Tag Archives: ESG

EPA (Finally) Finalizes Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Rule

On December 15, 2022, EPA took final action to amend the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule to reference ASTM International’s E1527-21 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process” and allow for its use to satisfy the requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, … Continue Reading

FTC Seeks Public Input on Update to Green Guides for Environmental Claims

The Federal Trade Commission announced last Wednesday that it is seeking public comment on updates and changes to the Green Guides for the Use of Environmental Claims. In an era when charges of greenwashing and green hushing are proliferating across social media while at the same time governments are mandating ESG including environmental disclosures by businesses, … Continue Reading

Maryland is the First State to Regulate Carbon

Maryland has enacted the most rigorous state law in the country reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and otherwise addressing ESG stewardship including climate change. Businesses can and should treat this as the greatest responsibility and opportunity of our time. Literally resetting the trajectory of Maryland’s economy, making sweeping changes to the Old Line State’s already … Continue Reading

The “Social Cost of Carbon” is Back

On November 11, 2022, shortly after this blog was posted EPA proposed a rule to regulate emissions of methane. While the proposed rule is itself worthy of discussion, readers of this blog may be particularly interested in a key technical feature of the announcement, that EPA has introduced a new approach to estimating the social cost … Continue Reading

Selling the Sun: Sale of a House with Solar Panels is Fraught with Peril

  There are more than 3 Million houses in the U.S. with solar panels installed on the roof.  The Inflation Protection Act of 2022 extended the 30% federal tax credit for residential solar panels through 2034 which is predicted to more than triple that number of solar installations. And as those houses are each year … Continue Reading

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

California Appeals Board Gender Diversity Loss

Last month, the California Secretary of State appealed the decision by a California Superior Court striking down as unconstitutional California’s board diversity law, which required all publicly traded companies headquartered in the State to include a minimum number of female directors. In 2018, Women on Boards (Senate Bill 826) was signed into law to advance … 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

Reducing Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions

As governments enact mandatory greenhouse gas emission laws and as businesses voluntarily make “net zero” pledges, we are increasingly working with organizations, first to understand and calculate their GHG emissions, then to implement strategies for efficacious yet frictionless reductions. An example of what businesses are reacting to is Maryland’s new statutory mandate that buildings, commercial, … Continue Reading

New Greenwashing Case is Troubling to Future of ESG

On July 6, FossielVrij NL filed a greenwashing lawsuit in the Amsterdam District Court against Dutch airline KLM. The overseas litigation is troubling because at its core the theory of the case is apocalyptic environmentalism, the belief that unless humans drastically reduce consumption population growth and affluence will overwhelm our planet. In this instance that … 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

SEC Charges Mining Company with Misleading Investors in its ESG Disclosures

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last month charged Vale S.A., a publicly traded Brazilian mining company and one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, with making false and misleading claims about the safety of the Brumadinho dam including through its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures. According to the SEC’s complaint, for years, … 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
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