Hazardous Substances

News & Analysis as of

California Governor Signs Bill Regulating Oil by Rail

On September 25, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that will provide California’s emergency responders with more information about trains carrying crude oil and require railroad companies to provide...more

Summary of Changes in the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA, S. 1009) and the Boxer TSCA Version Released September 2014

This analysis reviews the changes made to the original version of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) (identified as CSIA1 in this memorandum) based on Senator Barbara Boxer's (D-CA) version of the Toxic Substances...more

CPSC Gets it Right: Unanimously Regulates High-Powered Magnet Sets Through New Safety Standard

We do not typically take positions on product specific issues pending before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”), but the CPSC’s new safety standard for magnet sets demonstrates both why the agency exists and...more

Maine DEP Proposes Hazardous Waste Rule Changes

Last week, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) announced a proposal to amend its Hazardous Waste rules to allow certain paints to be managed as universal waste. While the proposed rules may appear...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2014

Pollution Exclusion Doesn’t Bar Coverage for Worker Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals That Were Not “Dispersed”: Why it matters - A federal district court in Texas strictly construed a pollution exclusion in...more

EPA's Revised Work Plan List And New Developments In TSCA Reform Discussed At Green Chemistry Clearinghouse Annual Conference

The Green Chemistry Clearinghouse Conference held on September 16, 2014, in San Francisco included several interesting panels discussing topics including California Safer Consumer Products Regulations' (SCPR) recently...more

California's Release Of Draft Initial Priority Product Work Plan Drives Agenda Of 5th Safer Consumer Products Summit, October...

With the draft initial Priority Product Work Plan now released, it is important for manufacturers, importers, and retailers of consumer products in the categories listed by DTSC in the Work Plan to understand and address any...more

California DTSC Releases Draft Initial Priority Product Work Plan

On September 12, 2014, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) released its much anticipated draft Initial Priority Product Work Plan under SCPR. The Regulations require that DTSC, by October 2014,...more

House Subcommittees Hold Joint Hearing On Characteristics Of Bakken Crude Oil

On September 9, 2014, the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittees on Energy and Oversight held a joint hearing entitled Bakken Petroleum: The Substance of Energy Independence. The hearing examined the...more

Bill Introduced in Congress to Ban Bisphenol A (BPA)

The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) remains hotly debated. This summer, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Congresswomen Lois Capps (D-CA) and Grace Meng (D-NY) announced the Ban Poisonous Additives (BPA) Act. The bill seeks to...more

Canada Publishes Proposed Hazardous Products Regulation

On August 9, 2014, the Government of Canada published in Gazette I (Vol. 148, no. 32) a proposal for adopting the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The regulatory proposal seeks to...more

In re Paulsboro Derailment Cases: Putting the Brakes on Defendants’ Momentum Regarding Recent Ascertainability Developments Within...

In a recent unpublished decision, Judge Robert B. Kugler of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey addressed the rapidly developing “ascertainability” requirement in class action litigation within the...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

Cleaning House? – Environmental Issues to Consider

While spring is typically the time of year we think of for cleaning, I find fall a good time to do it. I probably never got over the feeling of new beginnings that come with fall and school starting. So, as I was cleaning my...more

DOT Issues Proposed Rule to Harmonize HMR with International Standards

On August 25, 2014, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a proposed rule seeking to harmonize the hazardous materials regulations (HMR) with...more

The Meth Business is Dangerous; (En)trust No One

For a landlord, it’s a bad day when your tenant gets busted for operating a meth lab, and the local authorities condemn your house because it’s contaminated with the byproducts of his business. It’s even worse when you learn...more

In Wyoming, a Higher Burden for Chemical Disclosure Exemption?

In Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the burden of justifying the use of trade secrets...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments (August 2014)

IARC Classifies Dichloromethane, Other Substances As Human Carcinogens: In June, an expert panel of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that dichloromethane, a chemical substance used to make...more

Other 2014 Environmental and Land Use Legislation: Fracking, Brownfields, State Land Conservation, Private Easements, Wood Burning...

The General Assembly passed noteworthy bills on six diverse environmental and land use subjects. Hydraulic Fracturing Waste - A deceptively simple bill concerning hydraulic fracturing waste, PA 14-200, emerged...more

DOT Proposes Hazardous Materials “Reverse Logistics” Program

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) on August 11, 2014, proposed a rule that would add a section to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) creating...more

FAA investigates Southwest Airlines after whistleblower comes forward

A former Southwest Airlines cargo manager was allegedly fired for blowing the whistle on the unsafe transportation of hazardous materials on Southwest Airlines' passenger planes. The whistleblower, Jeffrey Bondurant, also...more

Forest Service Agrees to Initiate Consultation regarding Fuels Reduction Project at Upper Echo Lake south of Lake Tahoe and Halt...

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California recently signed an order on a stipulation in Murphy v. United States Forest Service that bars the Forest Service from proceeding with implementation of...more

Rules for Rail Transport of Crude Oil and Ethanol Still a Work in Progress

In response to rail accidents over the past several years involving crude oil and ethanol, the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has been working with industry stakeholders and the National Transportation Safety Board...more

DOT Proposes Increased Safety Measures for the Transportation of Crude Oil, Ethanol and Other Flammable Materials

In response to several recent high profile incidents involving crude by rail, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a comprehensive rulemaking proposal on July 23, 2014, related to...more

The EPA, H20, and Fracking: An EPA study of drinking water and hydraulic fracturing could have far-reaching implications for...

As many who work in the oil and gas industry are aware, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pressing forward with a multiyear Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources. On...more

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