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Hazardous Substances Spill Mitigation Analysis


  • The EPA had to develop a plan for responding to worst case hazardous substance discharges in waterbodies.
  • Abt conducted an analysis of relevant state and federal regulations and captured the costs and benefits of the potential regulation.
  • The EPA proposed the rule in March 2022 to solicit comments from the public and Abt is analyzing those comments to inform the final regulations.
The Challenge

In 2019, the Natural Resource Defense Council and other organizations filed suit against the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), alleging violations of the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) statutes regarding discharge of hazardous substances. EPA and the plaintiffs entered into a consent decree that requires EPA to issue CWA Hazardous Substance Worst-Case Discharge Planning Regulations for non-transportation-related onshore facilities. EPA enlisted Abt to help inform the drafting of the regulations.

The Approach

Abt analyzed existing state and federal regulations that have provisions related to the mitigation of hazardous substance spills. Abt also conducted research and supported EPA’s development of a regulatory impact analysis characterizing the potential universe of facilities that would be impacted by a regulation, and the potential costs and benefits associated with requiring worst-case discharge planning for hazardous substances.

The Results

EPA proposed the rule in March 2022, and the public comment period closed in July 2022. Abt is currently processing and organizing the public comments using Abt’s CommentCounts tool.