All Published Articles
The tragic spill of a chemical into the Elk River in West Virginia that occurred on Jan. 9, 2014, has spurred the development of new legislation. On Jan. 27, 2014, Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) introduced the Chemical Safety and Drinking Water Protection Act of 2014. The regrettable spill and the mismanagement of the spill’s consequences by federal and state regulators reads like a case summary of mistakes to avoid when managing a crisis of epic proportions. The legislation that may emerge from this tragedy could prevent similar events in the future.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) adopted an opinion on April 10, 2014, concerning HeiQ AGS-20 (AGS-20). See http://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/21680461/bpc_opinion_heiq_ags-20_en.pdf.
Whatever window of opportunity exists to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act is closing. This is not only because the mid-term elections are fast approaching, or that there are too few legislative days left this session, or even that Congress is polarized and achieving passage of complicated chemical legislation seems intuitively beyond reach. It is also because of the emergence of international and state chemical management frameworks. This article is from the Environmental Law Institute’s May/June 2014 issue of ELI Forum titled “TSCA Redux: Rejuvenating a Timeworn Statute.” The publication features articles from authors representing a variety of viewpoints on the issue including Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.; Richard A. Denison, Lead Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund; Kathy Kinsey, Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs and Operations, Maryland Department of the Environment; Ann R. Klee, Vice President, Environment, Health & Safety, General Electric; John Shimkus, Chair, House Environment & the Economy Subcommittee; and Tom Udall, Chair, Senate Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health. Visit www.eli.org for more information.
On March 7, 2014, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) released a proposal for a draft regulation amending Proposition 65 regulations. The proposal seeks changes to the warning requirements to include more detailed information, including the names of the chemicals covered by individual warnings, the ways that individuals are exposed to these chemicals, and how individuals can avoid or reduce their exposure to these chemicals. This column explains this proposal and its significance.
On Feb. 7, 2014, EPA issued a final rule under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act authorizing the use of electronic hazardous waste manifests. The final rule will have immediate implications for virtually all domestic manufacturers of hazardous waste. This column explains why.
On March 26, 2014, SAFENANO announced that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a report entitled Human health and environmental exposure assessment and risk characterization of nanomaterials: Best practice for REACH registrants.
On Jan. 3, 2014, a federal working group created by Executive Order 13650 issued a set of preliminary options intended to improve chemical plant security. This is a hot topic likely to command considerable attention in the New Year.
According to the study, Impact of REACH on SMEs in the Netherlands, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment, 23% of SMEs belonging to the chemical industry are not aware that they do, in fact, have obligations under REACH. A company does not need to be an SME, however, to have the false impression that it has no obligations under REACH. This article outlines frequent misconceptions regarding REACH obligations and provides guidance to help confirm whether companies have responsibilities under REACH.
On March 7, 2014, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) posted a report entitled Ecotoxicology and Environmental Fate of Manufactured Nanomaterials: Test Guidelines, which provides a report of the discussion and recommendations from the January 2013 expert meeting on ecotoxicology and environmental fate.
It is official. California’s Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Safer Consumer Products regulations, and the program went into effect on October 1, 2013. The regulations mark the much-anticipated regulatory implementation of California’s Green Chemistry Initiative. The regulations and final statement of reasons are available at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/SCPRegulations.cfm. This new program is a true game-changer, and it will have profound national and international business, regulatory, and commercial implications for consumer product manufacturers and others for the reasons noted in this Washington Watch article.