2023 Look Ahead
Posted: January 11th, 2023Authors: Colin M. Rich H. Dan D. Christopher W. Bill S. Connie P. Karen T. Heather B. Philip C. Amy M. Steve R.
EHS&S Look Ahead // Colin McCall
Greetings from ALL4 in 2023. I’d like to start the year once again by thanking our employees, clients, and partners for the support and for enjoying the journey with us. We never take it for granted. Following on that sentiment, it seemed appropriate to introduce the 2023 Look Ahead with a toast to Environmental, Health, Safety & Sustainability (EHS&S) teams everywhere. Think about how the landscape has evolved and how versatile and vital EHS&S teams have become for their companies. We are responsible for:
- Running efficient, best in class ongoing compliance programs and identifying the latest approaches, digital tools, and technologies to gain efficiency each and every year.
- Making sure that institutional knowledge gets passed down between professionals in a way that keeps EHS&S programs efficient and intact.
- Strategically planning for permitting amidst a complex and shifting regulatory landscape to make sure that when capital dollars are available for growth, that they are spent in a timely fashion.
- Telling the story of our companies and of our EHS&S successes to a growing and diverse number of stakeholders, including internal leadership, regulators, investors, the general public, and neighbors in support of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) and Environmental Justice (EJ) programs.
- Managing and advising on the increasingly important shift of our EHS&S data from “compliance-grade” to “investment-grade” and serving as the link between EHS&S concerns and overall financial/management concerns.
Cheers to you! You will find that the Look Ahead topics this year each address one or a combination of the overarching EHS&S roles and responsibilities listed above. We have a lot of fun growing with our clients and working with them in all of these lanes, and we see 2023 being a continuation of that. I’m very proud of our team and the insights that they bring, and I hope that you will enjoy reading these updates from them. All of us at ALL4 are looking forward to another great year with our clients and readers!
Environmental Justice: Looking Ahead to 2023 // Rich Hamel
We saw a lot of activity around EJ in 2022, so what will 2023 bring? We fully expect EJ to have even more of a direct impact on permitting activity using existing rules, more enforcement, and the continued development of the various EJ tools that are already available. Additionally, the long-awaited cumulative impacts framework, the federal administration’s first guidance document on how to jointly assess both the environmental and socio-economic stresses on a community, is expected to finally be released. How can you prepare? Engage the local community before permitting a new project, understand the local community’s concerns and how they might be addressed, and know the regulatory and policy environment in your state.
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PM2.5 and Ozone NAAQS Updates and the Expanded Good Neighbor Policy – What to Expect in 2023 // Dan Dix
2023 will be an active year on the NAAQS front. With respect to ozone, we will see the effects of several area reclassifications to more severe nonattainment status, the final ozone transport FIP (which may include new NOX limits for industrial sources), and a proposed rule that lays out U.S. EPA’s reconsideration of the 2020 decision to retain the current ozone NAAQS. With respect to PM2.5, U.S. EPA has signed a rule that proposes to lower the annual standard from the current 12 ug/m3 to a level between 9 and 10 ug/m3. While a lower standard will result in additional nonattainment areas, it will also have implications for sources in areas where the standard is not much higher than the background and modeling is required for projects or permit renewals. Things to consider if your facility has PM2.5 emissions: review your emissions inventory, consider emissions measurements to refine your inventory, perform air dispersion modeling and refine as necessary, consider stack changes to reduce modeled impacts, consider equipment or process changes to reduce emissions, consider monitoring.
2023 Health and Safety Look Ahead // Heather Brinkerhoff
The current head of OSHA has been very clear about priorities and the Biden administration is committed to enhanced enforcement. Things to consider in 2023 include OSHA’s interpretation of which facilities will be included in the Severe Violator Enforcement Program and implications of that program, developing or improving your heat stress policy, and how a digital solution might improve your safety program.
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2023 Climate – Regulatory Look Ahead // Chris Ward
Addressing climate change is one of the top priorities of the Biden administration. As such, we expect quite a bit of regulatory activity in 2023, including changes to the GHG reporting rule, changes to rules that affect the power and oil and gas industries, changes to refrigerant rules, and additional requirements for certain companies to report climate risk and Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. If your company does not currently quantify Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, consider developing an inventory.
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2023 PFAS Air Emissions Look Ahead // Steve Rathfon
Do you know if you have air emissions of PFAS? The methodology can be tricky, but ALL4 can assist you with evaluating your sources, developing a test plan, and reporting any releases.
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2023 ESG Look Ahead // Connie Prostko-Bell & Bill Straub
Quantifying ESG risks and opportunities is valuable from both the buy side and the sell side. Developing an ESG strategy means identifying metrics and tracking and reporting progress. It can open up access to capital and incentives and is fundamental to determining business value. If you need assistance as you travel on your ESG journey, ALL4 can help.
2023 Water Look Ahead // Karen Thompson
We expect 2023 to bring quite a bit of policy and regulatory activity on the water front. U.S. EPA recently signed a final rule establishing (again) the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS), there is continued activity around water quality criteria, agencies are gathering information around emerging contaminants as part of permitting, and many states are revising general stormwater permits. As you are planning 2023 activities, reach out for assistance evaluating impacts of new regulations or policies; developing procedures and plans; or with management of change.
2023 MACT Look Ahead // Philip Crawford & Amy Marshall
U.S. EPA has a long list of MACT rules that they are reviewing, either in response to court decisions or requests for reconsideration or as part of their requirement to periodically review the rules. 2023 will be a year of quite a bit of activity on the MACT front in various sectors and we will see several proposed and final rules. Given the amount of work U.S. EPA has to do and the deadlines they have to meet, comment periods on proposals are likely to be short, so it will be important to focus on the items with the largest impact. ALL4 can help you develop technical comments on proposals, determine the impacts of revised rules on your facility, and strategize around compliance approaches. Read the full article for details.
Air Quality Monitoring Lookahead // Dustin Snare
Agency and public interest in ambient monitoring and the transparency/availability of monitoring data continues to grow. Will your facility be impacted by community-led monitoring, additional agency monitoring, or new regulatory requirements for fenceline monitoring in 2023? We can help you strategize, plan, and evaluate information from monitoring stations.
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2023 Look Ahead: Battery Technology and Regulatory Changes // Karen Thompson
Carbon reduction goals that involve electrification and battery storage are causing new developments in both technology and regulation. New requirements will affect industry from production to disposal and reuse. More specifically, as battery components change and larger batteries are being produced, look for updated rules and regulations from agencies such as the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and State Fire Marshall Offices. There are also a lot of opportunities for funding around battery storage and there are many new battery facilities being announced. ALL4 can help you with permitting, storage requirements, hazardous material planning, or evaluation of your current practices.
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PFAS in 2023 // Kayla Turney
PFAS will continue to be a high priority for regulators and the regulated community in 2023. U.S. EPA will continue to implement items from its PFAS strategic roadmap and it will become more important to know whether you have any PFAS in your process or in materials being brought onsite. Agencies are also asking facilities to gather more information around whether they have PFAS in their air and water discharges and U.S. EPA has rolled out a new PFAS Analytic Tool to make it easier for the public to access collected PFAS data and identify local sources of PFAS. ALL4 can help you keep on top of PFAS activity and determine impacts on your facility and whether you need to gather additional information.
New Source Review (NSR) – What to Expect in 2023 // Roy Rakiewicz
NSR is already a complicated program and U.S. EPA is undertaking regulatory and policy changes for both major and minor sources. ALL4 can help you navigate changing policies and regulations and the differences in NSR permitting across states. If you are contemplating a project that could be affected by any of the changes discussed in our article, we can help you develop a permitting strategy and timeline and work with you to successfully get your project permitted. We can also help you develop technical comments when federal or state regulatory changes are proposed.