Environment, Land & Resources

California Senate Passes Broad GHG Emissions Reporting Requirements

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change, California

If adopted, the Senate bill would require large US companies doing business in California to report Scopes 1, 2, and 3 emissions as of January 2024.

By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Marc T. Campopiano, Jennifer K. Roy, Joshua T. Bledsoe, Julie Miles, and Alicia Robinson

The California Legislature is considering a bill to impose corporate sustainability reporting requirements that would substantially expand corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting obligations and, according to the bill’s co-author, impact “the vast majority of the country’s largest corporations, who almost all conduct business in California.” If adopted, Senate Bill 260 (SB 260) would establish a first-of-its-kind mandatory GHG emissions reporting framework requiring regulated entities to report all emissions “scopes,” including Scope 3 emissions (discussed below). The bill could also have impact well beyond California given the state’s ambitious climate policies and the number of large companies that do business in California. Continue Reading

European Commission Launches Public Consultation on EU Chemicals Legislation

Posted in Chemical Regulation, European Environmental and Public Law

The Commission plans to adopt a proposal for a revised Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals in the last quarter of 2022.

By Joachim Grittmann and Alexander Wilhelm

On 20 January 2022, the European Commission opened a public consultation on revising Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH Regulation). The REACH Regulation entered into force on 1 June 2007 and is to be fundamentally revised under the Commission’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, which forms part of the European Green Deal. Until mid-April 2022, interested parties are encouraged to share their opinions on the most relevant aspects of the REACH Regulation to ensure the goals of the Commission on innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals and a high level of protection of health and the environment. Continue Reading

President Biden Outlines Comprehensive Plan for Federal Sustainability

Posted in Air Quality and Climate Change

The president’s executive order aims to use the US government’s procurement power to achieve “carbon pollution-free electricity” by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

By Jennifer Roy and Julie Miles

On December 8, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Federal Sustainability (EO), which aims to set the federal government — the largest purchaser in the country with an annual purchasing power of $650 billion — on a path to net zero emissions by 2050. The EO establishes the following policies as part of a whole-of-government strategy. Continue Reading

Treatment of PFAS Under New Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standards Highlights Transactional Risk

Posted in Contaminated Properties & Waste, Environmental Regulation

A revised standard highlights the need for parties to consider non-scope considerations when conducting environmental assessments for transactions.

By Kegan A. Brown, David S. Langer, Thomas C. Pearce, and G. Jack Mathews

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action recently released an updated standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs). The newly revised standard, known as the ASTM E1527-21 standard, includes specific directions for how emerging contaminants, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), may be addressed in ESAs. Parties conducting due diligence or involved in transactions for which an ESA will likely be used to assess more than just the “all appropriate inquiry” component of a CERCLA defense should be aware of what the new standard requires for PFAS, especially as regulatory standards evolve or are adopted on a state and federal level. Parties should be aware that the new standard does not create any requirements that Phase I ESAs address any PFAS until EPA acts to list the specific PFAS at issue as a CERCLA hazardous substance, so there is a risk that a Phase I ESA will not cover a significant potential area of environmental concern. Continue Reading

California Proposes Amendments to Rules on Prop 65 Short-Form Product Warnings

Posted in California, Environmental Regulation

The proposal, which aims to clarify when short-form warnings should be used, would also create new requirements for information about harmful chemicals.

By Michael G. Romey, Lucas I. Quass, and Kevin Homrighausen

This article has been updated to reflect OEHHA’s decision to extend the public comment period on the Proposed Amendments from January 14, 2022 to January 21, 2022.

On December 13, 2021, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) published a notice of modified text to its proposed short-form warning regulations of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65 or Prop 65). As Latham previously reported, OEHHA had initially proposed amendments to its short-form warning regulations on January 8, 2021, which initiated a public comment period that ran through March 29, 2021. The December 13, 2021 proposed regulatory text (Proposed Amendments) respond to public comments received during the public comment period. A new public comment period for the Proposed Amendments will run from December 17, 2021 to January 21, 2022. Continue Reading