Environmental Law: Legal Recourses for E-Recycling and Reuse

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: April 16, 2021
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        • Electronic Waste Recycling
                - State-by-State Approach
                - Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Framework
        • Looking Ahead
                - Emerging Technologies
                - Trending Beyond Recycling Approaches

Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: April 16, 2021

Difficulty: Experienced Attorneys Only (Non-Transitional)


In 2019, the world set a record for e-waste, generating 53.6 million metric tons of it. Although many have enacted state take-back laws for waste electronics, there are currently no federal laws that mandate the recycling of electronic waste. Federal and state environmental laws also govern the recycling and recovery of materials from electronics. The legal, economic and logistical challenges arising from the proper management of waste electronics continue to draw the attention of federal, state and local governments, non-profits, and private companies focused on advancing more circular business models for the recovery of used products.

This seminar will address various kinds of circular strategies and policies that will shift the US towards a more sustainable environment.

This program was recorded on April 16th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Philip L. Comella

Freeborn & Peters LLP

Philip Comella is a Partner in the Litigation Practice Group and Leader of the Environment and Energy Practice Group. Phil's practice spans both regulatory counseling and environmental-based litigation. With over three decades of experience in environmental law, and a focus on the solid and hazardous waste industry, he regularly counsels owners and operators of landfills, treatment facilities, recycling operations, and waste generators on compliance and permitting matters arising under the environmental laws. Phil began his legal career by spending seven years as in-house counsel for a major waste management company, where he had responsibility for hazardous and solid waste issues arising across the country.

Phil has wide-ranging and deep experience in solid and hazardous waste matters arising under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), including citizen suits, enforcement actions, permitting, and compliance. He has represented generators, transporters, and fixed facilities on a myriad of issues arising under this statute and state counterparts, including solid waste, hazardous waste, TENORM (technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials), used oil, and clean-up standards. Phil has also worked on numerous PCB matters over the last 30 years, including those involving disposal clean-up requirements, dilution, and coordinated waste approvals. He has worked on multiple facets of the Comprehensive Environmental Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), including defending enforcement actions, responding to information requests, negotiating ROD amendments, and heading up PRP groups. With a long history in both Superfund and Brownfields, he is experienced in applying clean-up standards across regulatory fields, and negotiating contract conditions and insurance provisions to reduce environmental liability.

Phil has defended clients in a broad array of enforcement actions and compliance matters brought under virtually every environmental law. These matters have ranged from claims of improper waste disposal, faulty waste characterization, and closures of treatment, storage and disposal facilities, to landfill odors, TENORM management, and unauthorized PCB treatment. He has negotiated settlement agreements on these matters with environmental regulatory agencies in virtually every EPA region and in over twenty different states. He has a long history of defending companies from toxic tort lawsuits relating to the release of hazardous chemicals, including groundwater contaminants, odors, and air pollutants, including sulfuric acid, sulfur trioxide, landfill gas, and phosphoric acid.

He has represented landfill owners, developers, and end-users on all aspects of landfill gas projects, including contract drafting, negotiation, regulatory compliance, enforcement action defense, and litigation to enforce contract rights. He also has experience with the permitting of hydropower plants under the Clean Water Act.

Phil's practice also encompasses construction claims with an environmental component. For example, he has defended clients on construction claims involving mold contamination and asbestos removal. He has worked extensively in the area of classifying construction and demolition debris in numerous projects, including stadium demolition and electrical installations. He also has extensive experience defending environmental and engineering professionals against negligence and contract claims.

Aminah Famili

Beveridge & Diamond PC

Aminah helps companies navigate environmental regulatory regimes across the product life cycle, from market access obligations at the product development stage to proper end-of-life management.

She focuses her practice on regulatory compliance counseling and environmental enforcement defense matters. She helps clients in a wide range of industries navigate through the myriad of environmental regulatory regimes applicable in the U.S. at the federal, state and local level, with a particular emphasis on California-specific regulatory regimes.

Aminah routinely advises and defends clients on issues arising from California’s state-specific product stewardship programs, product take-back and recycling requirements, hazardous waste and materials management regimes and Proposition 65. Her practice also extends to global environmental and product-related environmental regimes, including chemicals-related market access requirements and electronic waste take-back and recycling obligations.

In addition to her regulatory practice, Aminah has successfully represented clients in civil and administrative enforcement proceedings, contaminated property litigation, citizen suits and administrative permitting challenges.

Paul E. Hagen

Beveridge & Diamond PC

Paul helps clients navigate increasingly complex environmental requirements governing products across their life-cycle.

He works with leading companies to anticipate and comply with product-related environmental requirements in the U.S. and in key markets worldwide. He has represented U.S. business interests in the negotiation and implementation of regional and global environmental agreements that drive national legislation and the circular economy.

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