July 12, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Managing risk: what the EPA’s TSCA chemical use bans tell us,” Financier Worldwide, August 2024.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued final risk management rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) banning certain uses of two chemicals: chrysotile asbestos and methylene chloride. The identity of these two chemicals is less important than the process by which the EPA concluded that the banned uses of these chemicals pose unreasonable risks to human health and the environment, and the nature and intrusiveness of the workplace and other restrictions the...
July 8, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “What is False and Misleading is Anyone’s Guess,” American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Blog, July 8, 2024.

A federal district court recently issued an Order to enjoin enforcement of California’s Proposition 65 warnings related to titanium dioxide in cosmetics and personal care products. This is the third case successfully challenging Prop 65 warnings on First Amendment grounds, with previous cases involving glyphosate and acrylamide, as discussed in our FIFRA blog. These are important cases with implications for companies facing Prop 65 warnings for other substances where the underlying...
June 10, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Bans Most Uses of Methylene Chloride,” Chemical Processing, June 10, 2024.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued on May 8, 2024, a final rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address the unreasonable risk of injury to health presented by methylene chloride under its conditions of use (COU). To no one’s surprise, the EPA banned most uses of the chemical. However, surprisingly, the EPA also adopted a de minimis threshold to account for impurities and the unintended presence of methylene chloride. The final...
May 16, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., “Optimizing TSCA’s Potential to Reduce Plastic Waste,” ABA NR&E, Spring 2024.

A critical element of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution (Strategy) is to “improve post-use materials management.”  The Strategy identifies potential voluntary actions EPA believes can be implemented to prevent plastic waste. Plastics recycling, both mechanical and “advanced,” is core to achieving improved post-use plastics materials management. Post-use plastics management, in turn, is core to achieving...
April 23, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Issues First Risk Management Rule: What You Need to Know,” Chemical Processing, April 23, 2024.

This past March, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its first final risk management rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address the unreasonable risk of chrysotile asbestos to human health under certain conditions of use (COUs). Even if asbestos isn’t in your supply chain, don’t hit the brakes on reading further. All TSCA stakeholders need to understand this rule because it is a template for how the agency will address risk...
March 22, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Compliance: Take a Closer Look at EPA’s New Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter,” Chemical Processing, March 22, 2024.

On March 6, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated revised National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM). The final rule was signed on Feb. 7, 2024. New NAAQS standards are always controversial, and this one is no exception. ...
February 7, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “OSHA Issues Updated Process Safety Management Enforcement Guidance,” Chemical Processing, February 7, 2024.

On Jan. 26, 2024, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued updated enforcement guidance regarding compliance with OSHA’s standard for the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (PSM standard). The new directive, CPL 02-01-065, provides much-needed updates to the guidance issued in 1994 and explains OSHA’s current thinking regarding compliance with the PSM standard. ...
January 16, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Global Chemical Regulations: 2024 Will Be a Consequential Year,” Chemical Processing, January 15, 2024.

The New Year is upon us, and 2024 is shaping up to be consequential on a global scale.  First, let’s look at U.S. policy and regulatory developments. In this election year, competing priorities will dominate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions. The agency will seek to complete as many actions as possible while tempering its expectations to avoid any significant pre-election missteps. While there is no consensus on whether the Biden administration’s commitment to policy...
December 18, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “The EPA is undermining the TSCA’s potential to reduce plastic waste,” Financier Worldwide, January 2024.

No discussion of energy issues would be complete without some mention of the utility of used plastic as a feedstock in the production of fuels, energy and building block chemicals. In spring 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution (Strategy) to identify voluntary actions to prevent plastic waste. Plastics recycling, including both mechanical and ‘advanced’, is core to achieving improved post-use plastics materials...
December 13, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Proposes Revised PBT Rules for decaBDE and PIP (3:1),” Chemical Processing, December 11, 2023.

It seems like yesterday when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule prohibiting isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)), and for many in the manufacturing sector, the world got a little bit crazier. The EPA vowed to revise the final rule and did so on Nov. 24, 2023. The EPA’s proposal would amend the regulations for decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and PIP (3:1), two of the five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals addressed in...