All Published Articles

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Issues New Accidental Release Rule," Chemical Processing, December 20, 2019.

On November 20, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed off on final changes to the risk management program (RMP) rule, most recently amended in January 2017. The regulations were promulgated under Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) when the law was amended in 1990. This section is intended to prevent or minimize the consequences of accidental chemical releases. A need to prevent or minimize the catastrophic consequences of accidental chemical release is a point few would argue. How best to “prevent or minimize,” however, has evoked exhausting debate and legal wrangling. This column summarizes key changes in the reissued final rule.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "SEC Proposes Changes To Reporting Rules," Chemical Processing, October 16, 2019.

Publicly traded companies must disclose certain legal proceedings and risk factors in registration statements and in annual and quarterly reports. These disclosures significantly help investors in assessing the financial integrity of a publicly traded company; formulating a disclosure precisely is critical to compliance, while at the same time accurately capturing the nature and extent of the potential risks. This article summarizes this Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed rule, which is intended to modernize the Regulation S-K obligations, particularly as they relate to environmental disclosures, and discusses the unique challenges these reporting obligations impose on the chemical industry.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The Growing Influence of Chemical Risk Evaluation on the M&A Market," Financier Worldwide, October 2019.

In 2018, the global M&A market achieved a transaction volume of $4.1 trillion, the third highest year ever for M&A volumes. Divestitures, spin-offs and split-offs are essential to defining corporate identity, a key shareholder imperative. This brisk pace is expected to continue. Whatever the motivation, M&A activity demands razor-sharp due diligence. The premise of this article is that due diligence often underestimates or, worse, ignores the impact implementation of revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the US industrial chemical safety law, has on commercial transactions. Implementation of these revisions is now influencing key sectors of the economy, making it essential that TSCA chemical risk evaluations be routinely included in M&A due diligence protocols.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Restrictions and TSCA’s Growing Commercial Influence," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 29, Issue 1, Fall 2019.

This past spring, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a first-ever final rule under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) banning the use of methylene chloride in consumer paint and coating removal products. Although this rule was long in the making, this type of chemical ban of selected products is likely to be seen more routinely in the months and years ahead. This article reflects upon EPA’s broad authority under TSCA Section 6 and explores the reasons why chemical prohibitions, and the commercial complications they inspire, are expected to be the new normal.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Compliance: Court Nullifies New York Disclosure Program," Chemical Processing, September 18, 2019.

In a significant victory for industry, on August 27, 2019, the State of New York Supreme Court invalidated the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program. The program is an example of the newest trend in state “information disclosure” programs intended to force product manufacturers to disclose the ingredients in products sold to consumers. This article discusses the program and explains why the court rescinded it.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes PBT Chemicals Rule," Chemical Processing, August 27, 2019.

After many years of study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), industry stakeholders, and the scientific community at large well know that chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) behave differently in the environment and in biological systems than non-PBT chemicals. Congress acknowledged this in updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 2016 by specifying special provisions under TSCA Section 6(h) for PBT chemicals. In June of this year, the EPA proposed a rule implementing TSCA Section 6(h) review that elicits important insights on how the EPA intends to review such chemicals. The rule is a blueprint for its consideration of PBTs for years to come.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Kathleen M. Roberts, and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., "Protecting the Value of Health, Safety Studies—Emerging TSCA Issues," Bloomberg Environment Insights, August 22-23, 2019.

Health and safety studies provide invaluable insights into the hazards posed by chemical substances. The cost of generating these studies is also considerable, and access to them should be commensurate with the intellectual property interests they reflect. This article explores two current challenges under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and offers practical tips for managing these issues.

J. Brian Xu, Jane S. Vergnes, and Carla N. Hutton, "China Drafts Changes to Chemical Registration Rules," Bloomberg Environment Insights, July 29, 2019.

Manufacturers and importers should weigh in on China’s planned changes to registration requirements for new chemical substances, write Brian Xu and Jane Vergnes of The Acta Group, and Carla Hutton of Bergeson & Campbell.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Expert Focus: TSCA and Liability under the False Claims Act – a Potentially Promising Area," Chemical Watch, July 26, 2019.

A federal appellate court recently decided a case brought under the FCA’s reverse false claims provision premised on alleged non-compliance with a TSCA reporting obligation. Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP v. BASF Corp. As discussed in this article, while the court dismissed the case, it did so for fact-specific reasons and creative plaintiff lawyers can be expected to rely upon the FCA in the future to bring actions based on other TSCA provisions.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "USDA Enhances Biobased Procurement Program," Chemical Processing, July 16, 2019.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a final rule on July 5, 2019, amending its “Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement” to include 30 more product categories for biobased products that may receive procurement preference by federal agencies and their contractors. These 30 product categories contain finished products made, in large part, from intermediate ingredients designated for federal procurement preference. This article explains why Chemical Processing readers should note this important development.

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