Chemicals, Pesticides, & Plastics

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) recently made two announcements regarding antimicrobial pesticides.  First, EPA released guidance regarding residual efficacy claims for antimicrobials applied to surfaces.  Second, EPA announced that it has registered the first product approved to make claims to kill viruses in the air.  EPA has also sought comment on strategies for improving indoor air quality to reduce disease transmission, which could involve the use of air sanitization products or pesticidal devices.  This blog has previously highlighted these issues, including noting steps EPA could take to improve pesticide policy in the wake of the pandemic and the emerging focus on indoor air quality and its regulatory implications.

Taken together, EPA’s recent actions are significant and provide opportunities for companies to develop novel products that could have significant public health benefits.  But they also highlight that significant uncertainty remains in this area, which presents risks that companies must carefully navigate to ensure regulatory compliance.

Continue Reading EPA Provides Guidance Regarding Novel Antimicrobial Pesticides and Seeks Comment on Indoor Air Quality Issues

On October 5, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced its plan to streamline the typical review process for Mixed Metal Oxides (“MMOs”), including certain cathode active materials, which are key components in electric vehicles’ lithium-ion batteries, as well as clean energy generation and storage technology, including wind turbines and solar cells.  MMOs can also be used in semiconductors. 

As we have written about previously, increasing the domestic supply of EVs and semiconductors, and expanding the country’s clean energy capacity are among the core policy objectives of the Biden Administration.

Continue Reading EPA to Streamline the Review Process for Certain EV and Clean Energy Chemicals

The Italian Legislative Decree 196/2021 (“Italian Decree”) implementing the Single-Use Plastic Directive (“SUPD”) will enter into force on January 14, 2022.  The Italian Decree diverges from the SUPD on significant aspects: it provides a more flexible definition of plastic; delays the entry into force of the ban on prohibited SUPs; and exempts from such ban specific biodegradable and compostable materials.  The Decree also imposes specific return obligations on waste plastic bottles.

While the Italian Decree provides companies with additional flexibilities to market their SUPs in Italy, companies should carefully assess the risks that may arise if EU Courts finally hold that the Decree is not compatible with EU law.

Continue Reading Italy Transposes into National Law the EU Single-Use Plastic Products Directive

The easing of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, with 67.7% of adults having at least one vaccine shot, provides the Biden Administration’s EPA with a unique opportunity to take stock of its pandemic response and consider any potential policy improvements that could be made.  This post focuses on two particular issues: (1)

As of July 3, single-use plastic products marketed in the EU/EEA must comply with the requirements and restrictions of Directive 2019/904 on the Reduction of the Impact of Certain Plastic Products on the Environment (“Single-Use Plastic Directive” –  “SUPD”).  To help Member States implement the SUPD into their national laws and apply its requirements, on May 31, 2021, the European Commission published its long-awaited Guidelines on the Scope of the SUPD.  The Guidelines take different and controversial approaches on the scope the SUPD and the nature of plastics and continue to leave important issues unanswered.
Continue Reading New EU Restrictions on Single-Use Plastic Products to Enter into Force

For the first time ever, EPA has approved a pesticide making residual antiviral claims under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  The approval may be a significant boon in the fight against COVID-19, but it also raises several key questions about EPA’s broader approach to combatting the novel coronavirus.
Continue Reading EPA Issues Emergency Approval for First-Ever Residual Antiviral Product

EPA recently released a compliance advisory addressing pesticidal products that make claims to mitigate the novel coronavirus.  While the advisory largely reiterates past guidance relating to pesticides, EPA has increased its emphasis on pesticidal devices, such as UV lights and ozone generators, which are subject to their own distinct set of regulations.
Continue Reading EPA Provides Limited Guidance Relating to Pesticidal Devices and the Coronavirus

EPA on April 14 expanded its formal relaxation of certain FIFRA requirements for pesticides listed on EPA’s “List N” of products expected to be effective against the coronavirus.  This expansion builds on EPA’s March 30 iteration of this temporary policy, which this blog previously discussed.
Continue Reading EPA Expands Flexibilities for Manufacturers of “List N” Disinfectants for Use Against Coronavirus

EPA on March 31 provided a formal relaxation of certain FIFRA requirements for pesticides listed on EPA’s “List N” of products expected to be effective against the coronavirus.  This temporary policy relaxes requirements to receive EPA approval of changes in sources of certain common active ingredients—such as ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and citric acid—in response to “reports of supply chain disruptions by pesticide registrants who manufacture disinfectant products on EPA’s List N.”
Continue Reading EPA Provides Flexibilities to Manufacturers of “List N” Disinfectants for Use Against Coronavirus

The European Union has adopted a new obligation on suppliers of articles that contain substances listed in the REACH Candidate List of SVHCs in concentrations above 0,1% to submit a notification to the European Chemicals Agency (“ECHA”).  The new requirement is intended to facilitate the recycling of products and was introduced by a new Directive amending the EU Waste Framework Directive.
Continue Reading New EU Requirements on Products Containing REACH Candidate List SVHCs