About Jessica Sarnowski

As Intelex’s Global Compliance Content Lead, EHSQ Content Strategy, Jessica drives overall content strategy, with a particular focus on overseeing the delivery of high-quality compliance content within the EHSQ Alliance. Responsible for identifying and cultivating valuable compliance content for EHSQ professionals, Jessica fosters engagement in the EHSQ Alliance by working with experts in the field. Jessica has over 10 years of public and private sector experience in environmental policy and law. Jessica received her Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School and Master of Laws degree in Environmental Law from The George Washington University Law School. You can follow Jessica on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jessicasarnowski/

On Environment: WOTUS – 5 Simple Words with a Complex Definition

This post provides three main points to enhance the situational awareness of EHS managers and staff when thinking about the new proposed WOTUS rule.

Waters of the United States (WOTUS). These are the 5 words that have been at the center of a contentious legal battle since the 1980s. These words have been argued over in the United States Supreme Court, they’ve been interpreted broadly and narrowly, and they’ve been analyzed by legal minds around the country (and perhaps the world, too).

The regulatory history is a topic for a legal journal, not for this blog. Similarly, opinion about the interconnectedness of water resources is most appropriate for a debate among passionate friends and coworkers.

I’ll therefore limit this post to three main points that I think will enhance the situational awareness of EHS managers and staff when thinking about how this new proposed rule will affect their roles and, … Read more...

On Environment: 2018’s Most Impactful Environmental Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions

The close of every year elicits reflection on the months past and anticipation of new adventures ahead. As we conclude 2018, we reflect on the environmental regulatory and deregulatory actions that have taken place in the United States and we anticipate new challenges, new adventures, and new opportunities to evolve in the future.

I started thinking about the most impactful environmental regulatory and deregulatory actions from this past year. It was a tough year for environmentalists and regulated industry alike. Environmental groups were busy fighting regulatory rollbacks and regulated industry had to contend with unstable regulatory targets. With this in mind, here are my top three most impactful actions and why I chose them.

NUMBER 1

The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Proposed Rule (August 21, 2018)

The ACE Rule is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) replacement. After repealing the CPP, reasoning that EPA (under Obama) … Read more...

Peloton Thinking May Drive EHSQ Teams to the Finish Line of Compliance

The Tour de France and EHS management would, at first glance, seem to have little in common.

When I was first introduced to the concept of the “peloton,” a word that describes the clustered formation of cyclists in a road race, I was a bit surprised. This is a tactic used by cyclists to save energy and work as a team to win a race. But it raised a fundamental question in my mind: why would a competitor forego individual success in a race?

A peloton moves along as a bunched-up group with each rider continually making slight adjustments in response to the things that adjacent riders do, particularly the leader of the pack. Road racing is very much a team sport, so with the peloton, riders individually apply tactics to achieve success for the team. Team members might ride in a formation that shields their principal rider from … Read more...

Compliance Strategies – Like an Uncharted Race to a Finish Line

Even during relatively calm times, U.S. environmental policy is constantly evolving as new regulations are continually proposed, possibly held up in litigation, and eventually finalized, revised, or withdrawn.

These days, especially, a state of flux exists within environmental regulations as the current presidential administration charts a new course from that of previous leadership. Although this type of political shift is not novel, we are in a time where proposed changes appear more drastic and stakeholders are faced with moving regulatory targets and unsettled compliance obligations. For some, this is leading to ambiguity and, dare I say, a bit of angst.

We might be well served to pause, step back, and try to put things into perspective. I’d like to suggest that the shifting path of environmental regulations might be analogous to a marathon race that trails along an ever-changing route. It’s a long journey that requires preparation and determination to … Read more...