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Federal Facilities

Senate Democrats Push For IST But EPA Official Declines To State Path

EPA waste chief Mathy Stanislaus declined at a March 6 Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) hearing to commit the agency to mandating the use of inherently safer technologies (IST) to prevent or reduce the consequences of accidents or attacks at industrial facilities despite strong urging from several Democratic senators.

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States Urge Senators To 'Inventory' Spill Programs Before Advancing Bill

An alliance of state regulators is urging senators crafting legislation intended to fill gaps in chemical spill response programs to first examine the need for such legislation -- and inventory existing programs and agencies -- before advancing any bill, though the bill's backers recently postponed a planned markup to address state and other concerns.

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Opening Brief Filed In Suit Testing CERCLA's Preemption In Toxic Tort Suits

CTS Corporation, the liable party that successfully petitioned the Supreme Court in a closely-watched Superfund case, is arguing in its opening brief that the "plain text" of the law and the constitutional principle of federalism require the high court to overturn an appellate ruling that found the law broadly preempts state limits on when plaintiffs can bring toxic tort claims.

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EPA Seeks Policy 'Specifics' For Steps To Improve Industrial Plants' Safety

EPA's waste chief is urging environmentalists, industry and other stakeholders to provide specific advice for either voluntary or mandatory policies to bolster industrial facilities' safety, telling the final public meeting on the issue that the input will form the basis for policies that an interagency working group will pitch to President Obama in May.

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DHS, Democrats Reiterate Goal To End CFATS Waiver For Wastewater Plants

House Democrats and the Obama administration are reiterating their long-standing goals to end wastewater plants' exemption from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) chemical security rules, though the policymakers stopped short of indicating whether they favor subjecting the facilities to DHS rules or EPA mandates as the industry favors.

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House TSCA Bill Seeks To Revise Senate’s Preemption, Prioritization Plans

House energy committee Republicans could propose as soon as Feb. 27 draft Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform bill language that revises controversial provisions in a Senate companion measure dealing with state preemption, chemical prioritization and other measures that have stalled reform efforts in the upper chamber.

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As House Readies TSCA Bill, Debate On Chemical Prioritization Heats Up

As House lawmakers prepare to introduce legislation reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), policymakers and advocates are grappling with how to address the thorny issue of whether and how EPA should prioritize chemicals for testing and regulation -- an issue that until now has not been a top focus.

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State Product Rules Drive Industry Fear On EPA's TSCA Power For 'Articles'

Manufacturers and other industry groups are increasingly concerned about growing state efforts to regulate consumer products containing toxic substances, a fear that is driving calls for Congress to address the issue by clarifying EPA's authority to regulate "articles" in pending legislation reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

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Faulting Refiners' Standards, CSB Renews Call For EPA To Craft IST Rule

The federal Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is faulting voluntary oil industry safety standards for failing to prevent fires at refineries that killed or endangered workers and is reiterating a call for EPA to require inherently safer technologies (IST), such as use of less-toxic chemicals or other engineering changes to curb such industrial incidents.

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Experts Say Plaintiffs Face Hurdles In High Court's CERCLA Preemption Case

Legal experts say that plaintiffs that are seeking to defend an appellate ruling finding that the Superfund law preempts state law toxic tort claims, which would preserve their right to sue both federal and private parties, could face significant hurdles convincing the Supreme Court, especially the court's four conservative justices, of their positions.

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