Archives: Emerging Legislation and Regulation

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Chemical Safety Board announces plans to add board members and investigators

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (“CSB”), the federal agency created under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and charged with investigating industrial chemical releases, has announced that it will draw up a new board following a recommendation to do so by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”). The CSB … Continue Reading

Advanced Clean Trucks Rule — California announces extension of large entity reporting deadline

As we reported last year, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) adopted the Advanced Clean Trucks regulation to support its efforts to reduce air pollutants and meet state climate change targets.  The regulation has a one-time reporting requirement for large entities that operate or dispatch vehicles in California with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating … Continue Reading

European Commission’s “Sustainable Products Initiative” now open for public consultation

Last week the EU Commission announced that the ‘public consultation’ phase of its Sustainable Products Initiative is now open. This begins the next step in the process, following the conclusion of the ‘feedback period’, which closed in November 2020. More detail on what the Commission aims to achieve through this initiative is available in our … Continue Reading

California proposes revisions for marijuana smoke and THC Proposition 65 warnings

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) seeks to amend the regulations under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (aka “Proposition 65”) to add specific tailored “safe harbor exposure warning methods and content” for retail products that can expose consumers to cannabis (marijuana) smoke or delta-9-THC via inhalation, ingestion, … Continue Reading

SCOTUS rules the federal government does not need to disclose draft documents under FOIA

Federal agencies aren’t required to hand over draft documents related to the harm an EPA rule would pose to endangered plants and animals, the Supreme Court ruled in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serv. v. Sierra Club , U.S., No. 19-547. In a 7-2 decision, and the first majority ruling led by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the … Continue Reading

California to increase fuel sample analysis during ocean-going vessel inspections

Beginning in May 2021, California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) enforcement staff will begin additional analysis of fuel samples taken during ocean-going vessel inspections. CARB is seeking to improve compliance due to changing international regulatory sulfur limits, which has created situations where a vessel’s fuel may meet international and California regulatory sulfur limits, but not meet … Continue Reading

EPA indicates intention to regulate certain PFAS in drinking water

The EPA is moving towards establishing a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS, and has stated that it is considering avenues for regulating additional groups of PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as well.  On February 22, 2021, the EPA announced two actions under SDWA to address PFAS. First, the agency reissued … Continue Reading

Cal/OSHA moves forward with development of permanent COVID-19 standard while legislature considers bill to increase enforcement

California continues to move forward with new proposals for regulation and enforcement of workplace hazards associated with COVID-19.  As the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) continues to develop a draft permanent standard to address COVID-19 hazards in cooperation with an advisory committee of various stakeholder groups, state legislators have proposed a senate bill … Continue Reading

Upcoming public hearing announced regarding California modifications to use of “Short-Form” Proposition 65 warnings

As we reported, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) seeks to significantly amend the regulations under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (aka “Proposition 65”) to revise the method of transmission and content of State-approved “safe harbor” short-form warnings for consumer products. If passed as proposed, manufacturers, distributors … Continue Reading

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Update: Towards new European laws and guidance on Sustainable Corporate Governance

In our “What to expect in 2021” blog, one cross-sectoral EU initiative we flagged was forthcoming Commission proposals for far-reaching new EU-wide Sustainable Corporate Governance requirements. Here are some more details of what that might entail. Background Recent studies have suggested that companies performing well on ESG factors outperform their peers and that those with … Continue Reading

EU Green Deal: European Commission proposes changes to the EU Industrial Emissions Directive and a Zero Pollution Action Plan

In accordance with its initiatives under the European Green Deal, the Commission is currently seeking public feedback on both its proposed update to the EU Industrial Emissions Directive (‘IED’) and for the proposed implementation of the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan. Introduced in 2019, the European Green Deal sets out the Commission’s ambitious strategy to … Continue Reading

The fall of Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule and the strengthened EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gases

On January 19, 2021, in a 2-1 decision, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated the Trump administration’s 2019 Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule and remanded it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The decision offers a strong statement about EPA’s breadth of authority to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and, … Continue Reading

The EU Commission’s proposed new batteries laws “at a glance”

The European Commission is proposing a radical and wide-ranging overhaul of the roughly 15 years’ old existing batteries and waste batteries laws in the Union. For those who have not yet found the time to read the nearly 127-page draft regulation and annexures put out for public consultation in December 2020, here is a summary … Continue Reading

New EU legislation on reducing methane emissions in the energy sector is set for 2021

The European Commission is moving forward with its legislative agenda to reduce methane emissions in the energy industry, specifically the oil, gas and coal sectors. Following the Commission’s October 2020 Communication (COM 2020/663 final) on an EU strategy to reduce methane emissions as part of the EU Green Deal programme, the Commission has set out … Continue Reading

EU EHS and Product Compliance laws: what to look out for in 2021

2021 is shaping up to be a very busy year for those who are affected by EU laws relating to Environment, Health & Safety, ESG and product compliance matters. Important developments are expected this year across a number of the EU’s flagship Green Deal policy initiatives, but there are many other significant initiatives to watch … Continue Reading

California seeks to significantly restrict optional use of Proposition 65 “short-form” warnings on consumer products

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has proposed to significantly amend the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65, to revise the method of transmission and content of State-approved “safe harbor” short-form warnings for consumer products. OEHHA believes implementation of the warning regulations has revealed … Continue Reading

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revamps Clean Water Act Nationwide Permit 12

On January 5, 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) released the final version of a rule revamping certain nationwide permits (NWPs) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA authorizes the Corps to issue general permits authorizing categories of activities that have minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. These permits remain … Continue Reading

ICYMI: Horizon Scanning: 2021 Environmental, health & safety law in the United States

Reed Smith’s U.S. based environmental team recently held a CLE webinar on what US environmental, health and safety legal and regulatory changes we can expect in 2021.  The webinar provided an insightful discussion on environmental policy and topics including: Environmental Policy With Biden Win: Anticipating new federal regulation and enforcement actions United States Supreme Court: … Continue Reading

Signs point to Federal OSHA issuing rule under new administration as states continue to modify COVID-19 rules and guidance

As the transition in presidential administration draws closer and COVID-19 cases continue to increase in certain parts of the country, it appears increasingly likely that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) will undertake a rulemaking relating to COVID-19.  Additionally, state plan OSHA agencies continue to revise and issue guidance relating to their own rules, … Continue Reading

The Blue Guide proposed revisions: what to expect

The European Commission’s “’Blue Guide’ on the Implementation of EU products rules” (the Blue Guide) was last issued in 2016, and is now becoming out of date on a number of topics. In late 2019 the Commission announced its intention to prepare an updated version of the Blue Guide which, among other things, is intended … Continue Reading

California rapidly approves sweeping Cal/OSHA emergency COVID-19 regulation

Just one week after the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) made its proposed COVID-19 Emergency Regulation (“COVID-19 Rule”) available, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“OSHSB”) responsible for approving such regulations unanimously passed it without revisions.  Cal/OSHA is the fourth state OSHA plan to promulgate a rule to address COVID-19, following … Continue Reading

Chemical regulation in the new administration: PFAS top of list?

Organizations closely scrutinizing PFAS, like the Environmental Working Group, are touting loudly that the Biden administration will address PFAS and speculating on how the Biden Administration might approach the chemicals by setting enforceable drinking water limits, designating the substances as hazardous and finding PFAS substitutes for consumer items. Under President Trump, EPA touted its PFAS … Continue Reading

Reading Tea Leaves: Biden Transition Team

President Elect Joe Biden announced his agency review teams. Agency review teams are responsible for understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smooth transfer of power. The Biden team states, “[t]he teams have been crafted to ensure they not only reflect the values and priorities of the incoming administration, but reflect the diversity of … Continue Reading

Swinging the Pendulum: Significant Shifts in Environmental and Safety Regulation under a Biden Administration

On November 7, 2020, Joe Biden became the projected President-elect of the United States. With an aggressive climate change plan that includes rejoining the Paris Agreement on the first day of his term, President-elect Biden and his administration will likely make significant changes to environmental, health, and safety rules and policies that will rollback Trump … Continue Reading
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