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EPA Denies TSCA Petition for Asbestos Reporting

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently rejected a petition filed under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that called for a revision to the TSCA rule for asbestos reporting. The basis for the denial was that the petitioners – the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, American Public Health Association, Center for Environmental Health, Environmental Working Group, Environmental Health Strategy Center, and Safety Chemicals Healthy Families- did not demonstrate the need to revise the existing rule. The petitioners, however, claim that they have a strong case for amending the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule which governs asbestos reporting.…

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The Process of Listing Chemical by State’s Qualified Experts

Proposition 65 authorizes four ways for chemicals to be listed as known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. One of these methods is through the state’s qualified experts (SQE). SQEs are comprised of two independent committees of scientific and health experts appointed by the Governor who determine whether a chemical qualifies for listing under the statute. Through the process described further below, members of the public have opportunities to provide comments on a proposed SQE listing. The two committees that are identified as SQEs are the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) and the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DARTIC). They…

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Changes in Chemical Legislation Likely to Occur After Midterm Elections

Midterm elections are not often regarded as significant triggers for policy change, but this past cycle of midterm elections may signal dramatic shifts in environmental and chemical policies. With the Democrats now in control of the House, advocates for environmental change will be pushing aggressively for new and more stringent legislation. A main focus of the new Democratic House will be examining the President’s current stance on climate policies and encouraging the passage of new or stalled legislation. Environmental committees, such as the Natural Resources Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, plan to reevaluate the President’s policies and decisions.…

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OEHHA Examines the Use of Short Form Warnings

Short form warnings are a new construct of the Proposition 65 amendments that became effective on August 30, 2018. According to Section 25603, companies subject to the warning requirements may use a truncated short form warning on a label of a product requiring a clear and reasonable warning. It can be “affixed or printed on a product or its immediate container or wrapper.” Now California’s Office of Environmental Heath Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is evaluating the use of short-form warnings under Proposition 65. There is some indication that short-form warnings may undergo changes to continue to be used as an avenue…

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Congress Evaluates Bill to Amend EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System Program

In July 2018, Representative Andy Biggs (R-Arizona) introduced H.R.6399, a bill was introduced in Congress to eliminate the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. Known as the Chemical Assessment Improvement Act (the “Act”), the bill would require evaluations under IRIS to be moved to the EPA’s “relevant program office” and mandate that assessments be handled in a “manner consistent with the best available science.”  The Act also calls for assessments to be reviewed by third-parties. IRIS was originally designed to identify and characterize the health hazards of chemicals found in the environment.  The evaluations conducted under the auspices of…

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