Lynn L. Bergeson, Douglas Bryden, and Kindra L. Kirkeby, “Chemical Management: What All Environmental, Energy, and Resources Lawyers Need to Know about TSCA Reform and Why,” American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, March 30, 2017.
On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg). The new law amended significantly the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and in so doing, is redefining supply chain relationships, rewriting the rules of engagement for due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, reopening debate on new avenues in product liability and tort law, and raising important questions regarding right-to-know vs. confidential business information (CBI). TSCA, as amended, is no longer an arcane chemical statute that only chemists, consultants, and counsel for chemical manufacturers need to understand. We discuss below the significant changes in commercial transactions, supply chain relationships, and related legal areas of which Section members need to be aware, anticipate, and address. We also briefly consider TSCA and its alignment and differences with the European Union’s (EU) Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) program, and speculate on the impact Brexit might have on chemical management.