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...