On June 15, 2022, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new health advisories for four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The health advisories significantly lowered the level considered safe to consume for two PFAS and set limits for two new PFAS. At the same time, EPA announced it was making $1 billion available in grant funding to help communities address PFAS contamination.
PFAS have been dubbed “forever chemicals” because they tend to linger in the environment and humans rather than naturally breaking down. There are dozens of different types ...
On February 24, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the list of organizers selected for regional roundtables concerning the agencies’ rulemaking proceeding regarding the definition of the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act. More information is available on the EPA's website.
In 2021, the EPA and Corps issued a proposed rule to reinstate the pre-2015 definition of waters of the U.S. and invited comments on the proposed rule, which parties submitted on February 7, 2022.
The WOTUS ...
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two public meetings via webinar to cover a comprehensive overview of its most recent Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule ("UCMR"), UCMR 5. The two meetings will be held on March 16th from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm and March 17th from 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm (eastern time). The meetings will be identical, and EPA has posted links to sign up for either of the webinars on its website. The webinars are currently first-come, first-served, and sign-up space for them is limited. EPA has stated that it may schedule additional webinars if there is ...
On October 18, 2021, the Biden-Harris administration announced an updated government-wide “comprehensive approach” to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a set of man-made chemicals that are widely used in a variety of consumer and industrial products, and which persist in the environment once released and may be linked to health impacts. The announcement identified several activities to address PFAS by eight federal agencies, as well as proposed funding in the forthcoming infrastructure bill for monitoring for PFAS compounds in drinking water through ...
On September 3, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) announced the agencies will abandon the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) set forth in the April 21, 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and will instead rely on the pre-2015 regulatory framework. The agencies’ announcement comes on the heels of a decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona vacating the NWPR. …
At the end of July, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Biden administration will begin working to create a “durable definition” of Waters of the United States (WOTUS). EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have announced that they “are committed to developing a reasonable, effective, and durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries.” It is notable that the announcement did not mention specifically the ...
The first 100 days of a new administration can define what lies ahead for the next four years. Join our panel of Nossaman Environment & Land Use attorneys from across the U.S. on April 15, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. PT as we review and evaluate the Biden administration’s first 100 days of policy moves involving environmental and natural resources management.
We will discuss efforts to fill leadership roles at CEQ, EPA, Interior, DOT and other federal agencies. Updates and analysis will be provided regarding key areas of policy, legislation and regulation, including:
- Climate ...
In light of the major cybersecurity breach of the SolarWinds Orion software by malicious actors, the Water Information Sharing and Analysis Center (WaterISAC) recently issued a series of advisories providing guidance for water providers across the country on how to respond and react to this unprecedented cyberattack.
As highlighted in the WaterISAC advisory issued on December 16, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency has recommended that all water and wastewater utilities review the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency's (CISA's) Emergency Directive ...
Community Water Systems (CWSs) around the country should be aware of upcoming deadlines at the end of 2020 that were put into place under the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) previously signed into law in 2018. The law requires CWSs that serve more than 3,300 people to complete a risk and resilience assessment and develop an emergency response plan and establishes deadlines by which water systems must certify to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completion of the risk assessment and emergency response plan.
For those CWSs serving ≥100,000 ...
Recently, I participated in the Environmental Law Institute’s (ELI) Master Class, PFAS: From Common Use to Concern. My fellow panelists and I discussed “PFAS in Water,” which included a discussion of the environmental and human health impacts of PFAS contaminated waters, as well as the best approaches to regulate, establish and enforce cleanups and safe drinking water standards. I was privileged to serve on this panel along with Chris Curran, Water Business Line PFAS Lead, AECOM; Rula Deeb, Ph.D., Senior Principal, Geosyntec Consultants; and Jonathan Kalmuss-Katz, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice. Some of the main take-aways from our presentation included ...
In the ongoing saga of the Clean Water Act’s so-called “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) announced changes to the definition of “Navigable Waterways” on January 23, 2020. Those changes were published in the Federal Register on April 21, 2020. The EPA and ACOE share jurisdiction for administering the Clean Water Act and are collectively responsible for adopting regulations for implementing the Clean Water Act. The change to the definition of Navigable Waters is the latest move ...
On March 26, 2020, EPA announced a temporary enforcement discretion policy to excuse violations of environmental laws in specified circumstances during the coronavirus pandemic. EPA has stated that as of Friday, April 3, it has not issued any waivers for "essential critical infrastructure" that cannot comply with environmental enforcement during the novel coronavirus pandemic. More information on what could be considered “critical infrastructure” during the pandemic is available here. Nossaman continues to follow developments regarding EPA’s ...
On March 12, 2020, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ-ENRD”) issued a policy memorandum formally ending the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (“SEPs”) in civil settlement agreements negotiated by DOJ-ENRD. SEPs are an enforcement mechanism that have been used by EPA and DOJ-ENRD to allow settling parties to agree to perform environmentally beneficial projects in exchange for lowered or even waived monetary penalties. Typically, SEPs are ...
Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released guidance on the coronavirus and the U.S. drinking and wastewater systems. According to the EPA, “Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.” The EPA also continues coordinating with federal partners ...
California Water Views provides timely and insightful updates on the water sector in the state. We relay information on how water legislation and policy from the nation’s capital, Sacramento, and around the U.S. affect California’s water utilities, agencies, practitioners, and consumers. We also write about important events, conferences, legal cases, and other key happenings involving all things water in and around California.
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