Rulemaking & Policy Development

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OSHA Final Rule Clarifies Employees’ Walkaround Representative; Opens Non-Union Workplaces to Union Representatives 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) published its controversial final “walkaround” rule on April 1, 2024.  The final rule clarifies the rights of employees to authorize a representative – employee or non-employee – to accompany an OSHA compliance officer (CSHO) during an inspection of their workplace.  This can include a … Continue Reading

US EPA Finalizes Rulemaking for Methane Emission Reductions

On December 2, 2023, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the pre-publication version of its Final Rule for standards of performance in the Oil and Natural Gas sector. The original proposed rule, published on November 15, 2021, sought to strengthen methane standards for new sources (New Source Performance Standards or NSPS), establish nationwide … Continue Reading

Biden Administration Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Target Rule that is Likely to Draw Challenges

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently released a prepublication version of its final rule establishing a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions measure.  The final rule establishes a method for measurement of GHG emissions associated with transportation and requires state departments of transportation (State DOTs) and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) that have National Highway System (NHS) routes … Continue Reading

FDA Delays Enforcement of MOCRA Deadlines for Facility Registration and Product Listing to July 1, 2024

On November 9, 2023, the FDA published notice of final guidance that delays FDA’s enforcement of some facilities’ registration and product listing compliance requirements under MOCRA to July 1, 2024. This enforcement delay applies to facilities that “engaged in manufacturing or processing of a cosmetic product” or products as of MOCRA’s enactment date (December 29, … Continue Reading

Revamping Cosmetics Safety and Regulation: Updates from FDA on Regulatory Changes under MOCRA

In August 2023, the FDA released draft guidance on upcoming regulatory changes pursuant to MOCRA, including guidance on cosmetic product facility registrations and product listings. MOCRA applies to any establishment that manufactures or processes cosmetics products. According to the draft guidance, the FDA is in the process of creating a new online portal for facility … Continue Reading

White House Finalizes Long-awaited Build America, Buy America (BABA) Guidance

The White House has announced long-awaited final guidance to federal agencies to implement domestic content and manufacturing requirements in federally funded infrastructure projects. The Biden administration guidance applies broadly to the use of iron, steel, and other common construction materials and products and, as a result, is expected to have broad implications for awardees of … Continue Reading

Reforming Cost-Benefit Calculations under Circular A-4: Implications for Environmental Rulemaking

Would you rather pay your bills tomorrow or next year?  What about your paycheck?  Intuitively, most people want delayed costs and immediate benefits, and so want checks now and liability later.  This poses a challenge for policymakers when weighing the costs and benefits of a new policy: is reasonable to pay 90 cents today for … Continue Reading

From Farm to Table: How the Supreme Court’s Pork Ruling Impacts States’ Rights and Doing Business in California

In a heavily fractured decision last month, the U.S. Supreme Court held in National Pork Producers Council, et al v. Ross, et al, that a California law (Cal. Health & Safety Code 25991, known as Proposition 12), which forbids the in-state sale of whole pork meat that comes from breeding pigs “confined in a cruel … 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

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

Revamping of Cosmetics Regulation and Safety

President Biden signed into law the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023” on December 29, 2022 (the enactment date). The Act includes the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (“MOCRA”) which increases the authority of the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) to regulate cosmetics and provide enhanced protections for consumers. The new law includes … Continue Reading

Key Federal PFAS Regulatory Developments in 2022 and 2023

In 2022, US EPA indicated that it would take a more aggressive stance on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). US EPA developed a PFAS Strategic Roadmap for 2021-2024 that sets timelines by which US EPA plans to take specific actions and sets out its three main directives: 1) research PFAS exposure; 2) restrict PFAS from … 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

Beware Before You Flare: EPA Revamps Rulemaking to Pave the Way for Methane Emission Reductions

On November 15, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) issued the pre-publication version of supplemental proposed rulemaking for reduction of methane emissions in the oil and natural gas sector. The original proposed rule, published on November 15, 2021, sought to strengthen methane standards for new sources (New Source Performance Standards or NSPS), … Continue Reading

The Automotive Recall Landscape in the US

As automotive technologies evolve, particularly in regard to autonomous vehicles (AVs), legislators struggle to keep pace. The lack of a binding legislative framework for AVs leaves regulators on their own in determining if and how to establish new safety standards. Here, we provide a general overview of recent legislative efforts, the National Highway Safety Administration’s … Continue Reading

China Publishes Draft List of Key New Pollutants under Pollutant Control Action Plan

We have been monitoring the progress China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) has been making on the goals set in its New Pollutant Control Action Plan, released in May 2022. One of the goals of the Plan was to release a list of key “new pollutants” for regulation and control, the categories of which … Continue Reading

2022 Chemicals Workshop Webinar Series: PFAS, REACH and Other Chemical Regulatory Issues

A recording of PFAS, REACH and Other Chemical Regulatory Issues the second webinar in our two-part 2022 Chemicals Workshop webinar series, in partnership with the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC), is now available. In this session, we provided an overview of the rapidly evolving landscape related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including the proposed … Continue Reading

2022 Chemicals Workshop Webinar Series: TSCA Developments and US EPA Updates

A recording of TSCA Developments and US EPA Updates, the first webinar in our two-part 2022 Chemicals Workshop webinar series in partnership with the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC), is now available. In this session, we reviewed US EPA’s implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), including proposed “whole chemical” determinations and other Biden … Continue Reading

US EPA Proposes PFAS Hazardous Substances Designation

In a landmark action, US EPA recently proposed to designate two of the most widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as “Superfund.”  If finalized, this rule would require entities to report releases of those PFAS substances and would authorize US … 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’s Submission of Reconsidered Fugitive Emissions Rule Signals Movement Forward on Agency Air Permitting Initiatives

While the US has begun considering the implications of the US Supreme Court’s monumental June 28, 2022 opinion addressing air emissions from power plants, without much fanfare US EPA sent a proposed rulemaking to the White House Office of Management & Budget (OMB) for pre-publication interagency review that could be significant for “major source” air … 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
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