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April 8, 2024

EPA Denies Petition to Eliminate Current Allowances for PCBs in Consumer Products

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish a notice on April 9, 2024, announcing its denial of the Washington Department of Ecology’s (WDOE) petition under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) seeking a rulemaking to eliminate the current allowances for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in consumer products. EPA states that it “shares the petitioner’s concerns regarding risks to human health and the environment posed by PCBs, and the Agency continues to work towards better understanding and reducing exposures to PCBs.” EPA notes that WDOE failed to point with any specificity to deficiencies in the Agency’s 1984 final rule and determination of no unreasonable risk under TSCA, however. As a result, according to EPA, “the petitioner has not provided adequate justification — based on the rulemaking process and record for the 1984 final rule and information provided or otherwise available to the Agency — to support reassessing the limits on allowable inadvertent PCBs in consumer products.” EPA “finds that the petition is insufficiently specific, and that the petitioner did not meet their burden under TSCA of establishing that it is necessary to amend the 1984 final rule.”