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Policy & Enforcement Briefing: Drillers Win Exemption Case, Smog Rule on the Way

A rule revising the Land Disposal Restriction treatment standard for carbamate wastes went into effect on Aug. 12, 2011, the EPA said. Industries should use Best Demonstrated Available Technology as an alternative treatment standard for the carbamate wastes.

Federal judge Nancy Freudenthal on Friday said Interior Department and U.S. Forest Service policies scaling back “categorical exclusions” or exemptions for certain drilling activities did not follow procedure for proper public notice and comment, the Hill said. The Western Energy Alliance, representing oil and gas drillers, had argued the 2010 policy violated a 2005 energy law that sought to expedite drilling.

In response to an Earthjustice motion asking the court to require EPA to issue ozone standards immediately, the agency on Friday filed its own motion, saying that the standards would be issued soon but that the regulations are under review at the Office of Management and Budget, the Hill reported.

The EPA is inviting small businesses, governments and not-for-profit organizations to participate on an advocacy review panel focusing on the regulation of perchlorate in drinking water. Federal agencies must establish panels for rules that may have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Clean Harbors will pay the federal government a $650,000 fine, and spend up to $1 million to plant trees throughout Boston, to settle allegations that the company violated environmental regulations at a Braintree, Mass., hazardous waste-management facility, the Boston Business Journal reported.

The city of Newport, R.I. has agreed to a settlement to eliminate illegal discharges of sewage from its wastewater treatment plant and wastewater collection system, at an estimated cost of $25 million, plus a $170,000 penalty to be split between the federal and state governments, Environmental Protection reported.

Chevron Corp. has spent $75 million in cleanup costs for a pair of pipeline leaks in June, which sent thousands of gallons of oil into a creek and lake in Salt Lake City, FuelFix reports. An environmental health scientist at the Salt Lake Valley Department of Health said the oil company will continue to rack up costs as remediation continues.

The EPA reported that sampling data show there are “no levels of concern in the water and no elevated levels above instrument detection for volatile organic compounds” from the ExxonMobil Silvertip Pipeline spill on the Yellowstone River. The agency, which is overseeing cleanup, also said more than 1,000 personnel are working the cleanup and shoreline assessment efforts.

Shell U.K. Limited on Friday reported that it had reduced the oil that had been leaking from a platform flow line in the North Sea, The New York Times said. The spill occurred in the Gannet field, about 112 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland, and has been estimated at about 750 barrels, according to a Reuters report.

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