Archives: Regulatory Compliance

Environment, Health & Safety regulatory compliance

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EPA response actions during COVID-19: Continue, reduce, or suspend?

There are many types of cleanup occurring across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic under a range of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorities, including, but not limited to, the Superfund program, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act corrective action, Toxic Substances Control Act polychlorinated biphenyl cleanup provisions, the Oil Pollution Act, and the Underground Storage … Continue Reading

The 2020 updates to the chemical data reporting rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a pre-publication version of its final rule amending the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule codified at 40 CFR Part 711. The changes to the CDR rule are intended to ensure alignment with the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In a separate action, EPA … Continue Reading

Novel coronavirus – How employers should dispose of personal protective equipment

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) have issued various guidance regarding potential workplace hazards resulting from exposure to COVID-19 (see our recent client alert for more information). Most recently, on April 3, 2020, OSHA issued enforcement guidance to all industries indicating that respiratory protection … Continue Reading

EPA responds to criticisms of its new temporary enforcement discretion policy

In response to the backlash regarding the EPA’s implementation of a temporary enforcement discretion policy, the EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler, described the temporary policy as “very mild” in comparison to the agency’s actions in prior crises. On March 26, 2020, the EPA issued a memorandum implementing a temporary enforcement discretion policy due to the coronavirus … Continue Reading

EPA announces new temporary enforcement discretion policy

In an unprecedented move, today (March 26, 2020) EPA issued a memorandum to its governmental and private sector partners about its new temporary policy regarding EPA enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The memo states the EPA will exercise its enforcement discretion for noncompliance covered by temporary policy and resulting from the … Continue Reading

Last call for alcohol… comments. Proposed amendments to clarify the requirements for providing alcoholic beverage Proposition 65 warnings

Following a recent settlement between the California Attorney General’s Office and a number of alcoholic beverage retailers, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is proposing to clarify the Proposition 65 warning requirements for alcoholic beverages sold on the internet, in catalogs, and via third-party providers. The most prominent item in the settlement’s methods … Continue Reading

New EU Circular Economy Action Plan and Sustainable Product Policy

Five years after its first iteration, yesterday (11 March 2020), the European Commission launched its new Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP) as part of the overall European Green Deal. The CEAP contains many proposals.  We will explore others (including those relating to batteries, packaging, plastics, textiles, ‘safe-by-design’ chemicals, non-financial reporting and shipment of waste) in … Continue Reading

European Commission seeking feedback on proposed review of the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive

The European Commission is seeking feedback on a proposed initiative to revise the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD) (EU Directive 2014/95/EU), with submissions due by 27 February 2020. The NFRD requires certain large companies to annually disclose a range of non-financial information, including in relation to the environment, social and employee matters, human rights, and … Continue Reading

Washington releases draft refinery PSM rule and economic survey

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I or Department) recently released two documents related to its development of a refinery-specific process safety management (PSM) rule. First, L&I released a revised draft of its proposed refinery-specific PSM rule language; the Department, however, will not be accepting comments on this language until formal rulemaking begins … Continue Reading

CSB proposes rule on accidental release reporting

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB or Agency) recently published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for its accidental reporting rule in the Federal Register (Proposed Rule). The CSB was established by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which directed the Agency, among other things, to investigate and report on any accidental release “resulting in … Continue Reading

OSHA conducts public stakeholder meeting on safety key performance indicators

On November 7, 2019, OSHA held a public stakeholder meeting on safety key performance indicators (KPIs).  During this meeting, the agency sought input from employers and industry groups on leading and lagging safety KPIs.  Specifically, OSHA aimed to gather information about: (1) how companies regularly implement leading indicators; (2) how the information is used to … Continue Reading

Next ESOS compliance period commencing

The end of the current Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) compliance period (and associated notification by the end date of 5 December 2019) is fast approaching in the UK. The next ESOS compliance period commences on 6 December 2019 and will require companies to assess if they are within scope of the ESOS. Introduced under … Continue Reading

Northeast’s plan to cap vehicle carbon emissions: reducing emissions or reducing jobs?

The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a collaboration of 13 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic jurisdictions, including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. The TCI’s goal is to increase the use of clean transportation and energy, and reduce carbon emissions, in the transportation sector. TCI jurisdictions are in the process of developing a plan … Continue Reading

Adjustment to the covered electronic waste (CEW) recycling fee for covered electronic devices (CED)

On October 8, 2019, the Office of Administrative Law approved an adjustment to the covered electronic waste (CEW) recycling fee for covered electronic devices (CED). This CEW recycling fee is assessed when a California consumer buys a CED – generally, any video display device with a screen larger than four inches – from a retailer. … Continue Reading

The new Registry Regulation for Phase IV of the EU ETS. Are you ready?

A new registry regulation for Phase IV of the EU emissions trading system (ETS) has been published recently, and will replace the current registry regulation from 1 January 2021. Among other changes, the new registry regulation will accommodate allowances originating from the Swiss Emissions Trading Scheme, recognise EU allowances as financial instruments, and make administrative … Continue Reading

Waste and the circular economy: French government proposes to increase liability for waste

Our EU law environmental and product regulatory teams have been following the passage of a significant new law through the French parliament: ‘the Anti-Waste and Circular Economy Bill’ (Projet de loi relatif à la lutte contre le gaspillage et à l’économie circulaire) (the Bill). Key features of the Bill include: Radically expanded obligations for producers … Continue Reading

Breach of shipment of waste regulations leads to £590,000 in fines and costs

Biffa Waste Services Ltd (Biffa) has been fined for breaching Regulation 23 of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 after containers of paper for recycling were found to be contaminated with household waste. The fine was £350,000 plus an additional £240,000 in costs. In 2015, Biffa had arranged for shipments of waste paper to … Continue Reading

REACH update: ECHA adds 18 SVHCs to the Authorisation List

Following on from the consultations carried out in 2018, and as had been expected, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced yesterday that it will move to add 18 substances of very high concern (SVHC) to Annex XIV of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), i.e. the “Authorisation List”. As a reminder, substances … Continue Reading

Senate Environment & Public Works Committee votes unanimously to approve Dr. Katherine Lemos to head the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

On September 25, 2019, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) voted unanimously to approve Dr. Katherine A. Lemos, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). Dr. Lemos’ nomination will now advance to the full Senate for confirmation.… Continue Reading

EPA repeals 2015 WOTUS rule amid broader environmental regulatory rollbacks

On September 12, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army issued a pre-publication draft of the final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS Rule), which amended existing Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations. According to the EPA, the agencies’ goal … Continue Reading

New state-approved label for environmentally certified “Green Button” textiles (Grüner Knopf) launched by Germany

On 9 September 2019, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung – BMZ) introduced a new, state-regulated environmental label for “Green Button” (Grüner Knopf) certified textiles with a press release, available here. The BMZ also launched the official Green Button website, which is available in German at http://www.gruener-knopf.de/. In a nutshell … Continue Reading

EU consultation watch: EU Commission launches new consultations on RoHS and ELV directives

The European Commission is inviting interested parties to submit their comments and concerns related to EU legislation on the following topics: The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive: This is merely a generic request for feedback. The Commission will be releasing a revised RoHS Directive in 2021 and is, therefore, offering a chance for industry … Continue Reading
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