Environmental Protection Agency

First observed on April 22, 1970, Earth Day has long been recognized as a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement.  On that day, over 20 million demonstrators nationwide marched to raise awareness of the need to protect and preserve the environment.  The energy generated from that day galvanized the country to action, leading to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in December 1970 and the passage of several statutes later that decade—including the Clean Air Act (CAA) the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)—that serve as the foundation of U.S. environmental legislation.  Today, Earth Day is recognized by countries around the world, and has expanded from its initial focus on pollution control to include elevating environmental justice in low-income, disadvantaged, and indigenous communities and promoting domestic and international climate action.

Beginning with a proclamation on April 19 declaring climate change to be “the existential crisis of our time,” the Biden-Harris Administration marked Earth Day and the week after by announcing a suite of final rules and grant programs aimed at fossil fuel abatement and pollution control, accelerating electric transmission grid modernization and solar energy development, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector.  These actions underscore not only the continued “whole-of-government” approach that the Administration has taken to combat climate change but also the urgency with which federal agencies have moved to promulgate final rules and protect them from potential congressional revocation ahead of the Congressional Review Act deadline later this spring. 

To assist industries and markets as they evaluate the impact of these final rules and programs, we’ve spotlighted several of these Earth Week regulatory and grant-funding actions.Continue Reading A Week of Climate Action: Spotlight on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Earth Week Regulatory and Grant-Funding Actions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently made two announcements regarding antimicrobial pesticides.  First, EPA released guidance regarding residual efficacy claims for antimicrobials applied to surfaces.  Second, EPA announced that it has registered the first product approved to make claims to kill viruses in the air.  EPA has also sought comment on strategies for improving indoor air quality to reduce disease transmission, which could involve the use of air sanitization products or pesticidal devices.  This blog has previously highlighted these issues, including noting steps EPA could take to improve pesticide policy in the wake of the pandemic and the emerging focus on indoor air quality and its regulatory implications.

Taken together, EPA’s recent actions are significant and provide opportunities for companies to develop novel products that could have significant public health benefits.  But they also highlight that significant uncertainty remains in this area, which presents risks that companies must carefully navigate to ensure regulatory compliance.Continue Reading EPA Provides Guidance Regarding Novel Antimicrobial Pesticides and Seeks Comment on Indoor Air Quality Issues

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued three requests for information regarding recycling issues, a first step towards distributing funds and carrying out mandates contained in the last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, commonly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The programs for which EPA is requesting information are primarily directed toward improving recycling of