June 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:

  • Airline company fined £1.8 million after employee was crushed by an airline tug pulling a train of luggage.
  • The National Audit Office published its report on UK product safety regulation.
  • Bill proposes amendments to Modern Slavery Act to introduce an offence for false or incomplete information included in a business’s modern slavery statement.
  • NHS Trust fined £1.5 million and ordered to pay costs of £86,222 after failing to manage risks.
  • Committee on Climate Change published its third Independent Assessment of UK Climate Risk
  • UK government will require businesses to commit to net zero by 2050 as a condition of bidding for any major government contracts.
  • HM Treasury launched the Green Technical Advisory Group to help tackle “greenwashing”.
  • Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures is launched and publishes its first report.
  • HM Treasury published the government response to the Dasgupta review on biodiversity.
  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is consulting on compensation relating to the UK Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Price Support .
  • The Environment Agency has published its latest list of enforcement undertakings.
  • The Health & Safety Executive has published the UK REACH Work Programme, which describes operational work planned for 2021/22
  • Slovenian Council Presidency outlines sustainability policy priorities.
  • European Commission plans carbon border adjustment mechanism for imports of iron, steel, cement, fertilisers, aluminium and electricity.
  • European Commission proceeds with infringement procedures against 18 member states due to their failure to comply with EU waste law.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

May 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:

  • Fire Safety Act 2021 receives Royal Assent.
  • Metro operator fined £1.5 million after a worker was electrocuted on high-voltage overhead cables.
  • Government advisory group recommends default flexible working policies post-pandemic.
  • Environmental lawyer found in contempt by the Supreme Court.
  • Rail company fined £700,000 after a fire broke out at a substation in Kent.
  • UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UKETS) auction launches, with carbon prices higher than in the EU.
  • High Court judgment on an environmental warranty claim.
  • The Environment Bill returned to Parliament on 26 May.
  • Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) consults on draft guidance for businesses about “green” claims.
  • Dutch court orders Shell to reduce its CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030.
  • Thames Water fined £4 million for sewage pollution.
  • Scientists write a letter to UK ministers about chemical data requirements under UK REACH.
  • Young people challenge government on climate policies.
  • European Commission starts revision of the REACH and CLP Regulations.
  • European Commission adopts the Zero Pollution Action Plan.
  • European Commission issues draft rules on the separate collection of single-use plastic beverage bottles.
  • European Parliament demands that the EU strengthens its rules on companies’ environmental liability.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

April 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:

  • The government has published a consultation on a proposed new Protect Duty closing 2 July 2021.
  • Retailer fined £7.56 million for selling food past its use-by date.
  • Suspended prison sentence imposed for breach of a reporting restrictions order in a criminal trial.
  • High Court entitles private prosecutor to recover expenses incurred prior to commencement of criminal proceedings from central funds.
  • New carbon targets announced.
  • Single-use carrier bag charge increase.
  • The government publishes response on standards for biodegradable, compostable and bio-based plastics.
  • The EA has issued updated guidance and positions on various waste and permitting matters.
  • Use of “rogue trader” leads to enforcement against landowners.
  • EU Commission proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).
  • European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) commences study on chemical recycling.
  • ECHA identifies nearly 300 chemicals for regulatory action.
  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issues guidance to applicants from the plastic sector, including on new transparency requirements.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

March 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:

  • The Home Office has published its response to the fire safety consultation for England.
  • Modern slavery – registry launched and guide to powers also published.
  • The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) has published a call for evidence seeking views on changes to the UK product safety regime.
  • Thames Water fined £2.3 million for foreseeable pollution from sewage discharge.
  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published its Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy.
  • New energy efficiency legislation announced by UK government, and response to eco-design consultation.
  • Government confirmed in consultation response the 2030 date for ending sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans.
  • DEFRA consults on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) national implementation plan (NIP).
  • BEIS consults on mandatory climate-related financial disclosures by publicly quoted companies, large private companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs).
  • DEFRA announces second consultations on extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging and a deposit return scheme (DRS) for drinks containers.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

February 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:

  • COVID-19 route maps published.
  • Consultation issued on proposed amendments to domestic food law.
  • Home Office launches registry for Modern Slavery Act 2015 statements.
  • UK Supreme Court reverses court of appeal decision in Okpabi Nigerian pollution case.
  • The Dasgupta Review calls for changes in how we think, act and measure economic success to protect and enhance biodiversity.
  • The Interim Environmental Governance Secretariat (IEGS) is now open.
  • Draft regulations for UK emissions trading scheme (UKETS) auctioning have been published, and UKETS guidance has been updated.
  • Government circular confirms “nearly zero” energy requirements for new buildings.
  • Recent EA high-profile publications and statements highlight a number of key issues.
  • New UK-only system to apply for RoHS exemptions is launched.
  • A new report on UK Regulation after Brexit. Council serves injunction on illegal waste site in Kent.
  • 25 businesses and chemical industry associations write to government calling for a re-think on post-Brexit chemicals regime.
  • EU Court’s advisor suggests the Commission’s decision refusing to review the authorisation of the plasticiser DEHP (bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate) should be annulled.
  • EU court dismisses appeal regarding the authorisation of lead chromate pigments, confirms burden of proof for REACH authorisations.
  • EU member states further discuss position on chemicals strategy.
  • ECHA committee agrees with new classification of Bisphenol A (BPA).
  • Discussions around the Single-use Plastics Directive continue.

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

Significant Activity Follows US EPA’s TSCA Asbestos Risk Evaluation

science laboratory glassware

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) December 30, 2020 issuance of its risk evaluation for asbestos under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has generated considerable attention and activity, which will likely keep interested parties and the courts busy for quite some time.

As background, TSCA Section 6 requires EPA to prepare risk evaluations for “high priority” chemical substances that “may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.”   Asbestos was selected as one of the “first ten” substances to undergo risk evaluation, as required by the 2016 TSCA amendments, without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors. Continue Reading

The UK Environment Bill – How Will Air Quality Be Protected?

renewable wind energy

The Environment Bill, which is completing its passage through the UK parliament, represents the government’s vision of a framework for environmental regulation and governance in the UK post-Brexit.  The government has promised that the Bill will deliver cleaner air for all, but how will this ambition be achieved and what happens if it is not?  

Find out more as Rob Biddlecombe and Anita Lloyd, from Squire Patton Boggs’ environmental, safety and health practice put the Environment Bill under the microscope in this article for Air Quality News magazine.

2021 Women in Energy & Environment Webinar Series

turbine

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 the UK in Environment and Sustainability: 2021 and Beyond
  • Looking Ahead to 2021: Implications of a Change in Administration on Environmental Policy in the US
  • Key Regulatory Issues in the US in Energy and Environment: 2021 and Beyond

You can access the full benefits of this series via this placemat, which provides links to the recording and presentation materials of each session.  Information for all of the presenters is also available via their hyperlinked bios should you have any questions.

We look forward to seeing you attend future programs as we continue highlighting energy and environmental developments in 2021 and beyond.  We also welcome your feedback.  Please reach out to Christopher Timms with any general questions or comments.

Developments in Mobile Source Regulation: US EPA’s Updated Tampering Policy

The second half of 2020 sped by with all the fleetness of a supercharged truck. In case you missed it, Squire Patton Boggs has provided a recap of the Agency’s revised tampering policy as well as trends in the broader industry. Although we expect the new administration to lead to changes in approach to mobile source regulation, the tampering policy is likely to remain in place since it is an integral part of the Agency’s National Compliance Strategy on aftermarket defeat devices. In 2020, for example, the US EPA reported resolving 31 civil enforcement cases related to tampering and aftermarket defeat devices – “the most for any one year in the agency’s history.”

Looking to the future, several manufacturers in the industry are also planning for a post-diesel market. Recently, seven of the largest truck manufacturers in Europe announced that they would eliminate the use of diesel by 2040 – including, for one manufacturer, the intention to have carbon neutral manufacturing in its North American facilities by approximately 2025. As manufacturers plan for the future, an expected priority will be to push for unified regulatory standards at the state and federal level, especially as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) advances initiatives and rulemaking designed to reduce emissions from heavy-duty and off-road vehicles and engines.

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 construction products
  • Poundstretcher is fined for allergen labelling offences
  • Modern Slavery recommendations for financial services
  • Possible manslaughter charge following a Smart Motorway death
  • The HSE and DEFRA update their chemicals Brexit guidance
  • EA issues a position statement to allow increased storage of plastic waste following export rule changes
  • President Joe Biden commits the US to re-joining the Paris Agreement
  • Government publications and consultations issued on low-carbon buildings
  • Environment Bill is delayed again
  • UK Government consults on “Best Available Techniques” – A future regime within the UK preventing or minimising impacts on the environment from industry
  • EU Court requires the European Investment Bank (EIB) to review a decision to finance a biomass power generation plant
  • European Chemicals Agency is to revoke at least 2,900 REACH registrations held by UK companies
  • UK company sues the EU over the Single-use Plastics Directive
  • European authorities to check compliance with authorisations and regarding recovered substances
  • European Commission says that half of green claims lack evidence

For more detailed information on these developments, download a copy from our website.  You can also subscribe to ensure that you receive our most recent edition each month.

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