Eight State Coalition Backs Broad Protection of Waters Under the U.S. Federal Clean Water Act

On 16 September 2014, New York Attorney General Schneiderman, along with the attorneys general for Connecticut, Deleware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Rhode Island and Washington State, submitted comments in support of the proposed rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) redefining the scope of the “waters of the United States” protected under the Clean Water Act.

The proposed rule would establish clear categories of waterbodies that fall within the protection of the Act by defining “waters of the United States” to include tributaries and adjacent waters, such as wetlands, along with traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, and the territorial seas. The proposed definition would clarify which waters fall under the protection of the Act after several court cases have caused confusion among the states.

The attorneys general provide three reasons for supporting the proposed rule:

  1. The proposed rule is grounded in peer-reviewed scientific studies that confirm fundamental hydrologic principles
  2. The proposed rule advances the statute’s protection of state waters downstream of other states by securing a “floor” for water pollution control
  3. The proposed rule would promote predictability and consistency in the application of the law

If the EPA’s proposed rule clarifying the scope of “waters of the United States” is adopted, companies may see increased regulation of their wastewater discharges as more water bodies fall under the protection of the Clean Water Act.

 

– Jill Bernstein, EHS Regulatory Consultant at Enhesa

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We have incredible content this month, thanks to our brilliant consultants and partners! Stay up-to-date on the most relevant EHS regulatory topics and trends this fall – print out the Flash, read it on your mobile, or flip through the pages on your desktop. Enjoy.

Check out the topics:

  • The journey to a risk elimination culture
  • Deadline to train workers on OSHA’s revised HCS adopting GHS
  • Federal/State air regulatory conflicts in the US
  • Enhesa Audit Protocols are better than ever…
  • “Saving” the third EU ETS supposed to start after German elections
  • Intelex and Enhesa announce strategic partnership to streamline EHS management

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Chemical Corner

Chemical Corner Pic

So, you’re well aware of all REACH and CLP regulations and you’ve gone to great lengths to ensure your operations and products are compliant with EU regulation. That’s great news.

But in the case of Europe, that’s not where the regulations end. Beyond these requirements, you often have to comply with additional, country-specific rules to import, manufacture or sell products in the EU, which is a much larger headache than you may have imagined.

Many Member States of the European Union have their own systems to control the risks, especially in the case of chemical products. For example, Nordic countries traditionally have so-called Product Registers. Some of these countries also require companies to go through specific control procedures as soon as their products contain alcohol or related substances. Other countries require chemical importers and manufacturers to notify an anti-poison center, with the purpose of collecting information on the risks associated with the products in order to properly and quickly advise on actions to take when an accident occurs.

Each country has a different procedure or set of procedures, whether in the form of a notification, a declaration, a registration, an approval, a licence, or other means. They all require different issues to be handled in various shapes and formats. In addition, the language changes from one country to another, as well as the scope of the requirement. In a simple example, placing a new brand of soap on the market will require a notification in a given country, but perhaps not elsewhere.

Knowing, understanding and complying with diverse rules in a given region is a serious challenge for the marketing department of companies operating on a European, and eventually, a broader level. Failing to complete the local formalities can prevent a business from selling its products and may result in several penalties.

What’s an easy solution to the product regulatory fears you face? Enhesa’s expertise is a great place to go. In a recent project, Enhesa helped a consumer product company carry out a thorough procedure of their product after receiving harsh product notification penalties according to national law. Thanks to Enhesa’s rapid Helpline support, the company could avoid paying the fines and quickly resume its sales in the country.

Now is a good time for you to double-check that you’re in compliance on all levels in the European region. If you start to question what applies to your products in the countries they are distributed (and would like to find out before an enforcement authority), contact us today.  Enhesa provides an array of product solutions, such as Product Fact Sheets, Product Compliance Assessment tools, and Product Regulatory Monitoring on the latest regulatory and policy changes. All allow you to optimize your products and market strategies without looming uncertainties between regional and national requirements.

– Paul Olagnier, Helpline Program Manager