All Published Articles

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Environmental Protection: Infrastructure Law Benefits Chemical Industry," Chemical Processing, December 14, 2021.

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684). The House passed the bill on November 5, 2021, by a vote of 228 to 206, and the Senate passed the bill on August 10, 2021, by a vote of 69 to 30. The bill provides a $1.2-trillion infusion of cash into the economy and contains many provisions important to the chemical processing sector. Highlighted below are some of the provisions in the 1,039-page bill that readers may find interesting.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Straddling digital and environmental goals: tips for investors," Financier Worldwide, January 2022.

The environmental impacts of the digital economy are increasingly the focus of attention and concern. There is no question the demand for electricity, water and land have increased sharply in response to the growth in digital activity. Identifying, quantifying and mitigating environmental and ecological impacts are core to value creation, and investors must be mindful of how a company is positioned to create value while avoiding public rebuke for neglecting to account for the environmental impacts of greatly increased digital activity.

This article explores the digital economy, the growing set of metrics used to assess environmental sustainability in a digital economy, the tools companies are using to improve efficiency, lessen environmental impacts and increase supply chain transparency and traceability, and tips for investors in assessing a company’s environmental awareness of the impacts of greatly increased digital activity.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Supply-Chain Aid — EPA Proposes PIP 3:1 Compliance Extension," Chemical Processing, November 22, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 21 that it intends to move further back the compliance dates related to articles containing phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) to ensure supply chains for key consumer and commercial goods are not disrupted. The agency proposed extending the compliance date until October 31, 2024, along with the associated recordkeeping requirements for manufacturers, processors and distributors of PIP (3:1)-containing articles. This article discusses this important development.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Is Extended Producer Responsibility On The Rise For Packaging?," Chemical Processing, October 18, 2021.

On July 13, 2021, Maine became the first state to enact Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation for packaging. On August 6, 2021, Oregon followed, enacting a similar EPR law applicable to packaging. Other states are poised to pass similar legislation. This article discusses the concept of EPR and summarizes the state legislation.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Extended producer responsibility for packaging: and so it begins in the US," Financier Worldwide, October 2021.

On 13 July 2021, Maine became the first state in the US to enact extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation for packaging. Quickly thereafter, on 6 August, Oregon became the second state to enact a similar EPR law applicable to packaging. Other states are poised to enact similar legislation, following trends more mature in the European Union (EU) and elsewhere around the world.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Goes Back To The Drawing Board On Toxic Substances," Chemical Processing, September 15, 2021.

The implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provisions relating to regulating persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals has been anything but smooth. On September 3, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it intends to initiate new PBT rulemaking and anticipates proposing new rules for five PBT chemicals subject to final risk management rules under TSCA Section 6(h). Additionally, and happily, the agency extended the compliance dates for the prohibitions on processing and distribution and the associated recordkeeping requirements of one of these PBT chemicals, phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)). The action was imperative as EPA’s earlier-issued “No Action Assurance” (NAA) lapsed on September 4, 2021. This article provides key points related to this complicated area of TSCA regulation.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Is FDA Food Safety Revision in Our Future?," Chemical Processing, August 24, 2021.

Food safety comes in many forms. Years ago, Congress passed the Food Quality Protection Act, amending the nation’s pesticide law to ensure a safer, more reliable, food supply. Consumer groups have urged Congress for years to modernize the nation’s food chemical law, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), to address often-stated concerns with chemicals in food. Thus far, those concerns remain largely unaddressed by any legislative effort. Things may be changing. On July 26, 2021, Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, introduced the Food Chemical Reassessment Act of 2021 (H.R. 4694), which would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to study and reassess chemicals used in food. This article summarizes the measure, and speculates on its likelihood of passage.

Carla N. Hutton and Karin F. Baron, MSPH, "Expert Briefing: What could the European Commission’s plan to strengthen CLP mean for industry?," Chemical Watch, August 2, 2021.

To help achieve the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted the chemicals strategy for sustainability in October 2020. The strategy suggests that the Commission can address pressing human health and environmental concerns by reinforcing Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures – one of the EU’s cornerstones for regulating chemicals.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "PFAS: Is Anything Not Reportable?," Chemical Processing, July 19, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on June 10, 2021, three actions intended to protect communities from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as covered in July’s column “EPA Announces Blockbuster PFAS Actions.” This column focuses on one of them: an ambitious proposal intended to obtain comprehensive data on more than 1,000 PFAS manufactured in or imported into the United States. As discussed in this article, the proposal’s scope is enormous.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Avoiding costly supply chain disruption: a cautionary tale," Financier Worldwide, July 2021.

By any independent standard, the US electronics industry is huge – it was worth over $300bn in 2019 – and growing annually. Would it surprise you to know that as big, essential and powerful as it is, a single rule issued in January of this year by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nearly brought this sector to a halt? To this day, the rule is causing extraordinary disruption as electric and electronic device manufacturers, importers, processors, distributors and others scramble to adjust in its aftermath. This article tells the cautionary tale of PIP (3:1). This sad and largely avoidable tale crystalises the importance of understanding the long reach of the US industrial chemical control law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its seemingly limitless potential for disrupting global supply chains.

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