All Published Articles
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on June 25, 2014, and on August 28, 2014, final risk assessments for targeted uses of four Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan chemicals. The June Assessment consists of certain uses of trichloroethylene (TCE), and the assessments released in August are for uses of methylene chloride or dichloromethane (DCM), antimony trioxide (ATO), and 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-[γ]-2-benzopyran (HHCB). The much anticipated release of these assessments marks a real milestone for the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), and the EPA is to be commended for its significant efforts in completing these assessments relatively quickly.
“On November 24, 2014, the European Parliament (EP) Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) considered draft legislation concerning novel foods. See http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20141125IPR80424/html/Novel-foods-MEPs-call-for-moratorium-on-nano-foods-and-labelling-of-cloned-meat. The Committee amended the draft legislation, proposing a moratorium on the use of nanomaterials in food based on the precautionary principle. The Committee approved the amended draft legislation by a vote of 57-4, with two abstentions. EP Member James Nicholson (ECR, UK), who is steering the legislation through the EP, stated that he was not completely satisfied with the vote. ”
"On September 16, 2014, EPA released its Final 2012 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Final 2012 Plan) and the Preliminary 2014 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan (Preliminary 2014 Plan) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). These are important plans as they telegraph EPA’s plans for developing effluent guidelines for targeted industries. This article discusses EPA’s current plans."
On October 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for 15 related chemical substances commonly known as nonylphenols (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE). For 13 NPs and NPEs, EPA would designate any use as a "significant new use," and for two additional NPs, EPA would designate that any use other than use as an intermediate or use as an epoxy cure catalyst would constitute a “significant new use.” Persons subject to the SNURs would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before they manufacture (including import) or process any of these 15 chemical substances for a significant new use. The full ABA PCRRTK Newsletter is available online .
The European Parliament (EP) Committee on Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (ENVI) has posted a study entitled ENVI Relevant Legislative Areas of the EU-US Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations (TTIP). See http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document.html?reference=IPOL_STU(2014)536293. The study analyzes the main differences between European Union (EU) and U.S. legislation in eight areas: human medicines and medical devices; cosmetics; food and nutrition; sanitary and phyto-sanitary; nanomaterials; cloning; raw materials and energy; and motor vehicles.
On October 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) for 15 related chemical substances commonly known as nonylphenols (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE). These substances are recognized as persistent and toxic in the environment. This article discusses this important move.
Chemicals play a central role in our personal and professional lives. As consumers, we focus keenly on the chemicals in the products we use and with which we come into contact. Globalization and the emergence worldwide of sophisticated chemical management programs invite complex legal, commercial, and scientific challenges. These challenges extend far beyond compliance questions that, by comparison, seem now nostalgically straightforward. Understanding these programs and their evolution can only help inform our judgment as lawyers, consultants, and educated consumers.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the May 19, 2014, Federal Register an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to seek comment on the information that should be reported or disclosed for hydraulic fracturing chemical substances and mixtures and the mechanism for obtaining this information. According to EPA, this mechanism could be regulatory (under Sections 8(a) and/or 8(d) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)), voluntary, or a combination of both. It could include best management practices, third-party certification and collection, and incentives for disclosure of information.
On Aug. 25, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a proposed rule seeking to harmonize the hazardous materials regulations (HMR) with international regulations and standards. The rule would revise proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport quantity limitations and vessel stowage requirements.
Synthetic biology is delivering on its promise as an emerging scientific field in providing society with effective new sustainable products in diverse areas including renewable energy, contamination remediation, and medical applications, among others. As is the case with any rapidly evolving technology, the pace of technological innovation challenges regulators’ ability to identify and address adequately the substantial uncertainties they confront when discharging their legal obligations under controlling laws to ensure human and environmental safety. This article provides a brief description of synthetic biology, discusses the current domestic regulatory framework that governs the regulation of products of synthetic biology, and focuses narrowly on options and opportunities the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), innovators in the area of synthetic biology, and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)-regulated community at large may wish to consider to enhance TSCA’s core adaptive capacity to identify and address potential health and environmental risk implications posed by the commercialization of products of synthetic biology.