Environment, Land & Resources

Category Archives: Environmental Regulation

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US House Financial Services Committee Holds Landmark Hearing on ESG Reporting

Building a sustainable and competitive economy: an examination of proposals to improve ESG disclosures. By James R. Barrett, Paul A. Davies and Kristina S. Wyatt The US House Committee on Financial Services, Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets has held the first ever US Congressional hearing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. … Continue Reading

China Publishes Public Consultation on Environmental Protection Regulations for Construction Projects

MEE Opinions aim to clarify application of laws, expand the scope of illegal behaviour, and introduce new administrative penalties. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate The Department of Laws, Regulations, and Standards of China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) recently issued a notice of Public Consultation for the Opinions on Several Issues … Continue Reading

ECJ Decision Examines Definition of ‘Waste’ for Transboundary Consignments

ECJ Decision Examines Definition of ‘Waste’ for Transboundary Consignments Request for preliminary ruling from the Hague Court of Appeal confirms that the concepts of “waste” and “discard” must be interpreted broadly. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The European Court of Justice (ECJ) recently handed down its judgment in response to a request … Continue Reading

EPA Will Not Require Financial Assurances From Electric Power Sector

EPA’s decision to forego financial requirements will likely face opposition by eNGOs. By Claudia M. O’Brien and Stacey L. VanBelleghem On July 2, 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed decision not to impose new financial responsibility requirements on the Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution industry under Section 108(b) of the … Continue Reading

China’s Environmental Social Credit System Encourages Self-Regulation by 2020

China continues to implement an IT-based big data system of market regulation that rewards and punishes individuals and enterprises. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China is currently implementing an innovative approach to monitoring, rating, and regulating the behaviour of market participants through a new “social credit system” (SCS) set forth in the … Continue Reading

Basel Convention Extends to Include Transboundary Movements of Plastic Waste

The significant extension aims to manage plastic waste in an environmentally sound manner and support less developed nations that import waste. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On May 10, 2019, following two weeks of negotiations involving 1,400 delegates, at the Conferences of Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, it was … Continue Reading

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development

2018 Year in Review: Public agencies prevailed in 65% of CEQA cases analyzed. By James L. Arnone, Marc T. Campopiano, Christopher W. Garrett, and Lucinda Starrett Over the course of 2018, Latham & Watkins lawyers reviewed all 57 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cases, both published and unpublished, that came before California appellate courts. These … Continue Reading

Committee on Climate Change Recommends UK Government Adopt 2050 Net-Zero Greenhouse Gases Budget

The Committee has recommended that the UK government take the lead in reaching net-zero, through social, financial, and policy change. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Committee on Climate Change (CCC), a statutory body that advises the UK government on carbon budgets, has recommended that the UK government should commit to cutting … Continue Reading

TCFD Issues Implementation Guide Incorporating SASB and CDSB Frameworks

The Guide aims to improve climate-related risk disclosure in organizations’ mainstream reports. By Paul A. Davies and Kristina S. Wyatt The Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has issued an Implementation Guide designed to foster improved reporting of climate-related information. The TCFD has enjoyed widespread support since its formation in 2015, yet relatively few … Continue Reading

Is China Relaxing Its Grip on “Iron Fist” 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 … Continue Reading

Unanimous US Supreme Court Decision Takes a Hard Look at ‘Critical Habitat’

The decision gives landowners and developers a powerful tool to protect their interests and raises the bar for future critical habitat designations in unoccupied habitat. By Janice Schneider, Nikki Buffa, and Brian McCall The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Weyerhaeuser Co. v. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Serv., 586 U.S. (2018) has important implications for landowners … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Agrees Two Activities Constitute One CEQA Project

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[I] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel Brunton, James Erselius, and Derek Galey In a published decision issued June 12, 2018, County of Ventura v. City of Moorpark, Case No. B282466, the California Court of Appeal rejected part of the County of Ventura and the City of Fillmore’s … Continue Reading

Amendments to CEQA Guidelines Now in Effect

California Natural Resources Agency adopts final amendments to CEQA Guidelines, providing additional clarifying revisions to GHG impacts, baseline, and deferral of mitigation amendments. By Marc Campopiano, Winston Stromberg, and Samantha Seikkula The California Office of Administrative Law recently approved a suite of amendments to the CEQA Guidelines, which are now in effect. Latham wrote about … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Determines Threshold and Scope for EIR Requirement

CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, James A. Erselius, and Robert C. Hull In an unpublished opinion issued May 31, 2018, Save Adelaida v. County of San Luis Obispo, Case No. B279285, the California Court of Appeal partially affirmed the trial court’s decision and held … Continue Reading

Environment Agency Data Shows Spike in Enforcement Undertakings in England and Wales

The growth in the level of undertakings throughout 2018 tallies with a general increase in environmental enforcement. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Environment Agency has released data indicating that enforcement undertakings in England and Wales reached more than £2.2 million in 2018 — the highest-ever levels within a single year. The amounts … Continue Reading

Webcast – California’s 100% Zero Carbon Future: How SB 100 and EO B-55-18 Will Impact Businesses and Projects

Latham lawyers discuss the business implications of the new legislation. By Tommy P. Beaudreau, Marc T. Campopiano, Michael J. Gergen, Joshua T. Bledsoe, and Jennifer K. Roy Senate Bill 100, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 10, 2018, aims to raise California’s already ambitious renewable energy standards by 2030, with an ultimate … Continue Reading

European Parliament Looks to Broaden Plastics Ban

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green The Parliament voted in favor of a single-use plastics ban and added its own amendments. Plastics continue to face widespread regulatory attention in the EU. The European Commission (the Commission) released its Plastics Strategy in January 2018 and built on that effort with a proposed ban on … Continue Reading

California Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Duplicative CEQA Claim

By Christopher W. Garrett, Daniel P. Brunton, Jennifer K. Roy and Derek Galey CEQA Case Report: Understanding the Judicial Landscape for Development[i] In an unpublished opinion issued September 14, 2018, Inland Oversight Comm. v. City of San Bernardino, Case No. E064836, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision dismissing the Inland Oversight … Continue Reading

New JRC Report Reviews Progress in Tackling Soil Contamination

The report supports the efforts of the EU’s Seventh Environment Action Programme. By Alexander Wilhelm According to a report prepared by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) — the European Commission’s science and knowledge service — countries across Europe are making progress on tackling soil contamination. The report[i] states that the management of contaminated sites in … Continue Reading

Courts Block Coal Ash Suits, Setting Up US Supreme Court Showdown

Fourth and Sixth Circuit decisions give power plant operators additional defenses to citizen suits pending potential Supreme Court review of “groundwater conduit” theory. By Joel C. Beauvais and Stacey L. VanBelleghem Over the past month, two US Courts of Appeals have rejected Clean Water Act (CWA) citizen suits seeking to hold power companies liable for … Continue Reading
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