Archives: Regulatory Compliance

Environment, Health & Safety regulatory compliance

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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

Up, Up, and a (New) Way to Facilitate Compliance: Drones and Their Capabilities as HSE Compliance Tools

Drones, a generic term for unmanned aircraft, have been utilized in military applications for decades. More recently, however, advances in drone technology and construction have made the devices more accessible. These advances and increased accessibility have allowed more commercial and industrial applications to take off. For example, certain retailers are considering ways to efficiently use … 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

ICYMI – CEQ issues final revisions to NEPA rule

Earlier this month, the White House Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) finalized its update of the governing regulations for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rule.  This marks the first comprehensive review of NEPA since its 1978 promulgation. Entitled, “Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act,” it seeks … Continue Reading

California Energy Commission workshop on hydrogen fuel cell demonstrations in rail and marine applications at ports

Companies reliant upon the use of rail services and commercial harbor craft at California’s ports should be interested in the State’s: Increasing focus on utilizing zero emission technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from port-related operations; and Provision of $6.6 million in available grants to “fund the design, integration, and demonstration of hydrogen fuel … Continue Reading

Recent district court decision limits Proposition 65 warnings on First Amendment ‘compelled speech’ grounds

A U.S. District Court recently barred enforcement of California’s Proposition 65 warning requirement on the First Amendment ground of “compelled speech.” Proposition 65 requires businesses to provide warnings to consumers before exposing them to over 900 chemicals linked to cancer or reproductive toxicity. Although the State of California will almost certainly appeal the decision, National … Continue Reading

U.S. EPA takes historic action on aviation emissions

In a historic act, U.S. EPA proposed the nation’s first-ever greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standard for aircraft on July 21, 2020. (Proposed Rule). Once the Proposed Rule is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to submit comments. There will likely be significant push back from environmental groups on the Proposed … Continue Reading

Racing toward a standard: How Virginia, Oregon, and Washington are moving to regulate workplace hazards of COVID-19

Individual states’ safety agencies have undertaken the development of their own workplace safety rules in response to potential hazards from COVID-19 as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has declined to promulgate specific standards and instead relied on existing regulations and guidance.  Specifically, Virginia recently published a temporary emergency COVID-19 rule, while Oregon has … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit upholds OSHA’s interpretation of PSM standard

On July 9, 2020, the Fifth Circuit held that the mechanical integrity requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) process safety management (PSM) standard for highly hazardous chemicals applies to emergency stops that would only be activated after a release. The case—Sanderson Farms v. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC)—centered on the … Continue Reading

EPA finalizes updates to CWA water quality certification requirements

On July 13, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule. The rule is set to become effective on September 11, 2020, and will introduce comprehensive changes to the regulations governing how states and authorized tribes certify water quality under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).… Continue Reading

Comments sought on review of the EU General Product Safety Directive

The European Commission is currently seeking public comment as part of its review of the EU General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) (Directive 2001/95/EC). The GPSD sets out a broad regulatory framework for the placement of non-food consumer products (not regulated by other product specific EU legislation) on the EU market. In particular, it establishes the … Continue Reading
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