By: Jennifer R. Santangelo, Lori S. Smith and Jeremy M. Miller
As the 116th United States Congress came to a close, in its final hours, and skipping weeks of political drama for purposes of this post, the legislative body took the unprecedented step and overrode a presidential veto for the first time during the Trump Administration to pass the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (the Defense Act). Included in the Defense Act is the Corporate Transparency Act (the CTA). The CTA, which was initially introduced by the House of Representatives in 2019, seeks to provide appropriate safeguards to identify bad actors engaged in terrorism, money laundering, sex trafficking and other heinous acts through “shell companies” that are not actually engaged in a bona fide business venture but instead are created for the principal purpose of shielding the owners from liability for engaging in illicit behavior and, in many cases, their identities. (more…)
By: Ryan Udell, Shane Heskin and Gwenn Barney
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced in a memo released on Thursday, March 26, 2020 that it will relax its enforcement of environmental legal obligations under certain circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applicable retroactively to March 13, 2020, the EPA will use enforcement discretion in specific situations where a company or governmental entity is unable to comply with an obligation usually required by the EPA due to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, if the company takes certain steps to mitigate and document its noncompliance. This enforcement discretion only applies to civil violations of environmental legal obligations and explicitly does not extend to any criminal violations or conditions of probation in criminal sentences, activities that are carried out under Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action enforcement instruments or imports.
By: Lori Smith and Jeremy Miller
On March 9, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued two new sets of rules under the 21st Century Cures Act designed to provide patients with more control over their health care data. With the goal of interoperability, the final rules developed by each of the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) require providers, payers and information technology vendors to provide patients with the ability to easily access their electronic health information (EHI) on electronic devices, including smart phones. (more…)