frESH

Perspectives on Environmental, Safety & Health

On May 19, 2020, OSHA issued two updated memorandums to regional administrators and state plan designees. The first updated the agency’s enforcement guidance for recording COVID-19 cases in the workplace. As we discussed here, OSHA originally indicated on April 10, 2020 that it would be exercising “enforcement discretion” and focusing COVID-19 recordkeeping requirements in the healthcare, emergency response, and correctional institution fields only—except where there was objective evidence reasonably available to an employer that…
Given the current economic stressors affecting the fossil fuel industry, there is growing political interest in investment policies that financial institutions are applying to that industry.  On May 7, Republican lawmakers penned a letter to the Trump Administration that cited the economic instability of the COVID‑19 pandemic as the basis for a request for regulatory action to prevent financial institutions from diverting their private funds away from the fossil fuel industry.  This request comes on…
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) are proceeding with development of proposed rules for on-road heavy-duty vehicle and engine regulation. As previously covered in our blog, US EPA and DOT already issued a final rule in early April rolling back greenhouse gas emission (GHG) standards in the context of light-duty vehicles. In anticipation of forthcoming regulation, we are following regulatory developments proposed for the heavy-duty vehicle…
In April 2017, the UK Joint Committee on Human Rights suggested that it might be appropriate for a “failure to prevent” mechanism, such as the one found in section 7 of the Bribery Act 2010, to be applied to business and human rights.  Earlier this year, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (“BIICL”) published the results of a study that considered the feasibility of introducing such a mechanism in the UK, with…
Recently, in a 6-3 decision in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund (Maui), the United States Supreme Court held that a discharge of pollution to groundwater may be regulated under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  The Supreme Court’s review arose from a case involving a wastewater treatment and reclamation facility in Hawaii that injects through disposal wells 4 million gallons per day of partially-treated waste water hundreds of feet deep into groundwater. The wells…
The restrictions during the COVID-19 lockdown, and wider health and safety considerations in relation to the potential spread of the virus, mean that many businesses in the construction sector have had to, or will have to, adapt to new ways of working as the UK comes out of lockdown. Although the plan for coming out of lockdown is currently uncertain, businesses can start to plan for the likely implications that “unlocking the lockdown” will have…
On April 29, 2020, US EPA and the CDC issued guidance on how best to disinfect and clean workplaces, schools, and other public spaces as the US economy begins to re-open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance, mainly directed to employers, facility managers, and public school officials, is part of the larger federal “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.” However, EPA adds that this particular guidance can be applied to individuals’ households as…
From April 2022, the UK government is proposing to introduce a new tax on plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into, the UK and containing less than 30% recycled plastic. Currently, the detailed policy design for the plastics tax is under consultation until 20 May 2020. Join Anita Lloyd and Caroline Almond for the first session in our UK ESH Webinar Series on 6 May 2020 at 2 p.m. BST – register here – as…
On April 26, 2020, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued interim guidance for the US meat and poultry industry.  The guidance contains a number of recommendations aimed at stemming transmission among workers in this particularly vulnerable industry, which continues to face plant shutdowns over COVID-19 outbreaks.  Although aimed at this critical industry specifically, the structured guidance also contains useful direction to other…
This webinar will explore the latest developments in Congress regarding additional stimulus legislation and the likelihood that it will include an infrastructure component. We will also focus on challenges associated with environmental permitting in the infrastructure development context, primarily those projects that involve impact to wetlands and streams under the Clean Water Act. The discussion will include an update regarding US EPA’s and the US Army Corps’ of Engineers’ final rule to streamline the definition…