Vapor intrusion, or the movement of harmful vapors from groundwater and soil into structures, may be the most important new focus of state and federal governments. Previously approved remedies are being reviewed and may be re-opened because of vapor intrusion issues. EPA has issued a new report on the subject.
On December 1, 2009, EPA published a final rule that, for the first time, imposes monitoring requirements and enforceable numeric limitations on stormwater discharges from construction sites nationwide. Will this change best management practices at construction sites? Will it preempt local controls? These questions will have to wait and see.
Shell has been asked to address the NULS Environmental Law Clinic in March 2010 on the subjects of private practice of environmental law and forming a solo law firm for the practice of environmental law. The clinic’s model is to give environmental law students real-world experience working on cutting edge environmental cases. Shell had previously been consulted about the establishment of the clinic at NULS. Shell is a NULS alum, class of 1982.
President Bush’s nomination to head the EPA is known for his ENLIBRA philosophy; it stands for dialogue and consensus rather than regulation and litigation–also for strong state rights in the environmental arena. Utah Governor Michael Leavitt may be the EPA’s next Administrator.
Congress passed HR2869, the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act on December 21, 2001. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill protects small businesses and residential generators from most CERCLA liability, creates new grant programs for brownfield redevelopment, clarifies and expands the innocent purchaser exemption, and creates new protections for prospective purchasers. To see how the amendments apply to you, contact Shell.
On Friday, April 14, 2000, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in Appalachian Power Company et al. v. EPA, ruled that EPA circumvented its obligation to make major policy changes through formal rulemaking processes by seeking to expand monitoring activities under the Clean Air Act through the use of its 1998 Periodic Monitoring Guidance for Title V Operating Permits.
On April 19, 1999, OSHA announced a new site-specific enforcement plan that targets 2,200 workplaces for immediate, unannounced wall-to-wall inspection. The new plan, announced following the federal appelate court’s striking down of OSHA’s so-called Cooperative Compliance Program (“CCP”), is based on 1997 injury and illness data. Under the new plan, work sites with a Lost Workday Injury and Illness Rate (“LWDI”) of 16.0 or more will be inspected by the end of 1999. Employers with an LWDI of 16.0 or more should prepare for an inspection immediately.