Environmental Regulatory Update – April 2019

Posted on April 12, 2019

Download the full report for April 5, 2019 (pdf)

Recent Developments (April 5, 2019)

DEC Proposes Changes to Solvent Cleaning Standards

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has proposed to expand and revise its existing regulations governing solvent metal cleaning to cover solvent cleaning generally and make other changes.  The existing regulation—set forth at 6 NYCRR Part 226—will be divided into two subparts. Subpart 226-1, Solvent Cleaning Processes, largely mirrors the existing regulation, which covers certain large cold cleaning degreasers, open-top vapor degreasers and conveyorized degreasers. Among other things, the rule will be revised to apply to cleaning of non-metal as well as metal parts and change the volatile organic compound (VOC) content standards currently applicable to cold cleaning degreasing. New Subpart 226-2, Industrial Cleaning Solvents, will apply to any facility with actual emissions of three tons or more of VOCs from industrial cleaning solvents on a twelve-month rolling total basis, subject to a wide range of exceptions for activities covered by other standards. The regulation imposes work practices on regulated entities and requires compliance with VOC content or emission control standards. The proposed rule can be found on DEC’s website at: www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/116332.html.

EPA Proposes Chemicals for Risk Evaluation under TSCA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comment on its first list of chemicals proposed to be designated as candidates for risk assessment under the 2016 revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which requires EPA to systematically prioritize and assess existing chemicals. After adopting regulations establishing a basic process and schedule for conducting the review and issuing detailed guidance, EPA has identified the first 40 chemical substances as candidates for designation as high or low priority substances for risk evaluation. For each of the 20 high priority substances, the notice identifies the substance, its hazard, exposure, and persistence and bioaccumulation scores in the 2014 TSCA Work Plan, and sources of data concerning the chemical. The list includes phthalate esters, chlorinated solvents, halogenated flame retardants and other chemicals, including formaldehyde. The 20 low priority candidate chemicals were selected from EPA and international safe chemical lists, and include chemicals that have been evaluated and determined to meet EPA’s safer choice criteria. The notice can be found in the March 21, 2019 Federal Register at www.govinfo.gov.

Other Recent Developments


  • AIR: EPA retained the existing primary (health-based) national ambient air quality standard for sulfur dioxide of 75 ppb after finding that it provides the requisite protection for public health with an adequate margin of safety.
  • AIR: EPA completed its residual risk/periodic technology review of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for surface coating of large appliances, printing, coating and dyeing of fabrics and other textiles, surface coating of metal furniture, wet-formed fiberglass mat production facilities, and surface coating of wood building products, concluding that the risks remaining after application of the existing technology-based standards were acceptable and that no changes were necessary to address technological improvements.
  • AIR: EPA proposed changes to allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) to take advantage of the waiver for volatility that currently applies to E10 gasoline during the summer months.
    • CHEMICAL: EPA published a final rule under TSCA banning the manufacture (including import), processing and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal while publishing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comment on possible training, certification, and limited access requirements for methylene chloride when used for commercial paint and coating removal.
    • HAZARDOUS WASTE: EPA is proposing to update the test methods for determining if liquid waste is ignitable under the hazardous waste regulations to address improvements in waste testing procedures (including the phaseout of mercury thermometers), incorporate certain key guidance, and make other changes to update the rules for characterizing ignitable waste.
    • WATER: EPA published a notice describing the requirements for certain community water systems to complete plans required under the 2018 America’s Water Infrastructure Act, which requires community water systems serving more than 3,300 persons to develop or update risk and resilience assessments and emergency response plans.
    • OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is requesting information and comment on issues relating to the standards for powered industrial trucks (including forklifts) for general, maritime and construction industries.

New York State

  • AIR: DEC is accepting comment on proposed regulations incorporating new federal guidelines for existing municipal solid waste landfills into the State’s existing regulations to implement changes to the federal guidelines adopted to address methane and other greenhouse gas emissions.