All Published Articles

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Compliance: Get Ready For Superfund Excise Tax," Chemical Processing, June 22, 2022.

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), reinstating the Superfund excise tax on certain chemical substances under Sections 4661 and 4671 of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax Code). Effective July 1, 2022, the tax many were glad to see expire is back; the first deposit of the tax is due on July 29, 2022. This article discusses the tax and the challenges it poses.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Environmental Justice and Enforcement in America: what investors need to know," Financier Worldwide, July 2022.

By any standard, federal enforcement of environmental laws in the US has been uneven, to say the least. The prevailing perception is that democrats are ‘greener’ than are republicans when it comes to environmental enforcement. The data is quite scattered, however, and it would seem no party has cornered the environmental protection market. The Trump administration may be the exception that proves the rule.

Most would agree civil and criminal enforcement case numbers were significantly below those of other administrations, all by design. A raft of other actions taken by the Trump administration crystallised that environmental enforcement was definitely not top of mind. Priorities today are decidedly different, and investors need to know the implications of the Biden administration’s commitment to the twin goals of environmental protection and environmental justice. This article explores these topics.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., et al, "Compilation Memorandum regarding the GCSE Plastics Reports: France and the United States: Comparative Law Analysis and Recommendations Regarding Plastic Waste," Global Council for Science and the Environment, May 15, 2022.

In February 2022, France and the United States announced their commitment to protect our shared environment for future generations against the harm resulting plastic pollution.Both nations stated their united recognition of the transboundary impacts of plastic pollution and the importance of mitigating plastic waste at its source. On March 2, 2022, as reported by the 5th UN Environment Assembly (UNAE-5.2) in Nairobi, both France and the United States, along with 173 other nations, adopted a Resolution to End Plastic Pollution with an international legally binding agreement by 2024, with discussions beginning in 2022. Significantly, the Resolution to End Plastic Pollution defines “plastic waste” to include “microplastic.” Building upon the historic collaboration between France and the United States regarding plastic waste and learning from the contrasts in their governmental structures and approaches to environmental regulation, this French and United States Comparative Law Analysis and Recommendations Regarding Plastic Waste is offered for use by policy makers in the upcoming negotiations regarding the global plastic waste treaty.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Targets Asbestos," Chemical Processing, May 15, 2022.

On May 6, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed reporting and recordkeeping requirements for asbestos under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Unsurprisingly, the proposed requirements are extensive and tough.  This article provides a summary.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "California Eyes Proposition 65 Modifications," Chemical Processing, April 24, 2022.

On April 5, 2022, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued a notice recommending additional revisions to its proposal to modify Proposition 65 (Prop 65) Article 6 “clear and reasonable warnings” regulations for “short-form” warnings (Notice). OEHHA first proposed to change the short-form warning requirements on January 8, 2021. This column explains the significance of this development.

Carla N. Hutton and Karin F Baron, MSPH, "How might EU proposals on harmonised classification and prioritisation of chemicals for classification impact industry?," Chemical Watch, April 14, 2022.

The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, adopted by the European Commission in October 2020, calls on the Commission to ensure that Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation) is the central legislation for hazard classification and allows the Commission to initiate harmonised classifications. This article examines the effect of possible CLP amendments.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): One Size Does Not Fit All," Chemical Processing, February 27, 2022.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are getting a lot of attention in the United States and globally. Their varied chemical properties make the categorization of “PFAS” into a single category chemically and scientifically questionable. Increasingly, the ability to make distinctions among this large chemical category is challenging, yet failure to do so could be unwise. This article provides information on PFAS, and offers a few suggestions to keep in mind when making business decisions.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "PFAS: making sound investment decisions," Financier Worldwide, March 2022.

The ubiquity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the manufacturing sector’s decades-long reliance on them to impart functionalities in a dizzying array of products put the investor between the proverbial rock and a hard place. PFAS varied chemical properties make the broad categorisation of ‘PFAS’ into a monolithic category of ‘forever chemicals’ chemically and scientifically questionable.

For better or worse, however, that is exactly what is happening today, and distinguishing between commercially promising and commercially risky PFAS chemicals is challenging. Yet, the ability to make this distinction could be the difference between a great investment and a commercially disastrous one. This article explores this difficult assessment, provides essential information on PFAS, and offers some suggestions to avoid making bad investment decisions.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Isn’t It Ironic?," American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Blog, January 25, 2022.

The Biden Administration’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is laser focused on achieving several “whole-of-government” priorities: addressing climate change, identifying and giving environmental justice greater consideration in decision-making, and following the science wherever it may lead. Knowing and respecting leadership in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) tasked with achieving these laudable yet daunting objectives, there is no question the commitment is genuine. It is ironic, however, that EPA is applying the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in ways that are counterproductive to achieving these goals.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Toxic Substances: EPA Targets Asbestos," Chemical Processing, January 23, 2022.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has long been considered the “poster child” of failure as a chemical control law when it comes to asbestos regulation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its latest approach to regulating “legacy” uses may well invite heightened scrutiny. The EPA announced in December the availability of the Draft Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 2. In it, the agency will evaluate conditions of use of asbestos were excluded from Part 1 as legacy uses and associated disposals, and use conditions of asbestos in talc and talc-containing products. This article summarizes the EPA’s approach.

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