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June 13, 2018

Bloomberg Environment Article “Chemical Makers’ Hours Filling Out Forms Prompts EPA Paper Chase” Features Quotes from Richard E. Engler, Ph.D.

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

On June 13, 2018, Bloomberg Environment quoted Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry at Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) regarding an increase in time required for chemical makers to fill out paperwork under the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). 

The Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged the extra work companies are doing through an “emergency” Paperwork Reduction Act request it submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The EPA will publish the request June 14 in the Federal Register .

In its request, the EPA essentially asked the OMB to approve an increase in the hours the agency estimates companies are now spending filling out certain forms since Congress amended the Toxic Substances Control Act in 2016, Richard E. Engler, director of chemistry at Bergeson & Campbell P.C. in Washington, told Bloomberg Environment.

Companies must submit the forms to seek the EPA’s approval to bring a new chemical to market or, in some cases, to use a chemical in a new way.


The EPA now estimates that companies are spending 1,379 more hours a year—118,555 instead of 117,176 hours—filling out the required new chemical forms than they used to.

In addition to the chemical identity, use, manufacturing, and production volume information, that new chemical manufacturers have typically submitted, companies need to provide many details about the new chemical’s anticipated exposures and releases, Engler said.

The company that seeks to make the new chemical often wouldn’t have that information, he said. It must reach out to its supply chain, the types of companies that are expected to purchase the new chemical, and that requires additional effort, Engler said.

The EPA is obliged to ask the management and budget office to approve the additional workload companies face, because the Paperwork Reduction Act requires the OMB’s review and approval for information federal agencies collect.

The current information collection approval the EPA has for its new chemical program expires Nov. 30. That expiration date combined with the agency’s need for more information has prompted the agency to request the “emergency” OMB acknowledgment that companies are spending more time complying.

The EPA request doesn’t mean the agency will approve new chemicals more quickly or address other issues concerning companies that want to make new chemicals, Engler said.

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