The EPA’s recently released “Cumulative Impacts Addendum to EPA Legal Tools to Advance Environmental Justice (EJ Legal Tools)” provides further detail and analysis on the EPA’s legal authority to address cumulative impacts through a range of actions, including permitting, regulations, and grants.

These impacts are important factors to consider because they refer to the “total burden – positive, neutral, or negative – from chemical and non-chemical stressors and their interactions that affect the health, well-being, and quality of life of an individual, community, or population.”

This move at the federal level would align with what we are seeing in some states, such as New York, where cumulative impacts are weighed when evaluating permit applications (e.g., Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) ) in environmental justice areas.

Brown and Caldwell’s compliance and permitting team is watching these evolving regulations. We are prepared to approach our client projects holistically, supporting project strategy, mitigation measures, and navigating this aspect of the permitting landscape.

Updated legal guidance for addressing cumulative impacts

EPA’s addendum addresses cumulative impacts in specific scenarios and provides examples for the application of several environmental statutes as listed above.

EPA, Office of Inspector General

EPA Office of Inspector General’s (OIG’s) Fiscal Year 2023 Oversight Plan details how audits and evaluations will address top management challenges such as environmental justice, climate change, and enforcing compliance.

In other environmental updates, we highlight the following in our Compliance News:

Addressing EPA’s new PFAS drinking water MCLs

On March 14, the U.S. EPA released its proposed drinking water Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for select per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Read our latest blog for insight from BC’s PFAS experts on what you need to know now. Read it here.

BC Insider launch targets Colorado River planning

“BC Insider: The nexus of knowledge and action” is a new blog from our technical leaders bringing you timely insight into innovative solutions, leading-edge research, and the key environmental issues facing our communities and industry today. In our debut, our experts focus on Colorado River planning. Read it here.

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