The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued internal guidance on March 30 regarding potential discussions with licensees and offsite response organizations (OROs) related to the postponement and rescheduling of radiological emergency preparedness (REP) exercises due to the worsening coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The guidance provides that, although licensees and their respective OROs have the lead in scheduling and conducting REP exercises and may postpone and/or reschedule those exercises without prior approval from either the NRC or FEMA, the regulators request that the licensees and OROs engage with their regional staffs as soon as reasonably possible for the necessary coordination regarding the rescheduling of those exercises.

Read our recent LawFlash detailing the key takeaways for energy companies from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act signed into law on March 27. Although the act does not expressly provide relief for energy companies, many of its provisions impact energy sector companies.

A week after first issuing guidance identifying the workers considered essential for critical industries in the United States during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on March 28, 2020, revised that guidance to capture a broader array of workers, particularly in the energy sector.

Over the past few days, several civic and environmental organizations have requested that federal departments and agencies pause rulemaking activities in response to the worsening coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our colleagues in California have prepared a LawFlash discussing recent orders issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom affecting how and under what conditions state and local agencies may meet and discuss and/or approve of contracts for services and products during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read the full LawFlash >>

Read our recent LawFlash regarding the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s March 25 announcement of the extension of filing periods covered by previously enacted conditional reporting relief for certain public company filing obligations.  

Read the full LawFlash

Our colleagues in corporate practice are hosting a webinar on March 27 that might be of interest to our nuclear energy clients. The webinar will discuss the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on shareholder activism, global financial markets, and market capitalizations.

Read more about the webinar

Providing letters or notices to key personnel identifying them as “essential critical infrastructure workers” might ease travel in jurisdictions imposing travel restrictions. Read our recent LawFlash detailing the criteria for essential critical infrastructure workers in the electricity, petroleum, and natural gas and propane industries, including the vendors and service providers to the energy industry.

The NRC recently hosted a public meeting—exclusively via teleconference—to discuss regulatory implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for power reactor licensees. Of particular note, the NRC Staff is developing pandemic-related enforcement guidance. The first installment of this guidance is expected to be released early this week.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the US Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) chief administrative law judge (ALJ) issued an administrative order on March 19 clarifying the status of matters pending before the DOL’s Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ). The administrative order covers the following:

OALJ Hearings Suspended

Effective March 23, OALJ is suspending all hearings, including telephonic hearings, until May 15. Parties may petition the presiding ALJ to conduct a telephonic hearing but must demonstrate compelling circumstances. This suspension does not apply to cases in which the parties have jointly agreed to a decision on the record based on stipulated facts or a stipulated record.