May 19, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., et al, “Compilation Memorandum regarding the GCSE Plastics Reports: France and the United States: Comparative Law Analysis and Recommendations Regarding Plastic Waste,” Global Council for Science and the Environment, May 15, 2022.

In February 2022, France and the United States announced their commitment to protect our shared environment for future generations against the harm resulting plastic pollution.Both nations stated their united recognition of the transboundary impacts of plastic pollution and the importance of mitigating plastic waste at its source. On March 2, 2022, as reported by the 5th UN Environment Assembly (UNAE-5.2) in Nairobi, both France and the United States, along with 173 other...
April 25, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “California Eyes Proposition 65 Modifications,” Chemical Processing, April 24, 2022.

On April 5, 2022, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued a notice recommending additional revisions to its proposal to modify Proposition 65 (Prop 65) Article 6 “clear and reasonable warnings” regulations for “short-form” warnings (Notice). OEHHA first proposed to change the short-form warning requirements on January 8, 2021. This column explains the significance of this development....
April 14, 2022

Carla N. Hutton and Karin F Baron, MSPH, “How might EU proposals on harmonised classification and prioritisation of chemicals for classification impact industry?,” Chemical Watch, April 14, 2022.

The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, adopted by the European Commission in October 2020, calls on the Commission to ensure that Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation) is the central legislation for hazard classification and allows the Commission to initiate harmonised classifications. This article examines the effect of possible CLP amendments....
February 25, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Per- And Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): One Size Does Not Fit All,” Chemical Processing, February 27, 2022.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are getting a lot of attention in the United States and globally. Their varied chemical properties make the categorization of “PFAS” into a single category chemically and scientifically questionable. Increasingly, the ability to make distinctions among this large chemical category is challenging, yet failure to do so could be unwise. This article provides information on PFAS, and offers a few suggestions to keep in mind when making business...
February 23, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “PFAS: making sound investment decisions,” Financier Worldwide, March 2022.

The ubiquity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the manufacturing sector’s decades-long reliance on them to impart functionalities in a dizzying array of products put the investor between the proverbial rock and a hard place. PFAS varied chemical properties make the broad categorisation of ‘PFAS’ into a monolithic category of ‘forever chemicals’ chemically and scientifically questionable. For better or worse, however, that is exactly what is happening today, and...
January 25, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Isn’t It Ironic?,“American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Blog, January 25, 2022.

The Biden Administration’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is laser focused on achieving several “whole-of-government” priorities: addressing climate change, identifying and giving environmental justice greater consideration in decision-making, and following the science wherever it may lead. Knowing and respecting leadership in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) tasked with achieving these laudable yet daunting objectives, there is no question the...
January 24, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Toxic Substances: EPA Targets Asbestos,” Chemical Processing, January 23, 2022.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has long been considered the “poster child” of failure as a chemical control law when it comes to asbestos regulation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its latest approach to regulating “legacy” uses may well invite heightened scrutiny. The EPA announced in December the availability of the Draft Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 2. In it, the agency will evaluate conditions of use of asbestos...
December 14, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Environmental Protection: Infrastructure Law Benefits Chemical Industry,” Chemical Processing, December 14, 2021.

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684). The House passed the bill on November 5, 2021, by a vote of 228 to 206, and the Senate passed the bill on August 10, 2021, by a vote of 69 to 30. The bill provides a $1.2-trillion infusion of cash into the economy and contains many provisions important to the chemical processing sector. Highlighted below are some...
December 9, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Straddling digital and environmental goals: tips for investors,” Financier Worldwide, January 2022.

The environmental impacts of the digital economy are increasingly the focus of attention and concern. There is no question the demand for electricity, water and land have increased sharply in response to the growth in digital activity. Identifying, quantifying and mitigating environmental and ecological impacts are core to value creation, and investors must be mindful of how a company is positioned to create value while avoiding public rebuke for neglecting to account for the environmental...
November 22, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Supply-Chain Aid — EPA Proposes PIP 3:1 Compliance Extension,” Chemical Processing, November 22, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 21 that it intends to move further back the compliance dates related to articles containing phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) to ensure supply chains for key consumer and commercial goods are not disrupted. The agency proposed extending the compliance date until October 31, 2024, along with the associated recordkeeping requirements for manufacturers, processors and distributors of PIP (3:1)-containing articles....
October 18, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Is Extended Producer Responsibility On The Rise For Packaging?,” Chemical Processing, October 18, 2021.

On July 13, 2021, Maine became the first state to enact Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation for packaging. On August 6, 2021, Oregon followed, enacting a similar EPR law applicable to packaging. Other states are poised to pass similar legislation. This article discusses the concept of EPR and summarizes the state legislation....
October 1, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Extended producer responsibility for packaging: and so it begins in the US,” Financier Worldwide, October 2021.

On 13 July 2021, Maine became the first state in the US to enact extended producer responsibility (EPR) legislation for packaging. Quickly thereafter, on 6 August, Oregon became the second state to enact a similar EPR law applicable to packaging. Other states are poised to enact similar legislation, following trends more mature in the European Union (EU) and elsewhere around the world....
September 15, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Goes Back To The Drawing Board On Toxic Substances,” Chemical Processing, September 15, 2021.

The implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provisions relating to regulating persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals has been anything but smooth. On September 3, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it intends to initiate new PBT rulemaking and anticipates proposing new rules for five PBT chemicals subject to final risk management rules under TSCA Section 6(h). Additionally, and happily, the agency extended the compliance dates for the...
August 24, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Is FDA Food Safety Revision in Our Future?,” Chemical Processing, August 24, 2021.

Food safety comes in many forms. Years ago, Congress passed the Food Quality Protection Act, amending the nation’s pesticide law to ensure a safer, more reliable, food supply. Consumer groups have urged Congress for years to modernize the nation’s food chemical law, the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), to address often-stated concerns with chemicals in food. Thus far, those concerns remain largely unaddressed by any legislative effort. Things may be changing. On July...
August 2, 2021

Carla N. Hutton and Karin F. Baron, MSPH, “Expert Briefing: What could the European Commission’s plan to strengthen CLP mean for industry?,”Chemical Watch, August 2, 2021.

To help achieve the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted the chemicals strategy for sustainability in October 2020. The strategy suggests that the Commission can address pressing human health and environmental concerns by reinforcing Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures – one of the EU’s cornerstones for regulating chemicals....
July 19, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “PFAS: Is Anything Not Reportable?,” Chemical Processing, July 19, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on June 10, 2021, three actions intended to protect communities from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as covered in July’s column “EPA Announces Blockbuster PFAS Actions.” This column focuses on one of them: an ambitious proposal intended to obtain comprehensive data on more than 1,000 PFAS manufactured in or imported into the United States. As discussed in this article, the proposal’s scope is enormous....
July 13, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Avoiding costly supply chain disruption: a cautionary tale,” Financier Worldwide, July 2021.

By any independent standard, the US electronics industry is huge – it was worth over $300bn in 2019 – and growing annually. Would it surprise you to know that as big, essential and powerful as it is, a single rule issued in January of this year by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nearly brought this sector to a halt? To this day, the rule is causing extraordinary disruption as electric and electronic device manufacturers,...
June 1, 2021

Lynn L. Bergeson, “The essential role of evolving technologies in securing a safe and sustainable food supply,” Agricultural Law Section of the International Bar Association, June 1, 2021.

Emerging tools enabled by nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and other innovative technologies are today increasingly supplementing the ploughs and tractors so emblematic of the agricultural community of the past. These precision farming tools are ensuring a sustainable food supply otherwise threatened by climate change and population growth, among other global challenges, while diminishing worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Genetically modified E coli is being used to produce...