EHS Law Insights

Comment and analysis by Reed Smith lawyers on the latest developments in Environmental Health & Safety

On October 8, 2019, the Office of Administrative Law approved an adjustment to the covered electronic waste (CEW) recycling fee for covered electronic devices (CED). This CEW recycling fee is assessed when a California consumer buys a CED – generally, any video display device with a screen larger than four inches – from a retailer. These fees fund the CEW Recycling Program, which is run by the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). At…
Our EU law environmental and product regulatory teams have been following the passage of a significant new law through the French parliament: ‘the Anti-Waste and Circular Economy Bill’ (Projet de loi relatif à la lutte contre le gaspillage et à l’économie circulaire) (the Bill). Key features of the Bill include: Radically expanded obligations for producers in relation to waste management Introduction of a ‘product lifetime score’ to be displayed on some products Harmonised waste collection…
Biffa Waste Services Ltd (Biffa) has been fined for breaching Regulation 23 of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 after containers of paper for recycling were found to be contaminated with household waste. The fine was £350,000 plus an additional £240,000 in costs. In 2015, Biffa had arranged for shipments of waste paper to be transported to delivery sites in Shenzhen and Guangdong. When the containers were inspected by the Environment Agency (EA) at…
Following on from the consultations carried out in 2018, and as had been expected, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced yesterday that it will move to add 18 substances of very high concern (SVHC) to Annex XIV of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), i.e. the “Authorisation List”. As a reminder, substances included on the Authorisation List cannot be “placed on the market” or used after a given date – the ‘sunset…
On September 25, 2019, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) voted unanimously to approve Dr. Katherine A. Lemos, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB). Dr. Lemos’ nomination will now advance to the full Senate for confirmation.…
On September 12, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of the Army issued a pre-publication draft of the final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS Rule), which amended existing Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations. According to the EPA, the agencies’ goal is to “implement the pre-2015 Rule regulations nationwide as informed by applicable agency guidance documents and consistent with Supreme Court…
On 9 September 2019, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung – BMZ) introduced a new, state-regulated environmental label for “Green Button” (Grüner Knopf) certified textiles with a press release, available here. The BMZ also launched the official Green Button website, which is available in German at http://www.gruener-knopf.de/. In a nutshell The Green Button is a logo that serves as evidence that the textile products concerned were…
The European Commission is inviting interested parties to submit their comments and concerns related to EU legislation on the following topics: The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive: This is merely a generic request for feedback. The Commission will be releasing a revised RoHS Directive in 2021 and is, therefore, offering a chance for industry to have its say on the effectiveness of the RoHS Directive in its current form, so that, in its words,…
On September 12, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent for pre-publication review to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a final draft rule aimed at repealing regulatory changes to the Risk Management Program (RMP). The RMP regulations establish a performance-based standard for process safety applicable to facilities that utilize or manufacture a threshold quantity of highly hazardous chemicals, historically mirroring the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard promulgated by the Occupational…