Archives: Emerging Legislation and Regulation

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Waiting for OSHA: pending vaccine ETS and increased enforcement

Since President Joe Biden issued his “Path Out of the Pandemic” memorandum and Executive Order 14042 on September 9, 2021, employers have had to navigate piecemeal instructions on vaccine mandates.  For example, federal contractors and subcontractors received vaccine mandate guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force on September 24, 2021.  However, employers should not … Continue Reading

COP26 – The benchmarks for its success or failure

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was established at the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992. More than 200 countries are “party” to the UNFCCC, and these countries meet every year (with the exception of 2020, due to COVID-19) at the Conference of the Parties (COP). The meeting of the UNFCCC in … Continue Reading

UK plans carbon border adjustment mechanism

Last month, the Environmental Audit Committee (‘EAC’) launched an inquiry into a potential future carbon border adjustment mechanism (‘CBAM’) for the UK. The objective of introducing a CBAM would primarily be to address the risk of carbon leakage in the UK industrial sectors caught by the nascent UK Emissions Trading Scheme (‘UK ETS’), i.e. switching … Continue Reading

EU proposal to amend the Radio Equipment Directive to require single mobile chargers

On 23 September, the European Commission took a step towards consumers’ convenience and minimising the environmental footprint associated with the production and disposal of chargers. A proposal to amend the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/54/EU (RED) aims to make a single charger for mobile devices mandatory. Although the number of mobile phone chargers had previously been … Continue Reading

Recent C-Suite analysis regarding ESG indicated genuine commitment overall, but “least” focus on environmental issues

A report published September 1, 2021  by analytics provider Intelligize (“Report”) revealed that companies were “all over the map” when it came to current disclosure practices on Environmental Social and Governance (“ESG”) issues and that their executives and other professionals showed a “troubling” lack of knowledge about ESG issues. The survey responses came from hundreds … Continue Reading

European Commission publishes new initiatives concerning sustainable transportation

Last month, the European Commission published two new proposals for EU regulations to encourage the use of sustainable fuels in aviation and shipping – namely the ReFuelEU Aviation and FuelEU Maritime initiatives, respectively. Both proposals are subject to public feedback until 5 October.… Continue Reading

IPCC releases a portion of updated Climate Report

The first installment of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), which will be completed in 2022, was released on August 9, 2021.  As it has in the run up to previous important Conferences of the Parties (COPs) under the UNFCCC, the IPCC released an updated report in the middle … Continue Reading

Signs of the times: Environmental related ESG offerings

A number of signs point to the fact that public companies should expect increased scrutiny on whether their environmental-related ESG offerings, practices and controls are consistent with their disclosures, claims and marketing material. SIGN #1: The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) announced that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal will become the next … Continue Reading

EU Commission proposes to adapt product laws for the modern world

In recent weeks the EU Commission has provided detailed updates on its plans to amend two significant pieces of product law: the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD), and the Civil Liability Rules. A key motivation behind these updates is the EU’s desire to ensure that the law keeps pace with the rapid development of technology, … Continue Reading

EU adoption of new Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work: emphasis on change, prevention and preparedness

The European Commission has recently adopted its new, “EU Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021-2027” (COM/2021/323, available here), bringing new health and safety priorities and actions for a fast changing post-pandemic workplace. The post-pandemic working landscape has significantly changed, fuelled recently by green and digital evolution and influenced by economic and demographic … Continue Reading

Electrifying transportation network companies in CA: Updates to SB 1014’s Clean Miles Standard + Incentive Program

As we reported, the California Legislature passed SB 1014 – the Clean Miles Standard and Incentive Program (the “Clean Miles Program”) – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from “rideshare” vehicles. This led to the creation of the Clean Miles Standard regulation, which the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) fully adopted in May 2021 after receiving stakeholder … Continue Reading

ESG Watch: Carbon Tax vs. Clean Energy Standard

Many public companies are keeping a close watch on potential GHG regulations because the shape of these regulations can significantly affect their regulatory and reporting obligations and thus affect their ESG obligations. There is a significant difference between two recent proposals on that front. CARBON TAX: The concept of a carbon tax is simple: fossil … Continue Reading

Environmental, Social and Governance Legislation in the Biden Era: The Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2021 PART II: Oil and Gas Sector

In a previous post, we reported on the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2021 (the “Act’) being placed on list of all bills reported from committee and eligible for House floor action,  some sweeping changes required by that Act, and the Act’s uncertain future in the Senate. This Part II focuses on the effect of … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board oks regulations targeting power sector greenhouse gas emissions

On July 13, 2021, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board approved a rulemaking  to establish a program to limit the CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units (EGU) located in the Commonwealth. The stated purpose of the final-form rulemaking is “to reduce anthropogenic emissions of CO2, a greenhouse gas (GHG) and major contributor to climate … Continue Reading

Biden’s Transportation Plan

Using his Presidential platform, Joe Biden announced his Build Back Better Plan, “a national effort aimed at creating the jobs we need to build a modern, sustainable infrastructure now and deliver an equitable clean energy future.” As part of this plan, Biden intends to make a $2 trillion accelerated investment to set the United States … Continue Reading

Environmental, Social and Governance Legislation in the Biden Era: The Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2021

An example of a new trend towards recognizing “Environmental, Social and Governance” (“ESG”) impacts from business operations is the recently introduced Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2021 (“the Act”).  As currently drafted, the Act would require significant new public disclosures from publicly traded companies regarding financial risks to their operations and profitability from climate change … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Update: Supreme Court reaches decisions on HollyFrontier and PennEast Pipeline cases

On Friday, June 25, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a Tenth Circuit Court decision that had vacated an Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) exemption relieving small refineries from the fuel blending requirements of the Renewable Fuel Program (“RFP”), codified by 42 U.S.C. § 7545(o). The decision represents a huge victory for small refineries. In an … Continue Reading

Revised Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Standard Approved by Board and Fast-Tracked by Governor Newsom

On Friday June 11, 2021, the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) published new proposed text for re-adoption of the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  After previously voting against adopting Cal/OSHA’s initial revised ETS during a highly contentious public meeting earlier this month, during which critics vehemently objected to the rule’s continuation of … Continue Reading

Cal Safety Standards Board approves second COVID-19 ETS

Late last week, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“Standards Board”) reconvened in a public meeting to consider the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).  The new proposed ETS was developed to replace the existing ETS that has been in place since December 1, … Continue Reading

Consultation on the European Commission’s planned new regulations on mobile phones and tablets now open

On 31 May 2021 the EU Commission opened up the public consultation period for its dual proposal for regulations on mobile phones and tablets. As we discussed in our earlier blog post “EU EHS and Product Compliance laws: what to look out for in 2021”, at the end of 2020 the Commission announced its intention … Continue Reading

Texas keeps the gas taps flowing, but will others do the same as energy infrastructure takes center stage?

The regular session of the Texas Legislature came to a fraught end on May 31, 2021. The political spectacle in recent days capped off a legislative session dramatically interrupted by a winter storm in February that crippled much of the state with snow, ice, and power outages. That natural disaster led to intense scrutiny of … Continue Reading

EU Commission avoids answering questions on the details of its plans to establish a “right to repair”

The EU Commission’s commitment to establish a “right to repair” as part of its Circular Economy Action Plan has led to much speculation about what exactly that might entail. While the Commission has not yet revealed many details of its plans, it has confirmed it is considering implementing a “repairability scoring system”, similar to the … Continue Reading
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