The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has publicly expressed its confidence in the EPA’s implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). ACC views the new EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler as a significant victory in its goal of fully implementing the TSCA.
At the same time, the EPA faces significant challenges in the near future including deadlines for final risk evaluations on a first set of ten chemicals and the designation of the next 20 chemicals for evaluation. The ACC has set forth several goals in effectively implementing the TSCA, which include:
- Enhancing communication between the industry and the EPA with respect to both new and old chemicals;
- Seeking efficiencies in the new chemical program;
- Creating transparency in risk-based evaluations; and
- Building a solid foundation for the collection of data and information.
Underpinning these priorities is the recognition that much of the knowledge about chemicals is provided by industry itself. Therefore, the cooperation of the chemical industry in providing information (such as through the 2020 Chemical Data Reporting program) is vital to creating a knowledge base for the agency to rely upon in implementing its regulatory duties. At the same time, the EPA has reiterated the need for a process for identifying high quality data to corroborate its evaluations and determinations.
The collaboration between the EPA and industry is not without its critics. Part of the criticism relates to the perception that industry has attempted to slow or stymie reviews of new chemicals. As an example, critics point to the fact that proposed bans on three solvents have been recently delayed, aborted, or significantly narrowed. The proposed ban on methylene chloride was narrowed to a final rule banning the substance in consumer paint removers. The proposed bans on trichloroethylene and N-methypyrrolidone effectively have been shelved while the EPA undertakes further examination of the issue. In the EPA’s “Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions,” the agency confirmed that regulatory action on these chemicals was dropped to the “long-term action” category. This designation is widely understood to be a dead-end for potential regulation.
Grimaldi Law Offices has been advising clients for over 20 years on chemical and product law. For knowledgeable advice and in-depth analysis on your chemical regulatory compliance obligations, contact Grimaldi Law Offices at (415) 463-5186 or email us at [email protected].