EHS Law Insights

Comment and analysis by Reed Smith lawyers on the latest developments in Environmental Health & Safety

Latest from EHS Law Insights

In our “What to expect in 2021” blog, one cross-sectoral EU initiative we flagged was forthcoming Commission proposals for far-reaching new EU-wide Sustainable Corporate Governance requirements. Here are some more details of what that might entail. Background Recent studies have suggested that companies performing well on ESG factors outperform their peers and that those with better social and environmental performance have proved to be more resilient to the COVID-19 crisis. Against this explicit…
2021 is shaping up to be a very busy year for those who are affected by EU laws relating to Environment, Health & Safety, ESG and product compliance matters. Important developments are expected this year across a number of the EU’s flagship Green Deal policy initiatives, but there are many other significant initiatives to watch out for. Reed Smith’s EMEA EHS & Product Compliance team will be keeping a close eye on them all for…
Reed Smith’s U.S. based environmental team recently held a CLE webinar on what US environmental, health and safety legal and regulatory changes we can expect in 2021.  The webinar provided an insightful discussion on environmental policy and topics including: Environmental Policy With Biden Win: Anticipating new federal regulation and enforcement actions United States Supreme Court: October Term Outcomes and Beyond in light of addition of Justice Barrett to bench Federal and State Government regulation of…
As the transition in presidential administration draws closer and COVID-19 cases continue to increase in certain parts of the country, it appears increasingly likely that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) will undertake a rulemaking relating to COVID-19.  Additionally, state plan OSHA agencies continue to revise and issue guidance relating to their own rules, including in Virginia, Oregon, California, and Michigan.  (Washington state separately issued a regulation allowing enforcement of public health orders under…
Just one week after the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) made its proposed COVID-19 Emergency Regulation (“COVID-19 Rule”) available, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (“OSHSB”) responsible for approving such regulations unanimously passed it without revisions.  Cal/OSHA is the fourth state OSHA plan to promulgate a rule to address COVID-19, following Virginia, Oregon, and Michigan.  The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has made violations of emergency proclamations subject to workplace…
On November 7, 2020, Joe Biden became the projected President-elect of the United States. With an aggressive climate change plan that includes rejoining the Paris Agreement on the first day of his term, President-elect Biden and his administration will likely make significant changes to environmental, health, and safety rules and policies that will rollback Trump administration environmental actions and increase civil and criminal enforcement of environmental laws. New Regulatory Rollbacks and Expansions The Trump administration…
Drones, a generic term for unmanned aircraft, have been utilized in military applications for decades. More recently, however, advances in drone technology and construction have made the devices more accessible. These advances and increased accessibility have allowed more commercial and industrial applications to take off. For example, certain retailers are considering ways to efficiently use drones to make residential deliveries, and drones can help developers plan and manage construction projects and monitor progress. Drones as…
On 3 September 2020 the European Commission released an updated action plan (available here) on critical raw materials (CRMs).  In doing so, it has added bauxite, lithium, titanium and strontium to the existing list of CRMs, which now stands at 30 materials. The Commission also released a foresight report (available here) at the same time, on raw materials for strategic technologies and sectors. The report considers the raw material needed for growing technologies,…
As we mentioned in a previous post, the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a wave of bankruptcies that we expect to continue into 2021. Companies entering 2020 in a strong financial position may now need to quickly shed distressed assets and generate cash. A Chapter 11 reorganization is likely to be too long and burdensome for companies in this position. Fortunately, the Section 363 sale process offers a speedier alternative for disposing of distressed assets…
On August 24, 2020, EPA announced an emergency exemption in the state of Texas that permits American Airlines and Total Orthopedics Sports & Spine to use an antiviral that kills microbes like COVID-19 on surfaces for up to seven days.  This exemption request was submitted under Section 18 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Under FIFRA, EPA regulates all pesticides distributed or sold in the United States.  FIFRA generally requires that pesticide…