Federal/EPA Regulatory Policy

Lynn L. Bergeson, "GAO Evaluates EPA Performance," Chemical Processing, March 18, 2019.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released on March 6, 2019, a report titled “High-Risk Series: Substantial Efforts Needed to Achieve Greater Progress on High-Risk Areas.” This column discusses the report and its implications on chemical management policy.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Changing of the Guard," Specialty Chemicals Magazine, March 2019.

The 2018 US mid-term elections have redefined the political winds in Washington, DC. What these currents mean for domestic chemical policy, and its impact on global chemical policy initiatives, is unclear. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Political Turmoil Muddies Regulatory Moves," Chemical Processing, January 16, 2019.

2019 started with a political bang. The President’s decision to allow a partial government shutdown in the absence of funding for the “wall” will continue to inspire federal administrative and regulatory havoc for months to come. This is particularly true of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) as it administers the programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), both of which maintain hugely important fees-for-service programs.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "A Glimpse of Things to Come: OSHA’s Soon to Be Updated Hazard Communication Standard," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 28, Issue 2, Winter 2018.

In the Trump Administration’s Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Regulatory Agenda) issued on October 17, 2018, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Proposed Rule Stage item titled, “Update to the Hazard Communication Standard,” RIN 1218-AC93 (OSHA, 2018), and scheduled the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to be issued by March, 2019. This could be an important regulatory development for all entities subject to Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requirements, which is just about everyone. This column explains why this development is significant.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Compliance: CDR Rule Shows Room for Improvement," Chemical Processing, September 19, 2018.

This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report titled “EPA’s Chemical Data Reporting Rule Largely Implemented as Intended, but Opportunities for Improvement Exist.” The OIG conducted an audit to determine how the EPA is ensuring companies are compliant with the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and whether the EPA uses CDR data to prioritize chemicals for the purpose of identifying their potential risks to human health and the environment. The OIG found that implementing policies for data quality checks will help tailor the information reported to meet the EPA’s needs. This column discusses the report.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The Trump Administration and global chemical issues," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Summer 2018.

This article reviews the Trump Administration’s engagement, to date, in key industrial chemical matters, domestically and internationally.  Topics include the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the UN’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Ratification of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The New Administration and International Chemical Issues," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 27, Issue 4, Summer 2018.

As a candidate and now as president, President Trump has been uncharacteristically predictable in systematically dismantling signature environmental policies of prior administrations and ceding the United States’ leadership in combating climate change to other global powers. The administration’s industrial chemicals management policy has been less transparent and predictable, however. Some may have interpreted candidate Trump’s notable silence on the campaign trail as support for Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform, given the broad bipartisan support it enjoyed before its enactment on June 22, 2016. Others may have assumed that candidate Trump was simply unaware of the enactment of the most sweeping legislative changes to our domestic chemical management law in four decades and the significant commercial, legal, and trade implications occasioned by enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg). President Trump has kept his TSCA cards close to his vest, and the administration’s broader engagement in chemicals management on the world stage is similarly unclear. Some trends can be discerned, or at least inferred, as discussed in this article.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "U.S. Consumer Product Ingredient Disclosure Measures Pick Up Momentum," International Chemical Regulatory and Law Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2018.

The ‘right-to-know’ has been a foundational element of U.S. environmental law and policy for decades. As more information becomes known about the potential health and environmental impacts of chemical substances in industrial, commercial, and especially consumer products, the public’s interest in product ingredients has sharply increased. Recently this interest has taken a new direction, one targeting consumer cleaning products. Two state initiatives, originating in opposite sides of the country, reflect different approaches to compelling product ingredient disclosure, and portend similar state measures elsewhere. Consumer product manufacturers are bracing for renewed challenges in preserving consistent product labeling and maintaining confidential business information (CBI). Information-saturated consumers likely do not know what to think as they sort through ever more detailed product information. How these state measures might impact European manufacturers and trade and commerce in general remain to be seen. Here is an overview of the new measures and their implications.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Ongoing Concern: EPA Proposes to Lower Dust-Lead Hazard Standards," Manufacturing Today, Volume 18, Issue 5.

Reducing childhood lead exposure has long been a focus of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Flint, Mich., water crisis has inspired renewed concerns with lead exposure and heightened attention on the hazards occasioned by exposure to dust and dust-lead, especially exposure to children. On July 2, 2018, EPA proposed to lower the dust-lead hazard standards for homes with dust-lead issues. This column summarizes the proposal.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Continues to Investigate Engineered Nanomaterials in Industrial Wastewater Discharge," Nanotechnology Now, May 2, 2018.

On May 2, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice announcing publication of its Final 2016 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan. The Plan describes EPA's Clean Water Act rulemakings and other actions intended to control industrial wastewater pollution. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA tips for European chemical stakeholders," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Spring, 2018.

Changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) occasioned by enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act have fundamentally changed the way the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reviews new and assesses existing chemical substances in surprising and subtle ways. Our 26-professionals TSCA practice in Washington, D.C. has been “doing TSCA” for a very long time. We offer our European colleagues practical insights into the new law and EPA’s implementation efforts. As we represent many European companies that have business interests in the U.S., our views are offered from a practical perspective.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes TSCA User Fees," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 27, Issue 3, Spring 2018.

We all knew it was coming, and the proposal has finally arrived. On February 8, 2018, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed a proposed rule regarding user fees for the administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As amended by the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, TSCA provides the EPA the authority to levy fees on certain chemical manufacturers, including importers and processors, to “provide a sustainable source of funding to defray resources that are available for implementation of new responsibilities under the amended law” (EPA, 2018a, p. 1). This column summarizes the proposal and explains why it is significant.

A downloadable and printable version of this article is available here

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Citizens Challenge EPA," Chemical Processing, March 21, 2018.

A petition filed under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was one of the first actions reviewed by a federal district court since TSCA was substantially rewritten in June 2016.The rulings described below pose interesting and potentially formidable challenges for TSCA stakeholders.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Bethami Auerbach, "Innovation, Consumer Products, and Legal Risk: Points to Consider," Paper presented at the 2017 Retail Law Conference, October 12, 2017.

Products that embody tried, true, and especially cutting-edge technologies are generally embraced by retailers as sure-fire pathways to marketing success. What’s not to like about best sellers and newer, faster, cleaner, or otherwise improved products? Sometimes overlooked is what is hidden behind the technology curtain -- what is the secret sauce that makes the product faster, cleaner, or better? In marketing products with new modes of action and spiffy new attributes, retailers are part of a product liability chain of which they need to be aware. This paper provides an overview of emerging legal and practical issues pertinent to the inclusion of technologies supporting products marketed to the public.

Lynn L. Bergeson, James V. Aidala, Jr., Charles M. Auer, Richard Engler, and Oscar Hernandez, "Practitioner Insights: Enhancing TSCA Reform Implementation," BNA Daily Environment Report, August 2, 2017.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act significantly amended the Toxic Substances Control Act. The act, which has been in force for just over a year, made substantive changes to multiple sections of TSCA that are proving to be even more consequential than anticipated (new TSCA is identified as Pub. L. No. 114-182 and old TSCA was identified as Pub. L. No. 94-469).

This paper, authored principally by former EPA officials and a practicing TSCA lawyer, all with long experience under old TSCA, provides suggestions for new approaches or ‘‘fixes’’ that could assist the agency and interested groups in moving toward smoother implementation of the new law, achieving policy goals, and ensuring greater transparency. These suggestions are presented in no particular order and in the spirit of urging other stakeholders to also think of creative ways to ensure that new TSCA fulfills Congress’s mandate to develop an effective domestic chemical management program.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Timothy D. Backstrom, "Appellate Court Vacates Conditional Nanosilver Registration," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources PCRRTK Newsletter, Volume 18, Issue 5, August 2017.

On May 30, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit responded to two petitions for review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) conditional registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) of a nanosilver pesticide product and vacated that conditional registration. NRDC v. EPA, No. 15-72308. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Center for Food Safety (CFS), and the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) filed petitions in 2015 asking the court to set aside EPA’s final order granting a conditional registration for a nanosilver containing antimicrobial pesticide product named NSPW-L30SWS (NSPW). The court vacated the conditional registration because, according to the court, “EPA failed to support its finding that NSPW was in the public interest.”

Lisa M. Campbell, Timothy D. Backstrom, and James V. Aidala, "EPA’s Evaluation and Determination of Epidemiological Data for Chlorpyrifos," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources PCRRTK Newsletter, Volume 18, Issue 5, August 2017.

Among the many legal, regulatory, and policy issues being watched closely by pesticide registrants as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) long and contentious review of chlorpyrifos registrations continues is the controversy concerning when EPA may appropriately apply a tenfold uncertainty factor pursuant to the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA 10X). This issue centers around EPA’s novel and unprecedented use of epidemiological data and the statutory requirements that govern EPA’s determination that sufficient uncertainty exists to warrant applying the FQPA 10X, not only to chlorpyrifos itself, but to all organophosphate (OP) pesticide products. This issue has drawn much attention and concern from pesticide registrants, and from other interested parties. The issues directly affecting chlorpyrifos have played out not only in EPA’s registration review process for chlorpyrifos, but also in a court challenge to EPA’s decision.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The Final Rule," Manufacturing Today, July 21, 2017.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued on Jan. 12, 2017, a final rule under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) establishing reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain discrete forms of chemical substances that are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale. This column summarizes the rule.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Issues TSCA Framework Rules," Chemical Processing, July 18, 2017.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued in June final framework rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Each is summarized in the article.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The Trump Administration and Likely Impacts on Environmental Law and Policy," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 26, Issue 4, Summer 2017.

2016 was full of surprises, two of which are driving much of the environmental agenda for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2017.  First, Congress significantly amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in June of 2016.  The changes are intended to reform the program to address the widely recognized deficiencies in the law, especially regarding existing chemicals, chemical testing, Confidential Business Information (CBI) claims, and preemption of state actions.  EPA has been busy implementing the new law, as the all-important “framework rules” must be issued in final in June 2017.  The second surprise event was even more unexpected -- the election of Donald Trump as President.  His election is already having a significant impact on environmental law and policy.  This column briefly offers some thoughts and predictions on the impact of the new Administration on environmental issues of interest to our readers.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Daniel B. González, Anabela Aldaz, and Christopher J. McNevin, "Mini-Roundtable: Environmental Disputes," Corporate Disputes, July-September, 2017.

A major change, brought about by the November elections, is the uptick in citizen suit litigation, and lawsuits brought by third parties against the government. Given the current administration’s position on climate change, environmental regulation generally, and the perception that regulations impede economic growth and job development, there has been a significant slowdown in regulatory and administrative activity and the initiation of enforcement actions. NGOs and third-party activists will continue to fill this void by private lawsuits as citizen litigants.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Eyes ‘Burdensome’ Rules," Chemical Processing, May 19, 2017.

On February 24, 2017, President Trump issued Executive Order (EO) 13777, Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda. The EO offers opportunities for stakeholders to improve regulations. This article summarizes efforts to implement this EO, and identifies opportunities stakeholders may wish to pursue to eliminate or amend regulatory initiatives they feel have outlived their utility or were ill-conceived from the get-go.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA Implementation Remains On Target: The EPA is issuing framework rules on a timely basis," Chemical Processing, March 22, 2017.

Implementation of the newly amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), signed into law last June, is in full swing. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working hard to meet statutorily imposed deadlines for promulgating three “framework” rules by June 2017. To date, the EPA is on target. This column discusses the three framework rules.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The EPA Seems Set for a Busy 2017 Under Trump Administration," Chemical Processing, January 24, 2017.

Last year was full of surprises, two of which will drive much of the agenda in 2017 for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). First, Congress significantly amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Although many thought the chances of successful TSCA legislation were slim, the second surprise event was even more unexpected — the election of Donald Trump as President.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Next Generation Compliance and Its Implications for Industry," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 26, Issue 1, Fall 2016.

“Next Generation Compliance” is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) signature initiative intended to increase compliance with environmental regulations by using advances in pollution monitoring and information technology and by more effectively using and designing regulations and permits to reduce pollution and enhance compliance.  This column describes EPA’s initiative, discusses several examples of its applications in rulemakings and civil enforcement settlements, discusses another new compliance-related tool, eDisclosure, and outlines the implications for industry of these novel approaches to incentivizing compliance.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Speeds Review of Chemicals," Chemical Processing, October 24, 2016.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing its brisk pace to be on target with implementing the new requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (see “Grasp the Gravity of the New TSCA,” and “EPA Releases Q&As on New TSCA”). Congress has in its sights persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals — with the goal to reduce exposures to them. The EPA’s recent action to fast track review of five such chemicals does just that. Here’s what the EPA announced, and its impact on industry.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Releases Q&As on New TSCA," Chemical Processing, September 20, 2016.

On September 2, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released additional guidance on its implementation of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the form of additional questions and answers (Q&As). This column explains the significance of this guidance.

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, ushering in a significantly enhanced, and effective immediately, chemical management law. (See “Grasp the Gravity of the New TSCA.")

The EPA has wasted no time in beginning the challenging process of implementing the law. This first step consists of preparing rulemakings and issuing guidance documents in the form of useful Q&As on a variety of topics.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Pollution Monitoring: New Tools Help Speed Compliance," Chemical Processing, August 17, 2016.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made much of its “Next Generation Compliance” initiative, created “to increase compliance with environmental regulations by using advances in pollutant monitoring and information technology combined with a focus on designing more effective regulations and permits to reduce pollution.” This involves more effective regulations and permits that include built-in compliance mechanisms, such as continuous monitoring for stationary sources; advanced monitoring, including fence-line monitoring and infrared camera systems; greater transparency, including public availability of electronic data and third-party audits; and “innovative” enforcement, including incorporating these elements in administrative and judicial settlements and injunctive relief demands. This column briefly outlines these new initiatives so Chemical Processing readers can take advantage of these programs.

Charles M. Auer, "Old TSCA, New TSCA, and Chemical Testing," BNA Daily Environment Report, August 16, 2016.

It is the author’s view that the central failing of old TSCA was its inability to produce the testing needed by EPA to assess and understand the hazards, exposures, and risks of existing chemicals. New TSCA makes important changes to the authority available to EPA to compel industry to generate the information needed by EPA to meet the purposes articulated under the new law. This paper briefly reviews the issues and problems that EPA encountered in using old TSCA for this purpose, discusses the improvements in new TSCA, and discusses why the author believes they offer the potential of future success in the testing area.

Kathleen M. Roberts, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Charles M. Auer, Lynn L. Bergeson, "An Analysis of Section 8 of the New Toxic Substances Control Act," BNA Daily Environment Report, August 9, 2016.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act significantly amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), particularly with regard to Section 8 record keeping and reporting obligations. This article highlights a number of important changes and deadlines of which companies subject to TSCA should be aware.

Susan M. Kirsch, "Pesticides and NPDES: Increased Environmental Protection, or Just More Paperwork?," ABA SEER Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-To-Know Committee Newsletter, April, 2016.

On January 26, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) pesticide general permit (PGP) for public comment. The publication marks the first reissuance of the PGP since its inception in 2011. The Sixth Circuit’s decision in National Cotton Council v. EPA, F.3d 927 (6th Cir. 2009), which vacated EPA’s 2007 rule exempting pesticides from NPDES permitting, required EPA to issue the PGP. In October 2011, EPA published a five-year PGP, which expires on October 31, 2016. Additionally, all states with delegated NPDES program authority developed and issued state versions of the PGP.

Charles M. Auer, Frank D. Kover, James V. Aidala, Mark Greenwood, "Toxic Substances: A Half Century of Progress," Protecting the Environment: A Half Century of Progress, EPA Alumni Association, March 1, 2016.

PUBLIC CONCERNS LEAD TO CHEMICAL LAW

In the 1960s and early to mid-1970s, new reports of chemicals causing cancer appeared in the press or on TV almost every month. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), used in electrical transformers for over 40 years, were being found in fish and environmental samples from around the country. Other chemicals, including those not thought to be harmful, caused serious health or environmental effects. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were depleting the earth’s protective ozone layer. Asbestos, a mineral fiber widely used in insulation, caused lung cancer, especially in workers. Polybrominated biphenyls used as flame retardants were mistakenly mixed into animal feed and poisoned people and cattle in Michigan. Eating fish contaminated with mercury caused a severe neurological syndrome in adults as well as birth defects in Minamata, Japan. And the list went on.

Although society reaps enormous benefits from chemicals, there was little or no knowledge of the effects on health or the environment of the thousands of chemicals used and released into the  environment. There was not even a list of the chemicals made and used in America. The drumbeat of concerns contributed to a growing realization that environmental chemicals might cause major problems. People were suddenly aware that a man-made chemical environment of unknown dimensions literally surrounded them. Other studies pointed to the large gap in existing laws for dealing with these problems. During the 1970s, the groundswell of public concern resulted in legislative action.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Biotechnology: A Lot is Going On," Environmental Quality Management, Winter, 2015.

Biotechnology is an area of growing domestic and international importance to the manufacturing sector, and this summer the federal government announced several important biotechnology initiatives of which stakeholders should be aware. This article from the Winter, 2015, issue of Environmental Quality Management explains each initiative, and outlines why stakeholders are encouraged to engage in each one.

L. Bergeson, B. Auerbach, L. Campbell, T. Backstrom, S. Dolan, J. Vergnes, R. Engler, J. Bultena, K. Baron, C. Auer, "The DNA of the U.S. Regulatory System: Are We Getting It Right for Synthetic Biology?," Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Synthetic Biology Project Report, October 15, 2015.

The pathway to market for new products utilizing synthetic biology can be difficult to navigate, posing a challenge for companies in their efforts to commercialize new ideas, while the novelty posed by some of these products can make it difficult for regulatory agencies to evaluate risks. This report from the Synthetic Biology Project,The DNA of the U.S. Regulatory System: Are We Getting It Right for Synthetic Biology?, looks at the current regulatory oversight of synthetic biology in the United States through the lens of different products. The case studies in the report look at synthetic organisms, synthetic chemicals, biopesticides, biomining products, and genetically modified plants, which are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Our report demonstrates the regulatory complexity innovators face in seeking to commercialize their products,” says Lynn Bergeson, lead author of the report and managing partner at Bergeson & Campbell PC. “The report offers some common-sense and easily implemented solutions to help federal agencies do their jobs more efficiently and offers suggestions for the regulated community to be more proactive in expanding the technological literacy of the agencies with jurisdictional oversight over their products.”

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Continues Chemical Screening Tests," Chemical Processing, August 20, 2015.

The release of the first Tier 1 assessments in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 30, 2015, is a significant benchmark in the program since the original List 1 test orders were issued in October 2009. This column explains why.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "White House Targets Biotechnology," Chemical Processing, July 16, 2015.

With little fanfare, on July 2, 2015, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Council on Environmental Quality issued a memorandum directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology. Last updated in 1992 and first rolled out in 1986, the Coordinated Framework outlines a comprehensive federal regulatory policy for products of biotechnology. The memorandum could have significant implications for innovators in the biotechnology and synthetic biology commercial space.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Issues Response to ICTA Petition Regarding Nanosilver," Nanotechnology Now, March 25, 2015.
Almost seven years ago, the International Center for Technology Assessment (ICTA) filed a petition for rulemaking requesting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate products containing nanosilver as pesticides and for related other forms of relief. On March 19, 2015, EPA responded to the petition.
Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Eyes Perfluorinated Chemicals," Chemical Processing, February 11, 2015.

Between the late 1990s and early 2000s, the EPA identified potential issues presented by PFOS, a perfluorinated acid. Data showed PFOS to be present in low levels in humans and wildlife worldwide, and that PFOS appeared to be highly persistent. At the time, PFOS was used in industrial and consumer applications, including soil and stain repellant sprays, fire-fighting foams and semiconductor manufacture. Between 2000 and 2002, 3M Company, the principal domestic manufacturer of PFOS, voluntarily phased the chemical out of production. Working with industry, the EPA followed this action with a series of SNURs that were effectively intended to limit uses for which alternatives were not available. Several years later, similar concerns were raised with regard to PFOA, other LCPFACs, and other chemicals known as fluorinated telomers that potentially could degrade to PFOA in the environment. The EPA worked with the manufacturers and users of these chemicals to understand the risks and encourage development of alternatives. These efforts yielded the 2010/2015 PFOA Stewardship Program through which industry made and delivered on a series of commitments that, over time, made the current proposed SNUR possible. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes SNUR For Nonylphenols And Nonylphenol Ethoxylates," ABA Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee Newsletter, December 2014.

On October 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for 15 related chemical substances commonly known as nonylphenols (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE). For 13 NPs and NPEs, EPA would designate any use as a "significant new use," and for two additional NPs, EPA would designate that any use other than use as an intermediate or use as an epoxy cure catalyst would constitute a “significant new use.” Persons subject to the SNURs would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before they manufacture (including import) or process any of these 15 chemical substances for a significant new use.  The full ABA PCRRTK Newsletter is available online . 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes New Rule for Toxic Chemicals," Chemical Processing, November 5, 2014.

On October 1, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a significant new use rule (SNUR) for 15 related chemical substances commonly known as nonylphenols (NP) and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE). These substances are recognized as persistent and toxic in the environment. This article discusses this important move.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Assessing Utility of Toxic Substances Control Act to Obtain Information on Hydraulic Fracturing," Environmental Quality Management, Fall 2014.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the May 19, 2014, Federal Register an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to seek comment on the information that should be reported or disclosed for hydraulic fracturing chemical substances and mixtures and the mechanism for obtaining this information. According to EPA, this mechanism could be regulatory (under Sections 8(a) and/or 8(d) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)), voluntary, or a combination of both. It could include best management practices, third-party certification and collection, and incentives for disclosure of information.
 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Misleading Recycled Content Claims are Criminal," Pollution Engineering, September 1, 2014.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stepped up its enforcement initiatives and recently settled two cases with companies that market plastic lumber and related products. FTC alleged that these companies misled consumers in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act in their marketing materials regarding the environmental attributes of their products.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes Rule to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Pollution Engineering, July 1, 2014.

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an ambitious and likely contentious rule to diminish significantly the United States’ contribution to greenhouse gases (GHG). The rule is proposed under the authority of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and takes direct aim at the coal industry by requiring a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants by 2030, using 2005 as the baseline year. This column summarizes key aspects of the rule and its implications for Pollution Engineering readers.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Notice Concerning Nanoscale Materials Remains in EPA’s Regulatory Agenda," Nanotechnology Now, June 5, 2014.

On May 23, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted its 2014 Regulatory Agenda, which still includes RIN 2070-AJ54, "Nanoscale Materials; Chemical Substances When Manufactured, Imported, or Processed as Nanoscale Materials; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements; Significant New Use Rule." See http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201404&RIN=2070-AJ54.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA and Corps of Engineers Propose New Rule Governing Clean Water Act Jurisdiction," Pollution Engineering, June 2, 2014.

In late March, EPA and Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) proposed a rule that would dramatically revise and expand the reach of the Clean Water Act’s (CWA) jurisdiction. Unquestionably, determining the scope of the CWA’s jurisdiction, particularly over streams and tributaries, has become confusing and complex following several Supreme Court decisions and various EPA interpretations issued in response to these decisions over the years. For nearly a decade, Congress, state and local officials, industry, agriculture, environmental groups and the public have asked for a rulemaking to provide clarity. The proposal is already generating much controversy and should invite significant comments.

Kathleen M. Roberts, "How to Make Friends and Win EPA Approvals: tips for biobased chemicals," Biofuels Digest, May 28, 2014.

In last week’s Special Report on Scale-up in Industrial Biotechnology, the Digest noted that a consistent lesson shared by leading biotech heavyweights at the BIO World Congress scale-up session is to “avoid an afterthought approach to regulatory compliance.” As luck and good scheduling would have it, after lunch on the same day, savvy conference-goers got up-close-and-personal with two senior U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulators and a seasoned company executive involved with biobased chemicals at a session titled “Commercializing Renewable Chemicals and Biobased Products: The Importance of Successfully and Efficiently Navigating the Regulatory Process.” This article highlights the top tips for gaining EPA regulatory approval shared by EPA’s Dr. Tracy Williamson and Dr. David Widawsky at the session.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "What Can We Expect From EPA in 2014?," Chemical Processing, January 20, 2014.

This “Compliance Advisor” column outlines thoughts on what might be headed our way in 2014 from the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Beyond the election-driven rhetoric, demands of the discrete issues that routinely come before program management will drive the EPA. An added and complicating concern may be the impact on these and all issues of continued budget cuts that challenge the EPA's ability to operate as it has in the past; even the simple ability to process approvals or conduct public meetings about non-controversial matters have become more difficult.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Targets Significant New Use Rule-Regulating Articles," Chemical Processing, November 15, 2013.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued in October 2013 a final rule amending a significant new use rule (SNUR) for perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) chemical substances. The rule is receiving praise because it narrowly and precisely targets the scope of the “articles” (finished products) subject to the SNUR requirements.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "New Executive Order Issued to Improve Safety at Chemical Manufacturing Facilities," Pollution Engineering, October 1, 2013.

On Aug. 1, 2013, President Barack Obama issued Executive Order (EO) 13650, ordering federal agencies to review safety rules at chemical facilities in response to the April explosion at the West Fertilizer Co., in West, Texas. The order, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security, seeks to close gaps in the regulation of facilities that the government believes contributed to the fatal accident. Here is a summary of that order.

James V. Aidala, "Neonicotinoids: EPA’s New Get-Tough Measures," Law360, September 25, 2013.

Throughout 2013, the issue of the contribution of pesticide use to the decline in honeybee colony health, known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), has been increasingly controversial. Of particular concern is the role that a particular class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, may play in CCD. While EPA generally maintains its view that pesticides, including the neonicotinoids, are one of many factors in contributing to CCD, in July 2013, it took steps to control more stringently the foliar use of neonicotinoid pesticides, including the ones affected by the EU suspension. EPA's most recent "get tough" approach is a new labeling requirement issued Aug. 15, 2013, and available online, and it holds some additional implications. This article reviews U.S. and European regulatory developments and offers commentary on how new restrictions will affect users and applicators of neonicotinoids.

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