Federal/EPA Regulatory Policy

Lynn L. Bergeson, "GAO Evaluates EPA Performance," Chemical Processing, March 18, 2019.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released on March 6, 2019, a report titled “High-Risk Series: Substantial Efforts Needed to Achieve Greater Progress on High-Risk Areas.” This column discusses the report and its implications on chemical management policy.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Changing of the Guard," Specialty Chemicals Magazine, March 2019.

The 2018 US mid-term elections have redefined the political winds in Washington, DC. What these currents mean for domestic chemical policy, and its impact on global chemical policy initiatives, is unclear. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Political Turmoil Muddies Regulatory Moves," Chemical Processing, January 16, 2019.

2019 started with a political bang. The President’s decision to allow a partial government shutdown in the absence of funding for the “wall” will continue to inspire federal administrative and regulatory havoc for months to come. This is particularly true of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) as it administers the programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), both of which maintain hugely important fees-for-service programs.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "A Glimpse of Things to Come: OSHA’s Soon to Be Updated Hazard Communication Standard," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 28, Issue 2, Winter 2018.

In the Trump Administration’s Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Regulatory Agenda) issued on October 17, 2018, the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a Proposed Rule Stage item titled, “Update to the Hazard Communication Standard,” RIN 1218-AC93 (OSHA, 2018), and scheduled the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to be issued by March, 2019. This could be an important regulatory development for all entities subject to Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requirements, which is just about everyone. This column explains why this development is significant.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Compliance: CDR Rule Shows Room for Improvement," Chemical Processing, September 19, 2018.

This summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report titled “EPA’s Chemical Data Reporting Rule Largely Implemented as Intended, but Opportunities for Improvement Exist.” The OIG conducted an audit to determine how the EPA is ensuring companies are compliant with the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and whether the EPA uses CDR data to prioritize chemicals for the purpose of identifying their potential risks to human health and the environment. The OIG found that implementing policies for data quality checks will help tailor the information reported to meet the EPA’s needs. This column discusses the report.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The Trump Administration and global chemical issues," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Summer 2018.

This article reviews the Trump Administration’s engagement, to date, in key industrial chemical matters, domestically and internationally.  Topics include the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the UN’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Ratification of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The New Administration and International Chemical Issues," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 27, Issue 4, Summer 2018.

As a candidate and now as president, President Trump has been uncharacteristically predictable in systematically dismantling signature environmental policies of prior administrations and ceding the United States’ leadership in combating climate change to other global powers. The administration’s industrial chemicals management policy has been less transparent and predictable, however. Some may have interpreted candidate Trump’s notable silence on the campaign trail as support for Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform, given the broad bipartisan support it enjoyed before its enactment on June 22, 2016. Others may have assumed that candidate Trump was simply unaware of the enactment of the most sweeping legislative changes to our domestic chemical management law in four decades and the significant commercial, legal, and trade implications occasioned by enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg). President Trump has kept his TSCA cards close to his vest, and the administration’s broader engagement in chemicals management on the world stage is similarly unclear. Some trends can be discerned, or at least inferred, as discussed in this article.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "U.S. Consumer Product Ingredient Disclosure Measures Pick Up Momentum," International Chemical Regulatory and Law Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2018.

The ‘right-to-know’ has been a foundational element of U.S. environmental law and policy for decades. As more information becomes known about the potential health and environmental impacts of chemical substances in industrial, commercial, and especially consumer products, the public’s interest in product ingredients has sharply increased. Recently this interest has taken a new direction, one targeting consumer cleaning products. Two state initiatives, originating in opposite sides of the country, reflect different approaches to compelling product ingredient disclosure, and portend similar state measures elsewhere. Consumer product manufacturers are bracing for renewed challenges in preserving consistent product labeling and maintaining confidential business information (CBI). Information-saturated consumers likely do not know what to think as they sort through ever more detailed product information. How these state measures might impact European manufacturers and trade and commerce in general remain to be seen. Here is an overview of the new measures and their implications.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Ongoing Concern: EPA Proposes to Lower Dust-Lead Hazard Standards," Manufacturing Today, Volume 18, Issue 5.

Reducing childhood lead exposure has long been a focus of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Flint, Mich., water crisis has inspired renewed concerns with lead exposure and heightened attention on the hazards occasioned by exposure to dust and dust-lead, especially exposure to children. On July 2, 2018, EPA proposed to lower the dust-lead hazard standards for homes with dust-lead issues. This column summarizes the proposal.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Continues to Investigate Engineered Nanomaterials in Industrial Wastewater Discharge," Nanotechnology Now, May 2, 2018.

On May 2, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice announcing publication of its Final 2016 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan. The Plan describes EPA's Clean Water Act rulemakings and other actions intended to control industrial wastewater pollution. 

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