Environmental Communications & Media

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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

Wait for the "Green" Light Before Making Environmentally Friendly Claims

Consumers increasingly pay a premium for environmentally friendly products. As a result, companies are expanding their green marketing claims regarding products and packaging. Those companies may find themselves under...more

New FCC Rules Will Require New Approach to Siting of Wireless Facilities

The FCC adopted new rules at its Oct. 17 meeting that are likely to require changes in the way local governments respond to applications for siting wireless towers, and for adding antennas to, and modifying, existing...more

Petitioners Urge FTC to Investigate Utility’s Environmental Marketing Claims

This week, environmental activists in the state of Vermont filed a petition with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that an electric utility made improper environmental marketing claims regarding its...more

Hazardous Chemical Users: Time to Consider Compliance with the GHS

In most Australian states, businesses involved with hazardous chemicals must comply with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) from 31 December 2016. 'Businesses' include...more

News Media Touts “Findings” of New Study on Fracking Wells Leaks, But Fails to Recognize Limitations of Data

New unconventional fracking wells leak far more than older traditional gas wells, says a smattering of news media outlets reviewing a new study released by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences on June 30, 2014. ...more

FTC’s Recent Enforcement Cases for Misleading Recycled Content Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stepped-up its enforcement initiatives and recently settled two cases with companies that market plastic lumber and related products. FTC alleged that these companies misled consumers in...more

EPA’s Enforcement Efforts Regarding FIFRA Supplemental Distribution and How to Avoid Noncompliance

Under Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Section 3(e), a registrant may distribute or sell its registered product under another person's name and address instead of (or in addition to) its own without...more

Court Finds No CEQA Necessary For Utility Cabinets on San Francisco Sidewalks

In San Francisco Beautiful v. City and County of San Francisco, No. CPF11511535, (Cal. Ct. App. 1st Dist. May 30, 2014), the First Appellate District upheld San Francisco’s application of a categorical exemption to exempt...more

CEQA Class 3 Categorical Exemptions Permitted for AT&T Installations

The First District Court of Appeal held that AT&T’s proposed installation of new utility cabinets in the City of San Francisco fell within CEQA’s Class 3 categorical exemption for the “installation of small new equipment and...more

EPA Extols Pesticide Civil Penalty, but the Decision Could Be Problematic for Registrants and EPA

On June 6, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Liphatech, Inc. (Liphatech), a pesticide manufacturer based in Milwaukee, WI, paid a $738,000 civil penalty for Federal Insecticide, Fungicide,...more

Court Approves San Francisco's Use of Class 3 CEQA Exemption for Telecommunications Project

Opinion clarifies when projects involving the construction of hundreds of new small utility structures may be exempt from environmental review - The California Court of Appeal upheld San Francisco’s determination that...more

Federal Bill Seeks To Establish Uniform GMO Labeling Requirements

Earlier this month, Representative Mike Pompeo, along with 4 co-sponsors, introduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 4432). This bill sets forth three main objectives: it establishes a process for evaluating the...more

Regulation Creep In The Nanny State:The Proposed Not-So-Safe-Harbor Enactment In Proposition 65 Advertising Regulations

Thomas Jefferson once famously warned that, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” In the current political climate, this certainly seems to be the case. Businesses are being...more

California Proposition 65 Caramel Coloring Suits

This January, Consumer Reports, an independent product testing organization, released a report entitled “Caramel Color: The health risk that may be in your soda” detailing its investigation of the presence of...more

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