Labor & Employment Environmental

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Supreme Court Declines to Give Chevron Deference to Agency Regulation that Departed from Prior Agency Practice

On June 20, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-2 opinion in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro et al., holding that the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor Department) was not entitled to receive Chevron deference with respect...more

European Commission Publishes Chemicals Legislation Roadmaps

The European Commission published two evaluation and fitness check roadmaps in May this year. These roadmaps will assist the Commission in assessing whether the current legislative framework for chemicals, including REACH, is...more

Former head of OSHA discusses workplace injury policies, DOJ enforcement

At a recent presentation at the St. Louis office of Thompson Coburn, John Henshaw, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, offered some insights into several top-of-mind environmental, health and safety issues....more

U.S. Solar Jobs Exceed Oil and Gas for First Time in 2015

According to a report released last week by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the number of U.S. solar jobs surpassed those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year. Overall, renewable...more

Supreme Court Update: Foster V. Chatman (13-8349), Green V. Brennan (14-613) And Wittman V. Personhuballah (14-1504)

Just one new decision today (along with the first cert grant in ages). In United States Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co. (No. 15-290), the Court held that a jurisdictional determination by the Army Corps of Engineers...more

Feds Renew Focus on Worker Safety and Individual Accountability

Massey Energy CEO Donald Blankenship reported to a California prison on May 12 to begin serving a one-year sentence for willfully violating mine safety standards. His conviction was related to the deadliest United States...more

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate (in the Workplace)

For the third consecutive year, OSHA’s second most cited violation was for failure to comply with the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The HCS was promulgated in 1983 and requires chemical manufacturers and importers to...more

Environmental Notes - May 2016

The news has been full of stories and articles concerning Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), also referred to as coal ash. CCR became a hot topic in 2008 when a coal ash pond at a utility plant in Tennessee spilled more than 5...more

OSHA Enforcement in the Final Year of the Obama Administration

Although the Obama Administration is well into its last year, it is signaling no let-up in its aggressive environmental and occupational safety and health enforcement agendas. Indeed, continuation of or even more stringent...more

Environmental Notes - April 2016

EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance recently proposed changes to its National Program Manager (NMP) Guidance that, in part, would revise EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives (“NEIs”) for federal fiscal...more

Class Action Roundup: Winter 2016

Where the (Class) Action Is - This issue of Roundup wraps up 2015 with another slate of interesting cases spanning industries and subject matter. The running theme of ascertainability is now stretching into antitrust...more

When is a Reward a Bribe? OSHA Policy Limits Workplace Safety Incentive Programs

Years ago, my employer gave employees a coaster every quarter that the group had no OSHA reportable incidents. Now it would have been in violation to have such a program. Despite criticism from workers compensation carriers...more

A Beginner’s Guide to OSHA’s Final Silica Rule

On March 24, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced its final rule on occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule was published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2016....more

Health Care Congressional Outlook for the Spring Word Period

The next work period basically runs from April 4 to May 27, with both chambers adjourning for a week long recess the week of May 2. Following this work period, there will be five weeks left on the legislative calendar before...more

E2 Report Finds Clean Energy Employs 2.5 Million Americans

Last week Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) released a report entitled “Clean Jobs America,” a comprehensive analysis of clean energy and clean transportation jobs in the United States. The study found that over 2.5 million...more

Williams Mullen Construction Industry Newsletter - Spring 2016

2016 begins with the issuance of this Construction Industry Newsletter, our fifth. In this issue, we have articles on vapor intrusion, liability for project design, enforcement of mechanic’s lien and bond waiver clauses, and...more

Retail and Consumer Products Law Roundup - March 2016

Regulatory Whack-a-Mole: A Renewed Focus on Non-Hazardous Waste Recycling - Why it matters - In part due to a string of high-profile enforcements in multiple states, retailers by and large have evaluated the need to...more

OSHA Fines The Renewable Energy Group Over Hydrogen Gas Explosion

On March 3, 2016, The Advocate reported that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined a biodiesel plant run by The Renewable Energy Group (REG) $70,000 over a September 3, 2015, hydrogen gas...more

Minerals Matters - Winter 2016

Welcome to the latest edition of Minerals Matters and the first one of 2016. Last year was, on the whole, positive for the sector. We had the drama of the UK General Election and the surprisingly decisive outcome which...more

News from Second and State

The second week of budget hearings have come and gone with no real fanfare and nothing especially earth-shaking to report. On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee heard budget requests from the Office of Attorney...more

EPA Issues Proposal to Amend RMP Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a long awaited proposal to update the Accidental Release Prevention rules at 40 C.F.R. Part 68, which implement the Clean Air Act Section 112(r)(7) risk management...more

Article: Dismissal of Charges in the British-Petroleum (BP) Deepwater Horizon Indictment … or the Over-Criminalization of the BP...

On April 20, 2010, just before 10 p.m., the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig suddenly exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, 48 miles off the Louisiana coast. Tragically, eleven men on the vessel died. Oil ultimately flowed from the...more

Environmental, Health & Safety – What to Watch in 2016

To round out our series on industry and legal outlooks for 2016, I have compiled some of the many things for manufacturers to be aware of in the Environmental Health & Safety world for 2016....more

Litigating Environmental Whistleblower Claims Under OSHA Procedures

The federal government is allocating more time and resources to whistleblower programs. Now, more than ever, companies need to take steps to minimize exposure to whistleblower claims. When a whistleblower case is filed, it...more

DOJ shifts enforcement of worker safety violations to Environmental Crimes Section

Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates announced in a December 17 memo that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are making a renewed commitment “to utilize criminal prosecution as an...more

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