Federal/EPA Regulatory Policy

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Isotope Fact Sheet Warrants a Close Look," Chemical Processing, July 10, 2013.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a fact sheet (www.epa.gov/oppt/newchems/pubs/isotopes.pdf) on reporting chemical substances that contain different isotopes of the same elements listed on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory. The document has enforcement consequences, so stakeholders should review it carefully. This column explains its significance. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "US EPA Releases Draft TSCA Chemical Risk Assessment," Environmental Quality Management, Summer 2013.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) released its first draft risk assessments developed under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) “Work Plan Program” on January 4, 2013. The draft risk assessments cover particular uses of five chemicals found in household products. While the chemicals covered in these first draft assessments may or may not be of interest to Environmental Quality Management readers, the draft assessments can give us a sense of how the Agency is approaching this very important process.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Obama’s Second Term: What Does It Mean for US EPA and the Regulated Community?," Environmental Quality Management, Spring 2013.

President Obama won a decisive victory on November 6, 2012, and the forecast for the next four years is clearer now than it was pre-election. This Washington Watch column offers some preliminary observations on what lies ahead for domestic environmental management issues at the legislative and regulatory levels.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Targets Renewable Fuel Fraud," Chemical Processing, March 2013.

On February 21, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new approach to assure compliance with renewable fuel volume standards and minimize fraud. The proposal offers an alternative voluntary quality assurance program (QAP) to combat fraudulently procured Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), which have been the source of problems in the past. Comments on the proposal are due April 18, 2013. This column explains the proposal and why a new option is needed.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Toxics Predictions," Manufacturing Today, February 12, 2013.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) resources are not expected to be robust. This will translate to further reductions in its operating programs such as the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), and eventually (if not already) will translate into personnel, skills-mix and salary impacts. This will hinder the ability of both OCSPP programs – Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) – to review submissions in a timely fashion and meet other program objectives.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Election Fallout: Regulatory Expectation After 2012 Election," Pollution Engineering, January 4, 2013.

Since President Obama won on November 6, the forecast for Pollution Engineering readers is a bit clearer. Below are preliminary observations on what lies ahead regarding environmental issues at the legislative and regulatory levels.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Keeps Close Eye on Cadmium," Chemical Processing, December 13, 2012.

On December 3, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continued its use of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to regulate products (not just chemicals) in publishing a final rule adding cadmium and cadmium compounds to the TSCA Section 8(d) rule. In so doing, manufacturers and importers of cadmium must submit unpublished health and safety studies to the EPA (including use in materials that have been or are "reasonably likely" to be incorporated into consumer products). This article summarizes the rule and its implications. [NOTE – on December 14, 2012, the EPA withdrew their December 3, 2012 ruling – see “EPA Withdraws TSCA Section 8(d) Cadmium Rule”] 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The New Obama Administration: Forecast for the Speciality Chemicals Sector," Speciality Chemicals Magazine Online Edition, December 2012.

Barack Obama won a decisive victory in the presidential election on 6 November and the forecast for the next four years is clearer now than it was pre-election. This article offers some preliminary observations on what lies ahead regarding domestic chemical management issues at the legislative and regulatory levels.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Plans to Improve IRIS Process," Chemical Processing, October 25, 2012.

The Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stirred debate for years. EPA has vowed to reform its ways, and soon may be strongly urged to do so, as a result of an underway review mandated by Congress. Specifically, the measure directs the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review certain IRIS assessments. This article describes IRIS and the process underway to restore IRIS dossiers to credible sources of hazard information.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Source of Minerals Gets New Scrutiny," Chemical Processing, September 25, 2012.

On August 22, 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted a final rule implementing Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This important and sweeping rule is effective for products manufactured in 2013, and the first annual reports are due May 31, 2014, and on May 31 every year thereafter. It obligates companies using minerals that might have come from conflict zones to disclose their use. Because such minerals are utilized in catalysts or directly in production, the rule will impact many industrial sectors, including chemical manufacturing, electronics, paints and coatings, and automotive. Further, as the list of “conflict” minerals expands, others industries will be brought in under the scope of the rule.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Predictions for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-To-Know Committee Newsletter, February 2012.
Lynn L. Bergeson, co-author, "Practical Advice for Product Steward Professionals on Remaining Competent, Socially Aware, and Scientifically Proficient," BNA Daily Environment Report, January 6, 2012.

Consumer product manufacturers are challenged today as never before. Materials selection for consumer products invites a dizzying range of considerations: Are the chemicals hormone disruptors, carcinogens, or persistent, bioaccumulative, or toxic? What toxicogenomic biomarkers might make the product the next celebrity tort case? What labeling requirements apply? What are the implications of genetic variations among the demographic to which the product is to be marketed? These considerations, in turn, invite legal, marketing, and technical issues that go well beyond questions of core compliance with the law. What exactly is the professional's role? How are regional differences in regulatory standards, consumer perceptions, ingredient restrictions, and related factors to be addressed? Given the complexity of the global issues and the high stakes involved, what must a professional do to remain competent, socially aware, and scientifically proficient? This article explores these thorny questions, not to resolve them as much as to flag them, and urge professionals -- whether lawyers, product stewards, scientists, or others in the field -- to remain vigilant and as prepared as possible in recognizing the constantly shifting demands on professionals in this area.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "U.S. Wants More Transparency in Trade," Chemical Processing, June 2011.

On May 19, 2011, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) jointly issued a memorandum to U.S. departments and agencies highlighting the importance of regulatory transparency and openness to promoting international trade. The memorandum telegraphs the Administration’s renewed emphasis on the significant role international collaboration has in domestic policy development.

James V. Aidala, "Tracking Disease Clusters and Environmental Health," Law360, April 7, 2011.

On March 29, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing entitled “Oversight Hearing on Disease Clusters and Environmental Health.” Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health Subcommittee, introduced the Strengthening Protections for Children and Communities from Disease Clusters Act (S. 76), also known as Trevor’s Law, on Jan. 25, 2011.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "2010 Elections Could Impact EPA Programs," Chemical Processing, December 2010.

The 2010 Congressional elections will likely significantly impact policy and legislative developments in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulation of chemicals and pesticides. The decline in the number of elected House Democratic members will make for some significant differences in EPA's budget, legislative proposals and general operations. Meanwhile, some newly elected senators stridently oppose government expansion and want to rein in federal deficit spending, which could affect the future of EPA and other government agencies.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "2011 Predictions for US Chemicals Management," Chemical Watch, February 2011.

The trends established by the Obama Administration will continue despite the Congressional mid-term elections in November.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "CPSC Moves Ahead on Harmful Products Database," Chemical Processing, November 2010.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) posted on its website on October 14, 2010, its draft final rule concerning the creation of a publicly available, searchable database on the safety of consumer products and other substances subject to CPSC regulation. The database is intended to provide a single point of access to reports of harm involving consumer products, manufacturer's comments on the reports, and recall information. This article discusses this important new database, and briefly considers its implications.

Lynn L. Bergeson and James V. Aidala, "How the Elections Could Impact the EPA," Law 360, November 9, 2010.

This article provides a summary outlook on possible implications of the 2010 congressional midterm elections on policy and legislative developments in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of chemicals and pesticides.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Disclosure Protection May Narrow," Chemical Processing, February 2010.

A business' ability to claim information as confidential when submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may soon be at risk, based on several EPA initiatives rolled out over the past year. As Congress gears up for Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) legislative reform, stakeholders are preparing for changes in the scope of confidential business information (CBI) protection under TSCA.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Takes Unprecedented Action," Chemical Processing, January 2010.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 30, 2009, issued a breathtaking series of action plans on "Risk List" chemicals that will shape future legislative proposals which industry will need to participate in and monitor.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Targets Electric Utilities," Chemical Processing, November 2009.

Approximately 5.4 million cubic yards, or 1.1 billion gallons, of coal ash from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) plant near Knoxville, Tenn., in December 2008 flooded some 300 acres of land, damaging property, polluting waterways, and killing fish. TVA will likely spend more than $500 million and perhaps as much as $1 billion dollars on the cleanup, says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The TVA debacle was EPA’s wake-up call for potential hazards presented by coal ash staged in some 584 units at approximately 219 domestic electric utilities.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Launches Online Discussion," Chemical Processing, October 2009.

Ever read a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) press release and say to yourself or others, “Gee, why is EPA pursuing that matter - there are a lot of other more important enforcement priorities?” Well, now is your chance to help shape EPA’s 2011- 2013 fiscal years enforcement priorities. EPA launched an online discussion forum on August 31 to receive input on future priorities for EPA’s National Enforcement Program.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "2009 and Beyond: Outlook for Environmental Issues," Environmental Quality Management, Summer 2009.

With a new Congress in town and a new administration in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), 2009 promises to be an exciting and eventful year. This “Washington Watch” column provides a summary outlook on possible directional trends and developments in the regulation of key environmental issues over the coming months and years.

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