All Published Articles
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stepped up its enforcement initiatives and recently settled two cases with companies that market plastic lumber and related products. FTC alleged that these companies misled consumers in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act in their marketing materials regarding the environmental attributes of their products.
The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) will host a nanotechnology regulation symposium on October 28, 2014. See http://apvma.gov.au/node/11191 APVMA states that it "has worked over many years to progressively develop a regulatory framework for nanoscale agvet chemicals and chemical products." APVMA intends the symposium to provide industry and regulators with an opportunity for dialogue on the future regulation of nanopesticides and veterinary nanomedicines.
Nano product registries in Europe are the newest twist to satiating the public’s relentless “right to know.” Nominally intended to prevent hazards, facilitate monitoring, and promote consumer choice, nano product registries also risk stigmatizing nano products, diverting limited government and private resources, and potentially creating commercial barriers to a promising technology. This article in the American Bar Association’s Natural Resources & Environment magazine focuses on efforts of multiple European countries that are presently at varying stages of establishing product registries to keep track of nanomaterials and the products that contain them. After outlining the stated purposes of these registries and explaining how they operate, the article explores whether they are achieving their stated goals or inadvertently inviting unintended consequences.
On August 1, 2014, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), which falls under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), published an important proposed rule intended to improve the safety of transportation of large quantities of flammable materials by rail — particularly crude oil and ethanol. The proposal responds to several catastrophic railcar derailments, all involving crude oil and resulting in fatalities. The DOT also issued on the same day a companion Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR).
On June 19, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a direct final rule exempting manufacturers of three chemical substances from certain reporting-process-and-use information requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule for those compounds. This column discusses the rule and the potential value of public petitioning.
The growing number of rail mishaps involving oil is attracting much press attention and now regulatory attention as well. On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued an emergency order requiring all railroads operating trains containing bulk quantities of UN 1267, petroleum crude oil, Class 3 that either originates or is sourced from the Bakken formation in the Williston Basin (Bakken crude oil) to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERC) about the operation of these trains through their states. This article discusses this important topic.
On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an ambitious and likely contentious rule to diminish significantly the United States’ contribution to greenhouse gases (GHG). The rule is proposed under the authority of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and takes direct aim at the coal industry by requiring a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants by 2030, using 2005 as the baseline year. This column summarizes key aspects of the rule and its implications for Pollution Engineering readers.
On June 24, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued three final guidances and one draft guidance that it intends to provide "greater regulatory clarity for industry on the use of nanotechnology in FDA-regulated products." See http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm402499.htm. One final guidance addresses FDA's overall approach for all products that it regulates, while the two additional final guidances and the new draft guidance provide specific guidance for the areas of foods, cosmetics, and food for animals, respectively.
On March 19, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an administrative order to Pathway Investment Corp. (Pathway) of Englewood, New Jersey, to stop the sale of plastic food storage containers that are not registered with EPA, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). According to a press release issued on March 31, 2014, by EPA concerning the stop sale order, the Company’s Kinetic Go Green Premium Food Storage Containers and Kinetic Smartwist Series Containers contain “nanosilver” as an active ingredient, and the Company markets other products as containing nanosilver, which the Company claims helps reduce the growth of mold, fungus, and bacteria. EPA notes that such claims can be made only for products that have been properly tested and are registered under FIFRA. EPA states that, in addition to the order sent to Pathway, it also issued warning letters to Amazon, Sears, Walmart, and other large retailers directing them not to sell these food storage containers. This enforcement action put nanosilver in the public spotlight, and not in a good way. This article summarizes recent regulatory developments pertinent to nanosilver, and discusses the recent EPA enforcement action to explain what the case means, and what it does not mean.
Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) may be a little closer to reality since Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, released on February 27, 2014, a much anticipated discussion draft that would update TSCA. The Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA) keys off of Senate Bill (S.) 1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), which was introduced on May 22, 2013, by late Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Sen. David Vitter (R-LA). Under Shimkus’s leadership, the Subcommittee has held five hearings that reviewed core sections of Title I of TSCA and the proposed Senate amendments to those sections. This column provides an overview of the discussion draft of the new, not-yet-numbered House bill, the CICA, and compares its key provisions with the Senate’s approach to TSCA reform under S. 1009.