Environmental Protection

Subscribe to Environmental Protection RSS Feed

Clearing the Air: US EPA Looks to Revamp Pyrolysis and Gasification Regulations

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  In this case, one man’s solid waste, commercial and industrial waste, biomass, plastics, tires, and organic contaminants are another man’s energy, fuel, and commodity chemicals thanks to waste conversion technologies generally known as pyrolysis and gasification.  For years, these waste conversion technologies have been regulated under a patchwork … Continue Reading

Record £90 Million Fine for a “Flagrant Disregard” of UK Environmental Law Calls for Boards of Directors to Take Note

On 19 August, the sentencing remarks of Mr Justice Johnson were published in relation to the recent £90 million fine issued to Southern Water for sewage pollution.  The remarks provide a full breakdown and description of how this record fine was calculated, and provide comments and conclusions on a number of issues that are likely … Continue Reading

European Commission Proposes a Landmark “Fit for 55” Package of Climate and Energy Legislation (1 in 4-Part Series)

Delivering a key component of the European Green Deal umbrella policy that it adopted in December 2019, the European Commission issued 15 legislative proposals, accompanied by three non-legislative communications in July 2021. With the supporting documents, e.g. impact assessments, the package adds up to around 4,200 pages. It includes the following initiatives:… Continue Reading

July 2021 Update: frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK and EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy

Our Environmental, Safety & Health team is pleased to share with you the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law and Procedure; providing bite-size updates on EU and UK law, procedure and policy. The updates covered in this month’s edition include (among … Continue Reading

US EPA Takes AIM at HFCs

It’s déjà vu all over again.  Over the course of more than thirty years, EPA and industry partners successfully wound down usage of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) in Title VI of the Clean Air Act, enacted following the 1987 Montreal Protocol.  Under SNAP, HCFCs and CFCs … Continue Reading

2021 Women in Energy & Environment Webinar Series

In January, our four-part 2021 Women in Energy & Environment Webinar Series reached an industry-leading, global audience of more than 450 professionals. The series covered the following key and emerging issues facing the global regulated community today: Embedding Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Into the New Normal – Returning From the Pandemic Key Regulatory Issues in … Continue Reading

January 2021 Update: frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK and EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy

Our Environmental, Safety & Health team is pleased to share with you the latest edition of our monthly newsletter, frESH Law Horizons: Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law and Procedure; providing bite-size updates on EU and UK law, procedure and policy. This month’s edition includes the following: New regulator for … Continue Reading

Looking Ahead to 2021: Implications of a Change in US Administration on Environmental Policy

The tumultuous presidential election is working its way to a close and, while the vote counting and litigation continue, one thing is certain:  the environmental policy agenda to be advanced by a Biden Administration will be a marked contrast to that of the current Trump Administration. The Biden environmental policy agenda includes, at front and … Continue Reading

Chemical Strategy for Sustainability Heralds Most Significant Changes to EU Chemicals Regulation in 15 Years

In publishing the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS), the European Commission has announced the Most Significant Changes to EU Chemicals Regulation in 15 Years. The Commission stated that the CSS is the first step towards a zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment. While the CSS fully recognises the fundamental role of chemicals for human … Continue Reading

September Update: Key Developments in UK and EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy

We are pleased to share with you the latest edition of “frESH Law Horizons – Key Developments in UK & EU Environment, Safety and Health Law, Procedure and Policy”. In our September edition, we summarise 40 developments in the environmental, safety and health sector. Some of the top stories this month include:… Continue Reading

US House of Representatives to Consider Clean Energy Package

This week, the House of Representatives is set to consider H.R. 447, the House Clean Energy Package. Over 150 amendments were offered on the package and today, the House Rules Committee will meet today decide which of those amendments to consider on the House floor. Depending on the outcome of the House Rules Committee meeting, … Continue Reading

After Almost Four Decades, White House Issues New NEPA Regulations–Lawsuits Likely

The Trump administration recently finalized updates to regulations for environmental impact review of large projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  NEPA was originally enacted 50 years ago to reorient federal agencies to consider the environmental impact of projects.  It generally requires federal agencies to consider environmental effects of proposed projects before they are … Continue Reading

Heavy Duty Engine Regulatory Update: US EPA Enforcement Discretion and CARB Proposed Rulemaking

We are continuing to follow regulatory developments proposed for the heavy-duty vehicle and engine sector.  In our most recent blog post on the topic, we covered updates on timing for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Cleaner Trucks Initiative and the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) efforts related to Heavy-Duty Low NOx Omnibus … Continue Reading

Heavy-Duty Truck and Engine Regulation by US EPA and CARB: Agency Rulemaking in the COVID-19 Era

The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are proceeding with development of proposed rules for on-road heavy-duty vehicle and engine regulation. As previously covered in our blog, US EPA and DOT already issued a final rule in early April rolling back greenhouse gas emission (GHG) standards in the … Continue Reading

Is the UK Heading Towards a Duty on Businesses to Prevent Breaches of Human Rights?

In April 2017, the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights suggested that it might be appropriate for a “failure to prevent” mechanism, such as the one found in section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, to be applied to business and human rights. Earlier this year, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (“BIICL”) … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Adopts “Functional Equivalent” Standard for Discharges of Pollutants to Surface Water Through Groundwater

Recently, in a 6-3 decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund (Maui), the United States Supreme Court held that a discharge of pollution to groundwater may be regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The Supreme Court’s review arose from a case involving a wastewater treatment and reclamation facility in Hawaii that injects … Continue Reading

WEBINAR May 5 – US ESH Webinar Series – Environmental Challenges Associated With Infrastructure Development

This webinar will explore the latest developments in Congress regarding additional stimulus legislation and the likelihood that it will include an infrastructure component. We will also focus on challenges associated with environmental permitting in the infrastructure development context, primarily those projects that involve impact to wetlands and streams under the Clean Water Act. The discussion … Continue Reading

Flexibility for Transactional and Regulatory Requirements in the Wake of COVID-19

In a little over a couple of months, the COVID-19 outbreak has dramatically altered the landscape of business. Companies are struggling to cope with massive uncertainty and an array of unforeseen challenges, including everything from supply chain and revenue disruptions caused by reduced consumer demand, to staffing shortages, travel restrictions, business closures, and other such … Continue Reading

US EPA Issues New Guidance for Hazardous Waste Cleanup & Emergency Response Sites Impacted by COVID-19

On April 10, 2020, US EPA issued updated interim guidance to regional offices for dealing with the “challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation.” The guidance applies to all US EPA field activities, including cleanup under the Superfund program, RCRA corrective action, TSCA PCB cleanup provisions, the Oil Pollution Act, and the Underground Storage Tank program. … Continue Reading

WEBINAR April 14 – US ESH Webinar Series – Environmental Compliance During COVID-19: Federal and State Agency Guidance on Enforcement and Practical Tips for Businesses

Among the myriad concerns facing industry, many are confronting new environmental challenges caused by staffing issues, essential business determinations, stay-at-home orders, supply chain disruption and other complications from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Environmental regulators are aware of these challenges and, in many cases, have shared valuable guidance on how to mitigate related compliance problems and … Continue Reading

US EPA Offers Advice to NPDES Permittees on Documenting COVID-Related Noncompliance While Environmental Groups Seek More Stringent Reporting Requirements

On March 26, 2020, US EPA issued a temporary policy regarding enforcement of routine monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting violations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  As discussed in an earlier blog post, US EPA’s temporary policy sets out the Agency’s overall policy to exercise of enforcement discretion during the COVID-19 pandemic and generally not seek penalties … Continue Reading

US EPA Issues Temporary Policy on COVID-19 Implications for the Agency’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program

On March 26, 2020, US EPA Assistant Administrator, Susan Bodine, authored and released guidance to all governmental and private sector entities entitled “COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program.” The seven-page guidance memorandum outlines the Agency’s “temporary” policy governing issues of noncompliance that arise (1) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and … Continue Reading

OMB Directs US EPA and Other Federal Agencies to Refocus on Mission-Critical Functions Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic; OECA Guidance on Implications for Enforcement and Compliance Forthcoming

Last week, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance to the heads of federal departments and agencies titled, “Federal Agency Operational Alignment to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus COVID-19.”  The guidance directs agencies to “prioritize all resources to slow the transmission of COVID-19, while ensuring our mission-critical activities continue.”  Under the guidance, agencies … Continue Reading

Are You “Essential”? Ohio Guidance for Environmental Industries Regarding COVID-19

On Sunday, Ohio issued a “shelter in place” or “stay at home” order, bringing the total number of states with these orders to ten.  The other states are California, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and this number increases by the day.  The orders and associated guidance identify which businesses … Continue Reading
LexBlog