Environmental Law News

Category Archives: Waste

Subscribe to Waste RSS Feed

Tennessee Innocent Purchaser Defense Requires ASTM E-1527-13: No Choice

Posted in CERCLA, EPA, Tennessee, Waste
EPA has received much criticism for its decision published in its Final Rule, December 30, 2013 (78 Fed. Reg. 79319) to allow both ASTM E-1527-05 and E-1527-13 as meeting the all appropriate inquiries requirements necessary to claim one or more Brownfield Defenses.  These defenses are innocent landowner, bona fide prospective purchaser and contiguous property owner. EPA announced in its Final  Rule … Continue Reading

EPA Solid Waste Proposal Will Discourage Recycling

Posted in EPA, Waste
Our colleague and fellow environmental litigator, Clark Spoden, has written an interesting piece on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule on solid waste and the concerns raised by many in the regulated community about the rule’s likely effects on recycling. The article, “EPA Solid Waste Proposal Will Discourage Recycling,” includes insightful comments from various … Continue Reading

UST Division Recognized for Cost Savings and Compliance

Posted in Agency News, Tennessee, Waste
Some interesting information from today’s board meeting.  At today’s meeting of the Underground Storage Tank and Solid Waste Disposal Control Board, members of the Board complimented the Division of Underground Storage Tanks for its performance in saving money and for its compliance score.  Savings seem to be related to two distinct issues.  First, The Division entered into … Continue Reading

“First, Do No Harm” Should Extend to the Environment

Posted in Waste
A long-standing adage in the healthcare industry is “first, do no harm.” When it comes to protecting the environment, this industry must take this challenge to heart. As a group, the healthcare industry generates over two million tons of waste annually. This amount of waste, along with many other aspects associated with healthcare facility operation, … Continue Reading

What Do You Do With an Old Power Plant?

Posted in Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases, Energy, Sustainability Policy, Waste, Water
During the next few years over 600 coal-fired power generating units may shut down. The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) reports the announced retirement by the year 2020 of units with a total of over 24 gigawatts capacity. The units, with average age of 54 years, are located primarily in the mid-south and southeastern United … Continue Reading

Yum! Brands Moves Boldly Toward Sustainability

Posted in Agriculture and Food, Energy, Sustainability Policy, Waste, Water
Roger McClendon, Chief Sustainability Officer of Yum! brands, recently spoke at a meeting of  our firm’s Sustainability & Emerging Technologies group. McClendon,who reports directly to the company’s Chairman and CEO, described Yum!’s goal to “become The Defining Global Company that Feeds the World.” The company’s food business includes well-known brands KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell. … Continue Reading

AG Rejects Solid Waste Jackson Law Rules: Board to Re-Adopt

Posted in Waste
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) is being asked to re-adopt its recent rules regarding application of the Jackson Law. The Jackson Law allows counties that have adopted it the ability to veto a “new” landfill based upon eight criteria. Unfortunately the Jackson Law is vague in application and is bereft of procedural … Continue Reading

Revisions to Solid Waste Regulations Effective January 2013

Posted in Waste
A rulemaking filing of the Solid Waste Processing and Disposal Regulations was filed with the Secretary of State’s office on October 10, 2012.  The revision is scheduled to become effective on January 8, 2013.  The rulemaking amended the Waste Reduction and Planning and County Public Collection Receptacles language at 0400-11-01-.09 and 0400-11-01-.10, respectively. The notice … Continue Reading

Solar Energy Can Be Sustainable Part II: Environmental Impact

Posted in Energy, Solar Energy, Sustainability, Sustainability Policy, Waste, Water
The environmental impact of solar energy systems includes the energy (and resulting GHG emissions) needed to produce and install the systems, the impact of mining raw materials and producing the systems, the environmental disruption of the installations, and, finally, the wastes generated when they no longer function.  These factors must be considered, and the adverse imacts … Continue Reading

Kentucky Middle School Models Sustainability Strategies

Posted in Energy, Green Infrastructure, Waste, Water
The new Turkey Foot Middle School in Kenton County, Kentucky, is a sustainability dream come true.  The new school utilizes an entire catalog of energy, water, and resource-friendly strategies.  Geothermal wells provide heating and cooling.  The majority of the rooms use natural lighting either from strategically-placed windows or light-funneling tubes.  Much of the roof is … Continue Reading


Posted in Waste
In a letter dated November 17, 2010, Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (“TDEC”), submitted formal comments to EPA concerning federal regulation of coal combustion residuals (CCR). In its proposed rulemaking notice EPA stated that federal regulation is necessary and proposed two approaches: One regulation under Subtitle C (RCRA) and the other … Continue Reading

Coal Ash Hearing Scheduled In Knoxville

Posted in Waste
After intense criticism of EPA for not scheduling a public hearing in or near Roane County, the site of the largest coal ash spill that received international attention, EPA has decided to hold a hearing in Knoxville on October 27, 2010.  The purpose of the hearing is to accept public comments on the co-proposed rules to … Continue Reading

EPA Announces Public Hearings for Coal Ash Proposed Rules

Posted in Waste
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is hosting seven public hearings on the agency’s proposal to regulate the disposal and management of coal ash from coal-fired power plants. EPA’s proposal is the first-ever national effort to regulate the disposal and management of coal ash from coal-fired power plants. Each hearing will begin … Continue Reading


Posted in Waste
The May 4, 2010 prepublication version of EPA’s co-proposal on how it plans to regulate coal ash from utilities was published on June 21, 2010.  Click here to view the rules.  The public has until July 21 to request a public hearing.  The comment period closes on September … Continue Reading


Posted in Waste
Legislation effective May 11, 2010 extends liability to other persons not previously considered to be responsible parties, allows the Commissioner to order permanent closure of a UST site and allows the commissioner to apportion liability between liable parties for costs incurred by the department. In addition, the legislation, which became Public Chapter No. 903, clarifies that the underground … Continue Reading


Posted in Waste
EPA announced today it will initiate a rulemaking procedure that would be used to assist EPA in determining how to better regulate coal ash.  The proposal calls for public comment on two approaches:  Subtitle C of RCRA for hazardous waste or Subtitle D of RCRA as a solid non-hazardous waste primarily enforced by citizen suits.  Click the … Continue Reading

Administrator Jackson to Hold Press Conference Regarding Coal Ash

Posted in Waste
Today at 12:30 EST, Administrator Jackson will hold a press conference to make an announcement regarding coal ash.  Please stay tuned to find out the content of the press conference. For more information on the background of coal ash, please read this article, The Battle Over Regulation of Coal Combustible Products as Waste, by Bill Penny and myself. … Continue Reading

TDEC Issues New Petroleum Spill Policy

Posted in Waste
On April 28, 2010 at the 39th Annual Solid And Hazardous Waste Conference, the Division of Solid Waste Management presented its new policy with regard to environmental cleanup for transportation related spills. Click on the following link to access the policy:  http://www.tnenvironmentallaw.com/files/2010/04/Environmental-Cleanup-Transportation-Petroleum-Spills-Original-2010-04.pdf. The policy, prepared and presented by Rick Whitson of the Division of Solid Waste … Continue Reading

Coal Ash Advisory Board Issues Findings

Posted in Waste
TDEC’s Advisory Board released a report titled “Lessons Learned from the TVA Kingston Dredge Cell Containment Facility Failure: TDEC Advisory Board Recommendations for Safe Performance.” The report gives an overview of the different issues involved in the cleanup of the Kingston Facility as well as information concerning other TVA facilities. In addition to background information, … Continue Reading