Hazardous Waste & Contaminated Sites / Electronic Waste (WEEE)

As waste has the potential to endanger many aspects of human health or the environment, it is subject to multiple regulations and requirements in multiple jurisdictions.  Steptoe’s Environment, Chemicals & Life Sciences team has an in-depth experience across the full range of issues which typically impact waste processing operations.

The detail of the regimes we work in (including the EU Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC; the EU Waste Shipment Regulation 1013/2006; and RCRA and its state counterparts in the US) differs in each jurisdiction.  However, there are key themes on which clients regularly turn to us for strategic guidance and support.  These include:

  • Borderline cases concerning the definition of waste
  • Contaminated sites
  • Responsibility of waste producers
  • Issuance of permits for waste and hazardous waste treatment
  • Shipment of waste
  • Labeling requirements
  • Compliance with waste-specific legislation (e.g. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE))

International and Multidisciplinary Advice

Companies producing, recovering or shipping large quantities of waste are faced with international and national obligations and requirements.  Complying with these requirements in different languages with several authorities can be a serious hurdle, even for large multinational companies.

Through longstanding work in this area, Steptoe has built a reputation for constructive dialogue with legislators, policy makers, regulators and enforcement authorities, including advocacy before the European Commission, Council, European Parliament and EU national competent authorities.  This helps clients to shape their business environment and achieve their commercial objectives.

Our team of lawyers and scientists, based in Europe, the United States, and China, has a long experience in dealing with highly technical questions involving the analysis of multiple juridical systems.  We address issues from several angles, including regulatory compliance, marketing strategies, civil and criminal liabilities and representation before national and international courts.  Our ability to navigate technical, legal and political aspects of waste-related issues is enhanced by our experience in other highly regulated sectors such as chemicals in general, biocides, pesticides, food contact materials, and nanotechnologies.