Communications & Media Environmental

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China Regulatory Enforcement Quarterly - Q3 2015

On August 12, a series of explosions in the northern port-city of Tianjin killed over one hundred people and injured hundreds of others. The explosions were allegedly caused by hazardous chemical materials in shipping...more

$85,000 in Fines Proposed for RF Exposure Violations after Ineffective Rooftop Barriers and Signage Lead to Building Owner’s...

Today the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) issued a pair of closely-related enforcement actions against two radio station licensees for failing to comply with the FCC’s radiofrequency...more

Laminate Flooring and Chinese Drywall: Where Are We Now?

On March 1, 2015, television news magazine “60 Minutes” aired a report concluding that Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators contained and “off-gassed” formaldehyde at levels exceeding health and...more

FTC Backs Off Green Guides Biodegradability Standard

On October 20, 2015, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an opinion and order holding that ECM BioFilms, Inc., a manufacturer of plastic additives, had made false or misleading claims about the biodegradability of...more

FTC Strikes Again—Company Found to Make False and Misleading Biodegradable Claims

On October 20, 2015, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a Final Order with a corresponding Opinion against ECM BioFilms, Inc. (ECM) stating that ECM made false and unsubstantiated environmental claims...more

Trade & Manufacturing - October 2015

Ending the Crude Oil Export Ban - On September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill to end the 40-year-old ban on the export of domestic crude oil. The Committee vote was passed by a Republican...more

Advertising Law - October 2015

Commercials Pulled After Endorser Admits 9/11 Lies - The revelation that an endorser lied about his whereabouts on September 11 led a national sports-themed restaurant chain to stop airing commercials where the actor...more

FTC Green Guides: FTC Sends Warning Letters Concerning Environmental Certification Seals

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced in a September 14, 2015, press release, "FTC Sends Warning Letters about Green Certification Seals," that it sent warning letters to five providers of environmental certification...more

“Green” Certifications and Seals Do Not Have FTC Approval

On September 14, FTC staff sent warning letters to five providers of environmental certification seals and 32 businesses that display them online, alerting them to the agency’s concerns that the seals may be deceptive and may...more

Circuit Court Grants Writ of Mandamus Requiring EPA to Act on Petition to Ban Chlorpyrifos

In an opinion issued on August 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted a writ of mandamus requested by Pesticide Action Network North America and the Natural Resources Defense Council (Petitioners)...more

The Legal Risks Associated with Corporate Sustainability Reporting

Investors, consumers and other stakeholder groups are driving a growing demand for companies to disclose more information about their environmental, social and governance (ESG) and sustainability practices. Many companies are...more

USDA Issues Final Rule Amending Voluntary Labeling Program For Biobased Products

On June 15, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued final amendments to the regulations concerning the Voluntary Labeling Program for Biobased Products. The rule is intended to incorporate statutory amendments...more

California Appellate Court Affirms Judgment in Favor of Food Company on Claims of Lead Exposure

In an important victory for defendants doing business in California, the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision holding that the defendants did not violate Proposition 65, California’s toxics...more

In Big Defense Win, Appellate Court Affirms that Proposition 65 Exposure Level Can Be Based on Average Consumption Over Time

In an important victory for defendants doing business in California, the California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s decision holding that the defendants did not violate Proposition 65 (Prop 65), California’s...more

California Appellate Court Takes on Proposition 65 Warning Triggers

Auburn Courthouse Prop 65Recent attempts to modify California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65, have been the work of the California Legislature. (See A Sane Tweak To Proposition 65 and...more

FTC Fails to Prove Green Guides' Meaning of "Biodegradable"

In an Initial Decision announced February 6, 2015, Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) held that ECM BioFilms, Inc. d/b/a Enviroplastics International (“ECM”) made false...more

FTC: Warning Letters to Manufacturers of Dog Waste Bags Suggest They May Be in Deep Doo-Doo

For the dog lovers of the world, this one is for you. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently sent "warning letters" to 20 manufacturers and marketers of dog waste bags that dog owners, walkers, and conscientious others...more

Proposition 65: OEHHA Proposes Revisions to Proposition 65 Warning Regulations

On January 12, 2015, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed important new regulations that would repeal and replace the existing Article 6 regulations regarding the all-important "clear and...more

CEQA Year In Review 2014: A Summary Of Published Appellate Opinions And Legislation Under CEQA

In This Issue: - When Does CEQA Apply? - Exemptions from CEQA - Negative Declarations - Environmental Impact Reports - Certified Regulatory Programs - Supplemental CEQA...more

California Earthquake: “Proposition 65” About to be Rocked?

California’s “Proposition 65” warning requirements (Health & Safety Code Sections 25249.6 et seq.) have long been a major concern for businesses that want their products offered for sale in the State’s large marketplace....more

Proposition 65 May Mean More Than Warning Signs and Lawsuits

As this space has discussed, Proposition 65 has been the subject of attempts by the California Legislature to reform the enforcement of the law. Recently, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment...more

Environmental Branding in Social Media

For the last three years, I have been the Vice Chair of Social Media for the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Air Quality Committee. The position requires posting developments in the law...more

New food information to consumers – 5 Key Points

The attention consumers are giving to their food choices is growing. These choices can be influenced not only by health and economic reasons but also by environmental, social and ethical considerations. It is not a...more

House Committee Hearing Debates "GMO" Labeling Bill

On December 10, 2014, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on Examining FDA's Role in the Regulation of Genetically Modified Food Ingredients. The witnesses included Michael Landa, Director...more

American Tower Corporation v. City of San Diego (2014): Further Guidance From The Ninth Circuit On The Regulation Of Data Towers...

The Ninth Circuit recently addressed cell phone tower issues in the matter of American Tower Corporation v. City of San Diego (2014) 763 F.3d 1035, affirming that a local government has a wide degree of discretion to regulate...more

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