EHS Law Insights

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

Latest from EHS Law Insights - Page 2

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…
Overall, the EU Waste Shipment Regulation (EC No. 1013/2006) (the EWSR) is effective, relevant and coherent, and adds value at the EU level. Those were the conclusions of the Trinomics study supporting the evaluation by the European Commission of the fitness for purpose of the EWSR (here: https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/926420bc-8284-11e9-9f05-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-99087502). Many in business who have grappled with the EWSR may beg to differ. In fairness, the study did also highlight a number of areas for improvement…
Several years ago, we wrote a detailed article explaining the new, tougher approach in the UK to the sentencing of environmental offences committed by large companies. That article, from 2015 (see: https://www.reedsmith.com/en/perspectives/2015/10/uk-courts-get-tough-on-environmental-crime-sentenc), focussed on the Court of Appeal’s decision in R v. Thames Water Utilities Ltd [2015] EWCA Crim 960.…
On 13 August 2019, the EA published its response to a recent consultation on proposals to revise the standard rules for an environmental permit for a tranche B specified generator that is also a new MCP. The original consultation and the EA’s response and conclusions can be found at: gov.uk