Environment, Land & Resources

Tag Archives: pollution

EU Introduces Single-Use Plastics Directive to Promote a Circular Economy

The Directive aims to reduce the impact of plastic products and therefore help protect the environment and human health. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On June 12, 2019, a new directive was published that aims to help protect land and marine environments, as well as human health. The mandate — Directive (EU) … 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

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

EU Announces Stricter Emissions Standards for Cars and Commercial Vans

EU will tax manufacturers for excess emissions and collect individual consumption data from vehicles in order to meet climate change goals. By Jörn Kassow and Patrick Braasch The EU is setting stricter CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs). A new regulation on CO2 emission standards (Regulation (EU) No 2019/631), … 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

How China’s New Chemical Regulation Framework Will Impact Businesses

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 … Continue Reading

China Issues Draft of Comprehensive Chemical Substances Regulation

China’s MEE is seeking comment on new chemical regulation framework, which includes a comprehensive environmental risk assessment. Paul A. Davies, Ethan Prall, and R. Andrew Westgate In January 2019, China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) issued a draft Regulation on Environmental Risk Assessment, and Control of Chemical Substances (the Chemical Substances Regulation or CSR) … Continue Reading

Circular Economy and End of Waste Status: French Government Issues Criteria and Procedures

Waste producers must comply with new criteria and procedures for objects and products to benefit from end of waste status. By Paul Davies The French government has developed many measures to foster circular economy approaches. Most recently, a Ministerial Order of 11 December 2018 (Order) sets out criteria and procedures to end the waste status … Continue Reading

Climate Litigation Targets the French Government

Four NGOs launch innovative action claiming state has not met COP21 objectives. By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green On 17 December 2018, four NGOs filed legal action against the French state. In the legal action, the NGOs argued that the state has not met the short-term climate change objectives set at COP21. The … Continue Reading

Environmental Groups Face Another Loss in Coal Ash Fight

Latest court ruling further underscores circuit split on groundwater conduit theory. By Joel C. Beauvais and Stacey L. VanBelleghem The US District Court for the Central District of Illinois has held that power plant owners are not liable under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for discharges of pollutants from coal ash disposal facilities through groundwater … 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

D.C. Circuit Strikes Down EPA Coal Ash Rule Provisions

Decision may significantly impact active and inactive unlined and clay-lined coal ash impoundments, likely requiring closure or retrofit. By Claudia M. O’Brien and Stijn van Osch The D.C. Circuit this week struck down parts of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) rule for not being sufficiently protective of the environment. The decision … Continue Reading

China’s “War Against Pollution” Intensifies in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region

Approximately 1,000 manufacturing firms in Beijing will close by 2020. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China’s anti-pollution efforts have intensified in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which is known for its problems with smog. In fact, Premier Li Keqiang has identified Beijing and Hebei as key areas in the “war against pollution.” The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei … Continue Reading

China Targets Company Polluters and Officials Who Fall Short of Their Duties

The Chinese government and legislature are increasing pressure on local government officials and companies to reduce pollution in China. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China’s legislature is targeting companies responsible for pollution, and has ordered local judiciaries and lawmakers to implement revised rules and enforce penalties against those who break them. Air … Continue Reading

Chinese Authorities Crack Down on Yangtze River Environmental Offenders

Polluters of one of China’s most polluted waterways are increasingly facing prosecution through coordinated local and national efforts. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate Chinese authorities have been increasing their efforts to prosecute environmental offenders along the Yangtze River, the third-longest river in the world and the longest in Asia. The crackdown reflects … Continue Reading

China Releases 2020 Air Pollution Action Plan

The plan’s stricter and more targeted requirements will impact a broader range of provinces, including the Fen-Wei Plains. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate China has released a new three-year action plan for 2018 to 2020 to combat air pollution. The previous air pollution action plan, published in 2013, has played a significant … Continue Reading

Can China Meet Its Paris Agreement Targets?

Increased manufacturing offshoring and industrial activity may prevent China from reaching its commitments, despite a booming renewable energy sector. By Paul A. Davies, Kimberly Leefatt, and R. Andrew Westgate China’s carbon emissions increased by 4% in the first quarter of 2018 — marking the biggest hike in carbon emissions in the last seven years, according … Continue Reading

China’s Action Against Plastic Pollution

The government’s plan to tackle internal and imported plastic waste is the latest phase in China’s clean energy commitment. By Paul A. Davies and R. Andrew Westgate Although China’s ambitious targets for reducing carbon emissions and air pollution have received global attention and coverage, the country’s significant steps to reduce solid waste pollution have been … Continue Reading

The Success of China’s Efforts to Decrease Harmful Pollution Levels

China cuts fossil fuel consumption to achieve clean energy goal, but must carefully balance the consequences for Chinese citizens. By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate In tandem with China’s significant economic growth over the past three decades, coal emissions have soared, increasing from 446 million tonnes in 1990 to 2.6 billion tonnes in 2017. Coal … Continue Reading

China to Expand Environmental Regulatory Authority

China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection’s increased authority over climate change and pollution control issues indicates a greater enforcement role for central government. By Paul A. Davies and Andrew Westgate The Chinese government has announced a major reorganization of China’s ministries that comprise the Chinese central government at a session of the 13th National People’s Congress in … Continue Reading

German Court Will Take Evidence in Groundbreaking Climate Change Case

By Joern Kassow and Patrick Braasch Latham has previously written about the Lliuya v. RWE AG case, in which a Peruvian farmer has sought damages from German energy giant RWE for climate change effects in his home country. The Higher Regional Court of Hamm indicated during oral hearings that it would likely proceed to take … Continue Reading

EU Urged to Tighten Regulation of Pharmaceutical Pollution

By Michael Green and Paul Davies A coalition of medical and environmental groups has called upon the European Commission (EC) to propose specific legislation that will address pollution, in particular, by active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). This political development highlights the complex debate currently taking place over how to identify and address the effects of APIs. … Continue Reading
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