April 8, 2010

EPA Reassessing Authorizations for PCB Use and Distribution in Commerce

More than 30 years have passed since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its initial set of regulations on the use and distribution in commerce of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and PCB items. Now with three decades of experience and information on PCBs and PCB items, EPA has decided to exercise its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and reassess the regulations governing PCB use authorizations and distribution in commerce. On April 7,...
March 30, 2010

EPA Announces BPA Action Plan

On March 29, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its action plan on bisphenol A (BPA). In its press release, EPA states that the BPA action plan “focuses on the environmental impacts of BPA and will look to add BPA to EPA’s list of chemicals of concern and require testing related to environmental effects.” EPA notes that, in January 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had some concerns about...
March 19, 2010

EPA Planning to Release More Chemical Action Plans

On March 17, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is preparing action plans for nonylphenol/nonylphenol ethoxylate (NP/NPE), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), siloxanes, and diisocyanates. EPA is also preparing final action plans for the chemicals remaining on EPA’s initial list — bisphenol A and benzidine dyes. EPA chose the chemicals based on a range of criteria, including identification as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic; high production...
March 18, 2010

ECHA Board of Appeals Issues Guidance for Appealing ECHA Decisions

On March 10, 2010, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Board of Appeals (Board) issued a document, Practice Directions to Parties to Appeal Proceedings Before the Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency (Practice Directions), to provide guidance on various aspects of the appeals proceedings, including communications with the Board, procedures for lodging a notice of appeal and other pleading documents, the rights of parties to confidentiality, and procedures for parties...
March 16, 2010

China MEP Adopts Amended New Chemical Notification Scheme

On December 30, 2009, the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) adopted the newly amended new chemical notification scheme “Measures on Environmental Management of New Chemical Substances” (新化学物质环境管理办法), Order 7. The new program enters into force on October 15, 2010. This memorandum provides a general overview of this critically important new program. Background The new regulation is intended in part to align China with other leading regulatory...
March 11, 2010

GAO Recommends FDA Strengthen Its Oversight of GRAS Food Ingredients

On March 5, 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report entitled Food Safety: FDA Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Food Ingredients Determined to Be Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) exempts generally recognized as safe (GRAS) substances, which include spices, artificial flavors, emulsifiers and binders, vitamins and minerals, and preservatives, from the general requirement that companies obtain Food and Drug...
March 10, 2010

Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing to Obtain Business Perspectives on TSCA Reform

On March 9, 2010, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health held a hearing entitled “Business Perspectives on Reforming U.S. Chemical Safety Laws.” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Chair of the Subcommittee, convened the hearing with leaders of businesses that manufacture or use chemicals to examine their business perspectives on reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Only two other Senators...
March 9, 2010

ECHA Announces New Public Consultation on Eight Potential Substances of Very High Concern

Today the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) proposed to identify eight chemicals as substances of very high concern (SVHC) and possible candidates for authorization under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. The detailed proposals are available on the ECHA website online. Comments are due April 22, 2010. Potential Additions to the SVHC Listing Denmark, France, and Germany proposed identifying eight substances as SVHCs. ECHA...
March 9, 2010

DOT Eases Requirements for Security Plans

Today the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule narrowing the list of hazardous materials (hazmats) that require security plans when transported in commerce. 75 Fed. Reg. 10974. The rule is effective on October 1, 2010, although voluntary compliance is authorized as of April 8, 2010. The final rule also revises the regulations applicable to the content of and training associated with security...
March 4, 2010

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on TSCA and PBTs

On March 4, 2010, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection held a hearing entitled “TSCA and Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals: Examining Domestic and International Actions.” The Subcommittee held the hearing to examine U.S. and international efforts to protect public health and the environment from persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals, how the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is currently...
March 3, 2010

Health Canada Adopts Interim Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials

On March 1, 2010, Health Canada began a public consultation on its adoption of the Interim Policy Statement on Health Canada’s Working Definition for Nanomaterials (Interim Policy). Although Health Canada is accepting comments, it states that the Interim Policy “is effective immediately.” In preparing the Interim Policy, Health Canada states that it sought the informal feedback of some international stakeholders, industry trade groups, standards associations, and...
March 1, 2010

House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Drinking Water

On February 25, 2010, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment held a hearing entitled “Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Drinking Water: Risks to Human Health and the Environment.” The Subcommittee intended the hearing to examine the science and regulation of endocrine disruptors that may be found in sources of drinking water. Witnesses included: The witness testimony is available online. Subcommittee members criticized the slow pace of...
February 24, 2010

EPA Publishes Final Clarification for Chemical Identification Describing Activated Phosphors for TSCA Inventory Purposes

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its final clarification under which certain activated phosphors that are not on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(b) Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory) will be considered to be “new” chemical substances under TSCA Section 5, and thus will be subject to applicable notification requirements under TSCA Section 5. According to EPA, the clarification is necessary because EPA’s statements in...
February 23, 2010

OIG Report Concludes EPA Needs Coordinated Plan to Oversee Its TSCA Responsibilities

On February 18, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report entitled EPA Needs a Coordinated Plan to Oversee Its Toxic Substances Control Act Responsibilities, urging EPA to coordinate better risk assessment and oversight activities by establishing a management plan that contains new goals and measures that demonstrate the results of Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and Office of Enforcement and Compliance...
February 22, 2010

EPA Proposes Amendments to TSCA Section 4 Enforceable Consent Agreement Procedures

On February 19, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed important revisions to the procedures for development of enforceable consent agreements (ECA) to generate test data under Section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). 75 Fed. Reg. 7428 (Feb. 19, 2010). The proposed rule includes some sweeping changes for when and how negotiations will be initiated, conducted, and concluded, and limits the timeframe within which these activities will take place. Companies that...
February 17, 2010

New York Advisory Council Green Procurement Chemical Avoidance List Released Publicly

As we reported last month, the Sustainability and Green Procurement Advisory Council (Advisory Council) of the New York Interagency Committee on Sustainability and Green Procurement (Interagency Committee) voted 9-1 to recommend creating a “chemical avoidance list” that would be a list of chemicals that New York government agencies should avoid buying. The list would comply with Governor David Paterson’s 2008 Executive Order directing state agencies, public authorities, and...
February 8, 2010

EPA SAP Releases Report on Nanosilver and Other Nanometal Pesticide Products

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) has released the minutes of its November 3-5, 2009, meeting regarding evaluation of the hazard and exposure associated with nanosilver and other nanometal pesticide products. Before summarizing the SAP’s primary conclusions and recommendations, we note a few general observations. First, the SAP final recommendations address nanosilver almost entirely, and little or no mention is made of “nanometal...
February 4, 2010

Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing Regarding Current Science on Public Exposure to Toxic Chemicals

Today the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health held a hearing entitled “Current Science on Public Exposures to Toxic Chemicals.” Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Chair of the Subcommittee, criticized the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for failing to provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the necessary authority to protect the public from unsafe chemicals. Lautenberg stated that he intends...
January 28, 2010

EPA Announces Intent to Issue Cancellation Order for Spirotetramat

On January 26, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) announced that it intends to issue a cancellation order for the pesticide spirotetramat pursuant to Section 6(a)(1) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). A comment period is now open on the existing stocks provisions of the planned cancellation order. Comments are due February 8, 2010. EPA states that, on December 23, 2009, the U.S. District Court for the...
January 27, 2010

Final Rule Amends PMN Exemption for Polymers

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated a final rule amending the polymer exemption rule, which provides an exemption from the premanufacture notification (PMN) requirements of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The amendment excludes from eligibility polymers containing as an integral part of their composition, except as impurities, certain perfluoroalkyl moieties consisting of a CF3- or longer chain length. This exclusion includes polymers that contain any one or...