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EPA Publishes SNURs for Thirteen Substances Including Two Carbon Nanotubes

On July 8, 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency published new Significant New Use Rules pursuant to its direct final rules procedures under the Toxic Substances Control Act (79 Fed. Reg. 38464). The SNURs identify "significant new uses" of thirteen substances and require persons who intend to manufacture, import or process them for such significant new uses to submit Significant New Use Notices to EPA at least 90 days before commencing such activities. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were the subject of two of the SNURs. Although the precise chemical identities of the CNTs remain confidential, one CNT is described as a single-walled CNT…

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DTSC May Release Draft Priority Product Work Plan As Soon As July 15

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control will likely release a draft Priority Product Work Plan in mid-July 2014 for public comment, and will hold workshops in August 2014 on the draft Work Plan.  The Work Plan will describe product categories that DTSC will evaluate over the next three years to identify Priority Products under its new Safer Consumer Products (SCP) Regulations.  Business entities should closely monitor DTSC's development of its Work Plan to understand whether their business operations may be impacted by DTSC's identification of product categories, which ultimately may become subject to burdensome regulation under the SCP program. Under the…

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Apparel and Footwear Industry’s Manufacturing Restricted Substances List Will Pose Supply Chain Challenges

The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group has released its Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL), identifying over 150 chemicals and chemical groups that are prohibited from being used in apparel and footwear above limits established by the list.  These chemicals include heavy metals, phthalates, volatile organic compounds, certain dyes, flame retardants, glycols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and halogenated solvents.  The MRSL undoubtedly will pose supply chain challenges, adding to the ever-increasing supply chain pressure to ban the use of certain categories of chemicals in the production of consumer products. In 2011, a group of apparel and footwear brands, including Adidas Group, Burberry,…

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SEC Issues New Guidance on Conflict Mineral Rule, But Rule’s Future Is Unclear

Following a U.S. Court of Appeal ruling in National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. SEC, et al., No. 13-5252 (D.C. Cir. April 14, 2014), the Securities and Exchange Commission issued new guidance on compliance with the Conflicts Mineral Rule.  In the litigation, the National Association of Manufacturers and other business groups challenged the rule on First Amendment and other grounds. On appeal, the court struck down several, but not all, of the Conflict Mineral Rule requirements. Accordingly, at this time companies subject to the Rule do not have to report to the Commission and to state on their website that…

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EPA Promises To Issue New CBI Rule Under TSCA

Responding to an EPA Office of Inspector General recommendation, EPA has committed to publishing a comprehensive rule on confidential business information (CBI) claims under the Toxic Substances Control Act by September 30, 2014. The scope of CBI protection under TSCA has been a controversial issue for years, and is one of the key stumbling points for TSCA reform.  In 2009, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the agency's commitment to increase access to and transparency in chemical information submitted to EPA by businesses. Since then, EPA has tightened its approach for CBI protection.  As part of that commitment, EPA has reviewed TSCA submissions and…

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