Monthly Update for March 2015


TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/NTP/TRI

EPA Extends Deadline On TDI SNUR: On February 23, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) extended the deadline of its proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) concerning 2,4-toluene diisocyanate, 2,6-toluene diisocyanate, toluene diisocyanate unspecified isomers (TDI) and related compounds. 80 Fed. Reg. 9427. EPA extended the comment period for 45 days, from March 16, 2015, to April 30, 2015.

EPA Extends Comment Period On Proposed SNUR For 13 Chemicals: On January 7, 2015, EPA issued a proposed rule applicable to 13 chemicals. 80 Fed. Reg. 838. According to EPA, the SNUR is needed to prevent respiratory problems and other hazards. The SNUR for the 12 diisocyanate-like chemicals would require individuals working with the chemicals to use a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-certified particulate respirator with an assigned protection factor of at least ten when the potential exists for the worker to inhale the chemical. Employees also should have eye and face protection when dermal or ocular exposure is likely. On March 3, 2015, EPA extended the comment period. 80 Fed. Reg. 11361. Comments are due on April 23, 2015.

EPA Rolls Out Its Redesigned Labels Under The Newly Minted Safer Choice Program: On March 4, 2015, EPA's Design for the Environment program (DfE) Safer Choice program (formerly, the Safer Product Labeling program) unveiled its newly redesigned family of three product labels. The voluntary Safer Choice program seeks to recognize and bring consumer awareness to those products whose chemical ingredients are believed to represent the safest among those within a particular chemical functional class. The new labels are the result of a public process led by the EPA DfE program to solicit feedback on a new label that better communicates EPA's program goals and purpose. The purpose of the EPA DfE program is to drive inherently safer chemicals and products to the marketplace. EPA states that DfE accomplishes this work through two activities: the DfE alternatives assessment partnerships and the Safer Choice program. EPA stresses that the Safer Choice program and the alternatives assessment program are not regulatory programs, but are voluntary opportunities for chemical companies and product manufacturers to gain recognition for their leadership in chemical safety. For a product to be recognized under the Safer Choice program, each ingredient in the product must pass criteria that delineate those chemicals that present the least hazard within that chemical's functional class (e.g., surfactant, colorant, solvent, etc.). A product must meet other requirements for ingredient disclosure, packaging, and performance. Over 2,500 products have received the Safer Choice label and approximately 650 chemicals are listed. Most of the Safer Choice-recognized products to date are household and industrial cleaners, but the program intends to expand into the personal care product space. According to EPA, the label redesign is intended to accomplish the following goals: better convey the scientific rigor of EPA's product evaluation and the benefits to people and the environment with a label that is easier to display on products, materials, and in digital media; increase buyers' recognition of products bearing EPA's Safer Product Label; and encourage innovation and development of safer chemicals and chemical-based products. To learn more about the DfE alternatives assessment work, visit online. Details on the chemical and product criteria are available on the Safer Choice Standard and Criteria website. Chemicals that have been found to meet the Safer Choice chemical criteria are listed by functional class on Safer Choice's safer chemical ingredient list. More information about the Safer Choice program is available online. All three of the new Safer Choice labels can be viewed online.

FDA

FDA CFSAN Issues Report On New Methods For Analyzing Outbreak Data: On February 24, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) published a report entitled summarizing the partnership efforts of the three agencies (Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC)) to estimate the four primary pathogens associated with specific food categories that are attributed to the majority of foodborne illnesses. More details are available online.

FDA Launches FDA-iRisk 2.0: On February 26, 2015, FDA released an enhanced version of its free interactive, web-based risk assessment tool. Developed by the FDA, the tool includes templates and mathematical functions that allow the user to perform, relatively rapidly, risk assessments across "many facets of food production and a broad array of scenarios," including ranking multiple combinations of foods and contaminants, as well as predictions for intervention effectiveness. For more details, see FDA-iRISK Tool and FDA-iRISK Fact Sheet.

FDA Electronic Medical Device Reporting Amendments: On February 27, 2015, FDA's Centers for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) announced that it is amending its regulation on post-market electronic medical device reports (eMDR) to "address the unintentional removal of certain provisions of the Unique Device Identification (UDI) System regulations." 80 Fed. Reg. 10586. The changes to the eMDR come into force August 14, 2015. The amendments require changes to certain provisions of 21 C.F.R Part 803. For more details, see online.

FDA Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 FSMA: On March 6, 2015, FDA released a report describing the key investment areas for the agency to continue to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The report discusses the efforts and funding allocation necessary to complete several key initiatives, including inspections modernization and training, furthering the National Integrated Food Safety System, education and technical assistance for industry, technical staffing, and guidance development at the FDA, building a new import safety system and risk analytics and evaluation. For more details, see online.

RCRA/CERCLA

EPA Seeks Nominations For Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System Advisory Board: On February 18, 2015, EPA released a Federal Register notice seeking nominations of candidates to be considered for a three-year appointment to the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest System Advisory Board (the Board). 80 Fed. Reg. 8643. Pursuant to the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest Establishment Act (e-Manifest Act), EPA is establishing the nine-member Board "to provide practical and independent advice, consultation, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on the activities, functions, policies and regulations associated with the Hazardous Waste Electronic Manifest (e-Manifest) System." The e-Manifest Act was signed into law on October 5, 2012. It requires EPA to establish a national electronic Information Technology manifest system. This system is to enable users of the uniform hazardous waste manifest to have the option to track more efficiently their hazardous waste shipments electronically, in lieu of the paper manifest, from the point of generation, during transportation, and to the point of receipt by an off-site facility that is permitted to treat, store, recycle, or dispose of the hazardous waste. Electronic manifests will augment or replace the paper forms that have been in use since 1980 and that result in substantial paperwork costs and other inefficiencies. Congress intended that EPA develop a system that, among other things, meets the needs of the user community and decreases the administrative burden associated with the current paper-based manifest system on the user community. EPA anticipates that electronic manifests will reduce the paperwork burden by reporting facilities by 300,000 to 700,000 hours annually, and will save approximately $75 million dollars. The e-Manifest Act directs EPA to establish the Board by October 5, 2015. The Board is to help EPA assess the effectiveness of the electronic manifest system and make recommendations for improving the system and to establish an appropriate user fee. The e-Manifest Act requires that the Board be comprised of nine members. The EPA Administrator (or a designee) will serve as Chairperson of the Board. The remaining eight members will be individuals appointed by the EPA Administrator. Two of these must have expertise in information technology. At least three of the members must have experience in using, or represent users of, the manifest system to track the transportation of hazardous waste under federal and state manifest programs. And at least three of the members must be state representatives responsible for processing those manifests. Board members will receive compensation for travel and a nominal daily compensation (if appropriate) while attending meetings. Additionally, they will be designated as Special Government Employees (SGE). EPA is accepting nominations until March 20, 2015.

EPA Environmental Appeals Board Upholds $600,000 RCRA Penalty: EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) has an EPA enforcement action involving hazardous waste storage that was initiated in 2011 against Chem-Solv, Inc. and Austin Holdings-VA, L.L.C., the operator and owner of a chemical blending and distribution facility in Roanoke, Virginia. In a January 26, 2015, Final Decision and Order (Order), available online, the EAB upheld in its entirety the 2014 Initial Decision made by the EPA Chief Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and ordered respondents to pay the full, original $612,338.78 civil penalty. Chem-Solv, Inc., the operator of a chemical distribution facility located in Roanoke, and Austin Holdings-VA, L.L.C., the facility owner, handle and distribute various chemicals, including alcohols, acids, caustics, mineral oils, surfactants, glycols and solvents. EPA's complaint cited violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In its 2014 appeal, Chem-Solv raised four issues questioning the ALJ's determination that: the Company had impermissibly operated a hazardous waste storage tank regulated under RCRA; a leaking chemical drum contained a solid waste rather than a useful product; the Company had failed to make required hazardous waste determinations for materials in the storage tank and for certain aerosol paint cans; and whether the ALJ demonstrated bias against Chem-Solv in the underlying decision. In its January 26, 2015, Order, the EAB found that the ALJ's Initial Decision was "supported by a preponderance of the evidence" and that Chem-Solv's allegations that the ALJ exhibited bias were "without merit." The EAB found "no evidence of bias in the record" and noted how the ALJ's Initial Decision "thoroughly explain[ed] why she found each witness' testimony credible or not, and cited to other facts in the record upon which she relied in reaching her decision." The EAB ordered full payment of the civil penalty within 30 days and let stand the ALJ's original compliance order requiring the Company to comply with applicable RCRA hazardous waste tank closure requirements. Respondents have the right to appeal the EAB's Final Decision and Order to federal district court.

CAA/CWA/SDWA

EPA Makes Technical Corrections To Mercury Air Toxics Standard And Utility NSPS: EPA on February 17, 2015, issued a proposed rule that makes several technical corrections and clarifications to the final National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) rule for coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units and the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for fossil-fuel-fired electric utility, industrial-commercial-institutional, and small industrial-commercial-institutional steam generating units. 80 Fed. Reg. 8441. The rules at issue were promulgated by EPA on February 16, 2012, and are more commonly referred to as the Mercury Air Toxics Standards (MATS) and the Utility NSPS. 77 Fed. Reg. 9303. In the proposed rule, EPA corrects certain regulatory text. The proposed corrections generally resolve conflicts between the preamble in the final rule and codified regulatory text. EPA is also proposing corrections that it stated it would make in response to comments that were inadvertently omitted from the final rule, and it is seeking to clarify language in regulatory text. EPA is accepting comments on the proposed technical corrections until April 3, 2015.

State Department And EPA Launch International Air Quality Program: On February 18, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed a statement of intent to launch a new air quality partnership between the State Department and EPA. The effort is intended to provide U.S. citizens and government personnel with better information on air quality at select embassies and consulates around the world to reduce health risks from outdoor air pollution, and will offer greater opportunities for the United States to create partnerships on air quality with other nations. The partnership will use EPA's existing domestic AirNow system, which is an online platform that helps Americans understand how clean or polluted their outdoor air is. To build on this successful network, the State Department plans to place air quality monitors at select American diplomatic posts where continuous fine particle pollution (PM2.5) data are currently of limited availability, and to share these data through EPA's AirNow website. In addition, a new fellowship program will enable technical experts in the United States to visit participating diplomatic missions to help transfer skills and build capacity for air quality monitoring data analysis and maintenance.

EPA Approves New Climate-Friendly Refrigerants: EPA on February 27, 2015, issued a final rule increasing the options for refrigerants that offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer. This final action addresses refrigerants under EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, under which EPA evaluates and approves substitute chemicals and technologies that are safe for the ozone layer. The final rule expands the list of SNAP-approved substitutes to include more low-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives that can replace both ozone-depleting substances and high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). The approved substitutes have GWPs that range from 3 to 675 and can replace older compounds with GWPs between 1400 to 4000. EPA is specifically approving additional low-GWP hydrocarbon refrigerants, subject to use conditions, in the following refrigeration and air conditioning applications:

  • Ethane in very low temperature refrigeration and in non-mechanical heat transfer;
     
  • Isobutane in retail food refrigeration (stand-alone commercial refrigerators and freezers) and in vending machines;
     
  • Propane in household refrigerators, freezers, or combination refrigerators and freezers, in vending machines, and in room air conditioning units;
     
  • The hydrocarbon blend R-441A in retail food refrigeration (stand-alone commercial refrigerators and freezers), in vending machines, and in room air conditioning units; and
     
  • HFC-32 (difluoromethane) in room air conditioning units.

EPA is also exempting all of these substances, except HFC-32, from the Clean Air Act (CAA) venting prohibition, as current evidence suggests that their venting, release, or disposal does not pose a threat to the environment. The rule should be published in the Federal Register soon and will become effective 30 days after its publication. A copy of the rule as signed can be accessed online via EPA's SNAP website.

EPA Proposes CWA Methods Update Rule For Analysis Of Effluent: On February 19, 2015, EPA proposed changes to pollutant analysis methods that are used by industries and municipalities to analyze the chemical, physical, and biological components of wastewater and other environmental samples that are required by regulations under the Clean Water Act (CWA). 80 Fed. Reg. 8956. EPA reportedly designed the proposed changes to increase flexibility for the regulated community, improve data quality, and update CWA methods to keep current with technology advances and analytical methods science. EPA periodically updates and revises the CWA analytical methods, the most recent updates being completed in 2012. The new set of proposed changes described in this notice includes revisions to current EPA methods and new and/or revised methods published by voluntary consensus standard bodies, such as ASTM International and the Standard Methods Committee. EPA also proposes to approve certain methods reviewed under the alternate test procedures program and clarify the procedures for EPA approval of nationwide and limited use alternate test procedures. Further, EPA proposes amendments to the procedure for determination of the method detection limit to address laboratory contamination and to better account for intra-laboratory variability. Comments on this proposed rule must be received on or before April 20, 2015.

Final Rule Amends Lead Reporting Thresholds For States: On February 19, 2015, EPA issued a final rule under the CAA revising the threshold for reporting lead emissions sources as point sources under the Air Emissions Reporting Requirements (AERR). 80 Fed. Reg. 8787. The rule applies to reports on lead emissions that state environmental agencies must submit to EPA. The rule lowers the threshold for reporting lead emissions sources as point sources from 5 tons per year of potential emissions to 0.5 ton per year of actual lead emissions. EPA is specifically amending the emissions inventory reporting requirements in 40 C.F.R. Part 51 Subpart A and 40 C.F.R. Section 51.122. The rule aligns the point source reporting thresholds for lead emission sources in the AERR with the lead National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) and the associated revisions to Lead Ambient Air Monitoring Requirements (LAAMR). In addition, the reporting of all emissions of criteria pollutants and precursors to those pollutants will be required for any point source meeting the new lead threshold. EPA also eliminated the requirement for reporting emissions from wildfires and prescribed fires and replaced a requirement for reporting mobile source emissions with a requirement for reporting the input parameters that can be used to run the EPA models that generate emissions estimates. The rule became immediately effective.

EPA Issues Final Rule On State Implementation Plans For 2008 Revised Ozone NAAQS: On March 6, 2015, EPA issued a final rule establishing several State Implementation Plan (SIP) requirements necessary for the implementation of the 2008 final ozone NAAQS. 80 Fed. Reg. 12263. The final rule addresses a range of nonattainment area SIP requirements, including requirements pertaining to attainment demonstrations, reasonable further progress (RFP), reasonably available control technology (RACT), reasonably available control measures (RACM), major new source review (NSR), emission inventories, and the timing of SIP submissions and of compliance with emission control measures in the SIP. Other issues also addressed in the final rule are the revocation of the 1997 ozone NAAQS and anti-backsliding requirements that apply when the 1997 ozone NAAQS are revoked. The final rule becomes effective April 6, 2015.

REACH

EU Chemicals Agency Seeks Input On Two Substances Of Very High Concern: On March 4, 2015, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) requested comment on listing under the European Union's (EU) Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation of two chemicals as "substances of very high concern" (SVHC), a designation that ultimately could lead to a ban on use of the substances. The first substance is 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C6-10-alkyl esters; 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, mixed decyl and hexyl and octyl diesters with 0.3 percent of dihexyl phthalate, which is used as a plasticizer and lubricant and was nominated by the Swedish authorities as an SVHC on the basis of its reprotoxic properties. The substance currently is not registered under REACH and is little used in the EU, according to the SVHC dossier that Swedish authorities submitted. The second proposed SVHC listing is a group of substances under the heading 5-sec-butyl-2-(2,4-dimethylcyclohex-3-en-1-yl)-5-methy l-1,3-dioxane [1], 5-sec-butyl-2-(4,6-dimethylcyclohex-3-en-1-yl)-5-methy l-1,3-dioxane [2] [covering any of the individual isomers of [1] and [2] or any combination thereof]. The Netherlands proposed the listing of the group of substances on the basis that they are very persistent and very bioaccumulative. Two of the substances in the group are registered under REACH, including one substance with the trade name Karanal, which is used in cosmetics, according to the SVHC dossier the Netherlands provided. ECHA stated that information should be included on the identity of the substances, their uses, any risks they pose, and possible substitutes for them. Substances listed as SVHCs can be prioritized for inclusion in Annex XIV of REACH, which means their use could be banned in the EU, unless specific continued-use authorizations are granted. To date, 161 substances have been listed as SVHCs and 31 have been added to Annex XIV of REACH. Comments are due by April 16, 2015.

Hazardous Materials Transportation

PHMSA Final Rule Extends Compliance Date For Certain Modes Of Transportation Of Lithium Batteries: On February 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule extending for six months the compliance deadline for new regulations governing the transportation of lithium batteries by all modes of transportation other than air. 80 Fed. Reg. 9217. On August 6, 2014, PHMSA issued a final rule modifying requirements governing the transportation of lithium cells and batteries. The final rule revised hazard communication and packaging provisions for lithium batteries to harmonize the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) with applicable provisions of the United Nations (UN) Model Regulations, the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions), and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. 79 Fed. Reg. 46012. In the August 6, 2014, final rule, PHMSA authorized a mandatory compliance date of February 6, 2015, for shippers to incorporate the new requirements into standard operating procedures and complete training of affected personnel. The final rule extends the compliance deadline to August 7, 2015. PHMSA extended the deadline in response to requests from the Retail Industry Leaders Association, the Food Marketing Institute, the National Retail Federation, and the Rechargeable Battery Association. These organizations submitted a joint request for an extension of six months to the current mandatory compliance date. These groups contend that the six-month transitional period adopted in the final rule did not provide sufficient time to comply with the new requirements and has proven extremely challenging for the retail industry to implement in particular for surface transportation. PHMSA found merit in their arguments and thus extended the compliance date. The compliance date extension does not, however, apply to transportation of lithium batteries by air.

OSHA

OSHA Issues Guidance On Enforcement Discretion For The June 1, 2105, Effective Date For The HCS For Certain Regulated Parties: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on February 9, 2015, issued enforcement guidance on the June 1, 2015, effective date for the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The guidance states that OSHA will not pursue enforcement actions against chemical manufacturers or importers who were unable to update their Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labels by June 1, 2015, because they were not able to obtain updated information from their upstream suppliers, provided the manufacturers and importers exercised due diligence and good faith efforts to obtain the information. By June 1, 2015, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers must develop SDSs and labels that are in compliance with the HCS issued by OSHA in 2012. 77 Fed. Reg. 17574 (Mar. 26, 2012). OSHA recognizes, however, that some manufacturers and importers, including product formulators, are dependent upon receiving accurate and timely data and information on chemicals from their upstream suppliers before they can develop compliant SDSs and labels. The guidance thus helps clarify OSHA's enforcement discretion policy in cases where downstream members of the chemical supply chain are unable to meet the June 1, 2015, deadline to have updated SDSs and labels because they have not received information from their suppliers despite making good faith efforts to obtain the data. For more information, see online.

Bergeson ↦ Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), The Acta Group (Acta®), and 3E Company will present a complimentary webinar on the steps companies should take between now and June 1, 2015, to comply fully with HCS, or else to document sufficient diligence toward full compliance to avoid enforcement action. Register for "Avoiding HCS Citations: OSHA Issues Useful 'How To' Guidance" online.

NANOTECHNOLOGY

EFSA Scientific Network Of Risk Assessment Of Nanotechnologies In Food And Feed Publishes 2014 Annual Report: On February 16, 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published the 2014 annual report of the EFSA Scientific Network of Risk Assessment of Nanotechnologies in Food and Feed, which is intended to inform the public and the EFSA Advisory Forum about the Network's specific activities and achievements. EFSA states that, during 2014, the Network followed-up on its priority areas and contributed to making inventories of applications of nanomaterials already present in the food/feed chain. According to EFSA, during its 2014 meeting, the Network dedicated most of its discussions to relevant research results for possible toxic effects following the oral route of exposure. EFSA's summary states that a "new issue of concern is that absorption is not linear with dose: high dose studies are often used for tox testing for estimation of safe dose, while the high dose may result in aggregation, agglomeration, gelation and as a consequence dose-dependent absorption." According to the summary, challenges also remain concerning the technical aspects for considering a material as a nanomaterial for the regulatory purpose of food labeling. The summary states that the NanoDefine project (FP7) is expected to deliver by 2017 an implementable test-scheme for regulatory purposes to distinguish nano from non-nano. Finally, EFSA states, "[t]he Network agreed that regardless the current challenges and regardless the % of nanoforms in the bulk material (particle size% or mass%), EFSA should assess the nano-fraction, no matter how small."

Canada Seeks Comment On Proposed Approach To Address Nanoscale Substances On The DSL: Environment Canada and Health Canada have released a February 2015 consultation document entitled Proposed Approach to Address Nanoscale Forms of Substances on the Domestic Substances List. Environment Canada and Health Canada propose a stepwise approach to address nanoscale forms of substances on the Domestic Substances List (DSL):

  1. Establishment of a list of existing nanomaterials in Canada;
     
  2. Prioritization of existing nanomaterials for action; and
     
  3. Action on substances identified for further work.

The proposed criteria for defining existing nanomaterials include, but are not limited to:

  • The substance has a chemical composition that is identical to that of a bulk substance already listed on the DSL; AND
     
  • The substance is in commerce in Canada at quantities above 100 kilograms (kg)/year; AND
     
  • The substance is at or within the nanoscale in at least one external dimension, or has internal or surface structure at the nanoscale; OR
     
  • The substance is smaller or larger than the nanoscale in all dimensions and exhibits one or more nanoscale properties/phenomena.

Proposed criteria for substances to be excluded, unless they are intentionally manufactured to exhibit one or more nanoscale properties/phenomena, include, but are not limited to:

  • Polymers;
     
  • Organic or organo-metallic pigments and dyes;
     
  • Naturally occurring or incidentally produced nanomaterials; and
     
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid, ribonucleic acid, proteins, peptides, liposomes, antibodies, viruses or a virus-like particles, organelles or other biological materials.

Questions for stakeholders include:

List of Existing Nanomaterials:

  • Is the list of nanomaterials in Appendix A of this document a good preliminary reference list of existing nanomaterials in Canada?
     
  • What additional criteria could be considered to identify existing nanomaterials?
     
  • What methods can be used to collect information to develop a more comprehensive list or verify information on existing nanomaterials in commerce in Canada?
     
  • What other sources of information are available to determine the commercial status of existing nanomaterials in Canada?
     
  • What barriers exist to obtaining/providing information on existing nanomaterials in Canada?

Prioritization

  • What factors should Environment Canada and Health Canada consider when prioritizing nanomaterials?
     
  • What outcomes should Environment Canada and Health Canada consider when prioritizing nanomaterials?

Comments will be due 60 days after the document is posted on the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry. In June 2015, Environment Canada and Health Canada intend to conduct an information gathering survey and hold a stakeholder workshop to discuss the proposed approach and the information gathering survey.

Danish EPA Publishes Number Of Reports Concerning Nanomaterials: The Danish EPA published on March 6, 2015, the following reports concerning nanomaterials:

  • Survey of products with nanosized pigments -- Focusing on products exempt from the Danish Nanoproduct Register: The main focus of the study is on paints, wood preservatives, glues, and fillers, as well as on colored textiles. According to the Danish EPA, the survey contributes to the overview of consumer products with nanomaterials on the Danish market and is intended to discuss whether and which pigments may be considered nanomaterials according to the definition of nanomaterial recommended by the European Commission (EC). This is done based on an initial mapping of pigments on the European Union (EU) market. The Danish EPA states: "Based on discussions with stakeholders, including trade organisations and industry, it is concluded that most pigments are likely candidates to be nanomaterials."
     
  • Exposure assessment of nanomaterials in consumer products: Under the agreement "Better Control of Nanomaterials," the Danish EPA commissioned a number of projects to investigate and generate new knowledge on the presence of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market and assess the possible associated risks to consumers and the environment. This report is the first in a series of four from a project addressing consumer exposure and risk assessment of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market. The report evaluates existing methods/approaches/tools for assessing consumer exposure and risks associated with consumer nanoproducts, and identifies representative consumer nanoproducts from which to select and describe a total of 20 exposure scenarios for further risk assessment.
     
  • Hazard assessment of nanomaterials in consumer products: This is the second report in the series of four from the project addressing consumer exposure and risk assessment of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market. The Danish EPA states that the consumer is potentially exposed to nanomaterials in their final, intended use (i.e., when the nanomaterials are part of a matrix). The report focuses on the hazard of nanomaterials when part of a consumer matrix. Free nanomaterials may be liberated during the use phase, however, and therefore the hazard of pristine nanomaterials is also described.
     
  • Exposure to nanomaterials from the Danish Environment: This is the third report from the project addressing consumer exposure and risk assessment of nanomaterials in products on the Danish market. The Danish EPA states that the report evaluates the population's exposure to nanoparticles from the environment and describes the risk associated with this exposure. According to the Danish EPA, the results should give proportionality to the possible risks from exposure to nanomaterials from use of consumer nanoproducts that are described in other parts/work packages of this project.
     
  • Nanomaterials in Commercial Aerosol Products on the Danish Market: The report examines the use of aerosol spray products containing solid nanomaterials available to consumers on the Danish market. According to the Danish EPA, very few aerosol products with nanomaterials are found on the Danish market. The identified products include cleaning products, waterproofing products, and paint. The Danish EPA states that the nano content in many of the products is in the form of ordinary pigments that are nanosized. A simple risk assessment suggests the same risk profile of aerosol products with and without nano. Both can pose a hazard if used indoors in unventilated spaces. The Danish EPA cautions that spray products should in general be used outdoors or in ventilated rooms.
     
  • Occurrence and effects of nanosized anatase titanium dioxide in consumer products: The survey maps the occurrence and effects of nanosized anatase titanium dioxide in a number of selected products on the Danish market. Based on available knowledge, an attempt has been made to assess if possible risks can be associated with their use. The Danish EPA states that the crystalline anatase form of titanium dioxide occurs in many products used as a pigment (paint, paper, plastic, cosmetics) or as a UV filter (e.g., plastic, sunscreens, and various coatings), but also in less widespread products where the photocatalytic properties prevalent in the anatase form are made use of (e.g., self-cleaning paints and construction materials). According to the Danish EPA, the occurrence of the anatase form in sunscreens was difficult to assess precisely as primarily Danish producers responded. To achieve the Nordic ecolabel "Svanen," most of these avoid nanomaterials, which are banned in this context. Insufficient data made it impossible to assess if the products could represent a risk to human health. Regarding sunscreens, the Danish EPA states that "it is assessed that an unacceptable risk is not likely even in a summer scenario, where high amounts of sunscreen are used. Also, spray-application of self-cleaning paint was not assessed as presenting a risk based on available data."
     
  • Nanomaterials in the Danish environment -- Modelling exposure of the Danish environment to selected nanomaterials: Using modeling techniques, the report predicts where to find some of the most widespread nanomaterials in the environment in Denmark. The Danish EPA states that these findings "are to be used in an overall assessment of the impact of nanomaterials on the environment in Denmark."
BIOBASED/RENEWABLE PRODUCTS

BRAG Biobased Products News And Policy Report: B&C's consulting affiliate, B&C Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM), manages the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®). For access to a weekly summary of key legislative, regulatory, and business developments in biobased chemicals, biofuels, and industrial biotechnology, go to www.braginfo.org.

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

President Vetoes Keystone Pipeline Bill; Veto Override Effort Falls Short: Following through on his pledge to do so, President Obama on February 24, 2014, vetoed the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act (S.1). Just the third veto of his presidency -- and by far the most significant one -- the action sends the bill back to Congress and sets up a fight with the GOP. In his statement accompanying the veto, Obama stated: "Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest." He added that "The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously. But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest -- including our security, safety, and environment -- it has earned my veto." Republicans have vowed the fight over the bill is not over and may attempt to override the veto, although the bill passed both Houses with far less than the votes needed to do so. Despite the veto, the pipeline may still be approved by the Obama Administration. It requires a presidential permit because it crosses an international boundary, and a review is ongoing at the State Department. The Senate on March 4, 2015, fell short on a vote to the veto, failing to attract the necessary two-thirds majority to support an override. Senators voted 62-37 to override the veto, but 67 votes constitute a two-thirds majority, so the effort failed by five votes. The House is not allowed to vote on a veto override, as the bill originated in the Senate.

Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs And Safety Evaluation Bill Introduced In Senate And Passed By Committee: On February 24, 2015, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) introduced a bill that is intended to ensure emergency responders have the resources necessary to deal with crude oil train derailments. The Railroad Emergency Services Preparedness, Operational Needs and Safety Evaluation (RESPONSE) Act (S. 546) would establish a subcommittee under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Advisory Council to provide recommendations on emergency responder training and resources relating to hazardous materials incidents involving railroads. It would specifically amend Section 508 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish the subcommittee, whose members would include representatives from FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, the PHMSA, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard, EPA, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The subcommittee's primary task would be to assess the effectiveness and adequacy of emergency response training, resources, best practices, and hazardous materials rail transport response. The subcommittee would have one year from when it is formed to conduct its evaluation and to provide recommendations to Congress regarding first responder training quality and availability for crude-by-rail incidents, training funds' use, and the development of a potential new train incident database. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the bill on March 4, 2015, by voice vote. The legislation now moves to the Senate floor for possible debate and a vote.

House Committee Passes Two Bills Aimed At Reforming EPA Rulemaking; White House Threatens Vetoes: The House Science, Space and Technology Committee on February 25, 2015, passed two bills intended to improve scientific transparency in the EPA rulemaking process and reform EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB). The panel advanced the Secret Science Reform Act (H.R. 1030) by a vote of 16-10 and the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act (H.R. 1029) by a voice vote. On February 24, 2015, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Secret Science Reform Act of 2015 (H.R. 1030). It would ban EPA from issuing final regulations unless EPA makes public scientific and technical information used in the promulgation of the rules. The bill would amend Section 6(b) of the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to require EPA to ensure that its rules are based on the best available science that is "specifically identified" and "publicly available online in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results." Senator John Boozman (R-AR) on February 24, 2015, introduced the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015 (S. 544). That bill would amend Section 8(a) of the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978 to alter how SAB members are selected, expand public participation opportunities, enable reviews of EPA risk or hazard assessments, limit non-scientific policy advice, expand required disclosures, and increase the ability of board members to express dissenting views. The White House on March 3, 2015, issued two separate Statements of Administration Policy threatening to veto both bills. The White House avers that H.R. 1029 would "negatively affect the appointment of experts and would weaken the scientific independence and integrity of the SAB." The statement also claims that the bill's limitations on SAB's members' indirect involvement in the review and evaluation of their own work "will be difficult and consequently problematic to implement." The White House further claims that H.R. 1029 "would add burdensome requirements on the SAB" that would "saddle the SAB with workload that would impair its ability to carry out its mandate." The White House showed the same disdain for H.R. 1030, stating that it would "impose arbitrary, unnecessary, and expensive requirements that would seriously impede" EPA's ability to use science to protect public health and the environment. Instead of an overly broad bill that would "tie EPA's hands," the White House called for Congress to support efforts to make scientific and technical information more accessible and regulations more transparent. The statement specifically urged lawmakers to support legislation consistent with Executive Order 13563 "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review" and the December 2010 Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Memorandum on Scientific Integrity.

House Passes Drinking Water Protection Act: By a vote of 375-37, the House of Representatives on February 24, 2015, passed the Drinking Water Protection Act (H.R. 212). The bill would require EPA to develop and submit to Congress within 90 days a strategy for "assessing and managing the risk associated with cyanotoxins in drinking water," to establish a list of those cyanotoxins deemed harmful to human health when present in drinking water and to develop health advisories for those on the list as well as technical guidance and assistance for states in monitoring the cyanotoxins. The bill also would require EPA to enter into cooperative agreements with states and provide technical assistance to them and public water systems to manage risks posed by algal toxins.

EPA Administrator Defends EPA FY 2016 Budget Request Before House And Senate Panels: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy defended EPA's FY 2016 budget request before three House Subcommittees. On February 25, 2015, McCarthy testified before a joint hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power and the Environment and the Economy Subcommittee. A webcast of the hearing, member statements, and McCarthy's testimony are available online. The following day McCarthy testified on the FY 2016 budget request before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies. A webcast of the hearing and McCarthy's testimony are available online. On March 4, 2015, McCarthy defended EPA's budget request before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. An archived webcast of the hearing, Committee Chair James Inhofe's (R-OK) opening statement, and McCarthy's testimony are available online. On February 2, 2015, President Obama proposed a budget of $8.59 billion for EPA for FY 2016. The proposed budget is approximately $452 million, or nearly 5.5 percent, above the FY 2015 enacted level, and higher than the FY 2009 enacted level of $7.6 billion. The budget sets forth five performance goals and proposes the following in funding:

  • Goal 1: Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality: $1.113 billion (+$120 million);
     
  • Goal 2: Protecting America's Waters: $4.053 billion (+$70,000);
     
  • Goal 3: Cleaning Up Our Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development: $1.953 billion (+$177.9 million);
     
  • Goal 4: Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution: $667.9 million (+$47.4 million); and
     
  • Goal 5: Protecting Human Health and Enforcing Environmental Laws and Assuring Compliance: $804 million (+$66 million).

Major proposed budget changes from EPA's FY 2015 enacted budget include the following:

  • Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality
     
    • Address Climate Change: $279.5 million (+$88.8 million)
       
    • Improve Air Quality: $777 million (+$25.7 million)
       
    • Restore and Protect the Ozone Layer: $17.2 million (+$486,000)
       
    • Minimize Exposure to Radiation: $39 million (+$5.2 million)
       
  • Protecting America's Waters
     
    • Protect Human Health: $1.573 billion (+$304.4 million)
       
    • Protect and Restore Watersheds and Aquatic Ecosystems: $2.48 billion (-$304 million)
       
  • Cleaning Up Communities and Advancing Sustainable Development
     
    • Promote Sustainable and Livable Communities: $504.6 million (+$63 million)
       
    • Preserve Land: $238.9 million (+$17.2 million)
       
    • Restore Land: $1.089 billion (+$63.5 million)
       
    • Strengthen Human Health and Environmental Protection in Indian Country: $121 million (+$34.1 million)
       
  • Ensuring the Safety of Chemicals and Preventing Pollution
     
    • Ensure Chemical Safety: $614.4 million (+$44.5 million)
       
    • Promote Pollution Prevention: $53.5 million (+$2.9 million)
       
  • Enforcing Laws and Assuring Compliance
    • Enforce Environmental Laws to Achieve Compliance: $804 million (+$66.2 million) Below is a chart illustrating the FY 2016 budget request.

Below is a chart illustrating the FY 2016 budget request.

House Bill Would Block EPA From Vetoing Dredge And Fill Permits Issued By Army Corps Of Engineers: On March 3, 2015, West Virginia's entire House of Representatives delegation re-introduced a bill that is intended "to stop the federal Environmental Protection Agency's unprecedented overreach," according to the bill's sponsor, David McKinley (R-WV). The bill (H.R. 1203) would amend EPA's authority to revoke permits issued under CWA Section 404. The bill was introduced in response to EPA's revocation of the Spruce Mine permit in January 2011. The permit was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in January 2007, following a ten-year environmental review. The review included a 1,600-page environmental impact statement in which EPA participated and agreed to all terms and conditions in the authorized permit. The legislation would prohibit EPA from retroactively vetoing valid permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers, which is the federal agency traditionally tasked with reviewing such projects. McKinley introduced similar legislation in the previous two Congresses.

Bill Would End Ethanol Mandate: A bill introduced on February 26, 2015, by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) would eliminate the minimum ethanol requirement for U.S. fuel supplies under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS requires annual increases in the amount of renewable fuel that must be blended into the total volume of gasoline refined and consumed in the U.S. The current statute effectively mandates the use of corn ethanol at the expense of other fuels. The requirement drives up the price of corn, products made from corn, livestock that feeds on corn, and many products on grocers' shelves and in refrigerators, Toomey stated. The Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act (S. 577) would eliminate the ethanol mandate entirely.

Bill Would Ban Sale And Distribution Of Microbeads In Personal Care Products: A bill introduced on March 4, 2015, by Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) would prohibit the sale or distribution of personal care products that contain synthetic plastic microbeads, effective January 1, 2018. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 would apply to personal care products such as face wash, soap and toothpaste. According to Upton and Pallone, these microbeads can slip through water treatment systems after they are washed down the drain. As a result, these microbeads often end up in local streams, rivers, and large bodies of water such as the Great Lakes, they stated. The lawmakers added that scientists have found evidence of microbeads in numerous bodies of water in the United States, including increasingly in the Great Lakes. In addition to contributing to the buildup of plastic pollution in waterways, microbeads can often be mistaken by fish and other organisms as food. If consumed, the chemicals found in synthetic plastic microbeads can then be passed on to other wildlife and humans, the lawmakers stated.

Capps Introduces Bills To Help Communities Prepare For Climate Change And To Fight Ocean Acidification: Representative Lois Capps (R-CA) on March 4, 2015, introduced four bills intended to fight the negative impacts of climate change. The bills are intended to help local agencies plan for public health impacts, help water utilities prepare for the impacts of climate-related risks to our water supplies, and help coastal states plan and implement climate change mitigation projects. The Coastal State Climate Change Planning Act (H.R. 1278) would help coastal states plan and implement climate change mitigation projects to prepare for sea level rise as well as other impacts. States could use the grant funding to update their coastal management plans or implement climate change adaptation strategies, such as identifying areas with the greatest risk of sea level rise and implementing plans to protect coastal infrastructure at risk of flooding. The Water System Resiliency and Sustainability Act (H.R. 1276) would help drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities prepare for the impacts of climate-related risks to water supplies. Under the legislation, drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities could apply for EPA matching funds to implement projects that address the most significant climate-related risks and benefit the largest numbers of water users. Utilities may use the federal matching funds on projects that build resiliency to changing hydrological conditions, including through water conservation and efficiency measures, enhancing water management through source water protection and green infrastructure, or facilitating the use of advanced technologies -- such as water reuse and recycling -- to increase available water supplies. The Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act is intended to provide public health officials with the tools and resources they need to effectively track and prepare for the significant public health challenges that will come with climate change, like increased rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses, vector-borne diseases, life-threatening temperatures, and food shortages. The Ocean Acidification Research Partnership Act (H.R. 1277) would support research on ocean acidification through partnerships between the seafood industry and the academic community.

Legislation Seeks To Ban Several Neonicotinoids: Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) on March 4, 2015, introduced the Saving America's Pollinators Act of 2015 (H.R. 1284). The bill would require EPA to suspend the use of certain neonicotinoids until EPA can review their registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and declare that they do not cause adverse effects upon honeybees and other pollinators. The bill also would require EPA to review immediately the scientific evidence before allowing the entry of other neonicotinoids into the market. Neonicotinoids are thought to be a major contributing factor to population declines, Conyers stated. The bill would specifically direct EPA to suspend the registration of imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, dinotafuran, and any other members of the nitro group of neonicotinoid insecticides until EPA determines that such insecticides will not cause adverse effects on pollinators based on an evaluation of peer-review scientific evidence and a completed field study. The bill also requires the Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with EPA, to monitor the health and population status of native bees and identify the scope and likely causes of unusual native bee mortality.

House Legislation Would Address Exceptional Events Under The CAA: Representative Pete Olson (R-TX) on March 4, 2015, introduced the Common Sense Legislative Exceptional Events Reform (CLEER) Act (H.R. 1320) in an effort to help guarantee that communities are not cited for CAA violations due to exceptional events such as wildfires. The CLEER Act would require EPA to issue a rulemaking that includes specific and publicly-disclosed criteria, developed with the states, on which exceptional events demonstrations will be evaluated and that reflect the varying levels of expertise and resources available at the state and local levels, monitoring data in rural areas, and the need for an expedited approval process.

ORDEAL Act Introduced In House: Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ) on March 4, 2015, introduced the Ozone Regulatory Delay and Extension of Assessment Length (ORDEAL) Act (H.R. 1327), which is intended to delay EPA's existing timeline to review and revise the NAAQS for ozone. The bill would prohibit EPA from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing a revised NAAQS until 2019 and set future timelines for review at ten years instead of the current five-year review period.

Legislation Seeks To Boost Clean Energy Manufacturing And Exports: Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) on February 27, 2015, introduced H.R. 1175, the Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act of 2015. Matsui believes that her bill would boost the competitiveness of the U.S. clean technology industry both domestically and overseas. The legislation would establish a $15 million Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Fund, which would be administered by the International Trade Administration within the Department of Commerce. The fund would support the development, implementation, and sustainability of a National Clean Energy Technology Export Strategy, and would assist U.S. clean technology firms with export assistance in finding and navigating foreign markets to export their goods and services abroad. This legislation would also require that the fund be used to promote policies that will reduce production costs and encourage innovation, investment, and productivity in the domestic clean energy technology industry.

Senate Bill Would Update Reporting Requirements For Asbestos: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) on March 10, 2015, introduced a bill (S. 700) that is intended to make information about asbestos available to workers and the public. The Reducing Exposure to Asbestos Database Act calls on manufacturers and processors to tell EPA about any of their products that contain asbestos. It would require that companies dealing with asbestos-containing products provide information about the products annually in an easily accessible, searchable online database. The bill also would make companies report on any publicly-accessible locations where the asbestos-containing products were stored.

Senate Committee Holds Hearing On Clean Power Plan: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on March 11, 2015, held a hearing on EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan. The hearing was staged to gain states' perspectives on the sweeping proposal to curb emissions of greenhouse gases. Testifying at the hearing were Thomas Easterly, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Environmental Management; Todd Parfitt, Director, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality; Michael J. Myers, Chief, Affirmative Litigation Section, Environmental Protection Bureau, New York State Attorney General's Office; Ellen Nowak, Chairperson, Public Service Commission of Wisconsin; and Mary D. Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board. A webcast of the hearing and the witness testimony are available online. Several of the state representatives testified that they required more time to meet EPA's goals and deadlines in the rule. They also stated that they lack the authority to implement certain of the measures outlined by EPA in the proposed rule. For example, Easterly stated that Indiana lacks the authority to pursue three of EPA's so-called building blocks in the proposed rule. Parfitt testified that Wyoming would require legislation to provide it with the requisite authorization for renewable energy generation and energy efficiency programs. Nichols and Myers generally came out in support of the rule and its deadlines.

Senate Bill Would Establish Commission To Eliminate Burdensome Or Outdated Federal Regulations: Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) on March 12, 2015, introduced a bill that is intended to improve the federal regulatory environment and reduce administrative burdens on the regulated community. The Regulatory Improvement Act (S. 708) would establish a commission that would review and nominate for elimination overly burdensome or outdated regulations. The commission would issue reports that would be translated into bills that would be fast-tracked to the House and Senate floor under expedited procedures. Blunt's bill directs the commission to focus on rules that impose disproportionately high costs on small businesses, that create substantial and recurring paperwork burdens, or that could be "strengthened in their effectiveness while reducing regulatory costs."

MISCELLANEOUS

CDC Updates Chemical Exposure Report: On February 20, 2015, CDC added 65 new chemicals to its Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals report documenting the levels of chemicals measured in a representative sample of the population (and modified data tables for 139 chemicals). Chemicals measured for the first time include copper, zinc, and selenium in blood, and manganese, strontium, and tin in urine. The National Report, first published in 2009, provides data about human exposure to chemicals but does not make conclusions about the health effects of the exposure. The report draws on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Information on the report is available online.

OEHHA Notice Of Intent To List Styrene Under Proposition 65: On February 27, 2015, the California Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued its notice of intent to list styrene as known to the State to cause cancer under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Prop 65). This action is being proposed under the authoritative bodies listing mechanism. To be listed under Prop 65, a chemical must meet two conditions: an authoritative body formally identifies the chemical as causing cancer, and the evidence considered by the authoritative body meets the scientific sufficiency criteria contained in the regulations. Styrene meets the criteria, according to OEHHA, for listing as known to the State to cause cancer under Prop 65, based on findings of the National Toxicology Program (NTP). In 2011, NTP published the Twelfth Edition of the Report on Carcinogens (NTP, 2011). This report satisfies the formal identification and sufficiency of evidence criteria in the Prop 65 regulations for styrene. NTP concluded that styrene is "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on limited evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans, sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in experimental animals, and supporting data on mechanisms of carcinogenesis." OEHHA is relying on NTP's discussion of data and conclusions in the report that styrene causes cancer. Evidence described in the report includes studies showing that styrene increased the incidence of combined malignant and benign lung tumors in two strains of male mice (CD-1 and B6C3F1) and increased the incidences of malignant and combined malignant and benign lung tumors in female CD-1 mice. The Styrene Information & Research Center (SIRC) challenged OEHHA's initial effort to list the chemical under Prop 65's "labor code" listing mechanism, based on evidence in a monograph the International Agency for Research on Cancer published in 2009. SIRC prevailed. OEHHA is requesting comments as to whether styrene meets the criteria set forth in the Prop 65 regulations for authoritative bodies listings. Comments are due on or before March 30, 2015.

CSB Chairman Eviscerated At Congressional Hearing; Obama Names Incoming Chairman: Rafael Moure-Eraso, the outgoing Chairman of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), weathered blistering criticism from Committee members during a March 4, 2015, hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle called for Moure-Eraso's immediate resignation amid allegations of dysfunctional leadership, abuse of authority, unilateral cancellation of ongoing investigations, a poisoned work environment, alleged reprisals against whistle blowers, staff attrition, use of personal e-mails, and other management system failures. In a bruising exchange with Moure-Eraso, Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) stated: "Until you leave this organization, these problems will persist . . . There is something rotten to its core, and it is you." Taking a softer yet approach, ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) asked Moure-Eraso to consider taking early retirement to allow the CSB to move on from its current era of dysfunction. Moure-Eraso's five year term expires in June, and on March 3, 2015, the White House announced that Vanessa Allen Sutherland will replace him. Sutherland is currently the chief counsel for DOT's PHMSA.

National Park Service Official To Lead Council On Environmental Quality: Christy Goldfuss, a former official with the National Park Service, will take over as acting head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) on March 16, 2015. She replaces Michael Boots, who announced that he was stepping down in January.


 
This Update is provided as a complimentary service to our clients and is for informational purposes. This Update may be copied or quoted, provided proper attribution is given. The contents are not intended and cannot be considered as legal advice.

 
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