In navigating the complex and ever-changing framework of federal, state and local environmental law, the regulated community is often subject to duplicative federal and state regulatory requirements. At times, this can lead to multiple requests from various agencies for information, notices of violation, and seemingly duplicative penalties. Further, the involvement of multiple state and federal agencies in a particular environmental matter can result in inefficiencies and the needless expenditures of company resources.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 24 proposed to partially approve Georgia’s permit program for the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR). As it did so, it gave other states some advice: Follow Georgia’s lead and assume oversight of coal ash that power plants dispose within your borders.
The preliminary approval marks another important step in the Trump administration’s efforts to overhaul the federal coal ash regulatory structure under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act. That law, enacted in 2016, grants the EPA the authority to approve state CCR permit programs in lieu of broad federal CCR regulations established under the agency’s final 2015 coal ash rule, the agency said on Monday.
EPA’s air chief Bill Wehrum’s exit from the agency surprised many observers, as critical portions of his agenda remain unfinished.
But observers said Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator Anne Idsal, who is set to take over Wehrum’s responsibilities as acting assistant administrator, is likely to continue many of Wehrum’s priority actions.
Wehrum’s departure, announced June 26 in a statement from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, comes as the agency’s air office works to finish rewrites of Obama-era regulations governing emissions from power plants, automobiles, and oil wells.
His departure also follows allegations from environmental groups, watchdog organizations, and House Democrats that he violated his ethics agreements.
Hazardous Waste Power Hour, the second session of the Annual Waste Conference, was moderated by Kathy Doyle, Managing Director with Relief EHS. Cara Simaga, Director of Regulatory Affairs with Stericycle, kicked off the power hour with her presentation titled “New Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals Rule”. She was followed by David Rieser, Of Counsel with K&L Gates, presenting “Remains of the Spray: Aerosol Cans as RCRA Universal Waste.” Tom Crosetto, RCRA Information Coordinator with the EPA, finished with “EPA’s e-Manifest System: Status Updates, and How to Create User Accounts”.
Dominic Brose, PhD, Senior Environmental Research Scientist for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, presented on Resource Recovery in the Wastewater Sector: Crystal Green, Algae, and EQ Compost (exceptional quality) at the AWMA-LMS Waste Conference on May 14, 2019. He referenced the MWRD’s history as being founded to reverse the Chicago River in the 1800s to protect Chicago’s drinking water, and from there building seven water reclamation plants throughout the 1900s across Cook County to treat wastewater before being discharged to local waterways. The wastewater industry, however, has moved from just treating the waste quickly to a new model of the utility of the future. The wastewater industry is moving towards capturing resources from the wastewater in the form of clean water for reuse, nutrients, and energy. Dr. Brose described MWRD’s public-private partnership with Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies, Inc. to produce Crystal Green, which is a fertilizer produced by capturing phosphorous from a solids side-stream contained in waste water. The product is being produced at MWRD’s Stickney, Illinois plant and is sold to farmers in the Midwest. Since becoming operational in 2016, the facility has removed millions of pounds of phosphorus from solids concentrated in nutrients. (more…)
Thank you to our sponsors for the 2019 6th Annual Summer Networking.
Special thanks to Freeborn & Peters for their donation of 2 tickets to the August 30th Cubs game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The tickets will be raffled off at the event in support of the Stephen Rothblatt Memorial Scholarship. Tickets are available on the registration page even if you can't join us (we hope you'll join us, though).