Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

On December 19, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a 745-page prepublication version of its final rule governing the landfill and surface impoundment management of coal combustion residuals (CCR) from coal-fired power plants. The rule is to become effective six months from the date of its publication in the Federal Register (expected to occur by the end of the year). Important features of the rule include the following:
Continue Reading EPA Regulates Coal Combustion Residuals from Coal-Fired Power Plants as Subtitle D Solid Waste

A team of Schiff Hardin attorneys compiled “Recent Developments in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law”  for the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal originally published in the fall of 2013 (Vol. 49-1) on the evolving landscape of the environmental and toxic tort areas of law. Toxic tort-related topics covered by this article include class action decisions discussing procedural aspects of damage calculations and whether plaintiffs can stipulate to damages to avoid jurisdiction. Key toxic tort subjects covered in this update include “duty to warn” and medical monitoring, punitive damages, and new asbestos-related decisions.
Continue Reading Recent Developments in Toxic Torts and Environmental Law

On January 29, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) entered into a Consent Decree committing to take final action by December 19, 2014 on coal ash disposal regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In 1993 and 2000 US EPA commenced and completed Bevill Amendment determinations regarding the regulation of the disposal of coal ash.  In both 1993 and 2000 US EPA determined that it would continue to assess whether increased regulation of coal ash is appropriate.  Some 10 years after its last determination, US EPA on June 21, 2010 announced that it was considering two alternative options to increase regulation of coal ash.  The first option was to revise the 1993 and 2000 Bevill Regulatory Determinations and regulate coal ash as a special waste subject to RCRA under Subtitle C.  The second option “would leave the Bevill determination in place and regulate disposal” under Subtitle D of RCRA.
Continue Reading EPA Commits To Take Final Action on Coal Ash Regulations

Originally published as a Schiff Hardin Environmental Update newsletter

On July 6, 2011 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) proposed to narrow the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) “definition of solid waste” (DSW), and to broaden the definition of RCRA “hazardous waste” to subject additional materials to stricter reclamation requirements. (See USEPA Proposed Rule). The proposed rule would effectively undo certain changes made to the definition of solid waste in October 2008. The proposal would reclassify as “hazardous waste” certain hazardous secondary materials that are recycled.
Continue Reading USEPA Proposes Broadening RCRA Definition of “Hazardous Waste”