small municipal separate storm sewer systems would remain the same.
FWS listed the Dixie Valley toad as an endangered species under the ESA and continued protections established under the Service's April 7, 2022, temporary emergency listing rule.
FWS reclassified the plant Eugenia woodburyana from an endangered species to a threatened species under the ESA, due to improvements in the species’ status since its original listing in 1994, and finalized a rule issued under §4(d) of the Act to provide measures that are necessary and advisable for the conservation of the species.
EPA determined that renewable diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas produced from canola/rapeseed oil via a hydrotreating process all meet the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions reduction threshold of 50% required for advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, added these pathways to the list of approved pathways in the RFS regulations, and added a new definition of “canola/rapeseed oil” to the RFS regulations.
EPA proposed to clarify its NPDES Stormwater Phase II regulations due to recent changes made by the Census Bureau; changes would be limited to clarifying that the designation criteria for small municipal separate storm sewer systems would remain the same.
SIP Proposal: Colorado (conditional approval of revisions addressing reasonably available control technology for sources covered by the 2008 miscellaneous metal and plastic parts coatings control techniques guidelines and major source nitrogen oxides for moderate nonattainment areas under the 2008 ozone NAAQS).
SIP Proposal: Wisconsin (revisions to definition of “chemical process plants” under state PSD program).
EPA proposed amendments to the standards of performance for secondary lead smelters that would revise the definitions of blast furnace, reverberatory furnace, and pot furnace to more closely align with the equipment definitions used in the NESHAP for secondary lead smelting; add requirements for periodic performance tests for particulate matter; and incorporate revised monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements, including electronic reporting of performance tests.
FWS determined threatened species status for the Puerto Rican harlequin butterfly under the ESA and designated approximately 41,266 acres in six units in the municipalities of Arecibo, Camuy, Ciales, Florida, Isabela, Maricao, Quebradillas, Sabana Grande, San Germán, Utuado, and Yauco as critical habitat.
FWS proposed to remove island bedstraw and Santa Cruz Island dudleya from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Plants on the basis of recovery.
EPA Region 9 revised its delegation agreements with the Maricopa County Air Quality Department and Pima County Department of Environmental Quality for implementation of the federal CAA PSD permitting program, authorizing the agencies to continue to conduct PSD review for proposed new and modified major stationary sources, issue initial federal PSD permits, and revise existing federal PSD permits, subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable delegation agreement.
BLM proposed new regulations to reduce the waste of natural gas from venting, flaring, and leaks during oil and gas production activities on federal and Indian leases.
EPA added 12 chemicals to the list of toxic chemicals subject to the reporting requirements under EPCRA and the Pollution Prevention Act.
FWS reclassified the northern long-eared bat as an endangered specifies under the ESA, and removed its species-specific rule issued under §4(d) of the Act.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced the availability of the record of decision for the Cook Inlet Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 258, identifying the alternative for Lease Sale 258 that excludes the 17 outer continental shelf blocks wholly or partially overlapping beluga whale and northern sea otter critical habitats.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that it will open and publicly announce bids received for blocks offered in the Cook Inlet Planning Area Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sale 258 as required by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services announced the opening of a docket to obtain comments and suggestions to update the CDC Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health and associated resources.
FERC proposed revisions to its regulations for engineering and design materials for liquefied natural gas facilities related to potential impacts caused by natural hazards.
SIP Proposal: Georgia (disapproval of revisions related to excess emissions during startup, shutdown, and malfunction events).
SIP Proposal: Georgia (revisions to the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS limited maintenance plan for the Atlanta, Georgia area).
The Department of Labor is updating its Environmental Justice Strategy and seeks feedback on how it could improve services and better serve environmental justice communities under Exec. Order No. 14008.
EPA finalized updates to the list of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes subject to reporting under the Toxics Release Inventory to reflect the Office of Management and Budget 2022 NAICS code revision.
FWS determined threatened species status for both the northern distinct population segment (DPS) and the southern DPS of lesser prairie-chicken under the ESA, and finalized a rule under §4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the northern DPS.
SIP Proposal: California (approval, limited approval, and limited disapproval of revisions concerning the new source review permitting program for new and modified sources in the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District).
EPA announced the availability of and seeks comment on an initial regulatory flexibility analysis and updated economic analysis following the completion of a small business advocacy review panel for the TSCA proposed rule for reporting and recordkeeping requirements for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.
FWS requested new information to update the species status assessment for the North American wolverine occurring in the contiguous United States in order to make a final determination whether to list the species under the ESA.
EPA entered into a proposed consent decree under the CAA in Comité Progreso de Lamont v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 3:21-cv-08733-WHA (N.D. Cal.), that would establish deadlines for the Agency to sign notices of proposed and final actions pertaining to promulgation of a federal implementation plan for the San Joaquin Valley area of California to address certain remaining nonattainment plan requirements for the 1997, 2006, and 2012 fine particulate matter NAAQS.
EPA announced its finding that the 2020 motor vehicle emissions budgets for volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides for the 2008 ozone NAAQS are adequate for transportation conformity purposes for the New York portion of the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT eight-hour ozone nonattainment area.
EPA finalized particulate matter emission standards and test procedures applicable to certain classes of engines used by civil subsonic jet airplanes to replace the existing smoke standard for those engines.
SIP Approval: Colorado (new source review and air pollution emission notices).
FWS announced the availability of and seeks comment on its review of John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System units in Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act.
FWS proposed to designate approximately 1,174,011 acres in 13 Florida counties as critical habitat for the Florida bonneted bat under the ESA.
SIP Proposal: North Carolina (minor revisions to nitrogen oxides rule).
The Natural Resources Conservation Service seeks input for the Service to use to inform how it will implement funds received under the Inflation Reduction Act to fund the deployment of climate-smart practices on U.S. farms, ranches, and forestlands through four Farm Bill conservation programs and on funding to quantify carbon sequestration and carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions at the field scale.
SIP Proposal: North Carolina (revisions to limited maintenance plan for the North Carolina portion of the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC 1997 eight-hour ozone maintenance area).
United States v. Prairie State Solar, LLC, No. 3:22-cv-02660 (S.D. Ill. Nov. 14, 2022). A settling CWA defendant that allegedly violated its state stormwater permit during construction of a large-scale solar farm in Perry County, Illinois, must perform injunctive relief measures to ensure compliance until construction is complete and the stormwater permit is terminated, and pay a civil penalty of $225,000, with $157,500 to the United States and $67,500 to the state of Illinois.
SIP Approval: Mississippi (revisions concerning excess emissions during startup, shutdown, and malfunction events).
EPA finalized protective and science-based federal human health criteria to protect Washington's waters, including waters where tribes hold treaty-reserved rights to fish.
United States v. Big River Solar, LLC, No. 3:22-cv-02659 (S.D. Ill. Nov. 14, 2022). A settling CWA defendant that allegedly violated its state stormwater permit during construction of a large-scale solar farm in White County, Illinois, must perform injunctive relief measures to ensure compliance until construction is complete and the stormwater permit is terminated, and pay a civil penalty of $175,000, with $122,500 to the United States and $52,500 to the state of Illinois.
EPA proposed revisions to its regulations under FOIA to update the process by which the public may access information about Agency actions and activities.
FWS proposed to revise the ESA §4(d) rule for the African elephant to establish enhancement permit requirements for international trade in live elephants and specific enhancement requirements for the import of wild-sourced elephants; clarify existing enhancement requirements for a permit to import African elephant sport-hunted trophies; and incorporate a Party’s designation under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora National Legislation Project into the decisionmaking process for the import of live African elephants, African elephant sport-hunted trophies, and African elephant parts and products other than ivory and sport-hunted trophies.
United States v. Aerosols Danville, Inc., No. 1:22-cv-405 (D.R.I. Nov. 9, 2022). Settling CERCLA defendants must perform remedial actions for Operable Unit 2 at the Landfill & Resource Recovery, Inc. Superfund site in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, fully reimburse the state of Rhode Island for its future response costs, and reimburse the United States for a portion of its future site-related response costs.
EPA proposed modifications to a proposed rule issued on January 11, 2021, that proposed updates and adjustments to the 2018 Fee Rule established under TSCA.
United States v. Elyria, City of, No. 22-cv-02026 (N.D. Ohio Nov. 9, 2022). A settling CWA defendant that allegedly violated a prior consent judgment related to discharges of pollutants from the city's sewer system must pay a $100,000 civil penalty to the United States and $100,000 into Ohio's Surface Water Improvement Fund, and implement an Integrated Wet Weather Control Plan to be completed by December 31, 2044.
SIP Approval: New Mexico (updates to the nonattainment new source review permitting program for the 2015 eight-hour ozone NAAQS).
SIP Approval: Missouri (incorporation of an additional sulfur dioxide emissions limit for the Ameren Missouri Sioux Energy Center).
FWS amended the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants by removing Johnson’s seagrass, and amended the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife by updating the entries for the Arctic subspecies of the ringed seal and the Beringia distinct population segment of the Pacific bearded seal subspecies to reflect the final designation of critical habitat for this subspecies and distinct population segment, respectively.
EPA updated the requirements for outer continental shelf sources for which Massachusetts is the corresponding onshore area under the CAA.
SIP Proposal: Texas (revisions pertaining to particulate matter standards and outdoor burning regulations).
SIP Proposal: New Hampshire (reasonably available control technology requirements for the Fujifilm Dimatix Inc. facility in Lebanon).
EPA approved and announced the availability of the latest version of the California EMFAC (short for EMission FACtor) model for use in SIP development and transportation conformity in California.
SIP Withdrawal: Michigan (withdrawal of direct final rule approving revisions to Michigan Air Pollution Control Rules Part 1, Definitions, and Part 2, Air Use Approval, and removal of rules that are part of Michigan’s Title V Renewable Operating Permit program).
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed to revise its natural disaster procedures to incorporate advances in risk-informed decisionmaking approaches and disaster response lessons learned, as well as recent amendments to the Flood Control Act of 1941.
SIP Proposal: California (revisions concerning volatile organic compound emissions from architectural coating operations in the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District).
EPA provided notice of its delegation of authority to West Virginia to implement and enforce NESHAPs and new source performance standards.
EPA issued the Fifth Contaminant Candidate List under the SDWA, listing contaminants in drinking water that are currently not subject to any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking water regulations.
United States v. Utica Resource Operating, LLC, No. 22-cv-3906 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 4, 2022). A settling CAA defendant that allegedly failed to comply with rules for preventing uncontrolled volatile organic compound emissions at a number of its oil and natural gas production well pads in Ohio must pay a $1 million civil penalty, complete injunctive relief at fifteen well pads to come into compliance with new source performance standards and the facilities’ operating permits, and implement mitigation measures at many of its well pads.
NMFS announced its 12-month finding on a petition to list the shortfin mako shark under the ESA, finding that listing was not warranted.
EPA announced a 30-day public comment period associated with release of the Integrated Risk Information System Assessment Plan and Systematic Review Protocol for inhalation exposure to cobalt and compounds.
DOD, the General Services Administration, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration proposed to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation to implement a requirement to ensure certain federal contractors disclose their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and climate-related financial risk and set science-based targets to reduce their GHGs.
SIP Approval: Nevada (revisions concerning base-year emissions inventory requirements for the Las Vegas Valley 2015 ozone nonattainment area).
EPA finalized the technology review conducted for the paint stripping and miscellaneous surface coating operations area source NESHAP.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced the availability of a draft guidance document intended to establish a new, nationally consistent architecture for coastal zone area contingency plans.
SIP Approval: West Virginia (updates to incorporation by reference of NAAQS and associated monitoring reference and equivalent methods).
EPA announced the availability of the final revision to the risk determination for the methylene chloride risk evaluation issued under TSCA, determining that methylene chloride, as a whole chemical substance, presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health when evaluated under its conditions of use.
EPA Region 8 proposed an amendment to a prospective purchaser agreement originally agreed to in 1994 for the Anaconda Smelter Superfund site in Anaconda-Deer Lodge County, Montana, that would provide for the implementation of updated institutional controls and updated operations and maintenance plans.
EPA announced authorization of Vermont's lead-based paint pre-renovation education and renovation, repair and painting program, and seeks comment on whether Vermont's program is at least as protective as the federal program and provides for adequate enforcement under the TSCA.
NOAA, on behalf of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, announced the availability of a draft Fifth National Climate Assessment report for public comment.
EPA entered into a proposed consent decree under the CWA and the APA in Environmental Law & Policy Center v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 3:19-cv-295 (N.D. Ohio), that would create a binding schedule for the development of a TMDL to address nutrient and algae impairments in western Lake Erie.
SIP Proposal: Colorado (revisions related to attainment of the 2008 eight-hour ozone NAAQS for the Denver Metro/North Front Range serious nonattainment area).
EPA approved updates to the Code of Federal Regulations delegation tables to reflect the current delegation status of new source performance standards and NESHAPs in Arizona and California.
FWS determined threated species status for the sickle darter under the ESA, and finalized a rule under §4(d) of the Act that provides measures that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the species.
NMFS announced a 90-day finding on a petition to list the great hammerhead shark and designate critical habitat, finding that the petition did not present substantial information indicating that it may be warranted.
United States v. Lakewood, Ohio, City of, No. 1:22-cv-01964 (N.D. Ohio Oct. 31, 2022). An interim partial consent decree requires a settling CWA defendant to undertake several projects to greatly reduce discharges of untreated sanitary sewage into Lake Erie and the Rocky River; submit an updated plan to reduce discharges of sanitary sewage in the remainder of defendant’s sewer system; implement its updated plan through a subsequent, enforceable agreement; and pay a $100,000 civil penalty.
SIP Proposal: Colorado (updates to incorporation by reference of Code of Federal Regulations sections related to global warming potentials and changes to Regulation No. 3 of the Colorado Code of Regulations to reflect digitalization of public notice and comment procedures).
FWS proposed to designate approximately 595,495 acres as critical habitat for the Southern Sierra Nevada distinct population segment of fisher under the ESA.
FWS reclassified the palo de rosa from endangered to threatened under the ESA, and finalized a rule under §4(d) of the Act that provides for the conservation of the species.
The Bureau of Reclamation announced the interest rate to be used by federal agencies in the formulation and evaluation of plans for water and related land resources is 2.50% for fiscal year 2023.
EPA entered into a proposed consent decree under the CAA in Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice v. EPA, No. 22-cv-04191 (N.D. Cal. July 19, 2022), that would establish a deadline for the Agency to take action on a California SIP submission.
EPA entered into a proposed consent decree under the CAA in Sierra Club v. Regan, No. 3:22-cv-01992-JD (N.D. Cal.), that would establish deadlines for the Agency to promulgate federal implementation plans to address the "good neighbor" requirements for the 2015 ozone NAAQS for Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and New Mexico.
United States v. Quad County Corn Processors Cooperative, No. 5:22-cv-04057-CJW-MAR (N.D. Iowa Oct. 27, 2022). A settling CAA defendant must perform injunctive relief and pay a civil penalty of $320,000, plus interest in installments over two years, in connection with violations of the regulations that govern the renewable fuel program at the defendant’s corn processing facility in Galva, Iowa.
EPA released its Strategy to Reduce Lead Exposures and Disparities in U.S. Communities, which lays out the Agency’s plan to strengthen public health protections, address legacy lead contamination for communities with the greatest exposures, and promote environmental justice and equity.
EPA determined that the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee is necessary and in the public interest in connection with the performance of duties imposed on the agency by law, and renewed the Committee for an additional two-year period.
FWS announced the availability of and seeks comment on its draft Alaska Native Relations policy, which builds on the Service's existing Native American policy by providing additional clarity for employees on the Service’s relationships with tribes in Alaska, Alaska Native organizations, and Alaska Native corporations.
EPA proposed to amend existing regulations to implement certain provisions of the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act; the amendments would establish the methodology for allocating hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption allowances for the calendar years of 2024 through 2028, amend the consumption baseline to reflect updated data, and make other adjustments based on lessons learned from implementation of the hydrofluorocarbon phasedown program thus far.
SIP Approval: Maryland (revisions to attainment plan for the Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County sulfur dioxide nonattainment area).