The modern world is increasingly vulnerable to widespread, prolonged power disruptions and outages caused by geomagnetic storms. Provided that policies usually include exclusions for risks that are arguably more remote, it makes sense for insurers to also incorporate exclusions for such storms, say Jason Reeves of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP and William Murtagh of National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
In 2013, we expect to see significant changes in the areas of waste and contamination, including vapor intrusion, waste management and cleanup, brownfields and issues related to real estate purchases. Out of several relevant cases, it will be interesting to watch Soco West v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which challenges a unilateral Resource Conservation and Recovery Act compliance order, say attorneys with McGuireWoods LLP.
Recently, the San Francisco Superior Court denied a challenge to the California Air Resources Board's cap-and-trade regulation, which sought to invalidate the use of a standards-based approach for determining whether projects should be awarded offset credits. This decision should provide a welcome shot in the arm to CARB's efforts, but it also does little to assure that a robust supply of offsets will be available to meet demand, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.
The U.S. energy infrastructure is under stress, revealing critical flaws in gas-electric coordination, but a new dynamic is emerging to address these vulnerabilities, with key steps being taken in the coming weeks. How the regulatory authorities continue to address this issue is of paramount importance to all market participants, say attorneys with DLA Piper.
Recently, the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island vacated its 2010 summary judgment decision in Ashland Inc. v. GAR Electroforming, nullifying a significant interpretation of the right to bring cost-recovery claims under Section 107 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. While the court has wiped the slate clean of the precedent, the rationale for this decision remains for provocative arguments, say attorneys with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.
The recent release of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's results of enforcement and compliance statistics for fiscal year 2012 confirms that criminal prosecution remains an important component of the EPA’s enforcement program. Though continued budget constraints and limited resources may put pressure on the agency, companies should still anticipate 2013 to be another steady year for EPA criminal enforcement actions, say attorneys with Alston & Bird LLP.
Estimating environmental liabilities is a necessity for many businesses, and companies generally go through separate efforts to acquire such estimates because they believe this to be a faster way. However, our experience suggests that probabilistic cost analysis, also known as decision tree analysis, can be used to produce a single set of environmental liability estimates for all contexts in a cost-effective manner, say Brian Henthorn and Lisa Walsh of Gnarus Advisors LLC.
This year is sure to bring a number of significant changes to the food and beverage industry, especially given the 2012 election results and the continued momentum of several hot topics from 2012 that attracted the attention of government officials, agencies and the general public. Food labeling, food safety and taxes on sweetened beverages are a few areas in which we expect to see such changes, say attorneys with McGuireWoods LLP and McGuireWoods Consulting LLC.
This year, advertisers should anticipate that the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council will continue to address advertising on emerging social media platforms, as well as green marketing. The ASRC is also expected to expand its review of advertising directed to children and continue to evolve its operational policies to encourage and foster efficacy and participation in the advertising self-regulatory process, says Alexis Payne of InfoLawGroup LLP.
The New Year is still in its infancy, and there is no better time to craft a list of professional resolutions. To ease into the process, consider seven easy steps for super-charging your marketing and communications efforts in 2013, says Michael Bond of Blattel Communications.