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Jessica Wicha

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EPA has issued a proposed rule that would add discarded aerosol cans to the list of hazardous wastes that can be managed and transported under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act’s (“RCRA’s”) streamlined universal waste regulations.  (83 Fed. Reg. 11654 (March 16, 2018)).  Currently, most non-empty, waste aerosol cans are regulated as hazardous waste either because they exhibit a hazardous characteristic (typically ignitability) or because the can contains a RCRA-listed chemical.  As a result, these…

On March 6th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit modified its 2017 ruling that struck down portions of EPA’s definition of solid waste (“DSW”) rule.  (American Petroleum Institute, et al. v. EPA, No. 09-1038 (D.C. Cir. March 6, 2018)).  At issue in the case is a 2015 rule that determined when hazardous secondary materials are recycled and thus not subject to regulation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) as hazardous…

On September 12, 2016, EPA unveiled its Strategy for Addressing the Retail Sector under RCRA’s Regulatory Framework (“Strategy”).  This Strategy reaffirms EPA’s continued focus on retailers’ compliance with RCRA, but also indicates that the Agency is working to make needed modifications to a regulatory regime that was originally developed for the industrial and manufacturing sectors.  Underlying the Strategy are three main objectives: issuing agency policy, guidance and rulemaking to ensure a better fit between RCRA…

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) took another step toward revising the Article 6 Clear and Reasonable Warning  Requirements under Proposition 65 (Prop 65) by issuing a new proposed rule on March 25, 2016. This proposal is just the latest in a series of potential revisions, which includes a January 2015 version that was withdrawn and replaced by OEHHA last November. Whereas the January 2015 draft had proposed specific warnings for the so-called “dirty dozen substances,”…

On February 22, 2016, the United Nation’s aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”), approved an interim ban on cargo shipments of lithium-ion batteries on passenger aircraft. This safety measure comes in response to growing concern about the risks presented by air transport of lithium-based batteries, including recent recommendations for greater restrictions from ICAO’s top technical body. The International Aviation Transport Association (“IATA”) quickly issued an update on lithium batteries, confirming that beginning on April…

In February 2016, EPA announced its National Enforcement Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2017-2019.  EPA conducts this process of identifying enforcement priorities every three years with the intent of focusing Agency resources on areas of significant non-compliance where federal enforcement is considered to be effective. EPA solicited public comment on its proposed National Enforcement Initiatives last year. The Agency maintains that the final priorities incorporate this stakeholder feedback. The seven National Enforcement Initiatives for FY 2017-2019 are as follows:…

On December 9, 2015, we were given a chance to more clearly understand the legal arguments being mounted by industry groups and environmentalists against EPA related to the definition of solid waste (“DSW”) rule that was promulgated nearly a year ago under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). In their opening briefs filed in the consolidated lawsuit American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, both sets of parties are calling on the U.S. Court of Appeals for…