The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) recently modified the text of its proposed Proposition 65 regulation regarding warnings for chemicals formed in foods by cooking or heat processing (most frequently associated with the formation of the carcinogen acrylamide during the cooking process). OEHHA removed two food categories from the warning requirement (almond
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New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Bill and its effect on Title V facilities
New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Bill (EJ Bill) applies to Facilities located in Overburdened Communities (OBC). N.J. Stat. § 13:1D-157 – 13:1D-161. A Facility includes any: 1. Major source of air pollution; 2. Resource recovery facility or incinerator; 3. Sludge processing facility, combustor, or incinerator; 4. Sewage treatment plant with a capacity of more than 50 million gallons per day; 5. Transfer station or other solid waste facility, or recycling facility intending to receive at least 100 tons of recyclable material per day; 6. Scrap metal facility; 7. Landfill; or 8. Medical waste incinerator. An OBC is one in which: 1. At least 35 percent of the households qualify as low-income households; 2. At least 40 percent of the residents identify as minority or as members of a State recognized tribal community; or 3. At least 40 percent of the households have limited English proficiency. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has compiled a list of overburdened communities.
If a Facility is located in an OBC, the EJ Bill requires that when the Facility submits an application for a permit for a new Facility, an expansion of an existing Facility, or an application for renewal of an existing Facility’s major source permit, the Facility must:
- Prepare an environmental justice impact statement (EJIS) to assess the potential environmental and public health stressors associated with the application;
- Transmit the EJIS at least 60 days in advance of the public hearing to the NJDEP, the governing body, and the clerk of the municipality in which the OBC is located; and
- Organize and conduct a public hearing in the OBC. The applicant must publish a notice of the public hearing in at least two newspapers circulating within the OBC (including one non-English language newspaper, if applicable), not less than 60 days prior to the public hearing. The permit applicant shall provide a copy of the notice to the NJDEP and the NJDEP will publish the notice on its website. The notice shall include the date, time, and location of the public hearing, a description of the proposed new or expanded Facility or existing major source, as applicable, a map indicating the location of the Facility, a brief summary of the EJIS, information on how an interested person may review a copy of the complete EJIS, an address for the submittal of written comments to the permit applicant, and any other information deemed appropriate by NJDEP. At least 60 days prior to the public hearing, the notice shall be sent to the NJDEP, the governing body, and the clerk of the municipality in which the OBC is located. At the public hearing, the permit applicant shall provide clear, accurate, and complete information about the proposed new or expanded facility, or existing major source, as applicable, and the potential environmental and public health stressors associated with the Facility. The permit applicant shall accept written and oral comments from any interested party, and provided an opportunity for meaningful public participation at the public hearing. The permit applicant shall transcribe the public hearing and, no later than 10 days after the public hearing, submit the transcript along with any written comments received, to NJDEP. Following the public hearing, NJDEP shall consider the testimony presented and any written comments received, and evaluate the issuance of, or conditions to, the permit, as necessary in order to avoid or reduce the adverse environmental or public health stressors affecting the OBC.
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SCOTUS rules the federal government does not need to disclose draft documents under FOIA
Federal agencies aren’t required to hand over draft documents related to the harm an EPA rule would pose to endangered plants and animals, the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv. v. Sierra Club , U.S., No. 19-547.
In a 7-2 decision, and the first majority ruling led by Justice Amy Coney…
EPA indicates intention to regulate certain PFAS in drinking water
The EPA is moving towards establishing a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS, and has stated that it is considering avenues for regulating additional groups of PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as well. On February 22, 2021, the EPA announced two actions under SDWA to address PFAS.
First, the agency reissued the final regulatory determination to implement a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for PFOS and PFOA (the “Determination”). This Determination is a continuation of an intended action under the Trump administration, but indicates the Biden administration intends to continue to move forward. The Determination also states that the EPA is considering the regulation of additional PFAS chemicals.…
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New EU legislation on reducing methane emissions in the energy sector is set for 2021
The European Commission is moving forward with its legislative agenda to reduce methane emissions in the energy industry, specifically the oil, gas and coal sectors. Following the Commission’s October 2020 Communication (COM 2020/663 final) on an EU strategy to reduce methane emissions as part of the EU Green Deal programme, the Commission has set out…
EU EHS and Product Compliance laws: what to look out for in 2021
2021 is shaping up to be a very busy year for those who are affected by EU laws relating to Environment, Health & Safety, ESG and product compliance matters.
Important developments are expected this year across a number of the EU’s flagship Green Deal policy initiatives, but there are many other significant initiatives to watch out for.
Reed Smith’s EMEA EHS & Product Compliance team will be keeping a close eye on them all for you and writing more detailed pieces on developments as they occur throughout the year.
In the meantime, in this short blog we provide just a snapshot of what you can expect to see during 2021:…
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California seeks to significantly restrict optional use of Proposition 65 “short-form” warnings on consumer products
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has proposed to significantly amend the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65, to revise the method of transmission and content of State-approved “safe harbor” short-form warnings for consumer products.
OEHHA believes implementation of the warning regulations has revealed…
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revamps Clean Water Act Nationwide Permit 12
On January 5, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) released the final version of a rule revamping certain nationwide permits (NWPs) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA authorizes the Corps to issue general permits authorizing categories of activities that have minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. These permits remain in effect for no more than five years, at which point the Corps must renew the permits.
This rule reissues and modifies 12 nationwide permits (NWPs) and issues four new NWPs. Of these 16 NWPs, the most impactful changes are to NWP 12.…
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ICYMI: California to conserve land, coasts to capture carbon and fight climate change
California has joined dozens of nations in a global pact to preserve biodiversity and prevent species loss by pledging to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal water by 2030 (“30 by 30”). Governor Gavin Newsom signed the executive order earlier this month, which also directs the state to streamline approval of land…
Proposition 65 – Potential warning requirement exemption for exposures to listed chemicals in cooked or heat processed foods
California is inviting public comments on a proposed regulation that would exclude the need to place warnings on many cooked, baked or fried food items that may expose individuals to acrylamide, a chemical the State has deemed to be a carcinogen.
California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (aka “Proposition 65”) prohibits businesses from knowingly and intentionally exposing consumers to over 900 chemicals that have been listed as “known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity” (without first giving a clear and reasonable warning to the consumer). Acrylamide is regulated under this law as a carcinogen.
Acrylamide can be formed by the cooking or heat processing of many foods, including French fries, potato chips, other fried and baked snack foods, roasted asparagus, canned sweet potatoes and pumpkin, canned black olives, roasted nuts, roasted grain-based coffee substitutes, prune juice, breakfast cereals, crackers, some cookies, bread crusts, and toast.…
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