NASF Public Policy – February 2021

The National Association for Surface Finishing has released its Public Policy Update for February 2021. Some of the highlights in the update are summarized below. You can access the February 2021 Public Policy Update here.

President Issues Executive Orders — The Biden White House in the first few weeks has issued over three dozen executive orders, memorandums, proclamations, and other measures that focused on four priority issues: 1) Covid-19, 2) economic stimulus, 3) climate change policy, and 4) racial equity. These actions provide a blueprint for the Biden Administration’s expansive agenda over the next few years.

Regulatory Freeze Memorandum — The Biden Administration issued a “regulatory freeze” memorandum for all federal agencies to allow time for review any new or pending rules from the Trump administration.

NASF Webinar on COVID Workplace Practices — The webinar included a panel of NASF member companies who shared various measures they have taken to manage COVID in the workplace and mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

COVID-19 Relief Legislation — Congress passed $900 billion coronavirus relief legislation in December that extended relief through March 2021, providing support to help people and businesses get through the next several months of the pandemic. President Biden is advocating for a new 1.9 trillion-dollar stimulus package.

OSHA COVID Workplace Standards — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued an updated and strengthened its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. In addition, OSHA is considering a federal emergency temporary standard (ETS) on COVID-19 with a March 15, 2021 deadline.

EPA Releases Effluent Guidelines Program Plan — EPA released its Effluent Guideline Program Plan 14 under Clean Water Act section 304(m). Plan 14 provides an update on the PFAS Multi-Industry study and includes organic chemical manufacturers, airports, rug and textile manufactures, pulp and paper manufacturers, and the metal finishing point source category.

Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Superfund Listing of PFOS and PFOA — EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the potential listing of PFOS and PFOA as hazardous substances under CERCLA (or Superfund law). EPA requested public comment and data on whether it should use authority under CERCLA or RCRA to list PFOS and PFOA as hazardous substances.
EPA Drinking Water Standard for PFOS and PFOA — EPA took the next step to regulate PFOS and PFOA under the Safe Drinking Water Act by issuing final regulatory determinations. EPA will now initiate the process to develop a national primary drinking water regulation for PFOS and PFOA, which will include further analyses, scientific review, and opportunity for public comment.

Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges — EPA issued the final 2021 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) that authorizes stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity. The final MSGP allows for reduced monitoring burdens and increased flexibility in demonstrating compliance with the permit requirements for industrial stormwater discharges.

Federal Environmental Civil Penalties Increased for 2021 — U.S. EPA recently increased its maximum civil penalties for violations of air, water, chemical, and hazardous waste to keep pace with inflation.

Michigan EGLE Screening Levels for Air Emissions of 6:2 FTS — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), Air Quality Division issued an initial threshold screening level (ITSL) for air emissions of 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate (or 6:2 FTS). 6:2 FTS is used in the current formulations of fume suppressants for chrome plating applications. NASF submitted comments on the ITSL and met with state officials to discuss the industry’s concerns. In response to comments, EGLE concluded that the current screening level of 1 µg/m3 was determined to be appropriate and defensible.