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Enforcement

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2019 will likely go down as the year that (developing) Asian countries have finally had enough of western garbage. Indeed, their final victory in repelling imports of unrecyclable plastics and other wastes won’t come too soon for international brand owners whose reputations have increasingly been harmed with the scrutiny now being paid to the final destinations of their products and packaging. The Shift in Asian Waste Imports It started last year with the China National Sword,…

The announcement earlier this year by the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment granting a waste-based ethanol the lowest the carbon intensity value ever issued a transportation fuel in that province properly raises questions as to where energy-from-waste (EfW) now stands in the coming age of resource recovery / lifecycle circularity in North America.  The answer isn’t entirely clear. Haven’t the Europeans Already Figured This Out? North Americans will do well to recognize the origins…

In a move that will send shockwaves across the cosmetics and fragrance industries, the European Commission’s Standing Committee on Cosmetic Products has just passed a proposal to ban three fragrance allergens, atranol, chlorotranol and HICC. The proposal would require that products containing the allergens be banned from sale four years after the enabling regulation comes into force, with a marketing ban effective two years prior to the ban. Labelling Not Sufficient Currently, Annex III of…

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…

Companies distributing goods into Canada would be wise to take heed of Transport Canada’s recent encroachments into areas of consumer product safety. Much attention was paid to the recent Notice to Airmen issued by Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation unit (TSSA), effectively requiring the broadcast warning of a ban on the transport of certain cell phones containing volatile lithium batteries.   These constant broadcasts would have seemed unusual to air passengers, which have instead looked to…

While there has been some hand-wringing over the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement following the recent US election, a renegotiation of NAFTA would present the parties an opportunity to rethink their objectives behind the environmental provisions.   Just What Does NAFTA Say About the Environment? The main environmental Article in NAFTA itself provides a vague requirement to maintain current EHS standards: Article 1114: Environmental Measures 1. Nothing in this Chapter shall be construed…

For companies struggling with Canadian environmental compliance such as the: myriad reporting and permitting duties under Canada’s Chemical Management Plan, expanding scope of the NPRI and its uncertain interaction with provincial emissions registries; vagaries over the overlapping jurisdictions of Environment Canada and Health Canada or the Pest Management Regulatory Agency; or increased biotechnology regulation; stakeholder input is currently being sought regarding CEPA by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.  In…

In February 2016, EPA announced its National Enforcement Initiatives for Fiscal Years 2017-2019.  EPA conducts this process of identifying enforcement priorities every three years with the intent of focusing Agency resources on areas of significant non-compliance where federal enforcement is considered to be effective. EPA solicited public comment on its proposed National Enforcement Initiatives last year. The Agency maintains that the final priorities incorporate this stakeholder feedback. The seven National Enforcement Initiatives for FY 2017-2019 are as follows:…