Donna Pryor and Leah Kaiser have written an article on Safety Law Matters outlining OSHA’s new guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The latest OSHA guidance standardizes a new name for employer policies: “COVID-19 Prevention Program.” In the guidance, OSHA states employers should implement COVID-19 Prevention Programs in the workplace.

The guidance extends to all industries, including oil, gas and mining.

For more information, read the article here.

Donna Pryor has written an article outlining President Biden’s new OSHA executive order that was published on Safety Law Matters, directing OSHA to issue revised guidance to employers on workplace safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Assistant Secretary of Labor for MSHA was also directed to consider whether any emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 applicable to mines are determined to be necessary.

Read the article here.

On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit vacated and remanded the Trump administration’s 2019 Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. The ACE rule was intended as a replacement for the Obama-era Clean Power Plan (CPP). ACE was viewed as a significant rollback, especially since the CPP was one of the first major initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Court’s decision will send the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back to the drawing board, opening the door for the Biden administration to pursue its own rule-making agenda.

Section 7411 of the CAA

The ACE rule repealed the CPP and severely limited the ways in which greenhouse gas emissions could be regulated based on a new interpretation of Section 7411 of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Under the ACE rule, EPA interpreted Section 7411 of the CAA as requiring the agency to consider only control methods that could be applied at and to a stationary source, such as heat rate improvement technologies, when determining the best system of emission reduction. This interpretation was directly at odds with the CPP, which utilized control methods that were not applied at or to a physical source such as generation shifting. Continue Reading DC Circuit Court vacates and remands the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule

Partner Megan Caldwell recently published “Trump Makes Last Minute Push to Boost Coal, But Biden Presidency’s Vow to Decarbonize Power Generation Causes Concern” in Coal Age, discussing recent and anticipated changes impacting the coal industry as the Trump administration ends and Biden kickstarts his ambitious clean energy agenda.

Read the article here.

Partner Megan Caldwell recently published “EPA Rollback of Rule Regulating Wastewater from Steam Electric Plants Allows Coal Companies Some Relief” in Rock Products Magazine, discussing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rollback of former President Barack Obama-era limits on wastewater effluent regulations governing the amount of toxic metals that coal-fired power plants can discharge in their wastewater.

In the latest edition of Rock Products, Daniel Fanning discussed the Trump administration’s second in a two-step act to un-muddy the waters with a new rule defining the scope and reach of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). This act reversed the course set by the Obama administration in 2015, a rule that lent itself to justifying the regulation of WOTUS areas far beyond the banks and boundaries of cognizable water bodies. Read Daniel’s analysis here.

Daniel Fanning recently published an article in Coal Age on the Trump Administration’s new rule defining the scope and reach of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). This act reversed the  Obama Administration’s course, one that justified the regulation of WOTUS areas beyond the banks and boundaries of cognizable water bodies. Read the article here.