All Published Articles

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The EPA Seems Set for a Busy 2017 Under Trump Administration," Chemical Processing, January 24, 2017.

Last year was full of surprises, two of which will drive much of the agenda in 2017 for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). First, Congress significantly amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Although many thought the chances of successful TSCA legislation were slim, the second surprise event was even more unexpected — the election of Donald Trump as President.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Enlisting Modern Technologies to Ensure a Safe Food Supply," Natural Resources & Environment, Volume 31, Issue 3, Winter 2017.

Nanotechnology, biotechnology, and synthetic biology are the ploughs and tractors of the twenty-first century. These precision farming tools are ensuring a sustainable food supply otherwise threatened by climate change and population growth, among other global challenges. Genetically modified E. coli is being used to produce synthetically derived pheromones, substances beneficially used in agricultural applications to attract, capture, and eliminate harmful pests. Nanopesticides and nanofertilizers are being effectively used in drought-stricken regions, eliminating or minimizing the need for conventional agricultural chemicals. These and similar technologies are essential to enable today’s agricultural professionals to compete with an increasingly unforgiving Mother Nature and an ever-increasing demand for food.

 

These emerging technologies do not come without potential risks, however. How to regulate them is a  subject upon which stakeholders disagree.

 

Against this backdrop, this article considers emerging agricultural technologies, and discusses domestic agricultural oversight systems and their ability to keep pace with innovation. As discussed below, the domestic governance system is capable of addressing comprehensively the potential risks posed by these evolving technologies. The system, however, could be improved by better integration of measures  to educate policy makers and regulators on these technologies, and greater involvement by the private  sector in facilitating a predictable flow of information on these technologies to all stakeholders.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Targets Formaldehyde Vapors," Chemical Processing, January 2, 2017.

On December 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a long-awaited final rule to reduce exposure to formaldehyde vapors from certain wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States. Formaldehyde is found in the adhesives used in a range of composite wood products. This column summarizes the new rule.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "OSHA Sustainability Paper Notes Opportunity to Integrate Sustainability and Nanotechnology Research," Nanotechnology Now, December 21, 2016.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released on December 20, 2016, a white paper entitled Sustainability in the Workplace: A New Approach for Advancing Worker Safety and Health. See https://www.osha.gov/sustainability/docs/OSHA_sustainability_paper.pdf The paper highlights the importance of including worker safety and health in the growing movement toward sustainability and corporate responsibility. According to the paper, research on sustainability does not include occupational safety and health.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Australian Draft National Standard for the Environmental Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals Addresses Nanomaterials," Nanotechnology Now, December 1, 2016.

On November 24, 2016, the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy began a public consultation on the Draft National Standard for the Environmental Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals and a supporting Draft Explanatory Document. See http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/chemicals-management/national-standard/draft-national-standard-environmental-risk-management-industrial-chemicals  According to the Department, the primary purpose of the papers is to outline the design and operation of the National Standard. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Compliance: Montreal Protocol Addresses HFCs," Chemical Processing, November 28, 2016.

October 15, 2016, was a historic day for international climate action: nearly 200 countries reached an agreement to phase out use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) at the 28th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. This column summarizes this historic event and its implications.

The Montreal Protocol is the international treaty designed to protect the earth’s ozone layer by requiring the phasing out of production and use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), substances believed to contribute to ozone depletion, many of which also contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) production. By many accounts, the Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful international agreements ever implemented.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Next Generation Compliance and Its Implications for Industry," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 26, Issue 1, Fall 2016.

“Next Generation Compliance” is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) signature initiative intended to increase compliance with environmental regulations by using advances in pollution monitoring and information technology and by more effectively using and designing regulations and permits to reduce pollution and enhance compliance.  This column describes EPA’s initiative, discusses several examples of its applications in rulemakings and civil enforcement settlements, discusses another new compliance-related tool, eDisclosure, and outlines the implications for industry of these novel approaches to incentivizing compliance.

Zameer Qureshi, "The REACH Implementing Regulation on joint submission of data and data sharing: is it fair, transparent and non-discriminatory?," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Autumn, 2016.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/9 (Implementing Regulation) entered into force with retroactive effect on 26 January 2016, providing several new and important considerations and obligations for companies sharing data under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. The Implementing Regulation aspires to: (1) provide useful clarity on data sharing and data compensation under REACH by providing detail on the “fair, transparent and non-discriminatory” standard; and (2) reinforce the “One Substance, One Registration” (OSOR) principle.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Speeds Review of Chemicals," Chemical Processing, October 24, 2016.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing its brisk pace to be on target with implementing the new requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (see “Grasp the Gravity of the New TSCA,” and “EPA Releases Q&As on New TSCA”). Congress has in its sights persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals — with the goal to reduce exposures to them. The EPA’s recent action to fast track review of five such chemicals does just that. Here’s what the EPA announced, and its impact on industry.

Charles M. Auer, Lynn L. Bergeson, "Role of ‘Conditions of Use’ Under Sections 5 and 6 of Amended Toxics Law," BNA Daily Environment Report, October 14, 2016.

President Barack Obama signed into law amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act on June 22. The amendments bring sweeping changes to the nation’s primary chemicals law. In this Bloomberg BNA Insights, Charles M. Auer and Lynn L. Bergeson look specifically at the role of ‘‘conditions of use’’ in Sections 5 and 6 under the amended law and other chemical exposure considerations.

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