Synergy Gets Small Business Designation In The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Synergy Environmental, Inc.
Brink Young

February 21, 2017

SYNERGY ENVIRONMENTAL INC has successfully completed the Pennsylvania Department of General Services’ process for self-certification as a small business under the Commonwealth’s Small Business
Contracting Program. The small business designation was issued on February 10, 2017.

This designation will allow Synergy to partner with other team members (both smaller & larger entities) to meet small and minority business goals in regards to State Projects


Relief on the Way for Benzo[a]pyrene Cleanups?

Manko Gold Katcher & Fox
William Hitchcock

February 10, 2017

Land developers and remediators in Pennsylvania and New Jersey may soon have an easier time addressing soils containing benzo[a]pyrene, one of the most ubiquitous urban contaminants, thanks to updated information that was just released by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The new information comes from EPA’s Final Assessment of Benzo[a]pyrene, which was completed in January 2017 and is now part of EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). The assessment includes revised estimates of several important toxicological parameters that are used by EPA and state regulatory agencies to develop risk-based standards for the remediation of environmentally-impaired sites. While the Final Assessment concludes that benzo[a]pyrene is still a potent carcinogen, the revised parameters show that the chemical is not as toxicologically potent as was previously thought. Once the regulatory agencies incorporate this new information into their cleanup programs, it should result in less stringent cleanup standards for impacted sites regulated at the state and federal level.

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Scott Pruitt Confirmed by Senate to Lead EPA

Jenner & Block LLP
Allison A. Torrence

February 17, 2017

Friday afternoon, Scott Pruitt was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 52 Senators voted for Mr. Pruitt’s confirmation, while 46 Senators voted against him. The vote was largely along party lines, with Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia voting for Pruitt and Republican Susan Collins of Maine voting against him.

As we previously reported here, Mr. Pruitt has been the Attorney General of Oklahoma since his election to that post in 2011. As Oklahoma Attorney General, Mr. Pruitt has sued EPA numerous times to challenge EPA regulations, including current litigation over the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. Oklahoma is part of the coalition of 28 states challenging EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants – a key component of the Clean Power Plan – in the case of West Virginia v. EPA, Case No. 15-1363. This case is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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President Trump Issues Memorandum Reducing Regulatory Burdens For Domestic Manufacturing

Troutman Sanders LLP
Peter S. Glaser and Andrew J. Flavin

February 7, 2017

On January 24th, President Trump issued a memorandum to reduce permitting and regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing by directing executive agencies to support the expansion of manufacturing in the United States through expedited reviews and approvals of proposals to construct or expand manufacturing facilities.

Specifically, the memo requires the Secretary of Commerce (“Secretary”) to solicit comments on the impacts of federal regulations on domestic manufacturers, as well as federal actions to streamline permitting and otherwise reduce regulatory burdens.  The Secretary is also required to coordinate with other agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture and Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Within 60 days of completion, the Secretary must submit a report to the President with a plan to streamline federal permitting processes and reduce regulatory burdens for domestic manufacturing.  The report should also recommend priority actions and deadlines, as well as necessary changes to existing regulations, statutes, policies, practices or procedures, particularly those that can be taken immediately under existing authority.

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Fourth Circuit Holds NPDES Permit is Not an Absolute Shield from CWA Liability

Manko Gold Katcher & Fox
Claudia V. Colón García-Moliner

February 10, 2017

The Clean Water Act (“CWA”) generally forbids discharging contaminated effluent into waters of the United States unless the discharger holds a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) permit. Once a discharger holds a permit, they are shielded from discharge related liability- unless, as the Fourth Circuit observed in the recent case of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Fola Coal CompanyLLC, No. 161024 (4th Cir., 1/04/2017), the permit holder is noncompliant.

West Virginia’s NPDES program includes regulations specifically governing NPDES permits for coal mining. Fola Coal Company, LLC (“Fola Coal”) first obtained its permit under West Virginia’s coal mining NPDES program in 1996 in order to discharge into receiving waterways, and then renewed it in 2009.  In the case at issue, several environmental groups, including Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, and the Sierra Club, brought suit against Fola Coal under the CWA’s citizen suit provision. The environmental groups alleged that Fola Coal violated a specific section within Fola Coal’s permit, section 5.1.f, which provided:

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