Environmental Products Liability

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Environmental issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Volkswagen Defeated?

Last week, on September 18, 2015, the EPA issued a News Release revealing that Volkswagen Group of America (“Volkswagen”) sold cars incorporating a “defeat device” as defined in the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) to purposefully evade...more

Consumer Products “Either/Or”: California Issues Guidance on Alternatives Analysis for Safer Products

California’s Green Chemistry Initiative has taken another step forward with the issuance of guidance on the heart of the law, the analysis of safer substitutes for chemicals in consumer products. On September 24, 2015, the...more

A Dangerous Product Does Not Necessarily Have A Design Defect

When the Town of Lexington detected PCBs in building caulk and then in indoor air in an elementary school built in 1960-61, it sued Pharmacia, alleging that Pharmacia sold a product – PCBs – with a design defect. In alleging...more

On the Cusp of TSCA Reform, States Continue to Regulate Chemicals

As legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act nears passage in Congress, states continue to enact and implement a diverse array of their own requirements affecting the use of chemicals in products sold within...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, September 2015

EPA Releases TSCA Assessment Documents For Flame Retardant Chemicals: On August 18, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment three Problem Formulation and Initial Assessment documents...more

California Doubles Down on Proposition 65 Regulations; OEHHA Issues Pre-Regulatory Proposals That Harm Existing Defenses

Late last week, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) released several new pre-regulatory draft proposals regarding Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”). With one possible exception, the pre-regulatory...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

DuPont Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Drinking Water MDL

An Ohio federal district court gave E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. a partial victory in litigation over ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) drinking water contamination in Ohio and West Virginia by granting partial summary...more

California Passes Bill To Ban Biobased Microbeads

On May 22, 2015, the California State Assembly passed the Plastic Microbeads Nuisance Prevention Law, a bill designed to ban the use of microbeads in beauty products and prevent the environment harm that occurs when they...more

EFSA Issues Call for Data on the Health and Environmental Effects of Neonicotinoid Pesticides

On May 22, 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a call for new scientific information relevant to the evaluation of the risk to bees in the European Union (EU) from the use of the three neonicotinoid...more

HCS: OSHA Publishes Interim Enforcement Guidance for the Hazard Communication Standard

On May 29, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published the "Interim Enforcement Guidance for Hazard Communication 2012 (HCS 2012) June 1, 2015 Effective Date" (Interim...more

Cosmetic Safety Legislation Introduced, Again

In what is the latest in a line of Congressional proposals to beef up the federal government’s authority to regulate cosmetics, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), has proposed a bill aimed at dramatically increasing Food and...more

Impact of California Appellate Decision on Proposition 65 Actions Unclear

On April 28, 2015, the Environmental Law Foundation (“ELF”) filed a petition in the California Supreme Court for review of the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Environmental Law Foundation v. Beech-Nut Nutrition Corp., et...more

California Federal Court Dismisses Medical Monitoring Claims for Lack of Plausible Cancer Risk

In a significant victory for defendants facing toxic tort exposure claims, a California federal court dismissed a medical monitoring putative class action brought by drinkers of certain Pepsi products because Plaintiffs...more

Far-Reaching Information Request on Nanoscale Chemical Substances Proposed by EPA

For the first time, and after multi-year negotiations with, and review by, the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to use its authority under the federal Toxic Substances...more

Bipartisan Senate Bill Would Introduce Largest Increase in FDA Oversight of Personal Care Products—Including Cosmetics—in over 70...

Personal care products, which include cosmetics, are a large, profitable, growth industry. In the United States, cosmetics are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic...more

California’s Green Chemistry Agency Issues New Guidance to Identify Future Consumer Products for Regulation

California’s Green Chemistry Initiative continues to build momentum. On April 16, 2015, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released its final April 2015 Priority Product Work Plan for 2015–2017...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

Municipalities Lose First Round in Bid to Hold PCB Manufacturers Liable For Environmental Impacts

Two Massachusetts municipalities are down but not out in their attempts to hold manufacturers of PCBs responsible for the environmental effects of PCB-containing products decades later. ...more

New Prop. 65 Regulations Being Considered in California

For nearly three decades, California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, better known as “Proposition 65," has, under specified conditions, required businesses that sell or distribute products in...more

Class Action Lawsuit Claims Wines Contain Unsafe Levels of Arsenic

Four California residents brought a lawsuit earlier this month against 28 wineries for producing, manufacturing or distributing wine in California that allegedly contains inorganic arsenic in amounts far in excess of what is...more

Court Of Appeal Upholds “Safe Harbor” Exemption From Prop 65 Warnings For Lead In Fruit Products

In a much anticipated decision, a California Court of Appeal has upheld a trial court ruling for the defense, finding that trace levels of lead in packaged fruits, vegetables and fruit juice products require no Proposition 65...more

Arsenic in Wine: What You Need to Know About the Class Action Claims

What is the Doris Charles, et al. v. The Wine Group, et al., No. BC576061 (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County) lawsuit? A lawsuit filed last week as a class action against wineries, wine distributors and wine retailers...more

Calif. Appellate Court Endorses Averaging Lead Exposure in Food and Beverage Prop. 65 Disputes

In a rare published decision concerning California’s expansive Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as “Prop 65,” the California Court of Appeal on March 17, 2015, dealt companies a victory in...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

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