TSCA

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.

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, "Effectively Managing Supply Chain Communications Under TSCA," Bloomberg Environment Insights, April 28, 2020.

The EPA’s amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act reporting requirements have increased the need for chemical stakeholders to manage actively supply chain communications. Lynn L. Bergeson, owner and managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell P.C., explores the upsides to be realized through these communications and the perils of failing to seize them. Download a PDF of this article here.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Importers are on the Hook for TSCA Risk Evaluation Fees," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Spring 2020.

Is your company potentially liable for a share of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $1,350,000 fee for developing a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation? This is a hot topic these days, given EPA’s notice dated January 27, 2020, identifying the “preliminary lists” of manufacturers, including importers, of the 20 chemical substances that EPA has designated as “high-priority” substances for risk evaluation and for which fees will be charged. Stakeholders are required by March 27, 2020, to “self-identify” as manufacturers of a highpriority substance irrespective of whether they are included on the preliminary lists identified by EPA.  

Lynn L. Bergeson and Christopher R. Blunck, "Expert Focus: What Are the Implications of the US EPA’s Expected Final Rule on Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic Chemicals?," Chemical Watch, March 26, 2020.

PBT chemicals have long been recognised to behave differently in the environment and in biological systems from non-PBT substances. The US Congress acknowledged this when amending TSCA in 2016 by crafting special provisions under the Regulation’s Section 6(h) that were uniquely applicable to PBTs. Last July, the EPA proposed a rule that would implement the section, but this caused much controversy and led to comments from, among others, the retail, coatings and aerospace sectors and NGOs. It also raised several novel legal issues relating to TSCA’s interpretation.

 

Nevertheless, the EPA must issue a final rule within 18 months of the proposal, that is to say by December 2020. This article focuses on the novel issues that have arisen and the implications of their resolution on affected stakeholders.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA Fee Controversy Continues," Chemical Processing, March 20, 2020.

In last month’s column, we reported on the January 27, 2020, notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifying the preliminary lists of manufacturers, including importers, of the 20 chemical substances the EPA designated as high-priority for risk evaluation and for which fees will be charged. The notice created a firestorm of criticism over the lack of any exemptions from being considered potentially responsible for paying a share of the EPA’s $1,350,000 fee for conducting a risk evaluation of a high-priority chemical. This column updates the status of this fast-changing matter.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA Risk Evaluation Fees: Who Is on the Hook?," Washington Watch, Spring 2020.

Is your company potentially liable for a share of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $1,350,000 fee for developing a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation?  It may well be.  This is a hot topic these days, given EPA’s Federal Register notice published on January 27, 2020, identifying the “preliminary lists” of manufacturers, including importers, of the 20 chemical substances that EPA has designated as “high-priority” substances for risk evaluation and for which fees will be charged.  Until March 27, 2020, stakeholders are required to “self-identify” as manufacturers of a high-priority substance irrespective of whether they are included on the preliminary lists identified by EPA (yes, you must submit a form to EPA even if your company name is already identified by EPA).  The preliminary lists are available in Docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0677 and on EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/TSCA-fees.  This article explains the notice and suggests way to respond to it.

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, "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.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes PBT Chemicals Rule," Chemical Processing, August 27, 2019.

After many years of study, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), industry stakeholders, and the scientific community at large well know that chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) behave differently in the environment and in biological systems than non-PBT chemicals. Congress acknowledged this in updating the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 2016 by specifying special provisions under TSCA Section 6(h) for PBT chemicals. In June of this year, the EPA proposed a rule implementing TSCA Section 6(h) review that elicits important insights on how the EPA intends to review such chemicals. The rule is a blueprint for its consideration of PBTs for years to come.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Kathleen M. Roberts, and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., "Protecting the Value of Health, Safety Studies—Emerging TSCA Issues," Bloomberg Environment Insights, August 22-23, 2019.

Health and safety studies provide invaluable insights into the hazards posed by chemical substances. The cost of generating these studies is also considerable, and access to them should be commensurate with the intellectual property interests they reflect. This article explores two current challenges under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and offers practical tips for managing these issues.

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, "EPA Prioritizes Chemicals for Risk Evaluation: Why This Matters," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 28, Issue 4, Summer 2019.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on March 20, 2019, a list of 40 chemicals for which EPA is initiating the prioritization process for risk evaluation. This article explains why the prioritization process is critically important for product manufacturers to monitor and manage, and how best to do so.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Protecting Confidential Business Information: An Evolving Challenge," International Chemical Regulatory and Law Review, Volume 2, Issue 2, Summer 2019.

The concept of confidential business information (CBI) is sometimes considered at odds with the concept of the ‘right-to-know.’ When Congress amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 2016 through enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg), it was mindful of the public’s growing interest in knowing more about the identity of chemicals to which they may be exposed, but equally mindful of a business’ legitimate interest in protecting highly proprietary and commercially sensitive trade secret and other information entitled to protection from disclosure. Congress enacted several significant TSCA modifications in an effort to balance these competing interests, amendments that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been implementing through rulemaking and guidance documents over the past three years. This article discusses key CBI initiatives, and the stakeholder community’s response to them.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Updates the TSCA Inventory: Impact on chemical importers," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Spring 2019.

On February 19, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a much anticipated “updated” Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory. The updated TSCA Inventory now lists chemicals that are “active” versus “inactive” in commerce in the U.S. This development has important legal and transactional implications for foreign companies importing chemicals into the U.S. This column explains why.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Regulatory Opportunities and Challenges in Commercialising Biobased Chemicals," International Chemical Regulatory and Law Review, Volume 2, Issue 1, Spring 2019.

The 21st Century has witnessed intense renewed interest in commercialising new biobased chemicals, defined generally to include chemicals that are derived fromplants and otherrenewablematerials. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is the U.S. law thatregulatesindustrial chemicalsubstances,including biobased chemicals, used in applications other than food, drugs, cosmetics, and pesticides, or uses that are regulated by other federal authorities. TSCA wassignificantly amended in 2016, and stakeholders need now more than ever to understand how TSCA applies to biobased chemicals to appreciate the implications of new TSCA on their commercial operations. Doing so will better assure uninterrupted business operations and consistent TSCA compliance.

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, "EPA Issues Final TSCA Fees Rule," Chemical Processing, October 29, 2018.

On September 27, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final fees rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The final rule largely tracks the proposed rule. The EPA will host a series of webinars focusing on TSCA submissions and fee payments under the final rule. The agency has posted a pre-publication version of the final rule, as well as its response to public comments on the proposed rule.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Publishes Final Reporting Requirements for TSCA Mercury Inventory," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 28, Issue 1, Fall 2018.

Section 8(b)(10)(B) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg), directs that “[n]ot later than April 1, 2017, and every 3 years thereafter, the Administrator shall carry out and publish” (Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], 2018a, p. 30056) an inventory of mercury or mercury-added products or uses of mercury in a manufacturing process. On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule responding to this legislative mandate. The rule requires certain entities to provide information to assist in the preparation of this inventory. This column outlines the final rule and discusses its implications.

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.

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