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June 24, 2016

President Obama Signs Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety For The 21st Century Act Reforming The Tox


On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed H.R. 2576, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg) during a signing ceremony. Lautenberg represents years of negotiation and is a towering achievement to enhance the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) authority to review industrial and consumer chemicals and provide the public with confidence that chemical products do not pose unreasonable risks.

Of particular interest to biobased chemical manufacturers and users, Lautenberg requires that EPA maintain the use of Class 2 nomenclature and the Soap and Detergent Association Nomenclature System. In addition, if a manufacturer or processor demonstrates that a "substance appears multiple times on the [Inventory] under different [Chemical Abstracts Service] numbers, [EPA] may recognize the multiple listings as a single chemical substance." While it is not yet clear how the nomenclature provisions of Lautenberg will affect the ability of novel biobased chemicals to be incorporated into supply chains without triggering new chemical notification, it does raise the profile of Class 2 nomenclature and may enable additional high-level discussions related to source-based nomenclature and the barriers that such nomenclature present to new chemicals.