Archives

US EPA Adoption of New Phase I ASTM Standard E1527 Delayed by Adverse Comments

Back in November of 2021, ASTM International issued its revised Standard Practice E1527-21 to replace its 2013 version setting forth the specific procedures and requirements for environmental professionals preparing Phase I environmental site assessments.  Preparation of a Phase I report under this Standard satisfies one of the obligations under the All Appropriate Inquires (AAI) Rule … 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

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

Crunch Time for Critical Minerals in the US

Following up on Squire Patton Boggs’s continuing coverage of the critical minerals industry, we examine some recent reforms in the federal permitting process which aim to ease supply-side constraints by expediting the development and exploitation of critical minerals. Rapidly mounting geopolitical tensions, East/West decoupling, and longstanding supply chain stresses underlie a new reality—global logistics now … 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

Biden EPA Backtracks on Trump-Era Water Policy – Will the New Stance Lead to Efficiency or Add to Administrative Backlog?

US EPA recently issued two memoranda announcing a more flexible timeline for its review of state and tribal water quality standards (WQS), replacing a Trump-Era policy that set defined deadlines for these reviews.  On February 4, 2022, US EPA Assistant Administrator Radhika Fox issued a memorandum entitled “Rescission of Memorandum Titled: ‘Policy for the EPA’s Review … Continue Reading

The Trend Toward Heightened Cybersecurity for the US Water Utility Sector

With high-profile cybersecurity attacks in 2021 such as those at Colonial Pipeline and JBS Foods, there is no doubt that cybersecurity is of utmost importance to our nation, and cybersecurity for our water sector is no exception.  The potential ramifications of a cyber attack on the water industry are disconcerting—in one 2021 attack, hackers accessed … Continue Reading

Advertising, Media and Brands Global Compliance Challenges: The Rise of ESG and Global Workforce Challenges

2021 has provided unique challenges for businesses operating across the advertising, media and brands industry. Aside from the impact of the pandemic, we are seeing a changing and challenging landscape due to increasing economic, consumer, regulatory and compliance pressures. With increased exposure as a result of these pressures, Squire Patton Boggs and BDO will be … Continue Reading

Update on Environmental Justice Initiatives Under the Biden Administration

During his campaign and with several Executive Orders issued during his first week in office, President Biden made clear that environmental justice (EJ) reforms are a priority of his Administration.  So, where are we one year into his Presidency?  This post provides a brief update on federal programs, initiatives and policies aimed at environmental justice … Continue Reading

The ABC’s of ESG

ESG: What and How Significant Is It? With “proxy season” kicking into high gear, issuers are already beginning to think about how to address concepts that are both complex and amoeba-like: environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) matters.  According to some leaders in the field: 1. The ‘E’ captures energy efficiencies, carbon foot printing, greenhouse gas … Continue Reading

US Safe Drinking Water Act Section 1441: A Tool to Combat Supply Chain Issues for Public Water Systems and POTWs

As the United States continues experiencing nationwide supply chain issues, it comes as little surprise that these problems are also impacting the availability of drinking water and wastewater treatment chemicals.  Public water systems (PWSs) and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) have reported shortages of gaseous chlorine as well as other critical chemicals and supplies.  US … Continue Reading

Prop 65 Regulatory Update for the Food & Cannabis Industry: OEHHA Proposes Specialized Warnings for Exposures to Acrylamide from Food & Exposures to Smoke from Cannabis/THC Products

Food has become a bigger and bigger target for enforcement under Prop 65 over the last few years, and acrylamide in particular has been the subject of scrutiny by both the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and in pending litigation. You can find our prior post on this subject here. Now, OEHHA … Continue Reading

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

European Commission Proposes a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) for Iron, Steel, Cement, Fertilisers, Aluminium and Electricity (4 in 4-Part Series)

Another much-anticipated and likely controversial proposed regulation would establish a CBAM for certain imports. The Commission presented it as a measure to ensure that ambitious climate action in Europe does not lead to “carbon leakage” by pushing carbon-intensive production out of the single European market but contribute to a global emissions decline by encouraging the … Continue Reading

European Commission Proposes a Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (3 in 4-Part Series)

As another key component of the Fit for 55 package, the Commission made a proposal to amend Directive 2018/2001 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (RED II) and related legal acts. The revision would increase the overall binding target for renewable energy in the EU energy mix from the current … Continue Reading

European Commission Proposes “Most Crucial Change to the EU Emission Trading System So Far” (2 in 4-Part Series)

As part of the Fit for 55 package, the Commission presented a proposal to revise Directive 2003/87 establishing a system for GHG emission allowance trading within the EU, as well as related legal acts. According to the Commission’s Explanatory Memorandum, ensuring continued effective protection for the sectors exposed to a significant risk of carbon leakage … 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

Significant Activity Follows US EPA’s TSCA Asbestos Risk Evaluation

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 … 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

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 … Continue Reading

President Biden Signs Executive Order on Protecting Worker Health and Safety

On Thursday, January 21, President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order that directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue guidance to employers on protecting workers from COVID-19, including protecting workers from COVID-19 under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and protecting other categories of workers from COVID-19.  In this alert we outline … Continue Reading
LexBlog