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​The Environmental Compliance Newsroom is a source of news and information on environmental regulatory issues that are relevant to the retail industry.

​EPA Press Release (09/26/2016)

EPA GreenChill Webinar (10/26/2016 at 2pm ET) This will provide an overview of the revised refrigerant management regulations with specific emphasis on how the rule changes affect supermarkets. 


​OSHA has modified the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This will impact retailers with private label products and is effective from June 1, 2016.

OSHA Hazard Communication Standard​

OSHA Questio​ns and Answers on the New Standard


The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) Final Rule​ regarding the reverse logistics shipments of certain hazardous materials by highway transportation is effective as of March 31, 2016.

The Final Rule creates a new section (49 CFR 173.157) in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180) with provisions specific to reverse logistics of certain hazardous materials by highway transportation. The Final Rule adds a definition of “reverse logistics" of hazardous materials at 49 CFR 171.8: “Reverse logistics means the process of offering for transport or transporting by motor vehicle goods from a retail store for return to its manufacturer, supplier, or distribution facility for the purpose of capturing value (e.g., to receive manufacturer's credit), recall, replacement, recycling, or similar reason."

The Final Rule also expands a previously existing exception for return shipments of used automobile batteries transported between a retail facility and a recycling center (49 CFR 173.159).


Effective in July 2015, new enforcement regulations went into effect that impose civil penalties for violations of the appliance efficiency regulations. Specifically, the new enforcement regulations identify three categories of violations: failure to register appliances in the appliance efficiency database, failure to meet the efficiency standards or comply with the regulations relating to testing, marketing or certifying that an appliance meets the efficiency standards, and knowingly providing false information in a statement made under penalty of perjury pursuant to any of the efficiency regulations. The penalty is up to $2,500 per appliance. ​

If a retailer sells, or offers for sale, new appliances or devices that use electricity, natural gas, or water to California customers, California’s Appliance Efficiency regulations likely apply. Regulated products must be listed in the Energy Commission’s Appliance Efficiency Database. Only regulated products that have been tested, certified and listed in the database may be legally sold or offered for sale in the state.

Water appliance amendments to the state’s appliance efficiency regulations also went into effect on January 1, 2016. The amendments prohibit the sale and installation of certain toilets, urinals and faucets that do not meet minimum water efficiency requirements, regardless of the manufactured date. 


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is instituting a standard limit (effective April 1, 2016) on the acceptable battery charge of lithium batteries (not to exceed 30% of their rated design capacity) when transported as cargo with accompanying requirements on the volume of packages transported, over pack labelling and loading with other cargo.

IATA Update on Lithium Batteries

IATA Lithium Battery Guidance Document 2016

IATA In-Company Training Course: Shipping Lithium Batteries By Air

IATA Classroom Training Course: Shipping Lithium Batteries By Air


Depending on the amount of waste they generate every week, California businesses will have to recycle organic wastes (such as food waste, landscape waste, nonhazardous wood waste and food soiled paper) on or after April 1, 2016. Recycling is accomplished through composting and mulching, or anaerobic digestion. The law has been chaptered in the Public Resources Code, so California will not be establishing any regulations for the law.

CalRecycle Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling (MORe) page

CalRecycle Brochure


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