I am an environmental attorney in Robinson+Cole’s Environmental and Utilities Group. I have worked with manufacturers, both big and small, on environmental compliance, risk management, and litigation matters for my entire career. My full firm bio can be accessed here.
As an environmental lawyer, I never want to be a roadblock to our client’s goals. I strive to understand the business of our manufacturing clients – what do you make and how do you make it? I want to know your objective, and I want to help you get there. Regulatory requirements and potential legal liabilities can sometimes seem daunting, but I help our clients develop an understanding of the requirements and all of the potential options so that we can create practical and cost-effective solutions to accomplish the objective. I work with management as well as the people who make our clients’ products every day, and I enjoy every part of it. It’s a good day for me when I can put on my hard hat and walk the factory floor.
With the new year comes a new focus on increasing criminal prosecutions against employers for worker safety violations. In the end of December, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced a plan to deter workplace safety violations through more stringent criminal prosecution. Under the new plan, the DOJ will work … Continue Reading
As a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Budget Act), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will increase its maximum civil monetary penalties for the first time since 1990. The Budget Act requires federal agencies, including OSHA, to annually adjust civil monetary penalties based on the Consumer Price Index. Because OSHA has … Continue Reading
Earlier this year, we reported on a case that seemed to breathe new life into the divisibility defense under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Under CERCLA, a party that causes or contributes to contamination, or even just owns contaminated property, can be held liable for the entire cleanup. In May 2015, … Continue Reading
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. (“CERCLA”) imposes fairly broad liability on potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) to pay for the investigation and remediation of a release of a hazardous substance. Typically, we think of a “release” as spilling or dumping on land, or discharging to water. A … Continue Reading
EPA is poised to publish a proposed rule revising regulations applicable to hazardous waste generators under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq. (RCRA). The proposed rule, which has not yet been published in the Federal Register, represents a significant overhaul of the RCRA generator regulations. EPA states that the … Continue Reading
In August 2015, OSHA updated its National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Amputations. Based on a review of data from general industry as well as targeted industries, OSHA determined that workplace amputations were being underreported. OSHA updated the NEP on Amputations to target all workplaces with machinery or equipment capable of causing amputations. OSHA defines “amputation” … Continue Reading
EPA is in the process of rolling out Next Generation Compliance, or NextGen, in an effort to make its programs more effective, facilitate compliance, and, ultimately, enhance environmental benefit. But in many ways, NextGen seems poised to expand enforcement against the regulated community. NextGen consists of five interconnected components: More Effective Regulations and Permits Advanced … Continue Reading
Thank you to my colleague Brian Freeman for his contributions to this post. Brian is an attorney in the Environmental & Utilities Practice Group who has significant experience with underground storage tank issues for industrial and petroleum clients. On July 15, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule significantly expanding its … Continue Reading
Thank you to my colleague Bob Melvin for his contributions to the post below. Bob is a partner in the Environmental & Utilities Practice Group whose practice focuses on representing manufacturers with enforcement, compliance, and permitting issues. Under EPA’s Audit Policy and Small Business Compliance Policy, companies that discover, promptly disclose, and expeditiously correct environmental … Continue Reading
The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, is a federal law under which contaminated sites are identified and evaluated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA designates certain sites for cleanup and pursues potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to investigate and remediate those sites. Liability under CERCLA is joint and … Continue Reading
It seems like so long ago (just over three years, to be exact) that OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). But an important HCS deadline is fast approaching – it is time to say goodbye to the Material … Continue Reading