EPA Revises Its Regulatory Agenda, A Flurry of Activity Expected in the Next Few Months

Last week, the EPA-specific listing on the website of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs was updated with timelines on the EPA’s regulatory efforts.   Of potential interest, in chronological order of expected release, are the following rules:

•  May 2015 (Final Rule).  Clean Water Rule: Definition of “Waters of the United States”.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a rule for determining whether a water is protected by the Clean Water Act.

•  June 2015 (ANPRM and NRPM).  Proposed Greenhouse Gas Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings Under CAA Section 231 for Aircraft, and ANPRM on the International Process for Reducing Aircraft GHGs and Future Standards.  In this action, EPA will determine whether greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.  Concurrent with these proposed findings, EPA will release an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to provide an overview of the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

•  June 2015 (NPRM).  Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles--Phase 2.  These second sets of standards would further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption from a wide range of on-road vehicles from semi-trucks to the largest pickup trucks and vans, and all types and sizes of work trucks and buses.

•  July 2015 (NPRM).  Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials--Additions to List of Categorical Non-Waste Fuels; Other Treated Woods.  The Treated Wood Council has submitted a petition for various types of treated wood to be added as categorical non-waste fuels.  Materials classed as NHSM can be burned for fuel in lightly regulated boilers rather than more strictly regulated incinerators.

•  August 2015 (Final Rule).  Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units & Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.  These final rules will establish carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for certain new and existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units. 

•  October 2015 (Final Rule).  NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule.  This rule changes the mode for transmitting NPDES information by requiring that NPDES regulated entities electronically submit the certain permit and compliance monitoring information, including Discharge Monitoring Reports (DMRs).

We will continue to provide updates on these regulations as they become available.

By Alexander Bandza, Associate, Jenner & Block

Read more at Corporate Environmental Lawyer Blog by Jenner & Block LLP.

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