Archives: Hazardous Waste

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EPA Publishes the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency recently published the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule (“HWGIR”), offering improvements to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (“RCRA”) Hazardous Waste Generator Regulatory program enacted in 1980. The new rule brings over 60 changes, which are intended to clarify existing requirements, increase flexibility and improve the rule’s usability by the regulating … Continue Reading

EPA’s Environmental Justice 2020 Agenda Reflects the “Flint Effect”

EPA released its Environmental Justice 2020 Action Agenda on Oct. 27. The Agenda details EPA’s strategic plan for 2016-2020 to further implement and integrate “environmental justice” considerations into all of EPA’s programs. Much of EPA’s proposed Agenda appears tailored to respond to the recent drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich. The regulated community should take … Continue Reading

IDEM Issues New Nonrule Policy

On Nov. 13, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) issued Nonrule Policy Document No. MP-008-NPD to express its interpretation of the corrective action requirements under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the parallel authority under Indiana law for subsequent owners of former hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facilities. Notably, this … Continue Reading

PHMSA Increases Civil Penalties For Knowing Violations

On Wednesday, April 17, 2013, PHMSA issued a final rule increasing civil penalties for certain knowing violations of the Federal Hazardous Material Transportation Laws and Regulations. The penalties were increased to reflect changes mandated by Congress in 2012 amending 49 U.S.C. § 5123(a). The increased maximum penalties apply to violations occurring on or after August … Continue Reading

Retail Merchants Subject to Hazardous Waste Regulation

State and federal environmental agencies continue to focus enforcement efforts on the management of “waste” retail products, including cosmetics, pharmacy and lawn and garden supplies.  The US EPA has also announced its intentions to consider additional hazardous waste regulations and/or guidance focused specifically on the management of waste retail products. Recent state enforcement efforts have … Continue Reading

DOT Announces Proposed Rulemaking on Returns of HazMat (“Reverse Logistics”)

Many companies distributing products classified as hazardous materials under DOT regulations at 49 C.F.R. struggle with the tension between providing quality customer service by accepting returns of product with the difficulty in ensuring DOT compliance during transportation of the returned product.  Some distributors use their own vehicles to pick-up returns; others rely on the customer … Continue Reading

Federal District Awards $1.6 Million in Damages as Result of U.S. EPA Malicious Prosecution

In a stinging 151-page order, a federal district court awarded a former refinery manager and his wife $1,677,000 as the result of a malicious prosecution of an alleged environmental crime investigated by USEPA and the FBI.  Vidrine v. United States, Case No. 07-1204 (W.D. La. 9/30/11). The timeline in the underlying criminal case is remarkable. … Continue Reading

City Not Liable Under Purchase Contract for Seller’s Third-Party Claims for EPA Response Costs

A federal district court recently granted a purchaser’s motion to dismiss a seller’s third party complaint demanding indemnification for over $841,000 of response costs incurred by U.S. EPA.  In United States v. ARG Corporation, Case No. 10-311 (N.D. Ind. 2011), ARG owned an industrial site for 6 years, and then sold it to the City … Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber Seeks Immediate Suspension of Listings Under TSCA Chemical Action Plans

In a June 7, 2011, letter to the Administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB’s) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asked OMB to “urge” U.S. EPA to immediately “suspend the consideration and initiation” of all action under U.S. EPA’s earlier-announced Chemical Action Plans (CAPs) to list chemicals … Continue Reading

IDEM’s New Remediation Closure Guide

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) recently released its new Remediation Closure Guide.  The Remediation Closure Guide is a non-rule policy document that provides guidance for the investigation, remedy selection, and risk-based closure of contaminated or potentially contaminated sites.  The Guide replaces IDEM’s Risk Integrated System of Closure (RISC) Technical Guidance and Users Guide, … Continue Reading

An Update on U.S. EPA’s Regulation of Coal Ash

The public comment period on EPA’s proposed rule regarding the federally enforceable regulation of “coal combustion residuals” (“CCR”) ended on November 19, 2010. CCR, which is essentially coal ash and related product, is used in a variety of applications, including: concrete; road base; structural fill; wallboard; and agricultural use. Therefore, EPA’s potential regulation of CCR … Continue Reading