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July 1, 2021

Comments Made by Lynn L. Bergeson, Michal Freedhoff, Ph.D., and More during TSCA Reform Conference Featured in Bloomberg Law Article “EPA to Revisit Whether Eight Chemicals Too Risky for People”

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

On June 30, 2021, Bloomberg Law featured quotes from the TSCA Reform – Five Years Later conference regarding a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plan to revisit whether eight chemicals the agency already examined pose greater risks to workers and communities than the Trump administration found.

The eight chemicals are seven solvents—methylene chloride, trichloroethylene (TCE), carbon tetrachloride, n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP), 1-bromopropane (1-BP), perchloroethylene (PERC), and 1-4 dioxane—along with the cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster (HBCD), a group of three flame retardants evaluated together, said Michal Illana Freedhoff, assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention.

That could increase the risks the Environmental Protection Agency agency will conclude the chemicals pose to workers, the general public, or communities near factories releasing the chemicals, but it will increase the scientific foundation of the agency’s conclusions, she said.

These and other changes the EPA announced Wednesday are designed to increase the public’s and businesses’ confidence in the federal government’s oversight of chemicals in the U.S., which was a key reason Congress overhauled the Toxic Substances Control Act five years ago, said Freedhoff. She helped develop the new law as a senior Democratic staffer working for the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.

“The policy changes and path forward announced today will allow the the agency to restore public trust, provide regulatory certainty, and most importantly, ensure that all populations that may be exposed to these chemicals are protected,” Freedhoff said during an Environmental Law Institute forum on TSCA’s overhaul.


Martha E. Marrapese, a partner specializing in chemicals law at Wiley Rein LLP, described Freedhoff’s announced changes to the Trump administration’s risk evaluations as a way to try and get its arms around existing lawsuits.

Yet the agency’s announcment may itself invite litigation, said Lynn Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson and Campbell PC, which focuses on multiple laws addressing chemicals.

Gavin McCabe, special assistant attorney general for New York, said states will have to discuss their response to the agency’s announcement. His state is among the states challenging some of EPA’s risk evaluations,

But it’s not clear the agency’s efforts will satisfy all of the petitioners’ concerns, he said, adding that it was a personal position.

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