Archives: Emerging Legislation and Regulation

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Sixth Circuit’s Interlocutory Order Reviewing PFAS Class Action Highlights Issues With Certifying Class

The Sixth Circuit issued an order on September 9, 2022 granting review of a class certification from March 7, 2022 that certified a class of roughly 11.8 million Ohio residents claiming injuries from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Background Filed in 2018 in the Southern District Court of Ohio, the lawsuit alleged the named … Continue Reading

Environmental aspects of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

Introduction President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the Act) into law on August 16, 2022.  The Act represents an expansive investment in the energy industry, with many provisions targeting clean energy and climate change issues through funding and tax credits.  However, several notable provisions from an environmental permitting and compliance standpoint are … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes Expansive Changes to EPA RMP Rule

As anticipated, on Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed Risk Management Program (RMP) Safer Communities by Chemical Accident Prevention rule pursuant to the Clean Air Act. The proposed rule would reinstate certain provisions newly introduced to the RMP rule (originally promulgated in 1991) late in the Obama administration and subsequently removed … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rejects Obama-Era EPA Plan to Regulate Existing Power Plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act

In a highly anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court (Court) rejected U.S. EPA’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan in West Virginia v. EPA on June 30, 2022.  Relying upon the “major questions doctrine,” the Court found that Congress had not intended to authorize EPA to regulate emissions using “generation shifting” (i.e., requirements that power production be … Continue Reading

Cal/OSHA’s Proposed Workplace Violence Rule

Status Last month, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) released a revised discussion draft of a proposed regulation for workplace violence prevention (Proposed Rule). The Proposed Rule would expand existing health care industry workplace violence prevention requirements to all industries. The Proposed Rule includes new definitions with broad applicability and a “one-size-fits … Continue Reading

Titanium dioxide (E171) banned as an additive in foods in the EU

As of 7 February 2022, pursuant to Commission Regulation (EU) 2022/63 (the “Titanium Dioxide Regulation”)[1], titanium dioxide (E171) has been removed from Annexes II and III of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 (the “Additives Regulation”), which sets out the regulatory framework for the use of additives in foods in the European Union. Accordingly, since 7 February … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court Reinstates Water Certification Rule, but Nationwide Permits Remain Subject to Challenge

On Wednesday April 6, 2022, in a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court justices stayed a California district court’s October 21, 2021 decision to vacate the Section 401 Water Quality Certification Rule (401 WQC Rule).  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had requested that the district court remand the rule, saying it was planning to … Continue Reading

EU public consultation on Commission’s review of the RoHS Directive

The European Commission is currently seeking public comment as part of its review of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (Directive 2011/65/EU) (the RoHS Directive). The aim of the RoHS Directive is to reduce the risk to human and environmental health by restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in … Continue Reading

California Clean Hydrogen Bill Targets Alternative Energy Sources for Expansion

A new “Clean Hydrogen Bill” (SB 1075, Skinner) has been introduced in the California Legislature as a means of achieving the State’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. If passed, this bill would significantly increase the emphasis on “green hydrogen” as an alternative fuel in California’s economy, opening up material business … Continue Reading

European Commission proposes to expand the EU emissions trading scheme

Last year, the European Commission published its proposal to expand the EU emissions trading scheme (“EU ETS”). The expansion of the EU ETS forms a central part of the Commission’s “Fit for 55” package, which seeks to revise EU climate, energy and transport-related legislation to align it with the wider 2030 and 2050 climate ambitions … Continue Reading

EPA PFAS testing targeted industry and will now look to public water systems

During 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) collected discharge data for PFAS as part of its Multi-Industry PFAS Study.  The purpose behind the study was to identify facilities producing or using PFAS, look at their wastewater characteristics, estimate PFAS in their discharges, and identify control practices and treatment options.  As part of the study, … Continue Reading

European Commission opens a public consultation on the “sustainable consumption of goods – promoting repair and reuse”

The European Commission recently opened a public consultation on the “sustainable consumption of goods – promoting repair and reuse”. The Commission is looking to amend the Sale of Goods Directive and possibly introduce a separate new legislative proposal on the right to repair. The initiative follows the New Consumer Agenda and the Circular Economy Action … Continue Reading

California extends comment period for proposed modifications to Proposition 65 warnings

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has extended the public comment period for the proposed amendments to their “short-form” Proposition 65 “safe harbor” warning regulations in response to a request from the California Chamber of Commerce. OEHHA’s proposed amendments change existing provisions addressing label size, catalog and internet warnings, and other issues (see here … Continue Reading

California proposes further modifications to its “Short-Form” Proposition 65 warnings

As we reported this past year, 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 limit use of the previous State-approved “safe harbor” short-form warnings for regulated chemicals in consumer products.  The State announced on … Continue Reading

New rules to facilitate intra-EU waste shipments to promote circular economy and tackle the export of illegal waste and waste challenges to third countries

Following the European Commission review of the Waste Shipments Regulation ((EC) No 1013/2006) (WSR) (see our earlier post) the Commission has proposed tougher rules on waste exports, a more efficient system for the circulation of waste as a resource and better addressing the problem of illegal waste shipments. Under the revised proposal, waste exports to non-OECD countries … Continue Reading

EPA issues proposal to reduce GHGs and VOCs from new and existing oil and natural gas sources

In response to President Biden’s Executive Order entitled, “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a proposed rule taking aim at greenhouse gases (GHG) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions from new and existing oil and natural gas production, processing, transmission, … Continue Reading

Update on OSHA vaccine ETS litigation: Challengers seek hearing en banc as government moves to dissolve stay

After the Sixth Circuit was selected via a lottery in November to hear the consolidated challenges made against the recent OSHA emergency temporary standard (the “ETS”), there has been a flurry of activity in the case.  There are currently two main issues pending before the court, which will certainly shape the dispute: (1) several petitioners … Continue Reading

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pauses certain Section 404 nationwide permits

On November 4, 2021, the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) announced that it is pausing all requests for coverage under 12 nationwide permits (NWPs) issued earlier this year, including widely used permits for utility and oil and gas projects, among others.   The announcement followed a California district court’s decision vacating the Section 401 Water Quality … Continue Reading

UK product safety regime: OPSS publishes its call for evidence response

In March 2021, the Office for Product Safety and Standards (“OPSS”) published a call for evidence seeking views on possible changes to the UK product safety regime post-Brexit, including to address new methods of manufacture and distribution, new products and technologies such as artificial intelligence, and environmental considerations. Following the deadline to respond to the … Continue Reading
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