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The United States (US) Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that real estate developer Olivet Management (Olivet) faces more than US$2.3 million in proposed fines after having been cited for "exposing [Olivet] employees, as well as employees for 13 contractors, to asbestos and lead hazards during cleanup operations in preparation for a tour of [an Olivet-managed site] by potential investors".

The United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that Anadarko Petroleum Corp (Anadarko), Anadarko subsidiary Kerr-McGee Corp (Kerr-McGee) and Kerr-McGee affiliates have agreed to pay US$5.15 billion, including approximately US$4.4 billion to fund environmental clean-up activities and for environmental claims, to settle a fraudulent conveyance case.

Tannery Fined for Exposing Workers to Harmful Gas

09 Apr 2014
Written by World Watch

WorkSafe New Zealand (WorkSafe NZ) has announced that Tasman Tanning (TT) has been fined NZ$73,000 and ordered to pay reparations totalling NZ$90,000, following an incident in which four of its workers were left unconscious after being exposed to hydrogen sulphide gas at TT's tannery in November 2012 as the result of the mixing of two chemicals.

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it has approved Decision and Order (3 April 2014), which "settl[es] charges that [NEW Plastics Corp (NEW)] ... misled consumers and distributors about the recycled content, post-consumer recycled content, and recyclability of its products".

Published in Consumer Protection

Nitric Acid Manufacturer to Reduce Emissions

26 Mar 2014
Written by World Watch

The United States (US) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice (DoJ) have jointly announced that concentrated nitric acid manufacturer LSB Industries has agreed to "reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides ... by meeting emission limits that are among the lowest for the industry in the nation".

Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) Resources Minister Anthony Roberts has announced that the NSW government has refused five petroleum exploration licence applications (PELAs) lodged by Grainger Energy Pty Ltd (Grainger Energy) that covered 43,100 square kilometres of land. Mr Roberts explained that Grainger Energy "has one owner/director, was formed just six days prior to lodging its application, has no history of conducting petroleum exploration activities and has submitted a manifestly deficient application".

The United States (US) Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (the Office) has announced that Eastman Kodak Company (Kodak) has entered into settlement agreements that resolve environmental liabilities, including, as stated by US Attorney Preet Bharara, "more than a century of pollution by Kodak at the Eastman Business Park and Rochester's Genesee River".

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalised new emission standards for cars and gasoline as part of its Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program, following extensive consultation with the public and a broad range of stakeholders. According to the EPA, the new standards "will significantly reduce harmful pollution and prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks".

The Council of the European Union (EU) has announced that the Committee of Permanent Representatives has endorsed an agreement between the Hellenic Presidency of the Council and European Parliament representatives on a draft directive for the disclosure of non-financial and diversity information by certain large public interest entities in the EU with over 500 employees. The draft directive would require such companies to disclose, annually, a statement of policies, outcomes and risks relating to environmental, social and employee-related matters including a description of its diversity policy, respect for human rights, anti-corruption and bribery matters. Where the company has not pursued such policies, it must explain why.

The United States (US) Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has released its Opinion (3 March 2014) in In Re: Deepwater Horizon. According to BP plc (BP), the Court has decided to deny BP's request for a permanent injunction preventing payments to business economic loss (BEL) claimants whose alleged injuries are not traceable to the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill. BP argued that such claimants are not proper class members under the terms of the Economic and Property Damages Settlement (the Settlement) reached in 2012; however, Reuters reports that the Court rejected BP's argument that this interpretation of the Settlement would allow businesses to recover for fictitious losses.

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