All Published Articles

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Due diligence in mergers and acquisitions involving chemical products," Financier Worldwide, October 2022.

The scope of what diligence is due in any corporate transaction has evolved greatly over the past decade, particularly with respect to transactions involving chemical products. Once upon a time, transactional due diligence involving chemical products, whether ‘neat’ (pure) chemicals, formulations or end-use products, typically consisted of a phase I or phase II environmental site assessment (ESA) focusing on identifying contamination derivative of chemical releases into environmental media as effluent, emissions, fugitive releases or waste, as well as quantifying the potential for such releases to pose litigation risks or regulatory enforcement, or require costly remediation. Increasingly, parties to corporate transactions now continue to focus on these liabilities and on the compositional elements of chemical products themselves as potential sources of liability and commercial disruption. This article explains why the transition to chemical product due diligence has been slow and offers a few tips to help assess what diligence is due in corporate transactions involving chemical products.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., "Optimizing the Toxic Substances Control Act to Achieve Greener Chemicals," nr&e, Summer 2022.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) offers tremendous unrealized potential to promote the development of more sustainable industrial chemicals. Despite the fact that Congress significantly amended TSCA in 2016 specifically to diminish the human health and environmental footprint of industrial chemicals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is interpreting the revised law in ways that ironically discourage the commercialization of new chemicals and reinforce a “new chemical bias” that undermines the commercialization of greener, more sustainable industrial chemicals. This article explores the EPA policies and practices that blunt the commercialization of promising, more sustainable industrial chemicals and offers recommendations to optimize TSCA to achieve greener chemicals.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Eases TSCA Testing Demands," Chemical Processing, August 15, 2022.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued two new documents for recipients of Section 4 test orders under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The good news is these documents offer relief to stakeholders who otherwise would be responsible for chemical testing costs for certain chemicals they produced or imported.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Seeks Input From Small Businesses," Chemical Processing, August 1, 2022.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invited on July 6, 2022, small businesses to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SER) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel. The EPA seeks self-nominations directly from entities that may be subject to the rule requirements; self-nominations were due July 20, 2022. The panel focuses on the agency’s proposed rule to collect data to inform each step of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation and risk management process. Participating in the SBAR, or at least tracking its activities and engaging as much as possible, is encouraged. The reasons for engagement are discussed in this article.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "How does a recent Supreme Court ruling apply to the EPA’s implementation of TSCA?," Chemical Watch, July 27, 2022.

Since the US Supreme Court issued its blockbuster ruling in West Virginia v EPA, 597 US _ 2022 WL 2347278 (30 June 2022), many are asking whether the Court’s amplification of the 'major questions doctrine' (MQD) might be used to seek to limit the US EPA’s authority in implementing Congress’s 2016 amendments to TSCA, the Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg). Lynn L Bergeson, managing partner of the law firm Bergeson & Campbell, says there's little doubt that West Virginia v EPA will be used to seek to limit the agency's authority in implementing the 2016 amendments to the law. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Compliance: Get Ready For Superfund Excise Tax," Chemical Processing, June 22, 2022.

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), reinstating the Superfund excise tax on certain chemical substances under Sections 4661 and 4671 of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax Code). Effective July 1, 2022, the tax many were glad to see expire is back; the first deposit of the tax is due on July 29, 2022. This article discusses the tax and the challenges it poses.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Environmental Justice and Enforcement in America: what investors need to know," Financier Worldwide, July 2022.

By any standard, federal enforcement of environmental laws in the US has been uneven, to say the least. The prevailing perception is that democrats are ‘greener’ than are republicans when it comes to environmental enforcement. The data is quite scattered, however, and it would seem no party has cornered the environmental protection market. The Trump administration may be the exception that proves the rule.

Most would agree civil and criminal enforcement case numbers were significantly below those of other administrations, all by design. A raft of other actions taken by the Trump administration crystallised that environmental enforcement was definitely not top of mind. Priorities today are decidedly different, and investors need to know the implications of the Biden administration’s commitment to the twin goals of environmental protection and environmental justice. This article explores these topics.

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 nations, adopted a Resolution to End Plastic Pollution with an international legally binding agreement by 2024, with discussions beginning in 2022. Significantly, the Resolution to End Plastic Pollution defines “plastic waste” to include “microplastic.” Building upon the historic collaboration between France and the United States regarding plastic waste and learning from the contrasts in their governmental structures and approaches to environmental regulation, this French and United States Comparative Law Analysis and Recommendations Regarding Plastic Waste is offered for use by policy makers in the upcoming negotiations regarding the global plastic waste treaty.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Targets Asbestos," Chemical Processing, May 15, 2022.

On May 6, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed reporting and recordkeeping requirements for asbestos under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Unsurprisingly, the proposed requirements are extensive and tough.  This article provides a summary.

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.

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.

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 decisions.

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 distinguishing between commercially promising and commercially risky PFAS chemicals is challenging. Yet, the ability to make this distinction could be the difference between a great investment and a commercially disastrous one. This article explores this difficult assessment, provides essential information on PFAS, and offers some suggestions to avoid making bad investment decisions.

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 commitment is genuine. It is ironic, however, that EPA is applying the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in ways that are counterproductive to achieving these goals.

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 were excluded from Part 1 as legacy uses and associated disposals, and use conditions of asbestos in talc and talc-containing products. This article summarizes the EPA’s approach.

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 of the provisions in the 1,039-page bill that readers may find interesting.

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 impacts of greatly increased digital activity.

This article explores the digital economy, the growing set of metrics used to assess environmental sustainability in a digital economy, the tools companies are using to improve efficiency, lessen environmental impacts and increase supply chain transparency and traceability, and tips for investors in assessing a company’s environmental awareness of the impacts of greatly increased digital activity.

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. This article discusses this important development.

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.

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.

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 prohibitions on processing and distribution and the associated recordkeeping requirements of one of these PBT chemicals, phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)). The action was imperative as EPA’s earlier-issued “No Action Assurance” (NAA) lapsed on September 4, 2021. This article provides key points related to this complicated area of TSCA regulation.

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 26, 2021, Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, introduced the Food Chemical Reassessment Act of 2021 (H.R. 4694), which would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to study and reassess chemicals used in food. This article summarizes the measure, and speculates on its likelihood of passage.

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.

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.

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, importers, processors, distributors and others scramble to adjust in its aftermath. This article tells the cautionary tale of PIP (3:1). This sad and largely avoidable tale crystalises the importance of understanding the long reach of the US industrial chemical control law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its seemingly limitless potential for disrupting global supply chains.

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