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Brexit – What are the implications for UK environmental law and policy?

The topic of the moment in the UK is whether Brexit will be a good or a bad thing for the UK, and it seems to be polarising the nation. Stepping away from the political rhetoric and posturing, it is worth reflecting on some of the more practical issues arising from a UK exit from … Continue Reading

Despite Best Efforts, US EPA Faces 2016 Deadline for New Financial Assurance Rules

US EPA has agreed to promulgate financial assurance rules for hard rock mining companies by December 1, 2017.  Specifically, the agencies requirements will apply to facilities which extract or process metals (e.g., copper, gold, iron, lead, magnesium, molybdenum, silver, uranium, and zinc).  The financial assurance requirements will obligate companies performing environmental cleanup to provide a … Continue Reading

US Senate Approves Toxic Substances Control Act Reform Bill

On December 17, 2015 the US Senate passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the Senate’s version of legislation to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”). The bipartisan bill was introduced on March 10, 2015 by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA) and was approved by the … Continue Reading

Belgian Chemical Registration Deadline Draws Near for Nanomaterials: 1 January 2016

Contrary to the general opinion, companies established in Belgium have much more extensive obligations than mere compliance with REACH – the European legislation on registration of chemical substances. Indeed, in Belgium a national register for nanomaterials will enter into force on 1st January 2016. This is of significant importance as companies will be required to … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Invalidates US EPA’s Unconditional Registration of Sulfoxaflor Insecticide as the Agency Also Faces Other Challenges to Its Pollinator Protection Efforts

On September 10, 2015, in Pollinator Stewardship Council et al. v. EPA, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated US EPA’s unconditional registration of the insecticide sulfoxaflor, concluding that the scientific data relied upon by the agency regarding the product’s potential impact on honey bees did not support approval of the insecticide.  Sulfoxaflor, which is … Continue Reading

Draft US EPA Assessment Finds No Systematic Risk to Drinking Water from Hydraulic Fracturing

Earlier this month, US EPA released its long-awaited draft assessment on the impact of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) on the nation’s drinking water resources.  The assessment, titled Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources, represents over four years of study into the potential of hydraulic fracturing to … Continue Reading

US House of Representatives Overwhelmingly Approves Landmark TSCA Reform Legislation

On June 23, 2015, by a vote of 398-1, the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved HR 2576, the “TSCA Modernization Act of 2015,” a landmark bill that would significantly amend the decades-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The legislation approved by the full US House of Representatives is slightly different from the version voted … Continue Reading

Are you ready for the new EU Classification Labelling and Packaging regime?

The latest edition of the British Safety Council’s magazine, Safety Management, features an article by Anita Lloyd on the EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regime for chemicals. From 1 June 2015, companies are obliged to use the CLP system for chemical substances and mixtures.  This will require significant changes to be made to labels, safety … Continue Reading

US House Subcommittee Unanimously Approves TSCA Reform Legislation

On May 14, 2015, the Subcommittee on Environment & the Economy of the US House Committee on Energy & Commerce (E&C Committee) unanimously approved a “discussion draft” bill to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) proposed by Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL).  The discussion draft, entitled the “TSCA Modernization Act of 2015,” was approved by a … Continue Reading

US Senate Environment Committee Approves TSCA Reform Bill

On April 28, 2015, the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee approved S.697, the bipartisan bill introduced on March 10 by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and David Vitter (R-LA) to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Before approving S.697, the EPW Committee amended the bill with compromise language negotiated by Senators Udall … Continue Reading

Growing Issues in A Miniature World: Nanomaterial Registers in the EU

Many scientists believe that the highest growth potential for improved applications lies in nanomaterials. This technology is not without controversy and the law is only now trying to catch up with the technological progress. Although the risks posed by nanomaterials are still scientifically uncertain and there is no European consensus on how to regulate them … Continue Reading

US EPA Proposes to Amend the National Contingency Plan Governing the Use of Dispersants in Response to Oil Spills

On January 22, 2015, US EPA announced that it is proposing to amend the requirements governing the use of dispersants and other chemical and biological agents used in response to oil spills, which are contained in Subpart J of the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). The proposed amendments come as a result … Continue Reading

Environmental Regulation and Nanotechnology in the UK and EU: Challenges, Risks and Rewards

What is Nanotechnology? Nanotechnology is a generic term used to describe the design, engineering, production and use of substances and materials at the nanoscale (1 nanometre representing 1 billionth of a metre).  To illustrate, one sheet of standard paper is approximately 100,000 nanometres thick and one nanometre is roughly how long a human fingernail will … Continue Reading

Use of civil sanctions for UK environmental permitting finally ‘sanctioned’!

As we reported in June 2015, the use of civil sanctions have applied to a range of environmental offences since June 2011, with the notable omission of environmental permitting offences under the Environmental Permitting (England & Wales) Regulations 2010 (EPR), which account for a relatively large amount of prosecution activity by the Environment Agency (EA).  … Continue Reading

US EPA Updates List of TSCA “Work Plan” Chemicals for Risk Analysis

US EPA has updated its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan for Chemical Assessments, the Agency’s list of priority chemicals for analysis, adding 23 new chemicals to the list while removing or consolidating 16 others. US EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) produced the original list of Work Plan chemicals in … Continue Reading

What the 2014 Mid-Term Congressional Election Results Mean for Key Environmental Issues in the Run Up to the 2016 Presidential Election

Major policy developments that will drive the agenda in Washington DC over the next two years are outlined in Squire Patton Boggs’ 2014 Mid-Term Congressional Elections Analysis, What to Expect From the 114th Congress in the Run-Up to the 2016 Presidential Election.  Key environmental policy developments include the following: Climate Change Look for the President … Continue Reading

Trade Groups Seek Extension to OSHA Globally Harmonized System Implementation Deadline For US Chemical Hazard Communications

On March 26, 2012, the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) issued its final rule adopting the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) as OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).  The rule, codified at 29 C.F.R. 1910.1200, requires chemical “manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers” to comply with the new GHS … Continue Reading

US Department of Homeland Security Issues Advanced Notice of Rulemaking for CFATS Program Under EO 13650 Directives

As previously detailed in several of our prior posts, the Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13650–Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (August 1, 2013) directs a Working Group of federal agencies, which includes representatives from the Departments of Environmental Protection (US EPA), Transportation (DOT) and Homeland Security (DHS), the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Bureau of … Continue Reading

Executive Order 13650 Prompts US EPA To Request Information on Revisions to Risk Management Program

As previously detailed, the Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13650–Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (August 1, 2013) directs a Working Group of federal agencies, which includes representatives from the Departments of Environmental Protection (US EPA), Transportation (DOT) and Homeland Security (DHS), the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and … Continue Reading

US Chemical Safety and Security Working Group Report: A Preview of What To Expect

In May 2014, the federal Working Group convened pursuant to Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13650–Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security (August 1, 2013)-issued a status report to the President detailing its activities to reduce risks associated with hazardous chemicals and improve safety and security at chemical facilities in the United States.  The EO was a response … Continue Reading

US Chemical Safety Overview: Impacts of Executive Order 13650 and Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act

On March 27, 2014, Jessica DeMonte gave the following presentation focused on US chemical safety updates to the Ohio Chemical Technology Council.  The presentation outlines the mandates of Executive Order 13650, which was issued by the Obama Administration in August 2013, and analyzes the regulatory expansion that is likely to occur as a result of this order.  It further … Continue Reading

California DTSC Announces First Priority Products Under Its Green Chemistry Law

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced, on March 13, 2014, the first set of Priority Product/Candidate Chemical combinations under its Safer Consumer Product (SCP) regulations (also known as the Green Chemistry regulations) , which became effective October 1, 2013: Children’s foam padded sleeping products containing Tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (TDCPP); Spray polyurethane foam systems … Continue Reading

Exporter Liability Associated With US and EU Hazardous Materials Transit

Incidents involving chemicals and hazardous substances in transit may bring significant liabilities for cargo owners, manufacturers, shippers and purchasers who export these items. In many instances these liabilities are not fully understood. This co-authored white paper, by Squire Sanders partners Douglas R. Burnett and John J. Reilly, and Alliant Insurance Vice President Christopher Alviggi, explores … Continue Reading