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SEC Longstanding Disclosure Related to Climate Change Remains

Whilst much of the popular media is all but obsessed with the March 21, 2022, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission proposed ESG Rules to Enhance and Standardize Climate-Related Disclosures that will among other matters require companies for the first time to disclose greenhouse gas emission data, we continue to work with companies in complying with … Continue Reading

FTC Says Updated Green Guides are Coming

With allegations of greenwashing all but de rigueur, businesses should be on the alert for the soon to be released Federal Trade Commission’s updated Green Guides. This year companies are being publicly challenged and having their reputations tarnished for greenwashing, in some instances for deceptive misrepresentations, others for unintentionally misleading, and more often than not, … Continue Reading

EPA Proposes Designating PFAS as Hazardous

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to designate two of the most widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the “Superfund” law. The proposal applies to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including their salts and structural isomers, actually, a group of … Continue Reading

Phase 1 Standard for All Appropriate Inquiries in Limbo

It is hugely significant that the Phase l Environmental Site Assessment standard is in limbo because that assessment is conducted in the vast majority of the 5.6 million commercial real estate transactions each year in the United States (i.e., including for a real estate purchaser to avoid liability under the Superfund law). The U.S. Environmental … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules Against EPA Reining in Power of Agencies

In a decision that will rein in agency power across the federal government, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that Congress did not clearly authorize the EPA to adopt broad rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric utility power plants. Specifically, the high court held, “Congress did not grant EPA in Section 111(d) of … Continue Reading

Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act to be Enforced June 21

Congress passed, and on December 23, 2021 President Biden signed into law, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. The new law that will be enforced beginning June 21, 2022 has implications for imported cotton and tomatoes and most significantly for solar panels. The Act, codified at 22 U.S.C. §6901, establishes a rebuttable presumption that any … Continue Reading

You Should Comment on the SEC’s Transformative Proposed ESG Rule

Note, after this was posted, the SEC extended the public comment period on the proposed rulemaking to enhance and standardize climate related disclosures from the originally scheduled close date of May 20, 2022 until June 17, 2022. We posted some weeks ago when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a long awaited proposed new … Continue Reading

DuPont Resolves PFAS Claims with Delaware

The State of Delaware and E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, The Chemours Company, DuPont de Nemours, Inc. and Corteva, Inc. (all “DuPont” related companies), businesses having operated in the State for more than 200 years, announced a sweeping settlement agreement last week. Under the settlement agreement, the DuPont agreed to pay $50 … Continue Reading

EPA and Army Announce Intent to Revise “Water of the United States” Rule

Last week the Environmental Protect Agency and Department of the Army announced the agencies’ intent to initiate new rulemaking that restores the Obama era waters of the United States rule that was in place pre-2015, and before the current Trump era rule. This proposed rule will impact large swaths of America not only those directing … Continue Reading

Revoking the Migratory Bird Treaty Act Incidental Take Rule, Once Again

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposed rule to restore criminal penalties for accidental killing of migratory birds, revoking the January 7, 2021, final regulation that limited the enforcement of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. “The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a bedrock environmental law that is critical to protecting … Continue Reading

SEC to Update Required Climate Related Disclosures

On February 24, acting chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Allison Herren Lee, offered insight into the future direction of mandatory climate change disclosures and new ESG regulation, when she directed the Division of Corporation Finance to enhance its focus on climate related disclosure in public company filings. The Commission provided guidance in … Continue Reading

EPA 2020 Enforcement Offers Insight

The Environmental Protection Agency’s has released the results of its 2020 enforcement and compliance efforts and those results offer significant insight that business can benefit from. In the first 5 months of fiscal year 2020, EPA was on track to significantly exceed traditional numeric metrics in many categories with more compliance monitoring activities in the … Continue Reading

45L Energy Efficient Home Tax Credit Extended for 2021 by Covid Relief Bill

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, H.R. 133, signed into law by President Trump on December 27th, extended the 45L energy efficient home $2,000 tax credit, which had been scheduled to expire last year, to cover qualified new energy efficient homes sold or leased through 2021. And yes, regular readers of this blog will notice that … Continue Reading

179D Tax Deduction Made Permanent by Covid Relief Bill

On page 4,872 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, H.R. 133, which passed both houses of Congress on December 21st and was signed into law by President Trump on December 27th, the 179D energy efficient commercial buildings federal tax deduction, which had been scheduled to expire at year end, was instead made permanent. At a … Continue Reading

The Birds: Migratory Bird Treaty Act redux without Tippi Hedren

Three weeks ago the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a regulation to finally resolve and codify the legal principal that an incidental bird take resulting from an otherwise lawful activity, for example a sparrows flies into a solar panel, is not prohibited under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service is … Continue Reading
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