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On June 21, 2013, the European Commission (EC) began a consultation on the modification of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation annexes on nanomaterials. According to the EC, the objective of the initiative is to provide further clarity on how nanomaterials are addressed.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) released its first draft risk assessments developed under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) “Work Plan Program” on January 4, 2013. The draft risk assessments cover particular uses of five chemicals found in household products. While the chemicals covered in these first draft assessments may or may not be of interest to Environmental Quality Management readers, the draft assessments can give us a sense of how the Agency is approaching this very important process.
On June 13, 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Working Party on Nanotechnology (WPN) published the final report Nanotechnology for Green Innovation. The report summarizes information collected from various projects undertaken by the WPN regarding the use of nanotechnology for green innovation.
In a rare bipartisan expression of support for reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and the late Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., introduced on May 22, 2013, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), S. 1009. The bill offers a new and potentially politically viable framework for TSCA reform and renewed hope that badly needed modernization of this ancient law may occur. Lawyers and others in this space need to be keenly aware of these legislative efforts as TSCA modernization will directly and significantly impact for many years to come domestic chemical manufacture, processing and use and will greatly influence the business operations of hundreds of thousands of downstream product manufacturers in the electronics, personal care products, consumer products and dozens of other business sectors dependent upon chemical suppliers for components essential to their manufacturing operations. This article reviews key elements of the bill and discusses its political prospects.
The latest approach to TSCA reform addresses some industry concerns. Senators David Vitter (R-La.) and the late Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) in May introduced the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), later designated S. 1009. CSIA is a new approach to Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform that industry stakeholders may view favorably when compared to prior legislative efforts. This article highlights key elements of the draft bill.
As part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan, EPA announced on March 27, 2013, that it would begin assessments on 23 chemicals, with a specific focus on flame retardant chemicals. The Agency will evaluate 20 flame retardant chemicals, conducting full risk assessments for four of the flame retardants, three of which are on the TSCA Work Plan, and one of which was the subject of an Action Plan.
In a rare showing of bipartisan support for reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), senators David Vitter (Republican-Louisiana) and the late Frank Lautenberg (Democrat-New Jersey) recently introduced the Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA). The bill offers a new and potentially politically viable framework for TSCA reform and renewed hope that needed modernisation of this important chemical management law may happen.
On May 17, 2013, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) published a report on regional, state, and local (RSL) initiatives in nanotechnology. See http://nano.gov/node/1020 The report is the result of a workshop, convened May 1-2, 2012, and sponsored by the Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute.
In May 2013, the European Commission (EC) posted a January 2013 report entitled Examination and assessment of consequences for industry, consumers, human health and the environment of possible options for changing the REACH requirements for nanomaterials. According to the report, 12 of the 21 originally suggested options are considered already implemented with existing legislation and guidance. The other nine options were considered relevant for an adaptation of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and thus build the basis for the assessment.
On May 9, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated a significant new use rule (SNUR) for premanufacture notice (PMN) substance P-12-44, which is identified as "functionalized multi-walled carbon nanotubes." According to the Federal Register notice, "[t]he PMN states that the generic (non-confidential) use of the substance is as an additive for rubber and batteries." EPA states that it determined that "use of the substance other than as described in the PMN; manufacturing, processing, or use in a powder form; or any use of the substance resulting in surface water releases may cause serious health effects or significant adverse environmental effects."