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  • RMP Amendment Rule At Odds with OSHA Review Commission BP Husky Decision By R. Lee Vail, P.E., Ph.D., J.D. Up-to-date Process Safety Information When originally adopted in 1996, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adopted “the requirements of the OSHA PSM Standard, 29 CFR 1910.119(c) through (m) and (o), with minor changes to address statutory differences. This makes clear that one accident prevention program to protect workers, the... Continue Reading... ....
  • The New Wave, EPA and ACE Release the Proposed Definition of “Waters of the United States” By Lauren J. Rucinski On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers (“ACE”) proposed a rule revising the definition of “waters of the United States.” The so-called WOTUS rule defines the scope of Clean Water Act (“CWA”) jurisdiction and the permitting requirements thereunder, and has been in... Continue Reading... ....
  • 2017 RMP Amendments Now In Effect By R. Lee Vail, P.E., Ph.D. On December 3, 2018, the EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register (83 FR 62268) making the 2017 amendments effected as of that day.  In doing so, the EPA noted that it had no discretion in the matter as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District... Continue Reading... ....
  • EPA’s 2018 Definition of Solid Waste Rule and its Effect in Louisiana By M. Dwayne Johnson On May 30, 2018, EPA finally promulgated modifications to its 2015 definition of solid waste rule (2018 DSW Rule).[1] EPA promulgated the 2018 DSW Rule in response to the D.C. Circuit’s decision on EPA’s 2015 definition of solid waste rule.[2] EPA’s revisions to the definition of solid waste rule essentially implement... Continue Reading... ....
  • Best Practices for Preserving the Louisiana “Upset” Defense for Air Releases By Maureen N. Harbourt Facilities subject to a Part 70 air operating permit are afforded an “affirmative defense” to liability for civil penalties for releases to air that exceed technology-based permit limitations, provided they strictly adhere to both the requirements of the “upset” rule in LAC 33:III.507.J and General Condition N of the Part 70... Continue Reading... ....
  • Consider RMP Reconsidered! By R. Lee Vail, P.E., Ph.D. On May 17, 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a proposed revision to the Risk Management Program (“RMP”) rule following its reconsideration of the Obama era revisions.  The proposal strips out much of those additions.  According to the Rule Fact Sheet, the reconsidered rule will maintain consistency with... Continue Reading... ....
  • EPA’s Major Shift on New Source Review Permitting Policy By Tokesha Collins-Wright On December 7, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released a memorandum entitled, “New Source Review Preconstruction Permitting Requirements: Enforceability and Use of the Actual-to-Projected-Actual Applicability Test in Determining Major Modification Applicability.”[1] In the NSR memo, EPA announced its intention to drop its long-standing position that the Agency can use its own... Continue Reading... ....
  • Court Denies Temporary Restraining Order to Halt Construction of Bayou Bridge Pipeline By Troy Charpentier and Matthew Smith After contesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, environmental advocacy groups have turned their attention to the proposed Bayou Bridge pipeline in South Louisiana. The Bayou Bridge pipeline is a 162-mile-long, 24-inch-wide proposed pipeline which will cross the Atchafalaya Basin to connect facilities in Lake Charles, Louisiana to... Continue Reading... ....
  • Fifth Circuit Provides Guidance on Removability of Mass Actions under CAFA By Lou Grossman On January 9, 2018, a split panel of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an order from the district court, denying a motion to remand a matter removed under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”). The 2-1 decision In Warren Lester, et. al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et. al.,... Continue Reading... ....
  • Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Issues an Updated Emergency Order – Hurricane Harvey By Tokesha Collins-Wright On September 1, 2017, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (“LDEQ”) updated the emergency order that was issued by the Governor of Louisiana on Thursday, August 24, 2017. That earlier emergency order put the entire State of Louisiana under a declaration of emergency and was to remain in place until Friday, September... Continue Reading... ....