Chemical Watch Quotes the TSCA New Chemicals Coalition in “Industry group: US EPA should cede workplace hazard regulation to Osha”
On December 15, 2017, Chemical Watch featured comments by the TSCA New Chemicals Coalition (NCC) on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new chemical evaluation policy.
An industry group has argued that the US EPA should avoid issuing orders to mitigate workplace risks associated with new chemicals. Instead, it says, it should turn over that regulatory responsibility to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Osha).
The TSCA New Chemicals Coalition (NCC), a group of companies represented by the law firm Bergeson & Campbell, hopes to build on a provision in the new TSCA requiring the EPA to “consult” with Osha before imposing workplace conditions.
In a letter and position statement, published as comments on the EPA’s new chemical evaluation policy, the NCC argues the agency “should disfavour” issuing consent orders that mandate workplace-specific measures.
Once Osha is informed of the concern, the NCC says the EPA should “no longer engage but instead rely on the employers responsibilities mandated by Osha, as well as Osha’s established expertise and robust existing regulatory programme, to ensure worker protection.”
The EPA’s duty to protect workers applies “to the extent necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk,” the coalition argues. “When this duty is juxtaposed with the mandatory consultation requirement, it is clear that EPA is required to evaluate the adequacy of the existing Osha regulatory scheme and to adopt additional restrictions or prohibitions only when needed to protect against unreasonable risks not otherwise addressed.”