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...
December 1, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Reporting PFAS: reporting burden is the least of businesses’ worries,” Financier Worldwide, December 2023.

Ask just about anyone doing business in the US making or importing products that contain chemicals what they think about the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) reporting rule, and you will get a decidedly grumpy response. Granted, no businessperson welcomes any new chemical reporting obligation, but by any standard, the EPA’s 11 October 2023 final PFAS reporting rule is problematic and is inviting uniquely scathing criticism....
November 17, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Proposes Ban on Trichloroethylene,” Chemical Processing, November 17, 2023.

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed on Oct. 31, to ban all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE) after determining it presents an unreasonable risk of injury to human health under conditions of use pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). TCE is widely used in cleaning and furniture-care products, degreasers, brake cleaners and tire repair sealants. Alternatives are available for many uses. The proposed rule would ban TCE’s manufacture, processing...
October 16, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Issues Final Rule on TSCA PFAS Reporting Requirements,” Chemical Processing, October 16, 2023.

On September 28, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long-overdue final rule under Section 8(a)(7) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The rule requires reporting and recordkeeping requirements for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). As discussed in this article, the final rule is not what many of us expected nor wanted....
September 15, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “National Science and Technology Council Releases Sustainable Chemistry Report,” Chemical Processing, September 15, 2023.

Sustainable chemistry has become more central to business success than ever. Societal preferences and climate change implications are pressuring product manufacturers to develop, use and process sustainable chemicals. This trend is here to stay, and cultural, legal and regulatory drivers accelerating this trend are growing exponentially....
August 16, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Rolls Out New PFAS Framework,” Chemical Processing, August 16, 2023.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on June 29, 2023, a new regulatory framework for addressing new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and new uses of existing PFAS. The framework outlines the EPA’s planned approach when reviewing these chemicals to ensure that, before they are allowed to enter commerce, they meet the safety standard under Section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This article explains the significance of this development....
July 18, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “TSCA, SNURs, and Plastic Waste-Based Feedstocks,” Chemical Processing, July 18, 2023.

On June 20, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 18 chemicals subject to premanufacture notices (PMNs). The rulemaking reflects a level of EPA discomfort with certain new chemicals derived from plastic waste. This article explains the significance of this proposal....
July 3, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Expanding PFAS liability in the US,” Financier Worldwide, July 2023.

Few words inspire the panic that ‘polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS)’ does. Companies producing, processing, distributing and using (whether knowingly or not) these substances must be aware of expanding legal liability and take steps now to minimise risk. This article outlines key US per- and PFAS developments, the legal and commercial implications of these developments, and measures stakeholders should consider taking to limit liability....
June 21, 2023

Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., and Todd J. Stedeford, Ph.D., DABT® , ERT, ATS, “What are the key elements and likely impact of the EPA’s proposed rule for methylene chloride?,” Chemical Watch, June 21, 2023.

On 20 April the US EPA announced a proposed rule under section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that would prohibit most uses of methylene chloride and require a workplace chemical protection program (WCPP) for non-prohibited uses. This article will outline the key elements of the EPA’s proposal and discuss the likely impact on industry. This article also looks at what this portends for the agency’s future rulemaking activities on chemical substances...
June 9, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Toxics Release Inventory Reporting: What is New This Year?,” Chemical Processing, June 9, 2023.

Each year about this time, companies are focused on the deadline to submit Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Companies well acquainted with this reporting ritual have established protocols to collect the data to enable timely reporting. With the July 1, 2023, deadline rapidly approaching, there are a few new reporting features of which to be aware. This column briefly summarizes important new elements....
May 5, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “TSCA litigation: The case to watch,” Speciality Chemicals Magazine, May/June 2023.

The implementation of the game-changing 2016 Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is now a hotbed of legal dispute. Lawsuits challenging key aspects of the law’s implementation are piling up. While all are legally noteworthy, one citizen enforcement case in particular merits attention. As discussed below, two recent cases have raised novel issues pertinent to the scope of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s...
May 2, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Can Lead or Get Out of the Way,” The Environmental Forum, May/June 2023.

A major task we face in achieving circularity is ensuring that policies remain nimble in addressing environmental and public health challenges. Our suite of laws and their regulatory implementation sometimes reflect an unhelpful resistance to circularity, expressed in policies that are indifferent or antithetical to an efficient transition to true resource economy....
April 12, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Congress Strengthens Cosmetics Regulations,” Chemical Processing, April 12, 2023.

In a somewhat unexpected move, Congress enacted the Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 (MoCRA) on December 29, 2022, as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act. MoCRA significantly strengthens the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority over cosmetic products. Key provisions are summarized in this article....