Posts from October 2023.
Time 10 Minute Read

A set of mandatory environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting standards, the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), are set to enter into force in the European Union (EU) at the end of this year.  These standards were adopted by the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, on July 31, 2023 and, barring rejection by the European Parliament or the European Council, will be implemented as part of the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) – a fundamental pillar of the broad “EU Green Deal” – which requires mandatory ESG reporting for certain companies that do business in the EU.  This summary provides an overview of who is subject to the CSRD and when, summarizes key information covered under this initial set of standards, highlights technical guidance from the entity that created the standards, and discusses planned future development of additional standards.

Time 5 Minute Read

On May 18, 2023, EPA proposed a rule that would expand the federal regulations governing the management of coal combustion residuals (“CCR”) to cover landfills and surface impoundments that were previously excluded from regulation under the CCR rule, first promulgated in 2015 under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). 88 Fed. Reg. 31,982 (May 18, 2023). The CCR rule, codified at 40 C.F.R. Part 257, sets national minimum standards for the management of CCRs at existing and new landfills and surface impoundments, but it currently does not impose requirements on impoundments at inactive facilities (those that no longer generate electricity).

Time 6 Minute Read

On October 7, 2023 California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two landmark climate disclosure laws aimed at making major companies publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and report on their climate-related financial risks. The first, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (SB 253), will require all business entities with an annual revenue exceeding $1 billion to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions in a format accessible to the public. The second, SB 261, will require all business entities with annual revenue exceeding $500 million to publish a report on their “climate-related financial risks” on their websites. These first-in-the-nation laws are broader than the proposed SEC climate disclosure rule and reach more than just California-based entities.

Time 14 Minute Read

On October 11, 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long-awaited final rule imposing detailed reporting requirements on entities that have manufactured or imported per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for commercial purposes at any time since January 1, 2011. Notably, the reporting rule also applies to importers of articles containing PFAS, which could include many consumer, industrial, and commercial products, and requires reporting on PFAS as a component of a mixture. The rule does not have any exclusions for PFAS that are impurities, byproducts, used in commercial research and development (R&D), or only present in a mixture or article in trace amounts. And, unlike many state PFAS reporting laws, this reporting rule is not limited to only intentionally added PFAS.


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