Apr 17, 2019

Developments to Watch: State Chemical Regulation and Proposed Legislation

Toxic Chemicals & State Chemical Regulation

At least 22 States have had at least 97 pieces of legislation introduced in their legislatures for chemical regulation or bans, over and above regulatory actions taken by EPA under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In addition to complying with chemical registration requirements on the federal level under TSCA, manufacturers, importers, and users of chemicals must also be familiar with and remain in compliance with numerous State chemical regulatory requirements. California’s labeling requirements under its Proposition 65 are only one example. For that reason, it is prudent to monitor legislative developments in State legislatures around the country that… Read more

Nov 1, 2017

EPA Enforcement Action Signals Heightened RMP Oversight

Chemical Storage Sign

In August, EPA announced a Consent Order with ChemArt Company of Lincoln, Rhode Island to correct alleged violations of EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) under the Clean Air Act.  The Consent Order included a civil penalty of $221,326 and a supplemental environmental project (SEP) requiring ChemArt to reduce its stockpile of hazardous materials, including chlorine, and to update manufacturing equipment to reduce the likelihood and consequences of a release. In the waning days of the Obama Administration, EPA issued a final rule updating the RMP and imposing new requirements.  On June 14, the Trump Administration EPA issued a final rule… Read more

Oct 16, 2017

EPA Initial Rules Under TSCA Amendments Challenged in Court

Toxic Substances Control Act: BioHazard labels

EPA issued several final rules to implement the recent bipartisan amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on June 22.  The final rules included regulations on how it will prioritize chemicals as either high or low priority for review, and how it will evaluate high priority chemicals.  Several lawsuits were filed challenging the rules.  The lawsuits were consolidated in the 4th and 9th Circuits Courts of Appeals.  A separate lawsuit was filed in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  One of the principal issues in the lawsuits will be the exclusion from EPA review of certain categories of uses of… Read more

Dec 6, 2016

EPA Announces First Ten Chemicals To Be Evaluated Under TSCA

Chemical Testing

In the summer of 2016, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law an amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) which included, among other things, new authority for U.S. EPA to assess and regulate existing chemicals already in commerce. On November 29, 2016, EPA announced the first ten chemicals that it will evaluate for risks to human health and the environment.  As expected, the list includes asbestos and the following chemicals: 1,4-dioxane, 1-bromopropane, carbon tetrachloride, cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster, methylene chloride, N-methylpyrrolidone, pigment violet 29, tetrachloroethylene (a/k/a perchloroethylene), and trichloroethylene. Within six months, EPA is expected to issue a “scoping… Read more

Aug 31, 2015

Is EPA Formalizing a More Rigorous Chemical Health Assessment Process?

EPA announced in June the creation of its new Chemical Safety Advisory Committee (CSAC), established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and is seeking nominations for members.  The CSAC will render “expert scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics on the scientific basis for risk assessments, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches.”  The primary risk assessment work of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) is its review under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 83 chemicals which it has prioritized for risk assessment for toxicity, persistence and consumer exposure.  The… Read more

Jun 3, 2015

Nanomaterials: Comments on Proposed Data Collection Rule Due July 6

EPA released a significantly revised proposed data collection rule under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a) for nanomaterials on April 6 and is accepting comments on the proposed rule until July 6. The rule would establish a one-time reporting requirement of data on nanomaterials meeting the specifications of the rule, due 6 months after issuance of the final rule. If a company intends to manufacture a substance that would have been subject to the reporting requirement but does not begin manufacture until after the effective date of the rule, it would have to submit its data at least 135… Read more

Mar 4, 2013

EPA Nears Decision on Final TSCA Interpretation to Allow Auto Scrap with Low PCBs

The EPA is considering comments received from multiple industry groups on a proposed interpretation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”) that would allow recycling of auto scrap containing low levels of PCBs.  While TSCA generally bans the manufacture of PCBs, the EPA has created a list of “excluded PCB products” that it deems do not present unacceptable health risks to the public.  Because of these exceptions, plastic materials recovered from automobiles in other metals very often contain low levels of PCBs.  The new interpretation would allow for the recycling of these products, and result in massive reduction of waste sent… Read more

Aug 23, 2010

EPA Proposed Rule Increases Reporting Requirements for Certain Chemicals

On August 11, EPA released the text of a proposed rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which will increase reporting requirements for chemicals regulated under that statute. The proposed rule will amend EPA’s Inventory Update Rule (IUR), which requires manufacturers and importers of certain chemicals to report specified information for those substances.  The amended rule will increase those reporting requirements, including expanding the time period for reporting, increasing the frequency, eliminating upper thresholds for reporting, and rejecting more confidential business information claims, among other changes. Companies who import or manufacture chemicals that are subject to TSCA and are… Read more