Hazardous Substances

News & Analysis as of

Japan Amends Industrial Safety and Health Law

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has issued 2016 Cabinet Order No. 50 to amend the Industrial Safety and Health Law (ISHL), and 2016 Health, Labor, and Welfare Order No. 24 to amend the Occupational Safety and...more

New PHMSA Rules on Safety Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing Has Some Carriers Concerned

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Association this month proposed new regulations for trains that transport highly flammable...more

PIPES Act Puts More Priorities in PHMSA’s Regulatory Pipeline

On June 22, 2016, the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act) was signed into law. The new law reauthorizes the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials...more

OSHA Promulgates New Rule on Respirable Silica Particles

Workers who inhale very small crystalline silica particles are at increased risk of developing serious — and often deadly — silica-related diseases. These tiny particles (known as “respirable” particles) can penetrate deep...more

Germany Amends Regulation on Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Germany has published the Fourth Regulation Amending the Regulation on Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment. Specifically, the regulation makes changes to section 3 of marketing...more

New Jersey High Court Expands Reach of “Take-Home” Toxic Tort Claims

Action Item: Employers and premises owner of facilities in which employees or visitors might be exposed to alleged hazardous substances must be aware of a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision in Schwartz v. Accuratus...more

President Obama Signs PIPES Act of 2016, Reauthorizing PHMSA and Introducing New Mandates for Oil and Gas Pipeline Programs

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed a bill reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) oil and gas pipeline programs through 2019. Obama’s final stamp on the Protecting our...more

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Reauthorized

The newly enacted legislation further bolsters PHMSA’s growing oversight of storage and pipeline transport facilities. On June 22, US President Barack Obama signed the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and...more

California Department Of Toxic Substances Control Announces New Members Of Green Ribbon Science Panel

On June 15, 2016, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced three new members of the Green Ribbon Science Panel (GRSP). The new members are Jack Linard, Ph.D., Personal Care Regulatory Affairs...more

An Air of Change in CERCLA Liability? Pakootas v. Teck Cominco and CERCLA’s Federal Permit Shield

A case recently argued before the Ninth Circuit, Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, Ltd., 9th Cir., No. 15-35228, could pave the way for a new theory of liability for parties who release air emissions during the course of...more

California May Collect Certain Information from Businesses to Support Its New Proposition 65 Website

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has launched a website, www.P65Warnings.ca.gov, intended to provide both businesses and consumers with information regarding the requirements for...more

Implications of New Lautenberg Act’s Sweeping Changes to Toxic Substances Control Act

President Obama signed HR 2576, the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act), into law on June 22, 2016. The Lautenberg Act makes significant changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act...more

California Supreme Court Adopts the Sophisticated Intermediary Defense

In Webb v. Special Elec. Co., the California Supreme Court formally adopted the "sophisticated intermediary doctrine," which provides an additional defense that manufacturers and suppliers can assert against product liability...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

Flame Retardants: A Guide to Current State Regulations

The Massachusetts Senate became the latest state legislative body to pass a bill that would ban at least eleven flame retardants from children's products sold in the state. An Act to protect children and families from harmful...more

Feds Crack Down on Unsafe Asbestos Removal

The unsafe removal of asbestos by unprotected workers poses a huge health and safety risk in today’s workplace. Although asbestos is known to cause lung cancer and mesothelioma, it is not banned and continues to pose dangers...more

OSHA Finalizes Crystalline Silica Rule, Effective June 2016

After years in the making and thousands of comments to the proposed rule from 2013, OSHA has finalized the Crystalline Silica Rule for General Industry and Maritime. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on...more

FAO and WHO Publish Guidelines on Highly Hazardous Pesticides

On May 10, 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) issued guidelines on highly hazardous pesticides (HHP) (Guidelines) as part of the International Code...more

When Is Gasoline Not Oil (At Least In Massachusetts)? When It’s Leaded, Of Course.

Unlike CERCLA, the Massachusetts Superfund law, Chapter 21E, does include oil within its ambit. However, oil is not treated exactly the same as hazardous materials. One difference is that, in 2007, MassDEP revised the...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

What You Need to Know About U.S. Law: Product Regulations and Importing into the United States - What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You...

What do the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have in common? Each is, of...more

Recent Developments in the Gold King Mine Spill

On Tuesday, May 4, 2016, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs chair, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and committee member, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) formally requested a federal criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine...more

EPA Poised To Make Sweeping Changes to the Risk Management Program Rule

Chemical manufacturers and petroleum refiners are closely tracking the latest activities of a high-level agency working group formed pursuant to President Obama’s Executive Order (13,650) responding to the West, Texas,...more

California's Proposition 65: History and Proposed Amendments in 2016

In 1986, California voters passed the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, otherwise known by its original name, Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard...more

Latin American Environmental Regulatory Tracker

This month’s tracker reflects key initiatives from March 15 - April 15, 2016. Latin America continues to focus on product stewardship initiatives covering a host of issues. This month we see new green-marketing proposals...more

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