TSCA

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Supply-Chain Aid — EPA Proposes PIP 3:1 Compliance Extension," Chemical Processing, November 22, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 21 that it intends to move further back the compliance dates related to articles containing phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) to ensure supply chains for key consumer and commercial goods are not disrupted. The agency proposed extending the compliance date until October 31, 2024, along with the associated recordkeeping requirements for manufacturers, processors and distributors of PIP (3:1)-containing articles. This article discusses this important development.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Goes Back To The Drawing Board On Toxic Substances," Chemical Processing, September 15, 2021.

The implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) provisions relating to regulating persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals has been anything but smooth. On September 3, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it intends to initiate new PBT rulemaking and anticipates proposing new rules for five PBT chemicals subject to final risk management rules under TSCA Section 6(h). Additionally, and happily, the agency extended the compliance dates for the prohibitions on processing and distribution and the associated recordkeeping requirements of one of these PBT chemicals, phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)). The action was imperative as EPA’s earlier-issued “No Action Assurance” (NAA) lapsed on September 4, 2021. This article provides key points related to this complicated area of TSCA regulation.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "PFAS: Is Anything Not Reportable?," Chemical Processing, July 19, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on June 10, 2021, three actions intended to protect communities from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as covered in July’s column “EPA Announces Blockbuster PFAS Actions.” This column focuses on one of them: an ambitious proposal intended to obtain comprehensive data on more than 1,000 PFAS manufactured in or imported into the United States. As discussed in this article, the proposal’s scope is enormous.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Avoiding costly supply chain disruption: a cautionary tale," Financier Worldwide, July 2021.

By any independent standard, the US electronics industry is huge – it was worth over $300bn in 2019 – and growing annually. Would it surprise you to know that as big, essential and powerful as it is, a single rule issued in January of this year by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nearly brought this sector to a halt? To this day, the rule is causing extraordinary disruption as electric and electronic device manufacturers, importers, processors, distributors and others scramble to adjust in its aftermath. This article tells the cautionary tale of PIP (3:1). This sad and largely avoidable tale crystalises the importance of understanding the long reach of the US industrial chemical control law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and its seemingly limitless potential for disrupting global supply chains.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Announces Blockbuster PFAS Actions," Chemical Processing, June 23, 2021.

When it comes to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not messing around. The agency announced on June 10, 2021, three actions intended to protect communities from PFAS. This article summarizes the actions.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA: A change of course," Specialty Chemicals Magazine , May/June 2021.

Just as the industrial chemical community was getting into a predictable, somewhat comfortable groove regarding commercializing new chemicals under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to blow up the process. With it went any hope for business certainty in this highly volatile regulatory area.  While new administrations are entitled to shape policies to align with their agendas, the Biden Administration’s decision to rescind the new chemicals policies bodes badly for chemical innovation at the very time new, sustainable chemical innovations are most needed.  This article explains why the new chemicals policies portend major delays.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The TSCA under the Biden administration: what to expect," Environmental Law & Management, Volume 31, Issue 6, 2019.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) will be busy in 2021. Implementation of the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) will continue to dominate the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). In 2021, the EPA will need to complete outstanding risk evaluators of the 'first 10' chemicals and begin developing proposals for the section 6 risk management rules necessitated by the risk evaluations' conclusions. Given the tight statutory deadline for issuing proposed risk management rules, the complexity of the issues and the novelty of applying the new regulatory authorities, risk management decisions will likely present daunting challenges to the EPA as it sorts through the many legal and evolving policy issues at play. The EPA also now has four manufacture-requested risk evaluations that will parallel the 'next 20' chemicals for review. The change in administration makes the next four years especially 'unpredictable', not a word the business community welcomes.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The New Toxic Substances Control Act is Now Five Years Old: A Report Card - It Is a Mixed Bag, but We Are Getting There," The Debate, from ELI The Environmental Forum , May/June 2021.

June 22 of this year will mark the fifth anniversary since President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Popularly still known by the name of the 40-year-old statute it replaced, the new version of the Toxic Substances Control Act had a vision to follow in reforming a system for evaluating and regulating chemicals in commerce that everyone, from industry to green NGOs to government officials, agreed was weak and ineffective. The new TSCA, promising to fix a broken statute, received bipartisan support and was the first major environmental law in a quarter century.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The importance of regulatory diligence in funding," Financier Worldwide, April 2021.

Lawyers counselling companies in the biotechnology, biopesticide and related crop protection and industrial biotechnology areas appreciate the critically important role federal agencies play in ensuring the success of start-up businesses.

Federal agencies, including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others, wield enormous power over businesses that require premarket product approval. While we product approval practitioners know this, it comes as a bit of a surprise when investors, poised to make multimillion-dollar investments in start-up businesses, neglect to focus on the regulatory integrity of the start-up. This lack of focus invites costly mistakes. This article explains why, and how to avoid making these mistakes.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Better Understand TSCA’s Long Reach," Chemical Processing, March 14, 2021.

If anyone on planet Earth thinks the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended, is not commercially consequential, think again. The implementation of the 2016 amendments by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is triggering tremendous commercial disruption. The EPA’s March 8, 2021, announcement seeking comment on five final rules for persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals issued on January 6, 2021, and, importantly, granting a rare “No Action Assurance” regarding the PIP (3:1) rule, is demonstrable proof of TSCA’s enormous reach. The reasons behind this regulatory action are revealing and demonstrate why the PIP (3:1) experience is a cautionary tale.

Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. and Jeffery T. Morris, Ph.D., "Why the US EPA can, and should, evaluate the risk-reducing role a new chemical may play if allowed on the market," Chemical Watch, February 22, 2021.

In the 21st century, we take as given a continuous stream of new and better products. From electronics to building materials to transportation solutions, the flow of new and better products and applications seems unending. New chemical substances play a fundamental role in creating those products and making existing products better. If the pipeline of new chemicals were closed off, the flow of new products and applications would slow to a trickle and eventually dry up. Modern life as we know it would not exist without the continued invention, production and use of new chemicals.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Orders Testing For Nine Chemicals," Chemical Processing, February 21, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on January 15, 2021, that it has issued test orders under Section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain additional data on nine of the next 20 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation. Many in the industrial chemical community expect the EPA to use its TSCA testing authority much more in the coming years. The January orders seem to confirm that expectation. This article discusses the significance of the action.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Environmental Justice: Operationalizing TSCA to Fulfill Its Destiny," American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Blog, February 4, 2021.

The Biden Administration has embraced environmental justice with unprecedented gusto.  In its July 2020 Plan to Secure Environmental Justice and Equitable Economic Opportunity (Plan), the Biden Administration sets out in broad terms how it intends to use an “All-of-Government” approach to “rooting out systemic racism in our laws, policies, institutions, and hearts.”

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes Revisions To TSCA Fees Rule," Chemical Processing, January 19, 2021.

On January 11, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to amend the 2018 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) fees rule. This column discusses the proposal and its improvements to the rule.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Lara A. Hall, "M&A activity in the analytical services sector: points to consider," Financier Worldwide, January 2021.

There has been remarkable consolidation in the analytical services sector in the US and elsewhere globally over the past few years. Make no mistake; the need for analytical and related testing services is growing significantly. Because of the legal and regulatory frameworks that demand such services, however, there is considerable need for attendant technical expertise to staff these laboratories, and the need for specialised expertise is also growing exponentially. This article summarises mergers and acquisitions (M&A) trends and explains why skilled help is essential to avoid liability. A PDF of this article can be downloaded here

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Fee Controversy Continues," Chemical Processing, December 16, 2020.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collect fees from chemical manufacturers (including importers) to defray a portion of the costs associated with TSCA implementation efforts. The TSCA fees rule requires payment for eight categories of fee-triggering events under TSCA, including EPA-initiated risk evaluations under TSCA Section 6. The EPA must prepare a preliminary list of manufacturers subject to fee obligations for EPA-initiated Section 6 risk assessments, which it did (see, “Are You on the List?” and “EPA Tells Businesses to Pay Up”). Since then, who pays for what has led to significant controversy. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Announces Carbon Tetrachloride Risks," Chemical Processing, November 20, 2020.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride on November 4, 2020. The EPA found unreasonable risks to workers and occupational non-users (ONU) for 13 of the 15 conditions of CCl4 use, but no unreasonable risks to the environment. According to the EPA, there are no consumer uses of this chemical. Most agree the findings are not unexpected. This article explains the assessment and the results.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Eve C. Gartner, "The essentials of TSCA practice," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Trends, November/December 2020.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is not the arcane federal law it once was. Amended in 2016 in response to a demand so loud and persistent from nongovernmental organizations, consumers, and, eventually, the industrial chemical community that Congress could no longer ignore it, TSCA is now a force with which to be reckoned. While the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Act that amended TSCA invites criticism among stakeholders, there is no disagreement that today TSCA is a more consequential law, deserving of legal practitioners’ attention.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Tells Businesses To Pay Up," Chemical Processing, September 16, 2020.

On August 26, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the much-anticipated interim final list of businesses subject to risk evaluation fees for the 20 chemicals designated as “high priority” under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Making the interim final list available now gives businesses and other stakeholders an opportunity to review the list for accuracy. It also provides time for businesses to reach out to form consortia to share in fee payments. That is a fancy way of saying the race is on to try to get off the list or find others to share in the not-so-trivial cost of $1.35 million — the EPA’s fee for work on the risk evaluation.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Feeling the Pinch: who pays TSCA risk evaluation fees?," Financier Worldwide, September 2020.

Ordinarily, government fees command little interest in corporate finance and board-level business circles. Newly imposed fees to defray the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) risk evaluation of high-priority chemical substances under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are extraordinary, however, and are commanding significant interest. This article explains why.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Off to the Races—CDR Reporting Begins!," Washington Watch, Fall 2020.

As the expression goes, it is that time of year again.  Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires manufacturers, including importers, to provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with information on the production and use of chemicals in commerce at four-year intervals.  The last reporting cycle for the requirement, known as the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirement, was in 2016, so TSCA stakeholders have been gearing up since then for the current quadrennial reporting obligation, which commenced on June 1, 2020.  This column provides an overview of what is new and different since 2016.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Eyes Carpet Chemicals," Chemical Processing, August 21, 2020.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to regulate “forever chemicals,” named such for their persistence and risk to the environment and health. On July 27, 2020, the EPA issued a long-awaited final rule amending significant new use rules (SNUR) issued earlier on such chemicals — one pertinent to certain perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances and the other on long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemical substances. To some, the final rule reflects comments on the proposed rule issued five years ago; to others, the rule weakens to the public’s detriment a proposal the Obama Administration issued. This article discusses the rule and its implications.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Charles M. Auer, and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., "What Lies Ahead for the Next Four Years of TSCA?," Chemical Watch, July 14, 2020.

The Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is four years old. While to some 22 June 2016 seems like yesterday, the past four years have been transformational. The US EPA has worked hard, been timely and done well in thoughtfully implementing the changes. 

Anniversaries tend to inspire reflection on the past, and this year was no exception. The Environmental Law Institute, Bergeson & Campbell and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health convened for an all-day seminar on TSCA reform, four years after the enactment of Lautenberg. Diverse stakeholders offered their perspectives on TSCA implementation and shared candid reviews on where we are as a TSCA community.

Rather than look back, this article looks forward to the next four years and speculates on some of the many challenging topics the EPA and other TSCA stakeholders are likely to address.

Download a PDF of this article here

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Understand Chemical Data Reporting Changes," Chemical Processing, June 17, 2020.

Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) compels manufacturers (including importers) to provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with information on the production and use of chemicals in commerce. The last Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) cycle was in 2016, so TSCA stakeholders have been gearing up for this quadrennial reporting obligation in 2020. This column provides an overview of changes since 2016.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA-Initiated TSCA Risk Evaluations: Who Is on the Hook for Fees Has Changed," Washington Watch, Summer 2020.

Under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority to collect fees from chemical manufacturers and importers to defray a portion of the EPA costs associated with risk evaluation efforts.  The fees are quite substantial and who pays them has been the subject of considerable debate and uncertainty.  This column addresses issues that have caused confusion and anxiety for industry stakeholders regarding the self-identification criteria, time lines, and procedures, and seeks to add much needed clarity to this chaotic issue.

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