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August 8, 2017

Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report Included Comments by Lynn L. Bergeson and Charles M. Auer on EPA Chemical Backlog

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

On August 8, 2017, Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), and Charles M. Auer, Senior Regulatory and Policy Advisor with B&C, were quoted by Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report in the article “Clearing EPA’s New Chemicals ‘Backlog’ Cheered by Industry.”

Lynn Bergeson, managing partner with Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. in Washington, also praised the EPA’s progress. That law firm will review EPA’s latest statistics to assess the agency’s progress completing negotiations it undertakes with chemical manufacturers after it decides whether or not a new chemical might pose an unreasonable risk. 

During an Aug. 2 webinar, Charles Auer, a senior regulatory and policy adviser with Bergeson & Campbell, voiced a concern Bloomberg BNA has heard from attorneys and other consultants.

When the EPA reaches its decision about a new chemical it counts that as a completed action, Auer said during a webinar organized by Bergeson & Campbell and Bloomberg BNA. The agency’s decision is critical to determining whether a new chemical may enter commerce, but it’s not the final action, he said.

Typically the agency and the manufacturer that would like to make the new chemical then undertake negotiations, according to Auer, who worked at EPA for more than 30 years including directing the agency’s chemicals office. If the EPA finds a new chemical might pose an unreasonable risk to people or the environment it typically negotiates one or more of several options with the manufacturer. These options have typically included having the company provide more toxicity or exposure data before or after a new chemical would be sold, or allowing the chemical to be sold but restricting its uses.

Counting only EPA’s decision doesn’t reflect the full process, Auer and colleagues wrote in a recent Insights article in Bloomberg BNA.

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