We hope you enjoyed some well-deserved time off for the Thanksgiving holiday. If you didn't stay dialed-in to the Federal Register
or the EH&S newswire last week, you might have missed some impactful headlines for environmental, safety, and hazardous materials professionals.
In true post-Thanksgiving fashion, we stacked them all up on one plate.
Biden Admin Asks 6th Circuit to Dissolve Stay on Vax-or-Test ETS
The Biden Administration submitted a motion to dissolve the stay
on OSHA’s vaccination-or-testing standard on November 23.
The Administration argues that the Fifth Circuit’s decision to stay the vax-or-test ETS
lacked sufficient rationale, writing “Congress charged OSHA with addressing grave dangers in the workplace, without any carve-out for viruses or dangers that also happen to exist outside the workplace.”
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (in Cincinnati) was selected by lottery to hear a challenge to the ETS, which would require large employers to implement a vaccination-or-testing program for employees.
OSHA has stayed implementation and enforcement of the ETS until legal challenges are resolved.
L.A., Long Beach Ports Delay Container Dwell Fees
Since announcing new “container dwell fees” for slow-to-move shipping containers in late October, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have noticed significant improvement
in the speed with which cargo is transported away from the ports by truck and rail.
Noting a “combined decline of 37% in aging cargo on the docks” since announcing the fees, officials of the two San Pedro Bay ports announced on Monday that they will hold off on assessing the fees until December 9.
San Pedro Bay Ports Press Release, November 29, 2021
Revised "Pre-2015" WOTUS Definition Proposed
US EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers announced a proposed rule on November 18 to re-establish—with adjustments—the definition of “waters of the United States”
that was in place before a 2015 rulemaking changed the definition.
EPA will incorporate language from relevant Supreme Court decisions to strengthen the pre-2015 definition of WOTUS by, in part, clarifying the meaning of “significant nexus” within the regulation.
Proposed Rule (Pre-publication Version)
NGP Sector Added to TRI Reporting Rule
US EPA added natural gas processing facilities (i.e., natural gas liquid extraction facilities) as an industrial sector subject to EPCRA Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements.
The Final Rule
is effective December 27, 2021. It will apply to the reporting year that starts January 1, 2022 (reports due July 1, 2023
Where to Send CERCLA Section 103 Release Reports
Earlier this month, EPA published a Final Rule
that changes where covered facilities send Continuous Release Reports required under CERCLA Section 103.
Until now, facilities submitted these reports to their respective EPA regional office. Effective November 12, 2021, facilities must submit future reports of this type to the appropriate EPA Headquarters (HQ) office.