All Published Articles

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The growing spectre of chemical product cancellations, and what to do about it," Financier Worldwide, February 2020.

Effective 1 January 2022, household cleaning, cosmetic and personal care products containing quantities of 1,4-dioxane over specified trivial levels will be prohibited from sale in the state of New York. The law imposing these restrictions, signed by governor Andrew M. Cuomo on 9 December 2019, is intended to protect drinking water supplies from contamination by the chemical. This product ban falls on the heels of the 15 March 2019 final rule issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banning the manufacture, import, processing and distribution, including e-commerce, of methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal. The EPA’s determination that the use of methylene chloride in consumer paint and coating removal presents an ‘unreasonable risk’ of injury to health prompted this decision. These commercial bans are not anomalies; they are the new normal. This article explains why, and the reasons corporate leaders, brand managers, investors and others in this commercial space need to understand this trend and plan accordingly.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Toxic Substances: Are You On The List?," Chemical Processing, February 24, 2020.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on January 27, 2020, a notice identifying the preliminary lists of manufacturers (including importers) of the 20 chemical substances that the EPA designated as high-priority substances for risk evaluation and for which fees will be charged (85 Fed. Reg. 4661). The list and the EPA’s interpretation of the fee rule caught many off guard. This column explains why.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Revises “Working Approach” Document," Chemical Processing, January 14, 2020.

On December 20, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated “Working Approach” document that builds upon its November 2017 version. The EPA states that the updated version, “TSCA New Chemical Determinations: A Working Approach for Making Determinations under TSCA Section 5,” explains its approach for making affirmative determinations on new chemical notices under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This article highlights key changes in the document.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Risk evaluations under TSCA: The state of play," Specialty Chemicals Magazine, December 2019/January 2020.

Among the changes when the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century, also known as Lautenberg or ‘new TSCA’, none is more consequential than the requirement that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct risk evaluations for ‘high priority’ chemical substances. We are now three years into new TSCA and this is being done, amid spirited debate and, inevitably, litigation.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA Citizen Petitions and Risk Evaluations: Are These Critical TSCA Tools Aligned?," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 29, Issue 2, Winter 2019.

The citizen suit provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are turning out to be a potentially powerful tool for advocates dissatisfied with risk evaluations conducted under TSCA Section 6. What is unclear is whether anyone intended this result. This column discusses the new and somewhat surprising role TSCA Section 21 citizen petitions may play in defining chemical risks under TSCA. The issue involves an interesting TSCA Section 21 petition filed in 2016 that has been the subject of litigation ever since. How the lawsuit plays out will have significant implications for TSCA stakeholders.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., "Chemical Innovation and New TSCA: The Good, the Bad, and the Evolving," International Chemical Regulatory and Law Review, Volume 2, Issue 4, Winter 2019.

New chemical innovation is not as celebrated as innovation in electronics, materials, software, or other sectors, but it is every bit as important. Many believe, as do we, that new chemical innovation is essential to achieving sustainable development. For this reason, a close look at the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) implementation of them offers valuable insights into whether the new U.S. industrial chemical management law and EPA policy initiatives implementing it are aligned with this goal. This article discusses EPA’s implementation of the TSCA amendments as they relate to new chemical innovation and highlights EPA policy positions and institutional practices that EPA should reconsider to alignmore closely with the goal of more sustainable new chemical technologies.

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.

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