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Douglas B. Sanders

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was ordered yesterday to publish four energy conservation standards finalized during the Obama administration in December 2016.  (See Order & Judgment, NRDC v. Perry, Case No. 17-03404 (N.D. Cal. February 15, 2018)).  The standards at issue apply to portable air conditioners, air compressors, commercial packaged boilers and uninterruptable power supplies.  The court ordered DOE to publish the rules within 28 days unless DOE appeals (in which case the court…

Growing energy and creativity within the fashion industry is directed towards circular economy initiatives, often under the umbrella of “sustainable fashion”. In fact, we’re likely in a golden age, with designers given broad scope to consider apparel inputs from unconventional sources, including secondary market materials (some historically viewed as wastes), as well as agricultural by-products. Similarly, thought is being paid to the range of functionality which an item of clothing may offer. In short, there…

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…

On November 29, 2016, EPA identified the first ten chemicals that it will send through the risk review process under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA was obligated to publish this list by December 19, 2016.  Publication of the list in the Federal Register in the next several days will trigger the three-year statutory deadline for EPA to determine whether the chemicals present an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment.  If EPA…

The International Joint Commission (IJC) is again at the forefront on waterborne pollutants.   After their recent success in both the United States and Canada to obtain measures that will stem the flow of microbeads into North American waters, the IJC has begun a lobbying effort of the two national governments to expand their regulatory efforts to restrict the dissemination of microplastics more generally. Microplastics range in size between 0.333 mm and 5 mm in size…

Last week EPA issued its first regulatory determinations for new chemical substances under the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The amended section 5 of TSCA requires EPA to make an affirmative safety finding with respect to new chemical substances.  EPA determined that four chemical substances are not likely to present an unreasonable risk.  The four chemicals are fatty alcohols-dimers, trimers, polymers; depolymerized waste plastics; propyl silsesquioxanes, hydrogen-terminated; and organic modified propyl silsesquioxane. EPA’s initial…

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) took another step toward revising the Article 6 Clear and Reasonable Warning  Requirements under Proposition 65 (Prop 65) by issuing a new proposed rule on March 25, 2016. This proposal is just the latest in a series of potential revisions, which includes a January 2015 version that was withdrawn and replaced by OEHHA last November. Whereas the January 2015 draft had proposed specific warnings for the so-called “dirty dozen substances,”…

2015 was a momentous year for sustainable real estate. Some countries made impressive strides toward sustainability through certifications, CO2 reduction targets and market-led initiatives. A few others fell behind in scaling up best practices. To help you stay abreast of significant developments in the green buildings sphere, Baker & McKenzie presents the second edition of the Global Sustainable Buildings Index. This detailed guide evaluates sustainable policies, schemes, trends and practices in 25 countries across Asia…

On February 22, 2016, the United Nation’s aviation agency, the International Civil Aviation Organization (“ICAO”), approved an interim ban on cargo shipments of lithium-ion batteries on passenger aircraft. This safety measure comes in response to growing concern about the risks presented by air transport of lithium-based batteries, including recent recommendations for greater restrictions from ICAO’s top technical body. The International Aviation Transport Association (“IATA”) quickly issued an update on lithium batteries, confirming that beginning on April…

On December 9, 2015, we were given a chance to more clearly understand the legal arguments being mounted by industry groups and environmentalists against EPA related to the definition of solid waste (“DSW”) rule that was promulgated nearly a year ago under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). In their opening briefs filed in the consolidated lawsuit American Petroleum Institute v. EPA, both sets of parties are calling on the U.S. Court of Appeals for…