Tag Archives: Emerging legislation and regulations

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

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

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

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

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

Despite COVID-19 concerns, CARB continues to advance its regulation of air emissions for shipping industry; hearing set for late June

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will conduct a public Board hearing later this month as it continues its efforts to expand the state’s existing Ocean-Going Vessels At-Berth Regulation to further reduce air emissions from ships docked in California. As earlier reported, CARB recently released further modifications to the at-berth rulemaking documents (15-day change). Due … Continue Reading

European Commission launches consultation on TEN-E Regulation

The European Commission launched a public consultation on its review of Regulation 347/2013 on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (the TEN-E Regulation) on 18 May 2020. The public consultation is accompanied by a targeted, more technical consultation aimed at stakeholders with specialist knowledge of the TEN-E Regulation. Both consultations will be open for eight weeks, … Continue Reading

CARB plans more consumer product regulations to reduce smog-forming emissions

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) continues its efforts to reduce air pollutants from consumer products through amendments to California’s Consumer Products Regulation. Proposed amendments would further lower current volatile organic compounds (VOC) limits for certain consumer products. Background The Consumer Product Regulation is an important part of CARB’s effort to reduce the amount of … Continue Reading

Plastic-reduction efforts in California yield to COVID-19 pandemic

This year might have been the year for California to set sharp reductions in plastic packaging and single-use plastic food ware, among other plastic items. But the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased use of disposable products to avoid the risk of transmitting the virus through reused items appear to have halted this effort. A ballot … Continue Reading

Hailing all rideshare: The California Clean Miles Standard is set to hit the road this year

The explosive growth of ridesharing companies has left states facing a potential, albeit unintended, increase in greenhouse gas emissions (for example, carbon dioxide generated by fuel combustion). As a result, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) is developing the Clean Miles Standard, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ridesharing companies.… 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

Administrative agencies have broad subpoena power

A recent decision by a California court of appeal clarified the breadth of the California Water Resources Control Board’s (Board) subpoena power, which could have implications for other state agencies in California and elsewhere.  Moreover, private entities which are the subject of an administrative investigation may have a difficult time withholding financial records even if … 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

OSHA and Cal/OSHA issue coronavirus guidance

Earlier this month, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published information on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) hazard recognition, medical information, potentially applicable OSHA standards, control and prevention, and additional resources. The guidance notes that without sustained human-to-human transmission, most U.S. workers remain at low risk of exposure and infection. However, OSHA has identified commonsense … 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

EPA again rolls back Obama Administration RMP regulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a reconsideration rule rescinding many of the agency’s changes and additions made during the Obama administration to strengthen the Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations that address facilities using highly hazardous chemicals. This rulemaking follows the D.C. Circuit’s decision in 2018 that the EPA’s previous effort to rescind … 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
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