The Biden Administration has signaled its willingness to resume the practice of including supplemental environmental projects (SEPs) in settlements by swiftly revoking Trump Administration memoranda which formally eliminated their use.  This is an important development that regulated entities can benefit from when they face investigations and enforcement proceedings.  Although further clarification from the Department of Justice is expected in this area, targets in potential enforcement actions can begin to prepare now.
Continue Reading New Environmental Enforcement Flexibilities in the Biden Administration: What you Can Do Now To Benefit from a Powerful Tool for Resolving Controversies

EPA recently released a compliance advisory addressing UV lights that make claims to mitigate the novel coronavirus (or other viruses or bacteria), which the agency regulates as pesticidal devices under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  While the advisory largely reiterates past guidance relating to pesticidal devices, which this blog previously discussed, it does underscore that EPA is particularly focused on UV lights, and contains three important cautions for companies making claims that their UV light products kill the coronavirus or other microbes.
Continue Reading EPA Warns UV Light Companies About Coronavirus Claims

The California Air Resources Board unanimously adopted the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, which is designed to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission medium and heavy duty vehicles (“ZEV”).  By 2045, 100% of new trucks sold in the state will be ZEVs, consistent with the state’s broader goal of becoming carbon neutral by that year.
Continue Reading CARB Adopts Advanced Clean Trucks Rule to Speed Zero Emission Vehicle Deployment

EPA recently released a compliance advisory addressing pesticidal products that make claims to mitigate the novel coronavirus.  While the advisory largely reiterates past guidance relating to pesticides, EPA has increased its emphasis on pesticidal devices, such as UV lights and ozone generators, which are subject to their own distinct set of regulations.
Continue Reading EPA Provides Limited Guidance Relating to Pesticidal Devices and the Coronavirus

Landowners seeking restoration damages in state courts, at sites where there is a cleanup remedy previously selected by EPA, may pursue such claims only if they first obtain EPA approval for the proposed restoration work.  Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian (No. 17–1498, April 20, 2020).
Continue Reading EPA Is The CERCLA Gatekeeper: Plaintiffs Need EPA Approval To Seek State Court Damages For Restoration

EPA on May 19 released a proposed rule that would put in place a set of regulations governing EPA’s issuance, modification, and withdrawal of guidance documents.  This proposal implements portions of Executive Order 13891, and builds on EPA’s previous efforts to create a comprehensive portal of guidance documents earlier this year.  Generally speaking, the stated purpose of the rule is to allow for increased transparency and public involvement in EPA’s guidance-formulation process, but the proposal also contains several key limitations.
Continue Reading Six Highlights of EPA’s Proposal to Expand Reform of Guidance Documents

EPA on May 12 announced a new framework for reviewing and approving products for use against the novel coronavirus.  EPA’s framework explains which new product and existing product amendment requests will be expedited, and provides approximate timelines for EPA review and approval.  Because of continued high demand for disinfectant products, companies seeking to launch new products or amend existing registrations should take care to ensure that their requests will receive expedited treatment.  Seeking expedited treatment is particularly important given the concerns some companies have about making significant investments into EPA product registration, in light of the sometimes lengthy EPA-approval process.
Continue Reading Top 5 Takeaways From EPA’s New Policy on Expediting COVID-19 Disinfectant Approvals

EPA on April 14 expanded its formal relaxation of certain FIFRA requirements for pesticides listed on EPA’s “List N” of products expected to be effective against the coronavirus.  This expansion builds on EPA’s March 30 iteration of this temporary policy, which this blog previously discussed.
Continue Reading EPA Expands Flexibilities for Manufacturers of “List N” Disinfectants for Use Against Coronavirus

EPA on March 31 provided a formal relaxation of certain FIFRA requirements for pesticides listed on EPA’s “List N” of products expected to be effective against the coronavirus.  This temporary policy relaxes requirements to receive EPA approval of changes in sources of certain common active ingredients—such as ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and citric acid—in response to “reports of supply chain disruptions by pesticide registrants who manufacture disinfectant products on EPA’s List N.”
Continue Reading EPA Provides Flexibilities to Manufacturers of “List N” Disinfectants for Use Against Coronavirus

Amidst the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic (but not specifically relating to it), the Department of Justice has announced a major shift in policy towards settling environmental cases.  DOJ, and EPA along with it, will no longer offer settling defendants the option of undertaking supplemental environmental projects in lieu of paying penalties to the United States.
Continue Reading DOJ Moves to Eliminate Supplemental Environmental Projects from Settlements