Federal/EPA Regulatory Policy

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Pandemic Spurs Enforcement Revisions," Chemical Processing, October 26, 2020.

The White House Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) issued memorandum M-20-31 on August 31, 2020, on the implementation of Section 6 of Executive Order (EO) 13924, “Executive Order on Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.” This article explains the guidance, why it may prove useful to know about its content, and how to leverage the guidance successfully in future enforcement actions and adjudications.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Axes Temporary Enforcement Lull," Chemical Processing, July 22, 2020.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued in March a temporary enforcement policy relaxing certain compliance obligations because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 29, the agency announced an “addendum on termination” that aims to end the policy on August 31, 2020. This column discusses the termination memorandum.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Compliance: Talk To Your Supply Chain," Chemical Processing, May 13, 2020.

Much attention now focuses on COVID-19 and subsequent supply chain disruptions; here, we tackle supply chain communications and ways to optimize them. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires such communications, as do evolving best business practices. Managing supply chain communications effectively, and strategically optimizing the commercial interactions and exchanges of information they elicit are essential business practices.

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, "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, "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.

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. 

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