In 2016, the USEPA issued a letter of intent to initiate rulemaking to implement Section 311(j)(1)(C) of the CWA. This Clean Water Act (CWA) provision authorizes USEPA to enact rules to protect the waters of the US from releases of hazardous substances, similar to existing rules regarding oil pollution prevention. The letter was issued in response to a lawsuit alleging the agency’s failure to implement Section 311(j)(1) of the CWA, which was settled through a consent agreement. The consent agreement requires USEPA to issue a hazardous substances spill response rule after collecting additional information.
The USEPA expects to issue an information collection rule (ICR) to support the hazardous substances spill rule development and submit it to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review in early 2017.