Aaron advises clients on compliance with regulations designed to prevent the diversion of chemical products to illicit purposes, such as in the production of chemical weapons or illegal drugs. Examples of his work in this area are provided below.
Controlled Substances and Their Precursors
Controlled Substances Disposal
For a waste services company, Aaron worked to develop a nationwide program for collection and disposal of unused pharmaceuticals, helping to ensure that it would be consistent with applicable controlled substance rules of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as well as regulations governing transport of hazardous materials and disposal of hazardous wastes.
Aaron counsels a variety of manufacturers, importers, and users of chemical products that contain controlled substance precursors (e.g., GBL and MEK) on the potential regulation of such products under U.S. and international rules for ensuring that such chemicals are not diverted to the production of narcotics or psychotropic substances. He has helped clients develop and implement plans for reporting apparent non-compliance to government authorities and correcting the problems in ways that limited any business disruptions.
For a major high-tech trade association, Aaron helped develop a successful strategy to ensure that the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) did not adopt a World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation to list two chemicals that are widely used in industrial applications under Schedule I of the Psychotropic Substances Convention, which would have severely limited or even prohibited continued production and use of the chemicals.
Chemical Weapons and Their Precursors
Aaron advises companies in a variety of industries (e.g., chemicals, electronics, and consumer products) on the extent to which the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) may apply to their products and operations, sometimes helping to draft requests to CWC National Authorities for determinations of the applicability of their CWC implementing statutes and regulations to particular materials and processes.
Aaron has helped prepare annual CWC declarations of past chemical production activities and anticipated future activities for facilities worldwide, taking into account the unique requirements imposed by some countries. He has also formulated company-specific strategies for key CWC reporting issues, such as how to address chemical intermediates, confidentiality, changes in facility ownership, sites with multiple owners/operators, contract manufacturing, and delineation of individual plants within a plant site.
Aaron provides both on-site and remote representation of facilities undergoing CWC inspections by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for example, by preparing Pre-Inspection Briefings and negotiating limits on the scope of document productions and facility tours. He has also developed a detailed guidance manual on inspections for CWC-regulated facilities throughout the world.
Chemical Weapons Destruction and Response
Aaron has been appointed by the National Academy of Sciences as the sole attorney on a committee tasked with advising the U.S. Army on planning for eventual closure of two facilities currently being used to destroy the nation’s remaining stockpile of chemical weapons. He has also assisted a client in developing a response to a suspected chemical weapons incident.