All Published Articles

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The New Business of Nanotechnology: Exploring Commercial Opportunities and Risks," Environmental Claims Journal, April 2008.

There is an Alice-in-Wonderland awe associated with nanotechnology. While the technology is both exciting and hopeful for many good reasons, for businesses, and the lawyers who counsel them, the lack of certainty in areas involving potential risk is unsettling. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is only now beginning to think through how best to apply the authority it has under the traditional environmental statutes, and to adopt regulatory programs and policies to address the potential risks and regulatory challenges nanotechnology invites. While research is progressing briskly on key hazard and exposure nanotechnology issues, much remains to be done leaving commercial applications of nanotechnology in new, unsettled waters. This article identifies some of these challenges and the non-conventional, innovative ways that lawyers, business managers, risk assessors, and others must embrace to manage risk and avoid liability effectively.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Good Governance: Evolution of the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program," Nanotechnology Law & Business, Winter 2007.

Governance issues are seldom the subject of wide consensus, and the question of how best the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should obtain needed information and data on the human health and environmental implications of nanoscale materials is no exception. EPA has considered the issue carefully and believes, with good reason, that a voluntary approach makes the most sense at this time. Not everyone agrees, however, and some urge EPA to exercise its statutory authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to mandate the submission of information and data, and to do so quickly. This article discusses the origins and current status of EPA’s voluntary Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP), outlines the key issues EPA confronted in developing the Program, and discusses the reasons why it is critically important for nanotechnology stakeholders to participate in the Program early and robustly. While stakeholders may not agree on what is the best way for EPA to obtain information on nanoscale materials, there is broad consensus that NMSP participation is critically important to maintain the public trust and confidence in this emerging technology, to provide EPA with needed information and data, and to demonstrate that potentially more burdensome rulemaking initiatives are not needed to achieve these goals. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act: What you must know," Environmental Expert Newsletter, November 2007.

Does the nanoscale substance you are producing or using require approval under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)? It does if it’s new. But what exactly is “new?” 

Lynn L. Bergeson, co-author, "TSCA and Engineered Nanoscale Substances," Sustainable Development Law and Policy, Fall 2007.

Nanotechnology is now the subject of much excitement and attention, with applications proliferating quickly. Thus, engineered nanoscale materials’ (“ENM”) implications for human health and the environment, and the critical need for governments throughout the world to get the policy and regulatory framework right has garnered much attention. Most would agree that the ultimate goal for society is to enable nanotechnology to realize its potential while effectively addressing the pertinent environment, health, and safety (“EHS”) issues associated with ENM.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Issues Draft NMSP Concept Paper and TSCA Inventory Paper," Small Times Magazine, August 10, 2007.

The EPA's recently released paper, TSCA Inventory Status of Nanoscale Substances -- General Approach, is important for developers of nanotechnologies. Nanomaterials that meet the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) definition of "chemical substance" are subject to TSCA reporting requirements because they may exhibit properties different from the same substances in the bulk scale. A chemical substance means, in relevant part, "any organic or inorganic substance of a particular molecular identity." 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA Inventory Status of Nanoscale Substances a Must-Read for Materials Developers," Small Times Magazine, August 10, 2007.

The EPA's recently released paper, TSCA Inventory Status of Nanoscale Substances -- General Approach, is important for developers of nanotechnologies. Nanomaterials that meet the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) definition of "chemical substance" are subject to TSCA reporting requirements because they may exhibit properties different from the same substances in the bulk scale. A chemical substance means, in relevant part, "any organic or inorganic substance of a particular molecular identity." 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Issues Draft NMSP Concept Paper and TSCA Inventory Paper," ABA Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 3, August 2007.

On July 12, 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register three separate notices related to the long-awaited Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). All of the notices and accompanying documents are available online.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Changing the Guard: Implications of the Democratic Midterm Election Win on Environment, Energy, and Resources Legislation," Environmental Quality Management, Spring 2007.

The November 2006 mid-term elections portend a number of significant Congressional changes. There is no doubt that Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate will shake things up. Some in the business community are buckling their seat belts and preparing for a bumpy ride. Here are a few thoughts on the shape of things to come.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Joseph E. Plamondon, "TSCA and Engineered Nanoscale Substances," Nanotechnology Law & Business, March 2007.

The federal law that regulates new and existing chemical substances, including engineered nanoscale chemical substances, is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). While there is much debate over how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should deploy its significant TSCA authority to address potential risks to human health and the environment posed by engineered nanoscale materials, there is no doubt that EPA is already doing so. This article provides a general overview of TSCA as it relates to new and existing chemical substances, and discusses how EPA may go about discharging its significant TSCA authority with respect to engineered nanoscale substances. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, panel expert, "Emerging Environmental Risk: A Global View," Risk Talk: Environmental Risk, Vol. 1, Issue 2.

This edition of Risk Talk focuses on emerging environmental risks from a global perspective. From local pollution problems to global warming, companies face a wide variety of environmental risks. The increasingly global economy requires that companies adopt a comprehensive environmental risk management strategy. Properly executed, such a strategy can give a company a competitive advantage. 

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