Environmental Enforcement Developments in the Trump Administration
This presentation will provide an overview of recent environmental enforcement developments in the Trump administration. The presentation will review EPA's new National Compliance Initiatives, regulatory changes under the Clean Air Act, and other pending changes under Acting Administrator Wheeler's EPA. The presentation also will focus on technological developments and how they are changing compliance and enforcement.
The Regulation of Oil & Gas Activities Under the Trump Administration
Oil and gas are our primary sources of energy. Regulations affecting this sector impact our entire economy. As such, it is vitally important that we understand the regulatory requirements and burdens being placed on this sector. During the Obama Administration, EPA and other agencies finalized regulations affecting the oil and gas sector. Upon assuming office, President Trump issued numerous executive orders and presidential memoranda announcing his plans for enhancing oil and gas production and reviewing Obama-era policies and regulations affecting oil and gas activities. Agencies, such as EPA and Interior, have stayed and/or rescinded certain regulations and have indicated that other regulations are being reviewed to determine if they should be revised or rescinded. As a result, many of the regulations issued by the Obama Administration are being or will be modified or repealed. Overall, the presentation will provide an overview of the actions taken by the Trump Administration to support the oil and gas industry through expanded production or decreased regulatory burdens.
Federal, State and Local Enforcement
The presentation will highlight recent federal environmental enforcement trends and update state and local enforcement developments.
What’s Happening on RMP and PSM in the Courts and in the Trump Administration? Will the Rule Stay Delayed or Should Companies Prepare to Comply with the New RMP Rule Now?
In the waning days of the Obama Administration, EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management issued a set of sweeping and controversial regulations to “modernize” the Risk Management Plan (RMP) program. The new administration has delayed these rules while considering revisions. This presentation will review the upcoming requirements if they go into effect and the litigation of the rules and the delay rule, on which oral argument is being held in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on March 16, 2018. It will recommend steps companies can take to be ready if the rules go into effect soon and provide predictions on what might be proposed as revisions to the Obama regulation.
New Developments in Environmental Enforcement
Under the Trump administration, EPA and DOJ have issued several new policies and directives which affect environmental enforcement. This presentation will discuss these new developments, including the, EPA’s new policy on national compliance initiatives, EPA's new policy on referrals to DOJ, DOJ's statement on environmental enforcement policy and principals, and the DOJ policy on use of agency guidance in enforcement. The new DOJ policies are especially significant as they apply to all DOJ enforcement litigation, not just EPA.
Using Police Investigations Process for Industrial Accident Scenes
Whether an event was an accident or an incident, the potential to have its ultimate conclusion in civil, state, or federal court is a realistic probability. All information and evidence gathered from the event scene is used to support the corporation investigator’s testimony and to represent the corporation’s position in legal proceedings. Thus, investigators are required to present their information and evidence in an acceptable manner for a court of law. This presentation will highlight the requirements of collection documentation and chain of custody procedures as applied to industrial incident scenes.
Double Trouble: An Update on General Duty Obligations
Owners and operators of petroleum refineries are subject to General Duty obligations under the Clean Air Act (“CAA”). These duties are specified in theAccidental Release Preventions rules at 40 C.F.R. Part 68, which implement CAASection 112(r), as well as obligations under New Source Performance Standards(“NSPS”) at 40 C.F.R. Part 60 and Maximum Achievable Control Technologies(“MACT”) under national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants(“NESHAP”) at 40 C.F.R Part 63. The General Duty obligations are aimed at hazardous substance accident prevention through the development of risk management planning (“RMP”) and the observance of “good air pollution control practices” during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (“SSM”).This session will present recent developments regarding RMP, includingEPA’s March 2016 proposal to amend the RMP rule and EPA’s enforcement initiatives focused on reducing accidental releases at industrial and chemical facilities, including petroleum refineries. Through these enforcement cases, EPA is attempting to encourage the early adoption of Next Gen Enforcement components, including the use of third-party audits as proposed in the RMP rulemaking. The second half of this session will also focus on the General Duty obligations in NSPS and MACT requirements. Specifically, the new RefiningSector Rule has made significant changes to SSM requirements in MACT,Subparts CC and UUU. How do General Duty obligations come into play based on the new SSM requirements and potential enforcement actions relating to SSM?What potential benefits may refiners obtain from an evaluation and potential revision of current refinery programs for compliance with these General Duty obligations?
It's Not Dead, It's Mostly Dead - CD Termination
What is the process for terminating a consent decree with EPA and the Department of Justice? Is the process improved in this Administration or are terminations still stalled by disagreements over terms and what does "done" mean? This presentation will walk through the current overview of PRI CDs that have been terminated and lessons learned for those still open and for future agreements.
Are You Ready? Contingency Planning for the RMP Amendments and Litigation
The RMP Amendments impose several burdensome obligations, including reporting up to the Board of Directors. EPA’s attempt to repeal or narrow the amendments will likely be tied up in litigation in the DC Circuit, but in the meantime, compliance deadlines are soon approaching. In the midst of this uncertainty, this session will discuss the DC Circuit litigation, enforcement trends, and planning for the amendments.