Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS

Federal

  • Cross-Media Electronic Reporting:  Authorized Program Revision Approval, State of Maine

    EPA has approved the State of Maine’s request to amend its EPA-authorized stormwater and pretreatment programs to allow electronic reporting.  EPA’s approval was effective November 9, 2015.
     

  • Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides–Health Criteria

    EPA is announcing a 60-day public comment period for the draft document titled External Review Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Sulfur Oxides-Health Criteria.  The document was prepared as part of the review of the primary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide.  Comments are due January 25, 2016.
     

  • Notice of Opportunity to Provide Information on Existing Programs that Protect Water Quality from Forest Road Discharges

    EPA is soliciting public input and information on existing public or private sector programs that address stormwater discharges from forest roads.  This is in response to the remand in Environmental Defense Center, Inc. v. U.S. EPA, 344 F.2d 832 (9th Cir. 2003), that requires EPA to consider whether the Clean Water Act requires the Agency to regulate stormwater discharges from forest roads.  EPA has not yet made a decision on whether to do so.  Comments are due January 11, 2016.
     

  • Release of Draft Integrated Review Plan for the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Oxides of Nitrogen and Oxides of Sulfur

    EPA is announcing the availability for public review the draft document titled Draft Integrated Review Plan for the Secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Oxides of Nitrogen and Oxides of Sulfur.  This document contains the plans for the review of the air quality criteria for oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur and the secondary national ambient air quality standards for oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulfur.  Comments are due December 30, 2015.
     

  • Approval and Promulgation of Air Quality Implementation Plans; Massachusetts; Approval of Regulations Limiting Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds and Nitrogen Oxides, 40 C.F.R. Part 52

    EPA has issued a direct final rule approving State Implementation Plan revisions submitted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  These revisions establish emission limitations for certain activities that cause emissions of volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.  The rule takes effect December 8, 2015.
     

  • Air Plan Approval; Maine; Repeal of the Maine’s General Conformity Provision, 40 C.F.R. Part 52

    EPA is issuing a direct final rule to approve a State Implementation Plan (SIP) revision submitted by the State of Maine.  The revision removes the State regulation Chapter 141-Conformity of General Actions from the SIP.  This will allow Federal Actions to use the Federal General Conformity Rule.  The rule takes effect January 25, 2016, unless EPA receives adverse comments by December 24, 2015.
     

  • Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, 40 C.F.R. Part 60

    EPA is proposing a new subpart that updates the Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills.  Specifically, EPA is proposing to lower the emissions threshold at which a landfill must install controls.  EPA expects that this will reduce emissions of landfill gas, which contains both non-methane organic compounds and methane.  This rulemaking also addresses other issues including surface emissions monitoring, wellhead monitoring, and the definition of a landfill gas treatment system.  Comments were due October 26, 2015.
     

  • Oil and Natural Gas Sector: Emission Standards for New and Modified Sources, 40 C.F.R. Part 60

    EPA is proposing to amend the new source performance standards for the oil and natural gas source category.  The proposed amendments will set standards for both methane and volatile organic compounds for certain equipment, processes and activities across the source category.  The amendments will apply primarily to natural gas production facilities (wellheads) prior to point of custody transfer.  The comment deadline was extended to December 4, 2015.
     

  • Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, 40 C.F.R. Part 60

    EPA is issuing a supplemental proposal for the Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills to address the nonmethane organic compound emission rate threshold at which an affected MSW landfill must install controls.  EPA is in the process of reviewing the Standards of Performance for MSW Landfills and issued a proposed rulemaking on July 17, 2014.  This proposal supplements that proposal by further lowering, from 40 megagrams per year (Mg/yr) to 34 Mg/yr, the proposed NMOC emissions threshold at which controls would be required.  EPA specifically requested comment on whether this change was appropriate, and also solicited comment on the number of facilities that might become subject to these changes.  Comments were due October 26, 2015.
     

  • Federal Plan Requirements for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Electric Utility Generating Units Constructed On or Before January 8, 2014; Model Trading Rules; Amendments to Regulatory Framework Regulations, 40 C.F.R. Parts 60, 62, 78

    EPA is proposing a plan to implement the greenhouse gas emission guidelines (EGs) for existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units under the Clean Air Act.  The EGs were proposed in June 2014 and finalized on August 3, 2015, as the Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.  Here EPA is proposing two approaches to a federal plan for states and other jurisdictions that do not submit an approvable plan to EPA: a rate-based emission trading program and a mass-based emission trading program.  EPA is also proposing, among other things, changes to the process and timing for state plan submissions and EPA actions.  Comments are due January 21, 2016.
     

  • Oil and Natural Gas Sector: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, 40 C.F.R. Part 63

    EPA is requesting information related to hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from sources in the oil and natural gas production and natural gas transmission and storage segments of the oil and natural gas sector.  The purpose of this request is to collect data that was not available the last time (2012) that EPA revised the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for the Oil and Natural Gas Production Facilities and the Natural Gas Transmission and Storage Facilities major source categories. EPA is particularly interested in data on storage vessels without potential flash emissions and data on HAP emissions from regulated small glycol dehydrators.  Comments are due January 26, 2016.
     

  • Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Findings on Petitions to List 19 Species as Endangered or Threatened Species, 50 C.F.R. Part 17

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has announced 12-month findings on petitions to list 19 species as endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  After review, FWS found that listing of the following species is not warranted at this time: American eel, Cumberland arrow darter, the Great Basin distinct population segment (DPS) of the Columbia spotted frog, Goose Creek milkvetch, Nevares spring bug, Page springsnail, Ramshaw meadows sand-verbena, Sequatchie caddisfly, Shawnee darter, Siskiyou mariposa lily, Sleeping ute milkvetch, Southern Idaho ground squirrel, Tahoe yellow cress, and six Tennessee cave beetles (Baker Station, Coleman, Fowler’s, Indian Grave Point, inquirer, and Noblett’s cave beetles).  However, EPA has invited the public to submit any new information that becomes available concerning the threats to any of the 19 species listed above or their habitat at any time.  

Maine

  • Financial Capacity and Technical Ability Standard of the Site Location Law; No Adverse Effect Environmental Effect Standard of the Site Location Law; Long Term Construction Projects (Site Law); DEP Chs. 373, 375, 380

    DEP is proposing three rulemakings to update its permitting program under the Site Location of Development Law (Site Law).  The proposed changes to Chapter 373 (Financial Capacity) largely consist of nomenclature changes and clarification of how an applicant may satisfy the financial capacity and technical ability standard of the Site Law.  Chapter 375 (No Adverse Environmental Effect) would be amended to incorporate updated standards that address solid waste, control of odors, and the procurement and maintenance of sufficient healthful water supplies.  While most of these standards are currently contained in Chapter 373, DEP believes that the standards would be more appropriately considered under the broad Chapter 375 “no adverse environmental effect” standard.  Finally, the new Chapter 380 would repeal and replace existing Chapter 380 “Planning Permit” rule with a rule describing the requirements associated with long-term construction projects permitted under the Site Law.  Comments were due October 26, 2015.  The rules will be addressed at the BEP's meeting on December 10, 2015.
     

  • Reasonable Costs for Handling and Recycling of Electronic Wastes, DEP Ch. 415

    DEP is proposing a number of amendments to its rules in Chapter 415 related to costs for handling and recycling of electronic wastes.  Among other things, these amendments would (1) update and clarify certain definitions, clarify various terms and expectations, and remove unnecessary language; (2) provide television and game console manufacturers with the opportunity to receive credits for implementing their own independent electronics recycling programs in Maine; and (3) clarify that DEP may request records identifying all downstream handlers of electronic, electronic components, and hazardous waste and also to request shipping records of those materials.  A public hearing was held December 1, 2015, and comments are due December 15, 2015.

 

Massachusetts

  • Proposed Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) Amendments

    MassDEP is proposing to adopt the California ZEV revisions under the Low Emission Vehicle Program regulations. The proposed amendments make the following changes to the LEV program: (1) 2013 minor modifications to the California ZEV regulations; (2) 2014 amendments to the California ZEV regulations; and (3) the option for manufacturers to submit Executive Orders and warranty and recall reports electronically to MassDEP.  A public hearing was held December 1, 2015, and comments are due December 4, 2015.

New Hampshire

  • Amendments to State Implementation Plan, Env-A 204.01(b)

    DES is submitting amendments to New Hampshire’s State Implementation Plan (SIP) to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act, Sections 110(a)(1) and (2), which pertain to infrastructure elements for implementation of the federal air quality standards for ozone.  This submission amends two New Hampshire Clean Air Act Section 110(a)(1) and (2) filings.  One of these filings was for the 2008 8-hour Ozone Standard submitted in December 2012, and the other was for the 2010 1-Hour Nitrogen Dioxide Standard submitted in January of 2013.  These filings are being made in response to EPA’s issuance, on July 13, 2015, of its Findings of Failure to Submit a Section 110 State Implementation Plan for Interstate Transport for the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone.  Comments were due November 9, 2015.
     

  • Sources of Water: Definitions, Env-Dw 301

    DES is proposing to consolidate the definitions of terms that are common to existing Env-Dw 301, Env-Dw 302, and Env-Dw 303.  Comments are due December 11, 2015.
     

  • Production Wells for Large Community Water Systems, Env-Dw 302

    DES is proposing to readopt and revise its rules for production wells for large community water systems, which are found in Env-Dw 302.  The proposed amendments will, among other things, (1) require monitoring for 1,4 Dioxane; (2) require electronic submission of preliminary reports; and (3) require a natural hazard vulnerability assessment for facilities located in high hazard areas.  Comments are due December 11, 2015.
     

  • Groundwater Sources of Bottled Water, Env-Dw 303

    DES is proposing to readopt its rules in Env-Dw 303, that establish procedures and standards for the development and approval of new groundwater sources used in the production of bottled water.  As part of the readoption, DES is proposing revisions that would (1) delete unnecessary definitions, add needed definitions, and move statutory definitions to an appendix; (2) clarify the overall process and the individual steps; (3) add a requirement to provide a vulnerability assessment for potential impacts from natural hazards, as necessary based on the source’s location relative to surrounding topographic and hydrologic features; and (4) explicitly include a requirement for applicants to sign the application; and (5) make other clarifications.  Comments are due December 11, 2015.
     

  • Small Production Wells for Small Community Water Systems, Env-Dw 305

    DES is proposing to readopt and revise its rules in Env-Dw 305 related to development of new small production wells for small community water systems.  The proposal would (1) require monitoring for 1,4 Dioxane; (2) require electronic submission of preliminary reports; (3) specify the applicability of existing well design standards; (4) require a natural hazard vulnerability assessment for wells proposed to be located in high-hazard areas; (5) increase the duration of pumping tests from 48 to 78 hours for certain wells; and (6) increase the duration of pumping tests from 48 to 72 hours.  Comments are due December 11, 2015.

STATUS OF PREVIOUSLY REPORTED RULES

COMPLIANCE DEADLINES

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

  • On December 3, Michelle O’Brien will speak at the New England Underground Storage Tank and Shop-Fabricated Storage Tank Conference presented by the National Institute for Storage Tank Management at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA.  Michelle will discuss Legal Challenges Affecting the Role of the Licensed Site Professional at Massachusetts UST Sites. 

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