Archives: Emerging Legislation and Regulation

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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“’Blue Guide’ on the Implementation of EU products rules” (the Blue Guide) was last issued in 2016, and is now becoming out of date on a number of topics.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 (https://www.ewg.org/proposedpfaslegislation), 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 … 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

ICYMI: California to conserve land, coasts to capture carbon and fight climate change

California has joined dozens of nations in a global pact to preserve biodiversity and prevent species loss by pledging to conserve 30 percent of the state’s land and coastal water by 2030 (“30 by 30”).  Governor Gavin Newsom signed the executive order earlier this month, which also directs the state to streamline approval of land restoration … Continue Reading

Public consultation now open in respect of laws on Electromagnetic Compatibility and Packaging Waste

Within the last few days, the European Commission has opened the ‘public consultation’ stage of its evaluation of the law relating to both electromagnetic compatibility and packaging waste. Evaluation of the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive 2014/30/EU Although the EMC Directive was implemented fairly recently, it largely incorporated its predecessor directive without any major amendments. As … Continue Reading

Safety groups urge Congress to consider implications of cannabis bill

Recently, several health and safety groups, including the National Safety Council, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and 20 other safety organizations recommended in a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives to hold hearings on the workplace and public safety implications of the proposed Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act of 2019 … Continue Reading

European Commission launches consultation to regulate green claims in marketing and combat ‘Greenwashing’

The European Commission has opened a consultation on a potential legislative proposal on substantiating green claims made when advertising and marketing products. The proposals are intended to implement one aspect of the European Green Deal which states, among other things, that “Companies making ‘green claims’ should substantiate these against a standard methodology to assess their … Continue Reading

California going electric: Sale of new gasoline-powered cars banned in 2035

California will ban the sale of new, gasoline-powered cars by 2035, an aggressive action by Governor Gavin Newsom to combat the causes of climate change. The executive order Newsom signed will require that all new passenger vehicles sold in California beginning in 2035 be “zero-emission.”  That category currently includes battery-powered electric cars and those running … Continue Reading

European Commission announces far-reaching plans for revision of EU Ecodesign laws

On 14 September 2020, the European Commission published its “Sustainable Products Initiative”, which aims to revise the existing Ecodesign Directive in order to meet the product sustainability objectives set out in the Circular Economy Action Plan. The Circular Economy Action Plan seeks to make products fit for a climate neutral, resource efficient and circular economy, … Continue Reading

Lithium added to the list of EU Critical Raw Materials, alongside other key materials for clean technologies

On 3 September 2020 the European Commission released an updated action plan (available here) on critical raw materials (CRMs).  In doing so, it has added bauxite, lithium, titanium and strontium to the existing list of CRMs, which now stands at 30 materials. The Commission also released a foresight report (available here) at the same time, … Continue Reading

California challenging recent district court decision to limit Proposition 65 warnings on First Amendment ‘compelled speech’ grounds

We recently reported on a potentially seminal California court decision that struck down Proposition 65 warning requirements for a consumer product on grounds of “compelled speech.”   As anticipated, the State is appealing the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, according to a notice filed Wednesday, September 9th. The State Office of Environmental … Continue Reading

As of 1 September 2020, the PRC Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes has been revised

In 1996, the PRC Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Wastes (“Current Solid Waste Law”) was established. In 2015, almost 20 years later, this PRC Law was first revised and has since worked to take proper precautions for the environment. However, on 29 April 2020 the Standing Committee of the … Continue Reading

EPA administrator signs final power plant wastewater rule

On August 31, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, signed the final rule (referred to as the Steam Electric Reconsideration Rule) initially proposed last year to revise the technology-based effluent limitations guidelines and standards (ELGs) for common types of wastewater discharges from electric power generating facilities. This final rule rolls back … Continue Reading

New UKCA mark guidance brings welcomed clarity

The UK Government has published new guidance on the UKCA product-marking framework which replaces the current EU CE marking regime in Great Britain (i.e. England, Wales and Scotland), from 1 January 2021. The guidance is in line with expectations and brings helpful clarity for manufacturers and other affected stakeholders, albeit also bringing with it unavoidable … Continue Reading

California sends bill to governor prohibiting PFAS in firefighting foam

The California legislature is sending a bill (SB 1044) to Governor Gavin Newsom that would significantly affect the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl (“PFAS”) chemicals in firefighting foam. Specifically, the bill prohibits the manufacture, sale and use of class B firefighting foam containing intentionally added PFAS chemicals.  Class B foams are used to suppress fires generated … Continue Reading

Quick cash in the times of COVID-19 – Section 363 sales of distressed assets and environmental liability

As we mentioned in a previous post, the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a wave of bankruptcies that we expect to continue into 2021. Companies entering 2020 in a strong financial position may now need to quickly shed distressed assets and generate cash. A Chapter 11 reorganization is likely to be too long and burdensome for … Continue Reading

EPA grants the first-ever COVID-19-related Section 18 Emergency Exemption under FIFRA

On August 24, 2020, EPA announced an emergency exemption in the state of Texas that permits American Airlines and Total Orthopedics Sports & Spine to use an antiviral that kills microbes like COVID-19 on surfaces for up to seven days.  This exemption request was submitted under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide … Continue Reading

EPA rolls back methane regulations for oil and gas infrastructure

On August 13, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two final rules—a Methane Policy Rule and an Inspection Rule —rolling back portions of its New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for the oil and gas industry. In explaining these changes, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated that the EPA rescinded portions of the Methane Policy … Continue Reading

California proposes revisions to regulation of air emissions from “Ships at Berth;” upcoming public hearing scheduled for late August

The California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) has again proposed revisions to the State’s existing “Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth Regulation” of air emissions from ships docked in California. As revised, further reductions in air emissions will be required, but some of the earlier implementation dates have been extended. Most substantive changes were made in response to feedback … Continue Reading

FIFRA’s treated articles exemption: Should your antimicrobial product be registered?

Products claiming to protect users against microbes, such as those that are currently being used to protect us from COVID-19, are flying off the shelves.  Manufacturers of these products must comply with regulations governing the use of such pesticides.  One of said regulations is the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Under FIFRA, EPA … Continue Reading

Proposition 65 – Potential warning requirement exemption for exposures to listed chemicals in cooked or heat processed foods

California is inviting public comments on a proposed regulation that would exclude the need to place warnings on many cooked, baked or fried food items that may expose individuals to acrylamide, a chemical the State has deemed to be a carcinogen. California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act (aka “Proposition 65”) prohibits businesses from knowingly … Continue Reading
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