Environmental & Clean Technology

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

Last week the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) upheld a broad interpretation of the concept of “information that relates to emissions into the environment” that EU and Member State authorities (e.g., ECHA, EFSA, Commission, national environmental agencies) must disclose to the public.  According to the CJEU, the information that must be disclosed does not only relate to emissions from industrial installations, and must also include data allowing the public to: (i) know what is, or may be foreseen to be, released into the environment under normal or reasonable conditions of use of a product or substance; (ii) check the correctness of the assessment of the actual or foreseeable emissions on the basis of which product or substance is authorized; and (iii) understand the effect of those emissions on the environment.   This information must be disclosed to the public, upon request, even if it may affect the commercial interests of companies.

The CJEU’s decisions will have a significant impact on all companies that are required to submit regulatory filings to access the EU market under different EU legislation (e.g., REACH, Biocides, Plant Protection Products, Fertilizers, GMOs).  These companies must now assume that much of the data they submit may not be kept confidential.

Continue Reading The Court of Justice of the EU Adopts a Broad Interpretation of the Information on Emissions into the Environment that Authorities Must Disclose to the Public

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on possible EU measures to increase the transparency of nanomaterials on the European market.  The consultation is the first step of a Commission drafting procedure that is likely to end in a proposal for a Regulation on an EU Nano-Registry that the Commission could formally present by Spring 2015.

The Commission’s consultation aims at gathering the views of the public on the currently available information on nanomaterials on the market, whether the information available is sufficient to guarantee the safe use of nanomaterials and products containing them and informed consumer choice, and the different options to address any lack of information.  The consultation will contribute to the preparation of an impact assessment of a possible future Commission proposal.
Continue Reading The European Commission Launches a Public Consultation on a EU Nano-Registry

The attached presentation on the New EU Rules on Articles Treated with Biocidal Products was presented at the Annual Conference on European Food Law 2014 of the Academy of European Law ,  Trier, on May 5, 2014.  The slides discuss the new rules for treated articles of the EU Biocidal Products Regulation, the evolving Commission’s

This post was originally published as a Covington E-Alert

Very recently, the General Court of the European Union held that European institutions and agencies (e.g., European Commission, ECHA, EFSA, EMA) must disclose to the public, upon their request, information on the impurities and composition of substances emitted into the environment even if this may affect the commercial interests and intellectual property rights of the companies that developed the products.

The Court ruled against a European Commission decision that denied two NGOs access to several documents relating to the approval of the active substance glyphosate in plant protection products.  The refusal was based on the need to protect the commercial interests of the manufacturers of the substance. The Court held that Regulation 1367/2006 on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters to Community Institutions and Bodies (“Aarhus Regulation”) requires EU institutions and bodies to disclose information if it “relates to emissions into the environment” even if it can undermine the commercial interests of companies.  This applies to any information that “relates in a sufficiently direct manner to emissions into the environment.” The Court found that information concerning the identification and quantity of impurities contained in the substances meets that definition.
Continue Reading EU Court Requires EU Authorities to Disclose Information on Impurities and Composition of Substances Submitted by Companies