Environment, Land & Resources

New York to Consider Imposing California Proposition 65-Like Labeling Requirements

Posted in California

The prospect of facing bicoastal enforcement in two of the largest markets in the US could prove burdensome to businesses.

By Kegan A. Brown, Michael G. Romey, James A. Erselius, and Lucas I. Quass

On January 21, 2019, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced a proposal for the Consumer Right to Know Act — legislation that would authorize the Department of Environmental Conservation, in consultation with the Department of Health and the Department of State, to develop regulations establishing on-package labeling requirements for designated products indicating the presence of potentially hazardous chemicals, including carcinogens. If passed, the law would parallel California’s Proposition 65, which was enacted in 1986. Regulations updating Proposition 65 went into effect on August 30, 2018, which Latham & Watkins has summarized in previous blog posts.

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China Aims to Boost Investment in Clean Energy

Posted in China, Energy Regulatory, Power, Oil, Gas and Minerals, Project Siting and Approval

The Green Industry Guidance Catalogue attempts to provide consistent nationwide guidelines for green industries and projects.

By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate

Background

On 6 March 2019, seven Chinese regulatory agencies issued the Green Industry Guidance Catalogue (the Catalogue) listing “green industries” that are eligible for funding with green bonds. The seven agencies include the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, The People’s Bank of China, and the National Energy Board.

China’s environmental revolution not only entails implementing a robust, modern policy framework, but also a significant rearrangement of the economy itself — rendering the revolution a priority for both ecological and economic development reasons. As a result, in recent years, all provinces and directly-administered municipalities within China and departments within the Chinese government have introduced policies and measures to promote green industries. However, these policies and measures have been hampered by a lack of uniformity and the application of differing standards in different regions. Continue Reading

Recent Prop 65 Amendments Prompt Claims Against Online Alcohol Retailers in California

Posted in California

Online alcohol sellers should ensure compliance with the new Prop 65 warning label requirements.

By Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, and James A. Erselius

On August 30, 2018, new regulations governing the implementation of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65) went into effect. The new regulations apply to all products manufactured after that date and require updated warnings that must appear on product labels in addition to other substantive changes. For an overview of the amendments, please refer to Latham’s four-part “How To Prepare” blog series. One provision of the recent amendments, concerning the warning requirements for the sale of alcoholic beverages, has triggered a notices of violation. In the first quarter of 2019, more than 50 notices alleging failure to comply with Prop 65 have been sent to online retailers of alcoholic beverages. Continue Reading

Is China Relaxing Its Grip on “Iron Fist” Environmental Regulation?

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, China, Environmental Regulation

Reports suggest that China’s promising focus on environmental regulation may be slowing amid an economic downturn.

By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate

Background

At the 2014 National People’s Congress, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s rhetoric adopting an “iron fist” approach in a “war against pollution” represented a stunning volte-face from China’s relaxed environmental oversight and prioritization of economic growth over the preceding four decades.

Building on pollution reduction targets set in 2013, the Environmental Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China (EPL) was adopted in 2014 and came into force in 2015. The EPL represented the first real revision to Chinese environmental law since 1989, and it took a modern, holistic approach to environmental legislation. The EPL declared environmental protection a fundamental national policy; obligated all entities and individuals to protect the environment; encouraged entities and individuals to use environmentally friendly and recycled products; adopted a total pollutants emission control system and public disclosure requirements; empowered citizens to report environmental pollution and bring public interest litigation; and imposed penalties, including daily fines and administrative detention for polluters and for government officials that fail to enforce environmental law. Continue Reading

How China’s New Chemical Regulation Framework Will Impact Businesses

Posted in Chemical Regulation, China

The framework represents China’s first comprehensive regulation of environmental risks from chemical substances.

By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate

The Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment’s (MEE’s) draft Regulation on Environmental Risk Assessment and Control of Chemical Substances (Regulation) is likely to have broad implications for companies that manufacture, process, import, or export more than 100kg of any chemical substance in China. The framework represents China’s first comprehensive regulation of environmental risks from chemical substances.

Companies should be aware of MEE’s action plan for enforcing the Regulation, as well as those provisions that will impact their business activities. Continue Reading

CARB Amending SF6 Regulation: Stricter Requirements for California Electrical Equipment

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, California

California proposes phasing out the use of SF6 in GIE and further reducing allowable GHG emissions from such equipment.

By Aron Potash and Kimberly D. Farbota

California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff recently published a discussion draft (Draft Amendments) of potential changes to the current Regulation for Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions from Gas Insulated Switchgear (SF6 Regulation).

Key proposed changes to the SF6 Regulation include:

  • Phasing out sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas-insulated equipment (GIE)
  • Further reducing allowable emissions from GIE
  • Expanding the regulation to encompass greenhouse gases (GHG) other than SF6

CARB held a workshop in Sacramento on February 25, 2019, during which staff presented an overview of changes proposed in the Draft Amendments and answered stakeholders’ questions. During the workshop, staff stated that CARB would like to hear any questions or concerns stakeholders may have about the Draft Amendments. Continue Reading

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