The Greenberg Traurig Warsaw office has established an Environmental Protection Practice to provide clients with high-quality legal advice related to all aspects of environmental law.

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Continue Reading Greenberg Traurig Warsaw Office Establishes Environmental Protection Practice Led by Counsel Barbara Pancer

The ongoing battle over Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) – environmentally-beneficial, beyond-compliance projects that defendants agree to undertake for potential penalty mitigation in settlement of environmental enforcement actions – heated up
Continue Reading New Lawsuit Challenges DOJ Policy Prohibiting SEPs

On July 15, 2020, President Trump’s administration finalized a significant overhaul of the regulations governing the administration of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In January 2020, when the regulatory overhaul was announced, we observed that rolling back 50 years of precedent in an administrative action could trigger judicial challenges to the rule and result in greater regulatory uncertainty for federal projects. The final rule, while making some relatively minor modifications, hews closely to its original terms, and does little to satisfy potential challengers.
Continue Reading A Tale of Two Environmental Policies: President Trump Announces NEPA Reform, as Former Vice President Biden Vows to Roll Back Reforms If Elected

On June 18, 2020, the Seventh Circuit handed down a decision in a case involving historical environmental contamination that eases the path to federal court for defendants who are haled into state court for acts that occurred while defendants were assisting the federal government. In Sherrie Baker et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Company, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, et al., No. 19-3160, 2020 WL 3287024, — F.3d — (7th Cir. 2020), the court adopted a new standard for federal officer removal, holding that defendants act under color of federal office and are entitled to a federal forum when sued for conduct relating to acts for the federal government, even if the conduct at issue in a particular case only partially implicates the federally directed acts. This decision has consequences that reach beyond defendants facing environmental liability, as did the defendants in Baker, as it could provide an additional avenue to a federal forum for companies that have either been awarded federal contracts, or that supply customers who hold federal contracts.
Continue Reading 7th Circuit Lowers Removal Hurdle for Defendants That Assisted the Feds

On April 29, 2020, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China (MEE) promulgated the Measures on Environmental Management Registration of New Chemical Substances (MEE Order 12) (link in Chinese), which will come into effect Jan. 1, 2021, and replace the Measures for the Environmental Management of New Chemical Substances (promulgated by the Ministry of Environment Protection of China, MEP Order 7). MEE Order 12 focuses on mass-use of new chemicals, and highly hazardous chemicals, chemicals with persistence and bioaccumulation (PB), chemicals with persistence and toxicity (PT), and chemicals with bioaccumulation and toxicity (BT).

Background: MEE the ‘China REACH

MEE is sometimes also called the ‘China REACH’ for short. ‘China REACH’ references the EU Regulation No 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. Both the Chinese and EU legislation aim to improve human health and the environment through the identification of chemical substances. Both pieces of legislation make distinctions in their application depending on annual tonnage and may restrict the usage of highly hazardous chemicals. The main difference between MEE and the EU REACH is that EU REACH focuses on the chemical registration requirement whereas MEE focuses on new substance notification.
Continue Reading China’s New Regulation on New Chemicals Aims to Make Life Easier