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UK REACH: Awaited Consultation on Policy Direction for Registration of Chemicals

The most anticipated developments for 2024 in UK chemicals regulation are the long-awaited publication of the UK’s Chemicals Strategy, and a consultation on the UK government’s alternative transitional registration model (ATRm). In November 2023, a policy paper was issued outlining the government’s high-level plans for ATRm, but the questions and details for stakeholders are still … Continue Reading

US EPA’s Draft Revisions to Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis

Our team at Squire Patton Boggs monitors environmental justice (EJ) developments and provides periodic updates regarding environmental justice topics.  Recently, US EPA released draft revisions to its Technical Guidance for Assessing Environmental Justice in Regulatory Analysis (EJ Technical Guidance), and US EPA is currently seeking public comments through January 15, 2024.  … Continue Reading

Windsor Framework: Deadline for Businesses to Register for New Northern Ireland Retail Movement Scheme Approaches

Closeup of hands on clock faceFrom October 2023, a broad range of products moving from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI) (and that are intended for “final consumption” in NI) will be processed through a “green lane” and be subject to fewer checks and controls. While this will ultimately facilitate movements of various products, there are implications for businesses … Continue Reading

UK Annual Environmental, Safety & Health Conference 2023 – Get to Know Our Speakers

After a few years off, we are delighted to bring back our Annual UK Environmental, Safety & Health Conference this June. The theme is Managing Developing ESH Risks in the UK and Internationally. We are excited to have the following speakers join us for what will be an interesting discussion: This conference will provide a … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Narrows the Definition of “Waters of the United States” with Respect to Wetlands for Purposes of Federal Jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act

On May 25, 2023, the US Supreme Court, in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, ___ US_ (2023) (“Sackett”) held that “waters of the United States” for purposes of federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) refer “only to geographical features that are described in ordinary parlance as “streams, oceans, rivers and lakes’ and to … Continue Reading

Plastic Packaging Tax: Proposed Updates to Recycled Content Definition to Facilitate Chemical Recycling

The UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) was introduced in April 2022. It was initially set at £200 per tonne (£210.82 since April 2023) and applies to importers and manufacturers of plastic packaging with less than 30% recycled content. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been seeking to raise more awareness of PPT and has indicated that the … Continue Reading

Heavy-Duty Regulatory Update: Reviewing US EPA’s Waiver for CARB’s Advanced Clean Trucks Regulations and US EPA’s Proposed Phase 3 GHG Emissions Standards

Our team at Squire Patton Boggs monitors developments surrounding the heavy-duty vehicle and engine sector.  Our last blog post on this topic covered updates on US EPA’s proposed Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards and California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) rulemaking for off-road diesel engine regulations.  In this … Continue Reading

Reviewing US EPA’s New Cybersecurity Evaluation Requirements in Sanitary Surveys Conducted at Public Water Systems

Previously, we discussed the Biden-Harris Administration’s emphasis on cybersecurity in the water utility sector.  This month, the Administration continued that trend by issuing a final memorandum interpreting the regulatory requirements pertaining to public water system (PWS) sanitary surveys to require that states evaluate operational technology for cybersecurity when conducting the periodic sanitary surveys.  A fact … Continue Reading

Deposit return scheme: Circularity Scotland hails “milestone” producer registration and reaffirms August 2023 launch date amid growing scepticism

With a planned launch date of 16 August 2023, the pressure is on for the Scottish government to deliver the deposit return scheme (“DRS”) for drinks containers. Despite increased scrutiny of industry readiness, Circularity Scotland (“CSL”) reaffirmed on 2 March that the scheme is on track and that producers responsible for more than 95% of … Continue Reading

New and Updated Guidance on the Scope of the UK Plastic Packaging Tax

The Plastic Packaging Tax (the Tax) came into force on 1 April 2022 and applies to finished plastic packaging components (PPC) produced for commercial purposes or imported into the UK that contain less than 30% recycled plastic by weight. Since our previous article and our FAQ for businesses explaining the Tax, HMRC has updated its original guidance … Continue Reading

Greenwashing: UK Regulator Investigation and Further Guidance for Businesses

The UK Regulator – the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) – continues to be active in cracking down on misleading green claims, this time targeting the fast-moving consumer goods industry (“FMCG”). In this piece, our IP and Technology colleagues discuss the FMCG investigation and the Advertising Standards Authority’s (“ASA“) pursuit of misleading green claims. Read the … Continue Reading

EU Proposal for Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation

The European Commission has tabled a proposal for Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation – a cornerstone initiative aiming to revolutionise the industry by common, EU-wide rules for packaging circularity. In this article, we look at the new rules in more detail as it introduces an array of new rules with regards to packaging that is … Continue Reading

US EPA Proposed Clean Air Act Endangerment Finding Targets Aviation Fuel

Lead was once a common additive in fuels, paints, glasses, batteries, pipes, ceramics, and more.  As the health effects of lead exposure came to be better known, Congress and EPA began targeting lead pollution under a variety of laws and regulations governing air and water pollution, including the Toxic Substances Control Act, Residential Lead-Based Paint … Continue Reading

UK Government Proposes 1,000 Fold Increase in Fines for Water Companies

The number of pollution incidents allegedly perpetrated by water companies in the UK has risen sharply in the last few years. On 3 October 2022, the UK Government shared proposals to raise the maximum cap on civil penalties for pollution incidents to unprecedented levels – from £250,000 up to £250 million per violation. If retained … Continue Reading

US EPA Launches Initiative to Streamline the Review Process for Certain Electric Vehicle and Clean Energy Chemicals

On October 5, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its intent to streamline the review process of mixed metal oxides (MMOs).  MMOs are a key component in lithium-ion batteries, which are used in electric vehicles and other clean energy initiatives, including in semi-conductors, and renewable energy generation and storage, such as in solar … Continue Reading

Environmental Justice for All: Expanding the US Environmental Justice Movement Through Permitting Decisions

Our team at Squire Patton Boggs continues to track environmental justice matters as the landscape evolves according to Biden Administration executive orders.  We have previously posted on environmental justice considerations in affordable housing and have updated readers on environmental justice initiatives under the Biden Administration.  This post explores how environmental justice considerations under Title VI … Continue Reading

US EPA Resurrects Long-Dormant DINP Rulemaking

While rulemakings under the Administrative Procedure Act typically take several years from proposal to enactment, that can vary significantly.  While some rules run a fairly standard course, others languish for years with no action nor any apparent reason for inaction.  EPA’s recent revival of a proposed rule that is now, were it a person, old … Continue Reading

The Revival of Supplemental Environmental Projects and How It May Impact Settlement Agreements Moving Forward

As the US Department of Justice (DOJ) begins to revive the use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs), it is likely that they will appear again with increasing frequency in settlement agreements moving forward.  DOJ received comments through July 11, 2022 on its interim final rule to revoke the Trump-era regulation that prohibited payments to non-governmental, … Continue Reading

US EPA Announces Drinking Water Health Advisories for Certain PFAS Chemicals

On June 15, 2022, US EPA issued its prepublication notice announcing final drinking water health advisories for PFBS and GenX, as well as interim drinking water health advisories for PFOA and PFOS.1 In this publication, we discuss US EPA’s recent announcement and consider how it could impact industries moving forward: Drinking Water Advisory Levels for … Continue Reading

US States Charge Into the Future with Federal Support for EV Charging Infrastructure

Earlier this year, a new $5 Billion National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program was established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  The Program will provide funding to States to help with the strategic deployment of a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2030, with the goal of providing convenient, reliable, affordable, … Continue Reading

New EU Ecodesign law – “Making sustainable products the norm” or empty shell?

At the end of March, the European Commission (Commission) presented the Sustainable Products Initiative (SPI) as part of a ‘Circular Economy Package I’, together with a Sustainable Textiles Strategy, and proposals for a new directive empowering consumers for the green transition (please see Sustainability Outlook March 2022), and a new Construction Products Regulation. In its … Continue Reading

Furthering the Biden Administration’s Environmental Goals Using the Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Advisory Committee

Recently, in celebration of National Agriculture Day, US EPA Administrator Regan announced that US EPA had rechartered its Farm, Ranch & Rural Communities Advisory Committee (FRRCC).  Administrator Regan simultaneously announced a new charge topic for the FRRCC as well. The FRRCC was developed in 2007 and focuses on providing policy advice, information, and recommendations to … Continue Reading

Environmental Justice Consideration in Affordable Housing

Environmental justice has a natural connection to affordable housing programs.  It remains, however, a broad and somewhat elusive term.  There is no formal definition of environmental justice in US federal law.  However, relevant agencies have developed working descriptions for the term.  US EPA generally defines it as “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people … Continue Reading

A “Made in America” Supply Chain for Critical Minerals

The Biden administration recently announced major investments in the domestic production of key critical minerals and materials. The minerals targeted by the Administration are the rare earth elements, lithium, and cobalt—found in products from personal rechargeable electronics and television screens, to household appliances, as well as those used in clean energy technologies like batteries, electric … Continue Reading
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