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North America

 

UNITED STATES

Various States
States and their officials commit to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement after the federal government announces the U.S.’s departure from the convention
On 1 June 2017, the Governor of Washington State announced the formation of and the state’s commitment to the U.S. Climate Alliance (Alliance). The Alliance is a coalition of U.S. states that are committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change. Through this Alliance, Washington State and other states will take actions that protect residents, reverse the harmful effects of global warming, and meet the standards set forth in the Paris Agreement. States are committing to achieving the Paris Agreement goal of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding targets of the federal Clean Power Plan. The Alliance was formed by the governors of Washington State, New York State, and California.

Puerto Rico and the following states have joined the Alliance: California, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Oregon, Hawaii, Virginia, Minnesota, Delaware, and Colorado. Other states, like Maryland, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Iowa, among others, have pledged their states to support the Paris Climate Agreement, but have not joined the Alliance.

Additionally, 19 state attorney generals have declared their continued support of climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.

Companies may see a change in emission limits as state policies are changed or created to align with the goals of the Agreement.

FLORIDA

Effective 1 July 2017, companies must notify the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Department) and the newly created State Watch Office of any releases or discharges of a substance from an installation, such as emissions, tanks and other pollution sources, at the company's facility within 24 hours of discovering such release. The Florida State Legislature passed Senate Bill No. 1018, also known as the Public Notice of Pollution Act (Act) to also require that within 24 hours, companies must notify the Department of any migration of the substance away from its property boundaries. In addition, information received by the Department and State Watch Office must be made accessible to the public.

 

Europe

EU

12 further SVHC subject to authorization requirements​
Companies manufacturing, placing on the market or using any of the 12 substances included in Annex XIV to the REACH Regulation (Authorization List) in June 2017 will have to obtain an authorization from the European Commission or halt their manufacture, marketing and use by, depending on the substance, 4 July 2020, 4 October 2020 or 4 January 2021. These12 substances include, among others, DIPP (CAS 605-50-5), DHNUP (CAS 68515-42-4), DPP (CAS 131-18-0), anthracene oil (CAS 90640-80-5) and 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated. Depending on the substance, companies have to apply for an authorization by 4 January 2019, 4 April 2019 or 4 July 2019, respectively 18, 21 or 24 months after their inclusion in the Authorization List.

New information obligations to be met by companies after the inclusion of 1 SVHC in the Candidate List​
Manufacturers and importers of perfluorohexane-1-sulfonic acid and its salts (PFHxS) (CAS 355-46-4) are subject to additional information requirements following its inclusion in the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern for Authorization (Candidate List) on 7 July 2017. Additionally, companies might have to obtain an authorization to be able to use this substance, if it is added to the "Authorization List" in the future. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) also updated existing entries for 5 other substances (such as BPA (CAS 80-05-7), BBP (CAS 85-68-7) and DIBP (CAS 84-69-5)), to add their endocrine disrupting properties (human health) as a further reason for their inclusion in the Candidate List.

Manufacture, use and marketing of PFOA, its salts, PFOA-related substances and articles containing them restricted at EU level​
As of 4 July 2020, the manufacture, marketing and use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (CAS 1163-19-5), its salts and PFOA-related substances is restricted, according to Regulation EU/2017/1000 amending Annex XVII to the REACH Regulation. Specific articles, such as equipment used to manufacture semi-conductors, latex printing inks, plasma nano-coatings and non-implantable medical devices are only subject to the restriction as of, respectively, 4 July 2022, 4 July 2023 and 4 July 2032. The restriction applies to the manufacture and marketing of PFOA as a substance on its own as well as a constituent of another substance or mixture, and to articles or their parts containing PFOA and/or its salts in a concentration greater than 25 parts per billion (ppb). Exemptions apply to, among others, implantable medical devices and photographic coatings.

 

ITALY

Harmonized rules concerning the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) adopted
As of 21 July 2017, companies subject to the Environmental Impact assessment (EIA) procedure must comply with more detailed and harmonized rules with the adoption of Legislative Decree 16 June 2017, n. 104. The reform also simplifies the procedures, enhance their quality and provide a better harmonization of the applicable environmental rules; it implements the provisions included in Directive EU/2014/52 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

Specific occupational health and safety obligations for companies working with non-entrepreneurial self-employed workers and "smart-workers" adopted
As of 14 June 2017, companies that adopted a flexible working organization in the framework of their subordinate employment contracts (Lavoro Agile) are required to fulfill specific obligations (such as regarding information, insurance, accidents, etc.) related to the health and safety of the workers subject to this scheme.
Moreover, companies relating with non-entrepreneurial self-employed workers, such as long-term contractors, will be required to respect an harmonized set of rules on health and safety that will be approved before 14 June 2018.

 

TURKEY

Turkish REACH Regulation adopted​
As of 23 December 2017, companies that manufacture, use, import and/or place on the market substances, mixtures and/or articles will be required to comply with the provisions of the Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (Turkish REACH) gradually. The pre-registration deadline will be due in 2020. The Turkish REACH establishes provisions on registration, evaluation, authorization and restrictions on substances similar to the European Union REACH Regulation. More substances will be subject to the stricter provisions in comparison to now. For example, 4-nitrobiphenyl (CAS No.92-93-3) will not be allowed to be used in concentrations equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight in substances and preparations placed on the market. Similarly, suppliers will be required to provide safety data sheet (SDSs) for substances added to a new list of substances of very high concern. The Regulation will consolidate several regulations on chemicals and replace them.

 

RUSSIA

Revised Federal Classification Waste Catalogue (FKKO) adopted​
As of 24 June 2017, facilities will have to verify that all the types of waste they generate and/or handle have a hazardous class in accordance with the revised Federal Classification Waste Catalogue (FKKO 2017). This follows from the adoption of Order No. 242 of 22 May 2017 on the approval of the Federal Classification Waste Catalogue (FKKO), which repeals the current FKKO 2014.

 

EURASIAN ECONOMIC UNION

The Eurasian Economic Union adopts technical regulation on safety of chemical products​
Beginning 2 June 2021, facilities placing chemical products on the market (mainly, manufacturers and importers) in Russia, have to comply with new requirements on chemical product registration, labeling, classification and conformity assessment. The Eurasian Economic Union (which among other includes Russia) introduced Technical regulation (TR EEU 041/2017) on the safety of chemical products, which seeks to harmonize chemical product registration, labeling and classification requirements in the Eurasian Economic Union. The Technical regulation also consolidates and clarifies all the existing requirements, by providing a general legal framework, applicable to chemical registration, classification, safety date sheet, marking and labeling. The Technical regulation basically copies the provisions and requirements of Russian Technical regulation on safety of chemical products, adopted by Decree No. 1019 of 7 October 2016, which, however, enters into force only on 1 July 2021.

 

Africa

 

KENYA

Proponents of high-risk projects would soon be required to carry out an Integrated Environmental Impact Assessment Study
Facilities undertaking development projects that would create a negative environmental impact would soon be required to carry out an integrated environmental impact assessment study (IEIAS) as described in the Draft Environmental (Strategic Assessment, Integrated Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations published 8 May 2017. Once adopted, the Draft Regulations would amend the current Environmental (Impact Assessment and Audit) Regulations, 2003 by introducing new procedures for carrying out the Integrated Environment Impact Assessment Studies, environmental audits and project reports. Examples of projects that would be subject to a mandatory IEIAS include, among others, manufacturing and processing industries, explosives plants, oil refineries, mining operations or chemical works and process plants.

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Manufacturers and importers of electric and electronic apparatus may soon have to comply with specific safety standards
Facilities that manufacture or import certain types of electric and electronic apparatus would soon have to comply with a new compulsory specification for the safety of this equipment. This follows from a proposal to amend the compulsory specification for electric and electronic apparatus issued on 26 May 2017 which would require an applicant (a manufacturer, importer or distributor) to obtain approval from the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) for each type of electric and electronic apparatus prior to distribution. The Amendments to the compulsory specification would cover the safety of electric and electronic apparatus with rated voltages not exceeding 600V a.c. or d.c. including household electrical apparatus, power transformers, reactors and similar products. The public has until 26 July 2017 to submit comments on the Draft Amendments.

 

 

Asia-Pacific

 

INDIA

Discharging of hazardous effluents/substances or withdrawing water from Ganga river can lead up to seven years imprisonment and around USD 15 million fine
The Central Pollution Control Board has drafted the National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management) Bill 2017, that will introduce more stringent punishment for anyone polluting Ganga river. Once the National River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management) Bill 2017 is adopted, facilities that discharge effluents/substances into Ganga river or that withdraw water by tube wells from land adjoining Ganga or its tributaries, among other activities, without permission from the competent authority and that cause discontinuity in flow of water in Ganga or its tributaries will face up to seven years imprisonment and a fine of Rupees (Rs.) 100 crores (USD 15 million).

 

JAPAN

Large amount waste generators and hazardous waste traders will be subject to more stringent requirements in the near future due to legislative amendments
Companies must be aware of the newly adopted legislative amendments that will strengthen waste management requirements for waste generators and will set stricter requirements on hazardous waste trading. The amendments to the Waste Management and Public Cleansing Law (WMPCL) and Law on the Control of Exports and Imports of Specified Hazardous Waste (LCEISHW) were adopted on 16 June 2017. The amendments will require generators of large amount of waste to use an electronic manifest (e-manifest). Companies storing end-of-life, hazardous used equipment will also need to store the used equipment according to standards that have yet to be determined.

The e-manifest requirement and the hazardous waste trading requirements will take effect within a year or a year and a half, respectively, of the adoption date. Details such as the amount and types of waste subject to the e-manifest requirement, or the specific environmental pollution prevention measures to be taken by the exporter of hazardous waste, will be determined at a later date.