Lautenberg Implementation

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The New Toxic Substances Control Act is Now Five Years Old: A Report Card - It Is a Mixed Bag, but We Are Getting There," The Environmental Forum, May/June 2021.

June 22 of this year will mark the fifth anniversary since President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Popularly still known by the name of the 40-year-old statute it replaced, the new version of the Toxic Substances Control Act had a vision to follow in reforming a system for evaluating and regulating chemicals in commerce that everyone, from industry to green NGOs to government officials, agreed was weak and ineffective. The new TSCA, promising to fix a broken statute, received bipartisan support and was the first major environmental law in a quarter century.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Better Understand TSCA’s Long Reach," Chemical Processing, March 14, 2021.

If anyone on planet Earth thinks the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended, is not commercially consequential, think again. The implementation of the 2016 amendments by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is triggering tremendous commercial disruption. The EPA’s March 8, 2021, announcement seeking comment on five final rules for persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals issued on January 6, 2021, and, importantly, granting a rare “No Action Assurance” regarding the PIP (3:1) rule, is demonstrable proof of TSCA’s enormous reach. The reasons behind this regulatory action are revealing and demonstrate why the PIP (3:1) experience is a cautionary tale.

Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. and Jeffery T. Morris, Ph.D., "Why the US EPA can, and should, evaluate the risk-reducing role a new chemical may play if allowed on the market," Chemical Watch, February 22, 2021.

In the 21st century, we take as given a continuous stream of new and better products. From electronics to building materials to transportation solutions, the flow of new and better products and applications seems unending. New chemical substances play a fundamental role in creating those products and making existing products better. If the pipeline of new chemicals were closed off, the flow of new products and applications would slow to a trickle and eventually dry up. Modern life as we know it would not exist without the continued invention, production and use of new chemicals.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Orders Testing For Nine Chemicals," Chemical Processing, February 21, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on January 15, 2021, that it has issued test orders under Section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain additional data on nine of the next 20 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation. Many in the industrial chemical community expect the EPA to use its TSCA testing authority much more in the coming years. The January orders seem to confirm that expectation. This article discusses the significance of the action.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Environmental Justice: Operationalizing TSCA to Fulfill Its Destiny," American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Blog, February 4, 2021.

The Biden Administration has embraced environmental justice with unprecedented gusto.  In its July 2020 Plan to Secure Environmental Justice and Equitable Economic Opportunity (Plan), the Biden Administration sets out in broad terms how it intends to use an “All-of-Government” approach to “rooting out systemic racism in our laws, policies, institutions, and hearts.”

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes Revisions To TSCA Fees Rule," Chemical Processing, January 19, 2021.

On January 11, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to amend the 2018 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) fees rule. This column discusses the proposal and its improvements to the rule.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Fee Controversy Continues," Chemical Processing, December 16, 2020.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collect fees from chemical manufacturers (including importers) to defray a portion of the costs associated with TSCA implementation efforts. The TSCA fees rule requires payment for eight categories of fee-triggering events under TSCA, including EPA-initiated risk evaluations under TSCA Section 6. The EPA must prepare a preliminary list of manufacturers subject to fee obligations for EPA-initiated Section 6 risk assessments, which it did (see, “Are You on the List?” and “EPA Tells Businesses to Pay Up”). Since then, who pays for what has led to significant controversy. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Announces Carbon Tetrachloride Risks," Chemical Processing, November 20, 2020.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride on November 4, 2020. The EPA found unreasonable risks to workers and occupational non-users (ONU) for 13 of the 15 conditions of CCl4 use, but no unreasonable risks to the environment. According to the EPA, there are no consumer uses of this chemical. Most agree the findings are not unexpected. This article explains the assessment and the results.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Eve C. Gartner, "The essentials of TSCA practice," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Trends, November/December 2020.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is not the arcane federal law it once was. Amended in 2016 in response to a demand so loud and persistent from nongovernmental organizations, consumers, and, eventually, the industrial chemical community that Congress could no longer ignore it, TSCA is now a force with which to be reckoned. While the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Act that amended TSCA invites criticism among stakeholders, there is no disagreement that today TSCA is a more consequential law, deserving of legal practitioners’ attention.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Tells Businesses To Pay Up," Chemical Processing, September 16, 2020.

On August 26, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the much-anticipated interim final list of businesses subject to risk evaluation fees for the 20 chemicals designated as “high priority” under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Making the interim final list available now gives businesses and other stakeholders an opportunity to review the list for accuracy. It also provides time for businesses to reach out to form consortia to share in fee payments. That is a fancy way of saying the race is on to try to get off the list or find others to share in the not-so-trivial cost of $1.35 million — the EPA’s fee for work on the risk evaluation.

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