|Risk Management, Insurance and Claims
Climate change demands reassessment of risk, expert says
Natural disasters are occurring more often and growing more severe, requiring a re-examination of risk management, damage amounts and building design, says Rod Taylor of Aon's Environmental Services group. "We have to plan for a much different future with more frequent droughts and forest fires in areas where they never had them before," Taylor says. PropertyCasualty360
Solar-panel makers face concerns over toxic-waste disposal
Solar-panel manufacturers produce a green energy source, but they also generate tons of toxic waste, which increases the product's carbon footprint and goes largely unreported, according to an Associated Press analysis. California requires plants to report the amount of hazardous waste produced, but only 17 of 41 solar manufacturers based there reported waste to the state Department of Toxic Substances Control, the analysis found. From 2007 to mid-2011, those companies' manufacturing operations resulted in 46.5 million pounds of contaminated water and sludge. NorthJersey.com (Hackensack, N.J.) (free registration)/The Associated Press
Family to sue Pittsburgh VA hospital over Legionella-risk disclosure
Two Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs hospitals didn't formally tell patients about a Legionella risk at the facilities, which may be a violation of federal regulations, said lawyers representing the families of two deceased veterans. Tap water at the hospitals is suspected of causing Legionnaires' disease in 21 patients. One of the families said they intend to file a lawsuit. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Calif. bill would guard firms that act promptly on chemicals violations
A California bill would give businesses 14 days to comply with Proposition 65 after receiving notices so they can avoid high retroactive fines and lawsuits. The proposition, which requires businesses to provide warnings if consumer products contain detectable amounts of certain chemicals, has been abused by opportunistic plaintiffs, said Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, the bill's author. BeverageDaily.com (France)
Texas debates how much is enough for pollution penalties
Texas lawmakers increased the daily cap for pollution penalties from $10,000 to $25,000 in late 2011, but the debate continues over whether that amount is enough to compel businesses to comply with environmental regulations. "If you're only fining that company $10,000 a day, or even $25,000 a day, for a huge pollution event, that's not really commensurate with the harm that's being done," said Larry Soward, a former member of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality who wants to see the maximum daily fine raised much higher. National Public Radio/StateImpact
Underground storage tank (UST) regulations set to change
Alexander Gordon of Aon Environmental discusses the EPA's proposed amendments to current UST regulations. These changes are related to the need for greater care in operating and maintaining underground storage tanks. Read more about the new requirements.
Emily Bourdeau joins Aon Environmental Group as associate broker
Emily Bourdeau recently joined Aon in New York to fill the role of associate broker. Bourdeau's responsibilities include identifying environmental exposures and defining general coverage requirements, and serving as the internal contact point on all aspects of account marketing activity including planning and coordinating customized risk transfer solutions for environmental risks and liabilities. She is also actively engaged with research of various emerging environmental risks including bacteria and viruses. Bourdeau is a licensed insurance broker in New York and received a master's in sustainability management at Columbia University. As part of this degree, she co-published a report for the PANYNJ on climate-change resilience and sea-level rise. She also has a bachelor's in environmental studies from Brown University. She can be reached at (212) 441-1267.
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