Jul 1, 2020

Health Risk Review of Methylene Chloride Triggers EPA Regulation

Hazardous chemicals

On June 19, 2020, the EPA released its final EPA methylene chloride risk analysis which concluded that workers working with the hazardous solvent face greater risk of both neurological issues, and cancer.  The agency’s findings mean that it must propose some type of regulation by June 19, 2021 to reduce the risk.  Under TSCA, the EPA has a number of options to address the unreasonable risk including a ban of commercial uses, or a training, certification, and limited access program for certain workers. For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.


Jun 17, 2020

EPA Exploring Chemical Fee Options for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

EPA Fee

The EPA is exploring whether it can offer some form of financial relief to manufacturers of 20 chemicals who are being required to pay chemical risk evaluation fees in 2020.  In December of 2019, the EPA announced that it is requiring manufacturers of 20 priority chemicals to pay a total of $27,000,000 towards the EPA’s cost of evaluating those chemicals’ potential to injure people or the environment.  In light of the economic impact of COVID-19 on the chemical manufacturing sector, five chemical trade associations requested that the reimbursement request be pushed to 2021.  The EPA has expressed doubt as to… Read more


Feb 19, 2020

EPA Considers “Legacy Use” Options as Appeal Windows Narrows

Hazard Assessment

The EPA announced that it will not seek an en banc rehearing of an appellate court ruling declaring that the EPA must consider Legacy uses of chemicals in its TSCA evaluations of the potential hazards of the chemicals.  The decision stems from a Ninth Circuit ruling last November where a challenge to the agency’s final rule on how it will conduct risk evaluations under TSCA was upheld. The Appellate court held that the EPA’s decision to preclude Legacy uses and associated disposal from its risk evaluation was unlawful.  The EPA has until mid-February to decide if it will petition the… Read more


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


Mar 27, 2019

EPA Citation to Chemours Shows Enforcement Push Under TSCA

EPA Penalty Notice

Last month, EPA issued notices of violation (NOVs) to Chemours, which manufactures per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), among other chemicals, for alleged violations of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) at two of its facilities located in Fayetteville, NC and Parkersburg, WV.  The two NOVs, relatively rare under TSCA, may indicate an intent by EPA to step up enforcement under TSCA. The NOVs allege that Chemours failed to comply with a TSCA significant new use rule (SNUR) requiring GenX compounds (a form of PFAS) to be manufactured in an enclosed process; and failed to properly control effluent and emissions during… Read more


Feb 6, 2018

EPA Must Consider Banning Drinking Water Flouridation

Drinking Water

A federal judge in California has ruled that EPA wrongly dismissed a petition to ban fluoridation of drinking water under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Food & Water Watch, Inc. v. EPA, N.D. California, 12/21/2017.  The Petitioners sought a determination by EPA to ban the use of fluoride in drinking water.  EPA dismissed the petition because it sought only to ban a single use of a chemical, finding that Section 21 of TSCA requires that a Section 21 petition seek to ban all uses of a chemical, rather than a single use.  The Court disagreed, holding that the new… 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


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


Jan 7, 2013

EPA Withdraws Cadmium Immediate Final Rule Under TSCA

  On December 14, 2012, EPA announced the withdrawal of an immediate final rule issued under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(d) regarding products containing cadmium.  “EPA has decided to withdraw the immediate final rule”, said EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics in a December 14 statement.  The withdrawal was to be codified in a Federal Register announcement last week.   The immediate final rule had required “manufacturers (including importers) of cadmium or cadmium compounds, including as part of an article, that have been, or are reasonably likely to be, incorporated into consumer products to submit certain unpublished health… Read more