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March 22, 2023

EPA Releases Congressional Justification for FY 2024 Budget

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted the justification for its fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriation estimates for the Committee on Appropriations (Congressional Justification (CJ)). According to the CJ, EPA’s FY 2024 budget includes $470.7 million and 1,677 full-time equivalents (FTE) for Objective 7.1, “Ensure Chemical and Pesticide Safety.” The CJ includes the following target dates for actions under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):

  • By September 30, 2026, complete at least eight high-priority substance TSCA risk evaluations annually within statutory timelines compared to the FY 2020 baseline of one;
  • By September 30, 2026, initiate all TSCA risk management actions within 45 days of the completion of a final existing chemical risk evaluation; and
  • By September 30, 2026, review 90 percent of risk management actions for past TSCA new chemical substances reported to the 2020 Chemical Data Reporting Rule (CDR) compared to the FY 2021 baseline of none.

The CJ provides a summary of activities for the Chemical Risk Review and Reduction (CRRR) Program. According to the CJ, in FY 2024, EPA will emphasize the integrity of scientific products, adherence to statutory intent and requirements, and timelines applicable to pre-market review of new chemicals, chemical risk evaluation and management, data development and information collection, the review of confidential business information (CBI) claims, and other statutory requirements. The CJ states that the resources requested are essential for EPA to address its workload, including:

  • Maintaining at least 20 EPA-initiated existing chemical risk evaluations in development at all times and completing EPA-initiated existing chemical risk evaluations within the statutory timeframe;
  • Having up to five existing chemical risk evaluations requested by manufacturers in development;
  • Issuing protective regulations in accordance with statutory timelines addressing all unreasonable risks identified in each risk evaluation;
  • Establishing a pipeline of chemicals to be prioritized for future risk evaluation;
  • Using test orders and a new strategy for tiered data collection, requiring development of data critical to existing chemical risk evaluation and risk management activities, and systematically collecting, reviewing, and synthesizing data for risk assessments in a transparent manner as mandated by the 2016 TSCA amendments;
  • Conducting risk assessments for approximately 550 new chemical notices and exemption submissions and managing the identified risks associated with the chemicals;
  • Continuing to implement a collaborative research program focused on developing new scientific approaches for performing risk assessments on new chemical substances;
  • Reviewing and making determinations on CBI claims contained in TSCA submissions; making certain non-CBI available to stakeholders; and publishing identifiers for each chemical substance for which a confidentiality claim for specific chemical identity is approved; and
  • Carrying out other required TSCA CRRR activities.

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on March 22, 2023, on EPA’s proposed FY 2024 budget. A summary of the hearing will be available in our forthcoming memorandum.