On the morning of March 16, 2020, we first caught wind of impending Shelter-in-Place orders in Northern California, which began taking effect in several counties, encompassing much of the San Francisco Bay Area, on Tuesday. Next, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued his March 19, 2020 “stay-at-home” order to try to slow COVID-19’s spread throughout the state.
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Safe Harbor regulations were implemented in August 2016 to require “clear and reasonable” warnings of the potential danger of exposure to consumers. Hunton Andrews Kurth partners Malcolm Weiss and Shannon Broome pick up their discussion, this time exploring aspects of the Safe Harbor regulations and the expectations for companies with products sold in California.
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When most Americans think about the traditions of presidential transitions, they recall the oath of office, the prior president and family leaving the White House, the inaugural parade, the balls with their beautiful gowns and sharp tuxedos, and more. What they more than likely don’t think about, much less even know about, are other happenings in the White House and in the agencies that run our government. While the peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of the American political system, it is not without controversy, particularly where the outgoing president is a member of a different political party with remarkably different political views than the incoming commander in chief.
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Ho Ho Ho! Happy Hanukkah! Happy New Year!
And so it goes this time of year,
with family and friends gathering for the holidays
to share a hot toddy and some good cheer!

As October and November gently glide by,
Heading into December for cookies and pie,
But lo, the environmental lawyer sits
wearily writing at the computer, throwing fits.

What will the court or the EPA say
Will be due around Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Day?

Ah… there’s a D.C. Circuit brief due December 22nd
And comments the 28th that beckon!
So parties that are fun are not to be had
Rather, parties that are litigants or co-commenters, egad!
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In a surprising turn of events, the Board of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) voted to delay adoption of first-of-its-kind caps on refinery greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As we reported just three weeks ago, the Board was slated to adopt Regulation 12, Rule 16: Petroleum Refining Facility-Wide Emissions Limits (Rule 12-16), a regulation that would establish refinery-specific, facility-wide caps on GHG emissions from the five Bay Area refineries and three support facilities.  At a public hearing last week, in what initially looked to be a sure thing, the Board pivoted.  Signaling unease about legal vulnerabilities surrounding procedure, the Board voted to delay adoption of the regulation until at least September 2017.

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Just before President Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, California is moving ahead with new greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations, making good on its commitment to continue its path regardless of what goes on in Washington, DC. This week, the Board of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) held a special meeting to consider a controversial new regulation targeting oil refineries. If adopted, as planned at the June 21, 2017, Board public hearing, Regulation 12, Rule 16: Petroleum Refining Facility-Wide Emissions Limits (Rule 12-16) would establish first-of-its-kind, refinery-specific, facility-wide caps on emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG). The proposed caps limit refinery emissions to seven percent above recent operating levels.
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The effects of the regulatory reform initiatives of the Trump Administration are beginning to be felt at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the formal action by OSHA to finalize withdrawal of the “Volks Rule” regulation. On May 3, 2017, in response to a CRA resolution of disapproval, OSHA published a final rule removing amendments to OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations.
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“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” Movie aficionados will recognize this classic line from the 1976 movie, “Network.” For many Californians, the line captures the feeling in the state just before Proposition 13 (Prop 13) was passed by about 65 percent of voters in 1978 to amend the state constitution. For a state that is used to sizable earthquakes, Prop 13 was a truly seismic event in California, restructuring the state property tax system. It was enacted in response to frustration over California’s decades-old method of paying for government, which allowed property taxes to increase dramatically year to year, often resulting in senior citizens on fixed incomes being unable to afford to stay in their homes. On top of cutting and restricting increases in property taxes, Prop 13 contained language requiring a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state tax rates or amounts of revenue collected, including income tax rates and sales tax rates.
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