Monthly Update for November 2012


TSCA/FIFRA/IRIS/EPCRA

EPA Pesticide Committee Will Meet November 29-30: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) will meet November 29-30, 2012, in Arlington, Virginia. The Committee, which is comprised of government officials, academic experts, and representatives from pesticide manufacturers, trade associations, and public interest groups, is working on an agenda for the Committee's second meeting of the year. Committee work groups on pollinator protection issues, comparative safety statements, and integrated pest management are scheduled to meet November 28, 2012, in advance of the meeting. A work group addressing 21st century toxicology and integrated testing strategies will meet November 29, 2012, during the noon break of the PPDC meeting.

EPA Issues TRI Data For 2011: On October 31, 2012, EPA issued its most recent set of preliminary data on toxic chemical releases and transfers at industrial facilities nationwide reported to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for January 1 to December 31, 2011. The current data in TRI Explorer show an increase in releases. Total on- and off-site releases increased from 3.8 billion pounds in 2010 to 4.1 billion pounds in 2011. The preliminary data for the 2011 set included information from 20,927 facilities on 513 chemicals. More information is available online.

Significant New Use Rules On Certain Chemical Substances: On November 2, 2012, EPA promulgated a direct final significant new use rule (SNUR) under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 5(a)(2) for 20 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN). 77 Fed. Reg. 66149. Eight of these chemical substances are subject to TSCA Section 5(e) consent orders issued by EPA. The remainder are "non-section 5(e)" SNURs. This action requires persons who intend to manufacture, import, or process any of these chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. Written adverse or critical comments, or notice of intent to submit adverse or critical comments, on one or more of these SNURs must be received on or before December 3, 2012.

EPA Hosts IRIS Public Stakeholder Meeting: On November 13, 2012, EPA hosted a public stakeholder meeting on the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. The meeting was convened so that EPA staff could hear the views of the IRIS program's stakeholders about the state of IRIS and the changes that are underway to improve the program. In announcing the meeting, EPA stated that it is "committed to proactively engaging stakeholders, increasing transparency, and using the best available science to develop IRIS assessments." EPA stressed that it understands the impacts IRIS assessments can have on decisions affecting the environment, human health, and the economy and that is why it is important to have stakeholder and scientific engagement to support the best decisions possible.

Dr. Kenneth Olden, Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA), and Dr. Vincent Cogliano, Acting Director, IRIS Program, represented EPA at the meeting. In his opening remarks, Dr. Olden stated that the vision for the IRIS program is "excellence" in both final assessments and the data supporting the conclusions. He emphasized that while EPA is interested in gathering stakeholder input during public sessions, it is not engaging in a negotiation with stakeholders as EPA retains the duty to conduct IRIS assessments. Dr. Olden further stated that EPA is not going to hold-up IRIS assessments already in progress as it seeks to improve the existing program. Dr. Olden asked for stakeholder input on the following five specific topics:

  • The systematic review methodology EPA is employing to review and synthesize data;
     
  • Engaging the public early in the IRIS assessment development process during the scoping and problem formulation phase to assess the "state of the science" and identify data gaps;
     
  • Increasing IRIS assessment output;
     
  • Developing rational "stopping rules" to close-off debate and establish the scientific record for drafting the assessment; and
     
  • Wider accessibility for public interaction with IRIS program staff, including webinars for groups not able to meet in-person.

Dr. Cogliano followed with a brief overview of recent IRIS program improvements. He highlighted the use of a systematic review process, increased public engagement through listening sessions, and high quality peer review of draft assessments. The main goal of the program upgrades is improved work products, process, peer review, and throughput.

EPA then heard comments from invited panelists representing various stakeholder groups from industry, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and academia. Industry stakeholders lobbied for more transparency in the IRIS process, specifically asking for insight into how the weight-of-evidence process works and how much weight is assigned to any given study. Industry also stressed more meaningful stakeholder input in early stages before the draft IRIS assessment is developed, improved responsiveness to public comments, more robust peer review sessions with opportunities for stakeholders to interact with panel members, and easier access to information through placing IRIS documents into a dedicated public docket.

NGO stakeholders struck a different tone during the panel comments, placing a lot of the IRIS program's issues on industry stakeholders. Dr. Richard Denison, Senior Scientist at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), posited that EPA needs to restore balance to the IRIS program that is tilted badly toward industry interests. Dr. Denison claimed that industry demands for better data and increased stakeholder input at various stages of the IRIS process is a tool used to purposefully delay IRIS assessments on chemicals the industry is heavily invested in. He, therefore, recommended fewer opportunities for input and establishing hard deadlines to close-off debate and produce final assessments.

At the conclusion of the panel discussion, EPA heard public comments on the IRIS program through an open forum with the meeting participants. Many of the public comments reflected the division on the panel between industry's view on IRIS and that of NGOs. NGO commenters asked for more efficient output of assessments, less access for industry interest groups and data, and better communication and transparency to the public when conducting stakeholder meetings. Dr. Cogliano answered these concerns by stressing the systematic data review process and peer-review requirements as an assurance that any perceived bias toward industry and its data is considered through the assessment drafting process. Dr. Cogliano also fielded questions on the timing of announced improvements to IRIS, stating that changes to the scoping problem formulation stage are set to be in place in early 2013 and EPA's weight-of-evidence methodology will be explained in upcoming draft assessments.

Further meeting details, including panelist presentations, will be available shortly online. Additional information on the IRIS program and efforts to improve the process are available online.

EPA Will Host Workshop To Inform Development Of IRIS Assessment Of Inorganic Arsenic: On November 29–30, 2012, EPA will host a public workshop to inform the development of its IRIS assessment of inorganic arsenic (cancer and noncancer effects). Workshop participants will be asked to highlight significant new and emerging research, discuss methods for evaluating literature, identify critical research issues that may impact the assessment, and discuss approaches for dose-response. The ultimate goals of this workshop are to ensure that EPA provides public stakeholders an opportunity to inform the assessment and transparently communicates how EPA will produce an assessment that meets the needs of stakeholders and partners.

To attend the workshop either in person or by webinar, please register no later than noon on November 27, 2012. For further information on registration and the meeting itself, please visit online.

CAA/CWA

EPA Stays Chemical Area Sources Rule: On October 25, 2012, EPA announced its decision to stay a 2009 final rule setting air toxics standards for area sources in the chemical manufacturing sector because EPA is reconsidering the regulation. 77 Fed. Reg. 65135. The compliance date was set for October 29, 2012, but EPA has proposed revising the final rule's applicability. EPA concluded "a short stay of the final CMAS [Chemical Manufacturing Area Sources] rule pending completion of the reconsideration action is warranted." On January 30, 2012, EPA proposed changes to an October 29, 2009, final rule that set National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for nine area source categories in the chemical manufacturing sector, after receiving a petition for reconsideration from various entities. In the proposed rule, EPA stated it would reconsider all six issues that industry groups highlighted in their respective petitions: Title V permitting requirements; requirements applicable when the rule overlaps with other rules; direct and proximal leak inspection requirements; requirements for covers or lids on process vessels; requirements for the timing of certain leak inspections; and the applicability of the "family of materials" concept, which refers to certain materials with the same basic composition, end use, or functionality. EPA has stayed the rule until December 24, 2012.

NANOTECHNOLOGY

"Challenges And Opportunities For Businesses Engaged In Nanotechnology" Workshop Proceedings Now Available: Presentations from the September 25, 2012, workshop entitled "Challenges and Opportunities for Businesses Engaged in Nanotechnology" are now available online. The workshop, organized by the California Nanotechnology Industry Network (CalNIN) and hosted by the University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, brought together experts and critical thinkers within the industry. Highlights of the workshop included Dr. Sally Tinkle, Deputy Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination, who described how the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) is contributing to America's economic recovery by implementing its programs fostering the advancement of nanotechnology; and Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Principle of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C), who walked participants through federal and international regulations and their impact on the business of nanotechnology. Kathleen M. Roberts, B&C Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM), closed the workshop by highlighting opportunities for collaboration among nanotech businesses within California.

Nanotechnology is poised to be a key driver of economic growth in California in the next decade according to the scientists, government specialists, and international business leaders who spoke at the workshop. The workshop presented current research and science, both federal and non-governmental programs to support nanotechnology, business development opportunities, and venture capital availability. Attendees of the workshop, who represented academia, government, NGOs, private industry, and venture capital, rated the information presented as "compelling," "useful," and "timely." The presentations are available online. For more information, contact Jake Vandevort.

Safe Work Australia Recommends Classification Of Carbon Nanotubes As Hazardous Chemicals: On October 22, 2012, Safe Work Australia announced the availability of a report entitled Human Health Hazard Assessment and Classification of Carbon Nanotubes, as well as an information sheet on the report. The report recommends that multi-walled carbon nanotubes should be classified as hazardous unless toxicological or other data for specific types imply otherwise. The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) prepared the report in support of Safe Work Australia's Nanotechnology Work Health and Safety Program. NICNAS extensively reviewed the published literature on the toxicity of carbon nanotubes, and concluded that multi-walled carbon nanotubes may cause damage to lungs through prolonged or repeated inhalation exposure. The report recommends classification as hazardous for repeated or prolonged inhalation exposure and for carcinogenicity. For all other endpoints, NICNAS found that carbon nanotubes either were not classified as hazardous, or cannot be classified as insufficient data are available. The information sheet summarizes the key findings from the report and discusses implications for manufacturers, importers, persons in control of a business or undertaking, and workers manufacturing or using products containing carbon nanotubes. The report is available online. The information sheet is available online.

ECHA Holds Webinar On REACH Registration Dossiers For Nanomaterials And Creates Nanomaterials Working Group: On October 30, 2012, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) held a webinar entitled "How to ensure the safe use of nanomaterials under REACH Part I: Characterisation of nanoforms of substances in registration dossiers." The webinar was intended to provide information to registrants on the type of information to be included in a Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) registration dossier for a substance with nanoform(s). In addition, on October 17, 2012, ECHA announced publication of a new web page on nanomaterials under REACH and the Classification, Labeling, and Packaging (CLP) regulation. According to ECHA, the page "will provide advice to registrants that wish to register nanomaterials and inform about" ECHA's latest activities concerning nanomaterials. The web page states that, in October 2012, ECHA created a nanomaterials working group "to discuss scientific and technical questions relevant to REACH and CLP processes and to provide recommendations on strategic issues." The working group is an informal advisory group consisting of experts from Member States, the European Commission (EC), ECHA, and accredited stakeholder organizations, "with the mandate to 'Provide informal advice on any scientific and technical issues regarding implementation of REACH and CLP legislation in relation to nanomaterials.'" ECHA states that the working group also "aims to facilitate discussions with industry regarding its experience gained in documenting intrinsic properties of the nano-forms of substances using recent methodologies and its obligations towards fulfilling REACH requirements." The web page on nanomaterials is available online.

NIOSH Publishes Progress Report From Nanotechnology Research Center: On November 7, 2012, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Nanotechnology Research Center (NTRC) posted a document entitled Filling the Knowledge Gaps for Safe Nanotechnology in the Workplace: A Progress Report from the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center, 2004–2011. NIOSH established NTRC in 2004 to address occupational safety and health concerns associated with nanotechnology. The progress report summarizes program accomplishments from the inception of NTRC in 2004 through 2011. It includes an analysis of the progress made toward accomplishing the goals and objectives of the NIOSH Strategic Plan for Nanotechnology Research and toward addressing the goals and research needs identified in the NNI environmental, health, and safety (EHS) research strategy. The progress report states that NTRC "continues to support and promote the responsible development of nanotechnology through its ongoing research program and its contributions to the development of guidelines for hazard identification, exposure assessment, and risk characterization that can be used to develop and implement effective risk management practices." The progress report is available online.

NGOs Call For "Nano Patch" For REACH, And EC Responds: The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), ClientEarth, and Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) released on November 13, 2012, a proposal for European Union (EU) legislation to address the risks of nanomaterials. CIEL states that the NGOs' proposal was prompted by the EC's October 3, 2012, Communication on the Second Regulatory Review on Nanomaterials. The Communication describes REACH as "the best possible framework for the risk management of nanomaterials when they occur as substances or mixtures" and notes that "more specific requirements for nanomaterials within the framework have proven necessary." The NGOs maintain that further regulatory action is necessary, and recommend a "nano patch" for REACH, including an obligation for all nanomaterials to be considered distinct from their non-nanoscale counterparts and substantially lower volume thresholds for registration of nanoscale substances. The NGOs also call for an EU-wide registry for all nanomaterials and products on the market. The NGOs' proposal is available online.

The EC's Environment and Enterprise Directorate-Generals (DG) issued separate statements in response to the NGOs' proposal. DG Environment stated: "We regard the NGO proposal . . . as a reaction to the Commission's recent regulatory review on nanomaterials. We are looking forward to discussing our review with all the stakeholders." DG Enterprise released a more detailed statement, noting that the EC "does not consider appropriate at present to change the basic registration rules under REACH and the rules for when a chemical safety assessment is required under REACH." In addition, DG Enterprise stated: "[T]he highest volume substances such as carbon black and synthetic amorphous silica, as well as the most debated substances such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide and carbon nanotubes, have already been registered under REACH. Together, they represent the vast majority of nanomaterials on the market in terms of tonnage and sales value."

REACH

ECHA Updates List Of Substances Scheduled For Evaluation: On October 23, 2012, ECHA proposed to add 63 suspected hazardous substances to a list of chemicals that will be assessed by regulatory authorities in EU Member States in accordance with REACH. Substances found to be in these categories can be considered "substances of very high concern" under REACH. The uses of the 63 substances "cover various areas and are not limited to particular industrial, professional or consumer uses," stated ECHA. The 63 substances would then be added to the so-called Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP), which allocates potentially hazardous substances to Member State authorities for evaluation, and gives a likely year of evaluation for each one. The ECHA draft CoRAP update for 2013-2015 is available online.

BIOBASED PRODUCTS

National Academies Releases Report On Sustainable Development Of Algal Biofuels: On October 24, 2012, the National Academies released a report entitled Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels, which was produced at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). According to the report, biofuels made from algae could provide a domestic source of renewable fuel, but, with current technologies, increasing production of algal biofuels to meet five percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs could "create unsustainable demands for energy, water, and nutrient resources." While algal biofuels have the potential to improve the sustainability of the transportation sector, their potential is not yet realized, and additional innovations requiring research and development are necessary to achieve the full potential. The report recommends that the environmental, economic, and social effects of algal biofuel production and use be compared with those of petroleum-based fuels and other fuel alternatives to determine whether algal biofuels contribute to improving sustainability. The report states that such comparison will be possible "only if thorough assessments of each step in the various pathways for algal biofuel production are conducted." The report is available online.

BP Cancels Plans To Build Cellulosic Ethanol Plant In Florida: BP announced on October 25, 2012, that it canceled its plans to build a commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in Highlands County, Florida, and would instead refocus its U.S. biofuels strategy on research and development and licensing its biofuels technology. BP states that when it announced its plans to build the facility in 2008, it intended to turn "thousands of acres of energy crops into 36 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol." BP intends to continue to invest in and operate its biofuels research facility in San Diego, California, and a demonstration plant in Jennings, Louisiana, to develop next generation cellulosic biofuel technologies and license them for commercial use. Under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, one billion gallons of cellulosic biofuel must be included in the U.S. fuel supply in 2013, and 16 billion gallons must be produced by 2022. The statute requires EPA to set the cellulosic biofuel standard each year based on the volume projected to be available during the following year, using Energy Information Administration projections and assessments of production capability from industry. For 2012, EPA projected there would be only 8.65 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel available, short of the 500 million gallons required. EPA has not yet set the standard for 2013. More information is available online.

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

House Energy And Commerce Committee To Hold Third Forum On Clean Air Act Reforms: Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce's Energy and Power Subcommittee, has scheduled a third forum to discuss Clean Air Act (CAA) reforms, building on discussions that are seen as a starting point for a potential overhaul of the law in the 113th Congress next year. The forum is scheduled for November 29, 2012. Slated to testify at the hearing are Michael Krancer, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; David Klemp, Chief of the Air Bureau for the Montana Department of the Environment; Seyed Sadredin, Executive Director/Air Pollution Control Officer, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District; Robert J. Martineau, Jr., Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; Arturo J. Blanco, Bureau Chief, Pollution Control & Prevention, Houston Department of Health and Human Services; and Martha Rudolph, Director, Environmental Programs, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The forum is expected to feature discussions on the "federalism" framework of the CAA and to follow the pattern set by the first two forums. Local and state officials likely will provide their views on how the CAA should be reformed and will describe their experiences in implementing the law. They will likely discuss issues such as how to comply with increasingly stringent National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and the process for establishing State Implementation Plans (SIP).

Republicans Target "Imperial" EPA Regulations: House Republican leaders continue their assault on EPA's regulatory programs. In a report issued on October 23, 2012, Republicans targeted several regulatory initiatives under the Obama Administration, including more than a dozen EPA regulations. The report -- "The Imperial Presidency" -- was issued from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) office and highlights EPA regulations that Republicans believe violate the intent of Congress or the Constitution and are stifling job creation. The report claims that these regulatory ambitions circumvent lawmakers, stretch executive powers, ignore or fail to enforce existing laws, and will negatively impact the economy. The report essentially provides a list of the EPA regulations that Republicans are likely to target in the 113th Congress for repeal or suspension. The list includes: proposed rules regulating hydraulic fracturing, CAA rules on emissions from coal-fired utilities, regulations implementing controls for greenhouse gas emissions, automobile efficiency standards, and "abuse of guidance documents."

House Committee Chairs Push For Obama Administration To Release Regulatory Agenda: House Judiciary Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) and House Oversight Government Affairs Chair Darrell Issa (R-CA) are calling on President Obama to release the Unified Regulatory Agenda, accusing him of playing politics by not releasing it. The agenda is a compilation of all regulations under development by federal agencies. The agenda typically is issued twice a year, in April and October in the Federal Register, but the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has not yet issued it this year. In an October 25, 2012, letter from the Chairmen sent to OMB, they state that OMB's delay in issuing the agenda "raises questions about the motives behind the Administration's apparent reluctance to inform Congress and the public about its regulatory plans" before the Presidential election. The letter further asserts that "[d]ue to the impending election, it does raise concerns that the Administration is holding back this information for fear it will be met with dissatisfaction by the public, or even worse, perceived as breaking the Administration's promise" to reduce regulatory burdens and increase transparency.

MISCELLANEOUS

FTC Holds Workshop And Accepts Comments On Pet Medications Issues: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop on October 2, 2012, to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the pet medications industry. During the workshop, the issues considered included how current industry distribution and other business practices affect consumer choice and price competition for pet medications; the ability of consumers to obtain written, portable prescriptions that they can fill wherever they choose; and the ability of consumers to verify the safety and efficacy of pet medications that they purchase. The workshop examined the extent to which recent changes to restricted distribution and prescription portability practices in the contact lens industry might yield lessons applicable to the pet medications industry. FTC sought the views of consumers, veterinarians, business representatives, economists, lawyers, academics, and other interested parties on these issues. To obtain more information, the FTC posed a series of questions relevant to those issues about which the Commission seeks comment. 77 Fed. Reg. 58840. After conducting the workshop and reviewing comments, the FTC states that it "may" prepare a report discussing these issues. Comments were due November 1, 2012. In its notice, FTC notes that Congress is considering legislation (H.R. 1406) that would require veterinarians to provide clients with written prescriptions for all pet medications, and to inform clients of their right to have pet medications dispensed elsewhere. The bill would prohibit veterinarians from charging a fee or requiring waivers of liability for providing written prescriptions. Under the bill, the FTC would be required to promulgate rules implementing the statute within 180 days of its enactment. The bill was introduced on April 6, 2011, and was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. More information is available on the FTC website.

NTP Posts Concept Papers On Certain Chemicals: The National Toxicology Program (NTP) recently posted on its website concept papers describing its planned approaches to evaluate five chemicals for possible or updated listing in the Report on Carcinogens. The papers seek to describe NTP's rationale for considering a chemical, medicinal, biological, radiological, or other substance. The five chemicals are 1-bromopropane (Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) No. 106-94-5), cumene (CAS No. 98-82-8), pentachlorophenol (CAS No. 87-65-5), ortho-toluidine (CAS No. 95-53-4), and trichloroethylene (CAS No. 79-01-6). More information is available online.

Industry Groups Sue SEC Over Conflict Minerals Regulation: On October 22, 2012, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Roundtable sued the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over its recent final conflict minerals rule. National Ass'n of Manufacturers v. SEC, D.C. Cir., No. 12-1422 (Oct. 22, 2012). In an amended review petition filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the business groups asked that the rule be "modified or set aside in whole or in part." The key issue appears to be implementation costs. In a joint statement posted on the Chamber's National Chamber Litigation Center website, the Chamber, NAM, and the Business Roundtable stated that the rule, while "well-intentioned," also would impose "an unworkable, overly broad and burdensome system that will undermine jobs and growth and may not achieve Congress's overall objectives." The petition for review in National Ass'n of Manufacturers v. SEC is available online.

California Court Affirms Lower Court Ruling Not To List Styrene Under Proposition 65: On October 31, 2012, a California appeals court affirmed a ruling below concluding the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classification of styrene and vinyl acetate as Group 2B carcinogens is an inadequate basis to list styrene and vinyl acetate as a Proposition 65 carcinogen. The court stated: "We conclude the Proposition 65 list is limited to chemicals for which it has been determined, either by OEHHA . . ., or through the Labor Code method of adopting findings from authoritative sources, that the chemical is known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. Because the findings in the IARC monograph on which OEHHA relies to list styrene and vinyl acetate do not satisfy that standard, they cannot properly be included on the list on that basis alone. And because OEHHA does not propose any other basis for including those substances on the list, they must be excluded." The decision of the California appeals court in Styrene Information and Research Center v. OEHHA is available online. A more detailed memorandum is available online.

Health Canada Proposes Regulations On TCEP: On November 10, 2012, Health Canada proposed regulations under Canada's Consumer Product Safety Act that would prohibit the manufacture, advertisement, sale, or import of the flame retardant tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP). The amendments to Schedule 2 of the Act would ensure that children under the age of three are not exposed to TCEP, which a Canadian government screening assessment determined to be a carcinogen. The draft regulations are open to public comment through January 24, 2013. The draft regulations on TCEP are available online.

EDF Creates Website On Emerging Chemical Testing Methods: EDF announced on November 12, 2012, the creation of a website intended to serve as a resource for understanding new chemical testing approaches. These approaches are typically less costly and time-consuming than animal-based tests. EDF notes that while EPA has invested resources to create research programs to advance new types of chemical testing and assessment approaches, questions for users remain. EDF's website, includes the following resources:

  • Chemical Testing in the 21st Century: A Primer, available online -- An introduction to EPA's Computational Toxicology (CompTox) research initiative and its component programs, such as ToxCast; a discussion of the opportunities and challenges of these new testing programs; and a discussion of issues and needs for greater engagement by the public interest community; and
     
  • Chemical Testing in the 21st Century: Webinar Series, available online -- Linked audio and video recordings of each of EDF's three webinars (held in October) featuring EDF and EPA scientists exploring the basics of EPA's new testing programs and the promises and challenges they present.

OSHA Announces Public Meeting To Prepare For Upcoming UN GHS Subcommittee Meeting: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced in the November 15, 2012, Federal Register that it will host an open, informal public meeting to discuss proposals in preparation for the 24th session of the United Nations (UN) Subcommittee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) (UNSCEGHS). 77 Fed. Reg. 68152. The meeting will be held November 28, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) in Washington, D.C., and OSHA will provide conference call-in capability. The UNSCEGHS meeting will be held December 12-14, 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland. OSHA states that, along with the U.S. Interagency GHS Coordinating Group, it plans to consider the comments and information gathered at the public meeting when developing the U.S Government positions for the UNSCEGHS meeting. Working papers for the 24th session of the UNSCEGHS are located online.

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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