“Next Generation Compliance” is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) signature initiative intended to increase compliance with environmental regulations by using advances in pollution monitoring and information technology and by more effectively using and designing regulations and permits to reduce pollution and enhance compliance. This column describes EPA’s initiative, discusses several examples of its applications in rulemakings and civil enforcement settlements, discusses another new compliance-related tool, eDisclosure, and outlines the implications for industry of these novel approaches to incentivizing compliance.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made much of its “Next Generation Compliance” initiative, created “to increase compliance with environmental regulations by using advances in pollutant monitoring and information technology combined with a focus on designing more effective regulations and permits to reduce pollution.” This involves more effective regulations and permits that include built-in compliance mechanisms, such as continuous monitoring for stationary sources; advanced monitoring, including fence-line monitoring and infrared camera systems; greater transparency, including public availability of electronic data and third-party audits; and “innovative” enforcement, including incorporating these elements in administrative and judicial settlements and injunctive relief demands. This column briefly outlines these new initiatives so Chemical Processing readers can take advantage of these programs.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on February 25, 2016, amendments to the accidental release prevention requirements of the Risk Management Programs (RMP) under the Clean Air Act Section 112(r)(7). This column summarizes this important proposed rule.
On July 31, 2014, EPA published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking information and data on potential revisions to its Clean Air Act (CAA) Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations and related programs. In the RFI, EPA asks for information on specific regulatory elements and on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) approaches, the public and environmental health and safety risks they address, and the costs and burdens they may impose. This column explains why this RFI is critically important to the RMP and PSM programs and thus to Pollution Engineering readers.
The EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) has concluded that there is adequate evidence for lowering the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone (O3) from 75 parts per billion to between 70 ppb and 60 ppb. The recommendation is found in a 600 page long Policy Assessment for the Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards, issued on Aug. 29, 2014.
On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an ambitious and likely contentious rule to diminish significantly the United States’ contribution to greenhouse gases (GHG). The rule is proposed under the authority of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and takes direct aim at the coal industry by requiring a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants by 2030, using 2005 as the baseline year. This column summarizes key aspects of the rule and its implications for Pollution Engineering readers.
President Obama won a decisive victory on November 6, 2012, and the forecast for the next four years is clearer now than it was pre-election. This Washington Watch column offers some preliminary observations on what lies ahead for domestic environmental management issues at the legislative and regulatory levels.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that more than 200,000 boilers, process heaters and incinerators will be impacted by a set of Clean Air Act regulations issued on February 21, 2011. Since EPA first proposed the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules in April 2010, several industry sectors have argued the costs of implementing the rules would pose an unreasonable burden on businesses. In response to this criticism, EPA revised the rules in a manner that it believes cuts the cost of implementation by about 50%.
On June 3, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA). This controversial rule set thresholds for GHG emissions that define when permits under the New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V operating permit programs are required for new and existing industrial facilities.
EPA has put itself on the path toward greenhouse gas regulation, but in Congress, the courts, and the international community, the debate rages on. On Dec. 7, 2009, EPA moved one step closer to imposing the first ever set of enforceable greenhouse gas (GHG) standards on tailpipe emissions from vehicles, and a requirement that large power plants and industrial emitters install best available control technology (BACT) to reduce emissions.