The technology sector represents one of the economy’s fastest and largest growing segments. This sector is comprised of a number of industries ranging from biotechnology and semiconductors to nanotechnology. Companies operating throughout the technology sector deliver a diverse array of products and services to individual consumers and businesses. These products and services include computers, software and database systems and support, data processing facilities, and countless other items related to information technology, innovation and communication.
Companies operating in the technology sector face an increasingly competitive landscape. Large and small companies throughout the U.S. and around the globe are continually developing new products and innovations to grow their businesses and increase their financial performance. Like most economic sectors, the technology sector faces many legal and regulatory challenges. While privacy and data security issues are often at the forefront, technology businesses must also comply with new and changing environmental laws and regulations at the state, national and international levels. Environmental compliance can be a costly endeavor and businesses across the sector must devote significant time and resources to develop proper compliance measures.
Environmental Laws and Regulations Impacting the Technology Sector
Expanding regulatory oversight both domestically and abroad can place a substantial burden on businesses operating throughout the technology sector. Each California environmental attorney at our firm is well versed in the complex environmental challenges and issues facing technology related companies. We counsel clients in all industry sectors, including:
Companies in the biotechnology industry work to develop products and technology to combat a broad range of problems, from deadly and infectious diseases to emissions and pollutants threatening the environment. Biotechnology companies must comply with strict environmental regulations, including obtaining government approvals in connection with the products and goods they develop and manufacture. These businesses can also be subject to government enforcement actions and litigation brought by environmental groups and private parties. The attorneys at Bick Law help companies in the biotechnology industry navigate emerging environmental laws and regulations. We work with clients to develop compliance programs aimed at avoiding costly and disruptive litigation and enforcement actions. We also help companies structure and negotiate commercial transactions that advance their business goals and operations.
A key driver of the U.S. economy, the semiconductor industry is one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors in the world. While semiconductors are used in the manufacturing of computer chips, they are also used for military, automotive, industrial, communications and other consumer purposes. The “clean room” facilities used to produce semiconductor chips are notorious for exposing workers to toxic chemicals and the manufacturing process results in wastewater, permitted air emissions, and solid and hazardous waste generation. Bick Law has an in-depth understanding of the semiconductor industry and advises clients on the full range of compliance issues that may arise in connection with the manufacturing and distribution process. Our environmental team helps companies throughout the industry develop workable compliance programs and we aggressively defend our clients in worker exposure and toxic tort cases.
Much of the nanotechnology industry has been applied in the manufacturing of semiconductors, but new nanotechnology applications are emerging in the health industry. While these technologies have the potential to generate tremendous advances and benefits, the environmental and health impacts associated with nanoscale materials raise substantial concerns and are not yet fully understood. Nanotechnology products and materials are subject to numerous regulations, including the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), the hazard communication standard, and the General Duty Clause. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also established a voluntary Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program which sets forth proposed codes of conduct for companies working with nanomaterials.
The legal team at Bick Law closely monitors existing and developing regulations impacting the nanotechnology industry in order to assist clients in developing effective environmental compliance strategies and programs. We also advise clients on possible common law tort and other liability considerations that may come into play in connection with their activities and operations.