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Beveridge & Diamond’s 100 lawyers in seven U.S. offices focus on environmental and natural resource law, litigation and dispute resolution. We help clients around the world resolve critical environmental and sustainability issues relating to their products, facilities, and operations. 

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Showing 41 posts in International Environmental Law. View our practice description for International Environmental Law.

TCFD Report Will Shape Future Expectations for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

On June 29, 2017, the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD or Task Force) released its Final Report providing recommendations on voluntary climate-related financial disclosures.  The recommendations, developed by an industry-led task force of both users and preparers of disclosures, are intended to support the production of more consistent and clear financial disclosure of climate-related risks across sectors for use by investors, lenders, and insurers.  Most G20 countries have existing legal frameworks that require the disclosure of material risks in financial reports.  Beyond legal mandates, investors are increasingly focused on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in evaluating potential investments and future business risk.  While the Task Force’s recommendations are voluntary and independent of the environmental sustainability disclosure standards currently under review in the U.S. by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (see Beveridge & Diamond alert on the SEC concept release), the recommendations will impact the approach many publicly traded companies take to data collection and climate risk reporting over the long-term. Read More ›

Minamata Convention to Take Effect in August, Restricting the Production and Usage of Mercury Worldwide

On May 17, the European Union and seven EU member states ratified the Minamata Convention on Mercury, pushing past the 50-state threshold needed for its entry into force. The treaty – the most recent of the global multilateral environmental agreements – will now enter into force (i.e., become legally binding) on August 16, 2017. The United States ratified the Convention (as an executive agreement, without the advice and consent of the Senate) in 2013; in contrast to most of the recent multilateral environmental agreements, therefore, the United States will participate in this agreement as a full party.  Read More ›

New Developments and Uncertainties for Conflict Minerals Disclosure

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) Division of Corporate Finance issued a new statement adding some uncertainty to company obligations and enforcement exposure under the SEC conflict minerals rule ahead of the May 31, 2017 filing deadline.  The statement is one of several moving pieces in an unprecedented wave of activity on conflict minerals in recent weeks.  Companies should review these developments and their approach to meeting legal obligations imposed by the SEC’s implementation of Section 1502 of Dodd Frank, alongside the broader expectations of customers, activists and investors. Read More ›

Impacts of the 2016 U.S. Election on Environmental Law, Policy, and Enforcement

The 2016 election results will have wide-ranging impacts on the future direction of environmental law, policy, and enforcement in the U.S.  With 100 lawyers in offices around the U.S. focused on environmental and natural resource law and litigation, Beveridge & Diamond helps clients navigate legal and business risks arising from this evolving legal landscape. Read More ›

EPA Revises Hazardous Waste Import-Export Rules

On October 28, 2016, the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a rule finalizing significant modifications to the requirements governing the export and import of hazardous waste.  The rule changes will go into effect on December 31, 2016, although, as discussed below, certain requirements will be phased in over time.  The changes will affect transboundary shipments currently subject to 40 C.F.R. Part 262 Subpart H (regulating hazardous waste shipments for recovery between the United States and countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) other than Mexico and Canada), as well as shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F (regulating all other hazardous waste imports and exports).  The modifications make certain substantive changes to the requirements of Subpart H, as well as expand the scope of that subpart to cover transboundary shipments currently subject to Subparts E and F.  The modifications are largely consistent with EPA’s October 2015 proposed rule. Read More ›

New TSCA Requirements for Chemical Importers

Companies planning to ship chemical-based products to the United States should have a basic understanding of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA),[1] the key U.S. chemicals law.  That law was substantially amended in June 2016.[2]  While a foreign entity is not subject to TSCA, its products generally cannot enter the U.S. without TSCA compliance by its U.S. trading partner who imports the products.  This article presents an overview of TSCA as amended from the perspective of an importer.  It addresses the scope of TSCA; who must comply; import certification; Inventory requirements; significant new use rules; prioritization, evaluation, and risk management; testing requirements; reporting and recordkeeping requirements; protection of confidential information; new requirements on formaldehyde in composite wood products; and enforcement and penalties. 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 ›

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan Sets Caps for Water Consumption, Energy Consumption, and Carbon Emissions

Summary: On March 5, Premier Li Keqiang delivered China’s 13th Five Year Plan (FYP13) to the 12th National People’s Congress.[1] Adopted on March 16, the FYP13 gives top priority to economic development and projects a moderately prosperous GDP growth rate of 6.5%-7% for the next five-year period. At the same time, the FYP13 caps carbon emissions and energy and water consumption, and sets forth clear goals for overhauling or eliminating inefficient, outdated, or overcapacity industries and production facilities, increasing renewable energy production, and developing green infrastructure. Read More ›

Understanding New Lithium Battery Transport Requirements & Emerging Developments as Safety Concerns Mount

Growing concerns over the safety of air shipments of lithium batteries have prompted international authorities, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), and Congress to take action.  On January 19, 2016, the International Air Transport Association (“IATA”) issued an Addendum to the 57th Edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations (“DGR”), further restricting shipments of lithium batteries by air.  The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (“ICAO”) is also planning changes to the lithium battery rules for its 2017-2018 Edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (“ICAO-TI”), and is even considering an outright ban on bulk lithium ion battery shipments as cargo on passenger aircraft. Read More ›

Highest EU Court: REACH SVHC Thresholds Apply at Component – Not Product – Level

In a break from European Commission and prevailing industry interpretations, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held on September 10, 2015 that REACH concentration thresholds for substances of very high concern (SVHCs) that can trigger notification and communication requirements must be calculated at the component level.  For companies that had relied on the European Commission’s more favorable interpretation – calculating concentration thresholds for imported products at the product level – the implications of the court’s decision could be significant, perhaps necessitating an updated supply chain communication and compliance strategy for imports into the EU. Read More ›