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Category Archives: Rule Making

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Back to the Drawing Board: What’s Next for the Fish Consumption Rule in Washington State?

Posted in Clean Water Act, Emerging Policy, Fish Consumption, Natural Resources and Environment, Public Health Policy, Rule Making

I have written extensively on the efforts by the Washington Department of Ecology to revise Washington’s Water Quality Standards to account for a higher fish consumption rate. This summer was when we were supposed to see the final rule be submitted to EPA for review and possible approval. In a nutshell, the controversy around this… Continue Reading

What We Are Reading, October 3: Cement Plant Retrofits, Critical Habitat Land Grabs, and Job Losses Under the Clean Air Act

Posted in Clean Air Act, Endangered/Threatened Species, Natural Resources and Environment, Rule Making

This week has been a week of catching up, so some of this may be old news to you, but maybe you have a tall stack of things you aspire to read someday and you’ll have some sympathy… St. Mary’s Cement Inc. Against the EPA Out of the Sixth Circuit, by way of Michigan, a… Continue Reading

First Reaction to EPA’s Just-Released Draft of the Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act

Posted in Clean Water Act, Emerging Policy, Rule Making, Water Quality

The EPA and Army Corps of Engineers released a preview of the long-awaited proposed rule updating the definition of “Waters of the United States” yesterday morning. The proposed rule will soon be published in the Federal Register, but the unofficial version of the rule is available now. My initial reaction is that this rule—while being… Continue Reading

Breaking: Earthjustice Sues EPA Alleging Failure by EPA to Promulgate Water Quality Criteria for Toxics for Washington State

Posted in Clean Water Act, Emerging Policy, Environmental Risk, Fish Consumption, Rule Making, Water Quality

With a hat tip to Josh Lipsky over at Cascadia Law for being on top of the latest in filings in the Western District of Washington on a Friday afternoon: Earthjustice and other environmental groups filed a complaint against EPA today alleging that EPA has violated Section 303(c)(4) of the Clean Water Act because EPA… Continue Reading

New Changes to the Model Toxics Control Act: Addition of Model Remedies, new Brownfields Options, and new Funding Sources

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Rule Making, Uncategorized

Right at the end of the last legislative session, the State Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5296, amending Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act, RCW Chapter 70.105D. These amendments are the first significant amendments to MTCA in a while, and hopefully will encourage redevelopment of brownfields in Washington State. Here are what I’d consider the four… Continue Reading

Fish Consumption Issuing Major Sticking Point in Washington Budget Negotiations

Posted in Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Emerging Policy, Fish Consumption, Public Health Policy, Rule Making, Water Quality

Erik Smith over at the Washington State Wire just published a great piece on how the fish consumption issue is hanging up budget negotiations in Olympia. This piece, along with Robert McClure’s piece of investigative journalism from a couple months back frame nicely the political component of the fish consumption issue. The current sticking point… Continue Reading

Washington Begins the Process of Updating its Water Quality Criteria for Toxics

Posted in Clean Water Act, Emerging Policy, Fish Consumption, Public Health Policy, Rule Making, Uncategorized, Water Quality

I’ve written a fair amount on the issue of fish consumption in Washington, including discussions of the technical issues, speculation about possible impacts of this effort, and the appropriateness of addressing persistent bioaccumulative contaminants within this regulatory framework. On September 13th, Ecology announced it is commencing the long-anticipated formal process of updating its water quality… Continue Reading

Washington’s Draft Fish Consumption Guidance V. 2.0: What’s Changed Since October 2011?

Posted in Clean Water Act, Cleanup & Superfund, Public Health Policy, Rule Making, Water Quality

Ecology released its second draft of its fish consumption rate technical document last week. This updates the first version of the document released last October, which resulted in over 300 public comments from various interested parties. I’ve blogged on various issues related to fish consumption over the past few years, including some general background available… Continue Reading

Washington’s fish consumption policy efforts take a new turn

Posted in Emerging Policy, Environmental Risk, Fish Consumption, Public Health Policy, Rule Making, Water Quality

Ted Sturdevant, head of Washington’s Department of Ecology, just circulated this letter that backs off from the current path Ecology was on with respect to revising water quality standards and cleanup standards by revising fish consumption rates. I’ve written about this issue a few times: background is here, and some of the implications of the… Continue Reading

Environmental Risk Assessment, Fear of Cancer, and the Quincy Data Center Fight

Posted in Emerging Policy, Environmental Risk, Rule Making

Craig Welch at the Seattle Times authored a good article on the ongoing Quincy Data Center air permit appeal in today’s paper. His article gives a good summary of the background and the issues, which involve Clean Air Act permits issued by Ecology for massive data centers sited in Quincy, Washington. Those data centers rely… Continue Reading

Update on Ecology Rulemaking Suspension

Posted in Cleanup & Superfund, Rule Making, Water Quality

My November 18th post had some early details on Governor Gregoire’s suspension of rulemaking for 2011. The Department of Ecology has evaluated its existing rulemaking activities and issued an updated list of rules that will continue in 2011 and rules that will be suspended until 2012. This list is more expansive than the original November… Continue Reading

Governor Gregoire Suspends Rulemaking Through December 2011

Posted in Rule Making

Governor Gregoire, responding to calls to decrease Washington’s regulatory burden on businesses, signed Executive Order 10-06, and in so doing, suspended new rule making by Washington agencies through 2011. The order suspends “non-critical” rulemaking, and directed the Office of Financial Management to publish guidelines for when an agency can proceed with the rule. What does… Continue Reading