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March 2017

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In the aftermath of a number of high profile environmental emergencies, the federal government of Canada has changed its Environmental Emergency Regulations to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (“E2 Regulations”) in the name of the “four pillars” of environmental emergency management: prevention; preparedness; response; and recovery. Hazard Risks Caught by E2 Regulations E2 Regulations will regulate substances identified as containing unacceptable hazards to environment/health & safety such as: carcinogenicity; corrosiveness; inhalation hazards; explosiveness; possibility of…

The recent decision of the European Union’s Competition Commission sanctioning 3 used battery recyclers raises similar questions for North America’s circular economy regimes such as the mandatory framework recently enacted in Ontario, Canada.   How can independent parties, including producers and processors, capture the market efficiencies available under an individual producer responsibility model while not risking sanction with any resulting success? “Cartel-ing” Used Battery Sourcing Costs There is, no doubt, much to learn from the…

In February 2017, State of São Paulo EPA (“CETESB”) launched Board Decision No. 38/2017/C which provides new procedures for protection of the soil and groundwater and establishes guidelines for the management of contaminated areas during licensing proceedings of potentially pollutant facilities. Even though the new Board Decision is applicable within the State of São Paulo, it will definitely influence several State EPA’s in Brazil and will set additional parameters, compliance requirements and thresholds on the…

In response to concerns over the documented diffusion of microplastics into waterbodies worldwide, regulators proudly point to the international efforts to eliminate microbeads from cosmetics and personal health care products.  But microbeads are a discrete set of plastic additives to a discrete set of products, making regulatory efforts relatively straightforward. More importantly, aquatic research seems to confirm that microbeads form only a small portion of the overall microplastics waterborne content – so what regulatory steps are…

When it comes to being “Green”, many of the leading apparel and footwear brands have more in common than you might think. A number of leading brands have implemented a form of responsible forest product purchasing policies.  Most recently, apparel brand conglomerate VF Corporation adopted its Forest Derived Materials Policy which sets purchasing guidelines and commits the company and its suppliers to using sustainable forest materials and products.  As part of its policy adoption, the apparel…

In what has been trumpeted as the first “Circular Economy in the Americas”, the Province of Ontario has initiated the wind-up of the first of its soon-to-be defunct designated Industry Funding Organizations (IFOs) – product stewardship agents. Tires are the first materials to be transitioned to IPR if you haven’t been following this closely. Do They Have My Data? The shift fundamentally takes the coordination of statutory waste diversion obligations out of the hands of…

If you thought that pest control products can’t be found at your local clothier, you haven’t been reading Canada’s Pest Control Products Act. A pest control product under that Act includes any: “product… that is manufactured, represented, distributed or used as a means for directly or indirectly controlling, destroying, attracting or repelling a pest”   Still not following?  Micro-organisms that are “injurious, noxious or [have] troublesome effects” are pests under the Act and your gym shirt…

At first glance, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s new fuels strategy paper Canada: Fueling A Lower Carbon Future, would seem to only affirm what has been clear for months – lifecycle carbon intensity fuels standards will supplement minimum designated renewable fuel additive (think ethanol) “mandate” standards. Ambitious Plans for CFS In November 2016, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) clearly signaled its preference for a lifecycle-based low carbon fuel methodology for its clean fuel standard (CFS).   The…