EPA Determines Existing Regulations Sufficiently Protect Against Hazardous Substance Releases

On August 24, AGC filed joint comments in support of a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluding the existing regulatory framework adequately prevents and contains discharges of hazardous substances.  AGC supports the agency’s proposal not to initiate a new regulatory regime addressing spills of hazardous substances under section 311 of the Clean Water Act. The joint letter expands upon the legal justification for EPA’s proposal, affirms that EPA has the authority to take this action, and augments the agency’s information on the “potential overlap between existing requirements under statutes and regulations implemented by EPA and by other federal agencies...”.
In addition to the overlapping regulations evaluated by EPA in the proposal, the joint letter highlights additional, related protective (and punitive) requirements within the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program, pretreatment programs relating to effluents entering a publicly owned treatment works, spill cleanup liability, and release reporting that serve to protect against releases. These existing requirements further support EPA’s proposal that additional regulation would provide de minimis regulatory benefit.

On the joint letter, AGC was joined by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Chemistry Council, American Forest & Paper Association, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, National Mining Association, and Utility Solid Waste Activities Group.

For more information, contact Leah Pilconis at [email protected] or (703) 837-5332.

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