EHS Law Insights

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

Latest from EHS Law Insights

The EPA is moving towards establishing a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS, and has stated that it is considering avenues for regulating additional groups of PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as well.  On February 22, 2021, the EPA announced two actions under SDWA to address PFAS. First, the agency reissued the final regulatory determination to implement a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for PFOS and PFOA (the “Determination”).  This…
California continues to move forward with new proposals for regulation and enforcement of workplace hazards associated with COVID-19.  As the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) continues to develop a draft permanent standard to address COVID-19 hazards in cooperation with an advisory committee of various stakeholder groups, state legislators have proposed a senate bill to increase enforcement of “willful” violations on a per-employee basis. Emergency temporary standard and permanent rule Earlier this month, Cal/OSHA…
As we reported, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) seeks to significantly amend the regulations under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (aka “Proposition 65”) to revise the method of transmission and content of State-approved “safe harbor” short-form warnings for consumer products. If passed as proposed, manufacturers, distributors and downstream retailers would need to identify “at least one” regulated chemical in each “exposure category” (i.e., carcinogens and…
In our “What to expect in 2021” blog, one cross-sectoral EU initiative we flagged was forthcoming Commission proposals for far-reaching new EU-wide Sustainable Corporate Governance requirements. Here are some more details of what that might entail. Background Recent studies have suggested that companies performing well on ESG factors outperform their peers and that those with better social and environmental performance have proved to be more resilient to the COVID-19 crisis. Against this explicit…
In accordance with its initiatives under the European Green Deal, the Commission is currently seeking public feedback on both its proposed update to the EU Industrial Emissions Directive (‘IED’) and for the proposed implementation of the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan. Introduced in 2019, the European Green Deal sets out the Commission’s ambitious strategy to addressing climate-related and environmental challenges across various industry sectors. Amongst other things, it commits the EU to revising existing measures…
On January 19, 2021, in a 2-1 decision, the D.C. Circuit Court vacated the Trump administration’s 2019 Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule and remanded it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The decision offers a strong statement about EPA’s breadth of authority to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs) under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and, if its position is upheld, clears the way for the Biden administration to regulate power plants. The Affordable Clean…
The European Commission is proposing a radical and wide-ranging overhaul of the roughly 15 years’ old existing batteries and waste batteries laws in the Union. For those who have not yet found the time to read the nearly 127-page draft regulation and annexures put out for public consultation in December 2020, here is a summary of some of the key proposals at a glance:     Battery type Proposed new measure[1] Date[2] Portable…
The European Commission is moving forward with its legislative agenda to reduce methane emissions in the energy industry, specifically the oil, gas and coal sectors. Following the Commission’s October 2020 Communication (COM 2020/663 final) on an EU strategy to reduce methane emissions as part of the EU Green Deal programme, the Commission has set out the policy options under consideration as part of a public consultation. The consultation should be followed later in 2021 by…
2021 is shaping up to be a very busy year for those who are affected by EU laws relating to Environment, Health & Safety, ESG and product compliance matters. Important developments are expected this year across a number of the EU’s flagship Green Deal policy initiatives, but there are many other significant initiatives to watch out for. Reed Smith’s EMEA EHS & Product Compliance team will be keeping a close eye on them all for…
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has proposed to significantly amend the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65, to revise the method of transmission and content of State-approved “safe harbor” short-form warnings for consumer products. OEHHA believes implementation of the warning regulations has revealed the need for express limits on the use of the short-form warning for consumer products. The regulation did not expressly…