In support of the Nanotechnology Industries: 'NIA — Beveridge & Diamond' Working Relationship
The Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) and Washington D.C. law firm Beveridge & Diamond are providing maximum benefit to all NIA members through an active working relationship between the two organisations:
In as much as the United States is one of the world’s larger markets for nanotechnology-enabled products, the NIA is establishing a collaborative relationship with the US law firm, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. (B&D). Through this collaboration, NIA members will gain insightful analysis into environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) related legal and regulatory initiatives occurring within the United States. In addition, B&D will be available to assist NIA, as the need arises, on specific projects. This announcement provides NIA members with background on Beveridge & Diamond and describes the type of support that it will provide through its relationship with the NIA.
Who is Beveridge & Diamond?
Beveridge & Diamond was established in Washington, D.C. in 1974 by a small group of attorneys who were at the forefront of the development of environmental law and policy in the United States. Since that time, the firm has become the largest law firm in the U.S. that concentrates its practice in all aspects of EH&S law and related litigation. Among the firm's current attorneys and alumni are the first Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the first Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, two former EPA General Counsels, several other former leading federal and state environmental agency officials, and numerous Department of Justice attorneys with experience in litigation and contested proceedings.
B&D attorneys have kept abreast of the latest EH&S issues surrounding nanotechnologies through, among other things, their participation in the U.S. delegation to the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 229 (ISO TC 229), as well as other international and domestic nanotechnology working groups, such as the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Business and Industry Advisory Group (BIAC) to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The knowledge that they have gained through their participation in these groups, combined with their experience counseling companies developing other emerging technologies with respect to environmental regulatory and other legal requirements, has enabled them to provide practical and useful advice to clients in various industrial sectors utilizing nanotechnologies.
Similar to many members of the NIA, a number of Beveridge & Diamond’s clients are currently working to identify and manage the various risks that the development and commercialization of nanotechnology-enabled products pose, including the risks of regulatory noncompliance, market rejection, and tort liability. B&D attorneys have assisted with the evaluation of these and other risks and with the establishment of cost-effective strategies for addressing them in a manner that is consistent with client business objectives.
For example, B&D has advised clients with respect to their obligations under EPA’s product approval regulations, including the chemicals regulatory regime known as the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the biocides and pesticides regulatory regime known as the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and the workplace health & safety regime, known as the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). B&D also has assisted clients with evaluating their participation in voluntary programs, including EPA’s Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) and recently proposed industry codes of conduct.
The firm has a robust international environmental law practice and has utilized its experience to assist clients with understanding how initiatives concerning nanotechnologies in the Asia-Pacific Region, the EU, Canada, the OECD, and ISO TC 229 may impact client operations both in the U.S. and abroad. B&D also has counseled clients on the potential tort liability and related legal considerations that may arise when developing and commercializing nanotechnology-enabled products in the U.S.
How Will Beveridge & Diamond work with the NIA?
Beveridge & Diamond has agreed to provide the NIA with periodic written updates analyzing select legal and regulatory developments in the United States that may affect nanotechnologies. These might include developments occurring within the following U.S. agencies: EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). B&D also may analyze other noteworthy occurrences with legal implications outside of the established regulatory frameworks, such as significant litigation outcomes or insurance coverage announcements. NIA will publish abstracts of these updates in its electronic newsletter, and will make the full-length versions available in a designated space within the Members-Only area of the NIA website.
B&D also may periodically send attorneys to NIA meetings to discuss various U.S. legal and regulatory topics of importance to NIA members. For example, the NIA and B&D are currently evaluating the possibility of having B&D attorneys give a presentation in early 2009 regarding the potential regulatory implications of the policies of the new U.S. Administration and the enhanced Democratic majority in the U.S. Congress. Other topics of potential interest to NIA members could be scheduled for later meetings, as appropriate.
B&D will provide the above updates at no cost to the NIA or its members. Because of their necessarily general informational nature, the updates are not intended by B&D and NIA as legal advice to NIA or its members and will not create an attorney-client relationship between B&D and NIA or any of its members.
B&D would also be available to assist the NIA, as needed and requested, with specific projects developing advocacy positions before various federal agencies and U.S. Congressional committees when they are formulating policy or regulatory requirements for nanotechnologies. In the event that the NIA requests B&D to undertake such a specific project related to these or other developments, NIA and B&D will negotiate an upfront fee, or other mutually acceptable compensation arrangement, for that service. B&D would also be available for retention by individual member companies, as the member company and B&D deem appropriate.*
Both the NIA and B&D anticipate that this collaboration will benefit NIA members.
Follow this link in order to download this announcement.
*NOTE: In providing any of the above assistance to NIA, B&D shall be an independent contractor and neither NIA nor B&D shall act as or be deemed an agent, employee, partner, or joint venturer of the other. Absent prior written authorization, neither NIA nor B&D shall have the power or authority to enter into any agreement or obligation on behalf of the other.