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Showing 10 posts by Kristin H. Gladd.

President Trump Announces Withdrawal from Paris Agreement on Climate Change

President Trump announced on Thursday his intention to initiate a formal withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, a global agreement designed to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. The President indicated that the United States would move forward with the pull-out and possibly attempt to re-negotiate the agreement in order to get “terms that are fair to the United States.”  President Trump frequently discussed pulling out of the Paris Agreement while on the campaign trail, citing concerns regarding its potential impact on the American economy, particularly the energy sector.    Read More ›

EPA’s Enforcement Focus on Refrigerants Continues With Another Multi-million Dollar Settlement

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or “Agency”) continues its
enforcement focus on commercial refrigerant leaks from major retailers, keeping
with the Agency’s goals of reducing leaks of ozone depleting substances (“ODS”)
and greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions.  Read More ›

Comment Period Closing July 21 on Possible Expansion of Environmental Sustainability Disclosure Requirements

Summary:  Comments are due July 21, 2016 on a concept release published on April 22, 2016 by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Commission”) on potential revisions to certain business and financial disclosure obligations in Regulation S-K, which governs the disclosure requirements applicable to periodic reports.  Among other topics, the Commission requested comment on expanding disclosures relating to environmental sustainability and public policy issues, including climate change.  The Commission is soliciting public input on a number of specific questions, including whether to impose line-item disclosure requirements related to sustainability and public policy issues, the overlap with reporting of information concerning sustainability outside of Commission filings, and potential challenges and costs of compliance.  Companies should ensure that their interests are reflected in the comment process—either directly or through participation in industry organization commenting efforts.  Read More ›

EPA Proposes to Amend the Site Remediation NESHAP to Remove the Exemption for Site Remediation Activities Performed under CERCLA and RCRA

Summary:  On May 13, 2016, EPA proposed to amend several provisions of the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs): Site Remediation.  The Site Remediation Rule currently exempts from hazardous air pollutant standards remediation activities performed under the authority of CERCLA and those conducted under a RCRA corrective action or other required RCRA order. EPA is proposing to remove the CERCLA/RCRA exemption and to remove the applicability requirement that a site remediation must be co-located with a facility that is regulated by other NESHAPs in order to be subject to the Site Remediation Rule. Comments are due June 27, 2016. Read More ›

EPA Finalizes Regulations Targeting Methane and Volatile Organic Compounds from Oil and Gas Operations

Summary: On May 12, 2016, EPA issued three final rules to reduce methane emissions from new, reconstructed, and modified sources in the oil and gas sector by 2025. These rules create significant new obligations to reduce emissions of methane and VOCs from various equipment, perform green completions, and monitor and correct leaks, and they serve as a prelude to further scrutiny of existing sources. Read More ›

EPA Issues New Residual Risk and Technology Rule for Petroleum Refineries

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) promulgated its final Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review (“RTR”) and New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) rule[1] (“final rule” or “rule”) for petroleum refineries that qualify as major sources.  This rule fulfills EPA’s obligations to evaluate residual risks and technological developments under sections 112(f) and 112(d)(6) of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”), respectively, for the petroleum refinery National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (“NESHAP”) from Petroleum Refineries, 40 C.F.R. Part 63, Subparts CC and UUU (2015) (the latter of which applies to Catalytic Cracking Units, Catalytic Reforming Units, and Sulfur Recovery Units).  Affected existing sources will be required to comply with the new requirements no later than 2018.  However, some existing sources must comply with certain provisions earlier than 2018, depending on the provision and the date the refinery was constructed.  New sources have 60 days from the rule’s publication in the Federal Register to comply with all provisions.  Read More ›

China Demonstrates Increasing Commitment to Addressing Climate Change and Air Pollution Challenges

In the past few weeks, China has taken major steps to revamp its air pollution and climate change policies, domestically and internationally. On September 25, 2015, China entered into a Joint Statement with the United States (“Joint Statement” or “Statement”) announcing shared goals for the upcoming December 2015 Paris Conference (“Paris Conference” or “COP 21”) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC”).[1] As part of the Joint Statement, China also announced commitments to enact domestic climate policy changes, including its intent to implement a nationwide carbon emissions trading program by 2017. This announcement builds on last year’s Joint Statement issued by the two nations announcing their commitment to addressing climate challenges, including the goal that China’s carbon dioxide emissions would peak in 2030. Read More ›

China’s International and Domestic Climate Change Policies: An Overview Leading up to Paris

In June, China submitted its climate policy pledges to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (“UNFCCC” or “Convention”) for the December 2015 Paris Climate Conference (“COP 21” or the “2015 Paris Conference”).  These pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (“INDCs”), are the vehicle through which the Parties submit their intended commitments for the post-2020 period.  Significantly, the 2015 Paris Conference may well generate the first binding international climate commitments for China.  This article provides an overview of China’s stance coming into the Paris talks as well as its domestic climate change policies, which together represent China’s efforts to enact a comprehensive national climate change policy. Read More ›

China Issues Revised Hazardous Chemicals Inventory; Enforcement Likely to Increase

On February 27, 2015, ten departments under China’s central government jointly issued a revised list of hazardous substances, the Inventory of Hazardous Chemicals (“Inventory"), which will become effective May 1, 2015.  The Inventory represents the joint efforts of multiple ministries and will replace the existing Catalogue of Hazardous Chemicals (2002) and Inventory of Chinese Highly Toxic Chemicals (2002).  The Inventory contains 2,828 hazardous chemicals and expands coverage from the 2002 lists through the inclusion of a large group of chemicals with a closed cup flash point not exceeding 60℃ (e.g., synthetic resin containing flammable solvents; paints; auxiliary materials; coatings, etc.). Read More ›

EPA Labeling Requirements for Products Containing or Manufactured with a HCFC Begin January 1, 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, products imported or manufactured after that date that contain or were manufactured with a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) must be labeled before they may be placed into interstate commerce.  These newly effective labeling requirements will largely affect imported products. Read More ›