All Things Chemical™ Podcast

December 13, 2018
TSCA and Stalled Innovation

Recently, we published a 3 part article with Bloomberg News entitled: New Chemicals Under New TSCA—Stalled Commercialization. This week, I sat down with Charles Auer, a Senior Regulatory and Policy advisor here at the firm, and Dr. Richard Engler, our Director of Chemistry, two of my co-authors on this article to talk about it.

Our thesis is simple: EPA’s interpretation of our brand new industrial chemical law, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, signed into law in June 2016, needs to change. We believe that Congress never intended fundamentally to overhaul the new chemical review process and to require that EPA regulate north of 80% of all new chemicals. Ironically, that is exactly what the new law is being interpreted to do, in contrast to old law that regulated, appropriately, about 10-15% of new chemicals. Our article explains the new law, contrasts it with the old law, and critically reviews the numbers—the new chemical statistics from EPA’s database, to prove our point. We then offer some suggestions to fix the problem.

Charlie Auer and Rich Engler are the perfect guests. Charlie ran the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics for years before he joined our staff and knows more about EPA’s workings in this area than anyone. Rich review about 10,000 new chemical notifications during his 17 years at EPA before joining our staff and has been working closely with clients and EPA to address these issues.

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