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  • Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Issues COVID-19 Order By Maureen Harbourt, Dwayne Johnson, R. Lee Vail, P.E., Ph.D., Pam Mascari, and Lauren Rucinski The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (“LDEQ”) issued an Emergency and Administrative Order on March 19, 2020, to address hardships posed to regulated facilities  by efforts to combat the COVID-19 virus.  See the order here.  The Order expires on April... Continue Reading... ....
  • Chemical Safety Board’s New Release Reporting Rules in Effect March 2020 By: Maureen N. Harbourt and Lauren J. Rucinski Starting March 23, 2020, facilities must add one more agency to the list of those that may need to be notified in the event of an accidental release: The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (“CSB”).The CSB was established by the 1990 Clean Air Act (“CAA”) Amendments.[1] The CAA... Continue Reading... ....
  • Missouri District Court Rules That PSD Violations Can Be Addressed By Imposing Controls At Company Facilities Other Than The Facility Violating PSD By: Matt B. Smith and Maureen N. Harbourt On September 30, 2019, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, issued an Opinion and Order setting forth the remedy required for Ameren Missouri’s violation of the Clean Air Act’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration (“PSD”) program. United States v. Ameren Missouri,... Continue Reading... ....
  • U.S. Third Circuit Rules Pipeline Company’s Eminent Domain Rights Under Natural Gas Act Limited by Sovereign Immunity By Pam R. Mascari Pipeline companies may not exercise their powers of eminent domain granted under the federal Natural Gas Act (NGA) in federal courts when seeking to acquire state-owned lands.   On September 10, 2019, in In re: PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in favor... Continue Reading... ....
  • 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... ....