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EPA Hosts Meetings on TSCA and EPCRA Regulatory Reform Pursuant to Executive Order 13777

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) is hosting two meetings on May 1, 2017 to seek input on regulations promulgated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) that may be repealed, replaced, or modified in order to make them less burdensome to industry. Attendees may participate either in person or remotely; either way, registration is required. Registration for both of the meetings ends on April 27th, 2017. On site registration will be available, but those interested in attending should note that seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to pre-registered attendees. Comments regarding any of the discussed regulations may be submitted until May 15, 2017 to the public docket, EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190.

The first meeting takes place on May 1, 2017 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Eastern, and will address regulations promulgated under TSCA Subchapters I, II and VI, and EPCRA Subchapter II §11023. Those interested in registering for this meeting may do so here. The second meeting will take place on May 1, 2017 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm Eastern and will address regulations promulgated under TSCA Subchapter IV. Those wishing to attend this meeting may do so here.

Executive Order 13777

The meetings are being conducted in accordance with President Trump’s Executive Order 13777 (EO 13777) on Reducing the Regulatory Agenda, which aims to help reduce the regulatory burdens on the American people. The order specifically instructs the head of every federal agency to designate a Regulatory Reform Officer (RRO) and a Regulatory Reform Task Force (RRTF). The RRO is responsible for, among other things, ensuring that the agency carries out regulatory reforms in keeping with the law, including Executive Orders 13771, 12866, and 13563. The RRTF, chaired by the RRO, will attempt to identify regulations that:

1. Eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;
2. Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;
3. Impose costs that exceed benefits;
4. Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;
5. Are inconsistent with the requirements of Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act of 2001, or the guidance issued pursuant to that provision, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or
6. Derive from or implement EO’s or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.

The Toxic Substances Control Act

TSCA, passed in 1976 and amended in 2016, empowers EPA to require reporting, record-keeping, testing requirements, and restrictions relating to chemical substances. The sections under review at the first May 1 meeting will be Subchapters I (Control of Toxic Substances), II (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response), and VI (Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products). The section under discussion at the second meeting will be Subchapter IV (Lead Exposure Reduction), specifically the implementation of the Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Program, Lead Abatement Program, Residential Lead-based Paint Disclosure Rule, and Residential Hazard Standards for Lead in Paint, Dust and Soil regulations

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

EPCRA was passed in 1986 to help communities plan for chemical emergencies and establishes the public’s right to information regarding chemical use at individual facilities. Under review at the first May 1 meeting will be subchapter II §11023, commonly known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). This section of EPCRA requires that facilities submit a completed toxic chemical release inventory form (Form R) annually. This form must be completed for the 600 plus chemicals listed under the TRI when used or manufactured above specified threshold limits.

This blog article was researched and written by Brown University Class of 2018 student Aisha Keown-Lang. Ms. Lang is studying biology and political science at Brown University with the goal of going into bioethics and public health. Her special interest in genetics stems from her research in the Li Lab at UCSF and the Gerbi Lab at Brown. After having worked with children in the Providence school system for nearly three years, her commitment to improving scientific literacy and expanding health services in underserved communities remains strong. Ms. Lang is currently a writer for Brown’s Science Cartoon Program (SciToons), which aims to communicate scientific research and ideas to a diverse audience.

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Ann Grimaldi

About Ann Grimaldi

Ms. Grimaldi maintains a diverse environmental law practice focusing on chemical and product regulation and litigation defense. Her practice areas include Proposition 65, California’s Safer Consumer Products Regulations, California’s Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act and the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Ms. Grimaldi graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bacteriology from University of California, Davis. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a research assistant in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Research Institute and at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

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