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EPA Assistant Administrator Steve Owens Resigns

EPA Administration/Chemical Regulation:

On Tuesday, October 25, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the resignation of Assistant Administrator Steve Owens.  Readers will recall that President Obama appointed Mr. Owens the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), which is the office implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Pollution Prevention Act, and other federal laws concerning chemicals management.  November 30, 2011, will be Mr. Owens’ last day in office before returning home to Arizona where he previously served as the Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.  It is unclear at this time who will assume Mr. Owen’s responsibilities and what effect his departure will have on EPA’s various chemicals management initiatives.

Mr. Owens served the EPA during a two-year period in which Congress, the courts, and various stakeholders engaged in vigorous debate and litigation over the appropriate regulation of chemicals in the United States.  In a 2010 brown-bag session (available on podcast), sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee, Mr. Owens discussed many of the initiatives the Agency was undertaking and some of the challenges it faced as it participated and attempted to shape the debate. 

In a letter to EPA staff announcing his resignation, Mr. Owens said:

“I am writing to tell you that, after more than two years of working closely with all of you to protect Americans’ health and environment, I have made the difficult decision to leave EPA. My last day in the office will be November 30, 2011.
 
As many of you know, my family has remained in Arizona while I have been working at EPA headquarters in Washington. Although I have been able to get home to see my family periodically, I have essentially been away from them for more than two years. After a lot of hard thinking, we have decided that it is time for me to come home. My wife needs her husband; my sons need their father; and I need them.
 
While I am very happy that I will be back with my family, I will miss all of you greatly. It has been a true privilege to work with so many incredibly talented and dedicated people who are doing so much to protect the health and safety of the American people and our environment.
 
I am extremely grateful to Lisa Jackson for her wonderful friendship and the remarkable vision and leadership she provides to this Agency. We are truly fortunate that she is EPA’s Administrator.
 
As I said earlier, I will continue working alongside you all through November 30. Administrator Jackson will share additional information about the transition process shortly.
 
In closing, let me thank you so much for the friendship and support you have given me during my time at EPA. Please know how much I appreciate you and all that you are doing for our country.”

 

EPA Issues Testing Rules and a Significant New Use Rule for HPV Chemicals

TSCA/HPV Chemical Testing:

On October 21, 2011, utilizing its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. §2601 et seq., EPA published two Federal Register notices announcing testing rules for certain high production volume (HPV) chemicals as well as significant new use rules (SNURs) for other HPV chemicals.  HPV chemicals are those with a production/import volume equal to or greater than 1 million pounds (lbs) per year.  The first notice promulgates a final testing rule for 15 HPV chemicals.  The second notice adopts an innovative approach to regulating HPV chemicals, proposing a testing rule for 23 HPV chemicals and a SNUR for 22 others, along with an alternative proposal to regulate any of the 23 chemicals via a SNUR should public comments indicate a testing rule is unecessary.  Additional details about the rules and the affected chemicals are provided below.

Final Test Rule

The first notice promulgates a final rule under section 4(a)(1)(B) that requires manufacturers, importers, and processors to conduct testing to obtain screening level data for health and environmental effects and chemical fate for 15 HPV chemicals.  (As a general matter, only certain manufacturers/importers actually perform testing required under section 4.)  The chemicals are part of the so-called “Third Group of Unsponsored HPV Chemicals (HPV3),” a group of 29 chemicals for which no manufacturer or importer accepted the “challenge” to make publicly available health and environmental effects data under the voluntary High Production Volume Challenge Program launched in 1998.  The rule will be effective on November 21, 2011.

According to EPA, there are insufficient data to reasonably determine or predict the effects on human health or the environment from the manufacture, distribution in commerce, processing, use, or disposal of these chemicals, or from any combination of these activities.  Thus, the Agency concluded that testing is needed.  Data developed under this final rule supposedly will provide EPA with critical information about the environmental fate and potential hazards associated with these chemicals which, when combined with information about exposure and uses, will allow the Agency and others to evaluate potential health and environmental risks and to take appropriate action.

EPA’s action affects more persons than those who are required to perform testing.  Persons who export or intend to export any of the chemicals in any form (e.g., as byproducts, impurities, components of Class 2 chemical substances, etc.) included in the final rule would be subject to the export notification requirements in TSCA section 12(b)(1) and at 40 CFR part 707, subpart D.  Export notification is generally not required for articles, as provided by 40 CFR 707.60(b).  Section 12(b) of TSCA states, in part, that any person who exports or intends to export to a foreign country a chemical for which the submission of data is required under TSCA section 4 must notify EPA of such export or intent to export.  EPA in turn will notify the government of the importing country of the Agency’s regulatory action with respect to the chemical.

The following chemicals are the subject of this final rule:

CAS

Number

Name

98-09-9

Benzenesulfonyl chloride

98-56-6

Benzene, 1-chloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)-

111-44-4

Ethane, 1,1′-oxybis[2-chloro-.

127-68-4

Benzenesulfonic acid, 3-nitro-, sodium salt (1:1)

515-40-2

Benzene, (2-chloro-1,1-dimethylethyl)-

2494-89-5

Ethanol, 2-[(4-aminophenyl)sulfonyl]-, 1-(hydrogen sulfate)

5026-74-4

2-Oxiranemethanamine, N-[4-(2-oxiranylmethoxy)phenyl]-N-(2-oxiranylmethyl)-

22527-63-5

Propanoic acid, 2-methyl-, 3-(benzoyloxy)-2,2,4-trimethylpentyl ester

25321-41-9

Benzenesulfonic acid, dimethyl-

52556-42-0

1-Propanesulfonic acid, 2-hydroxy-3-(2-propen-1-yloxy)-, sodium salt (1:1)

68082-78-0

Lard, oil, Me esters

68442-60-4

Acetaldehyde, reaction products with formaldehyde, by-products from

68610-90-2

2-Butenedioic acid (2E)-, di-C8-18-alkyl esters

70693-50-4

Phenol, 2,4-bis(1-methyl-1-phenylethyl)-6-[2-(2-nitrophenyl)diazenyl]-

72162-15-3

1-Decene, sulfurized

Proposed Test Rule and SNUR

The proposed test rule, adopted pursuant to section 4(a)(1)(B) of TSCA, would require manufacturers, importers, and processors of 23 HPV chemicals to develop screening-level health, environmental, and fate data, based on the potential for substantial exposures of workers and consumers to these chemicals. The proposed significant new use rule (SNUR), adopted pursuant to section 5(a)(2), would require persons to file a “significant new use” notice (SNUN) with EPA prior to manufacturing, importing, or processing any of a separate group of 22 chemicals for (1) use in a consumer product or (2) for any use, or combination of uses, that is reasonably likely to expose 1,000 or more workers at a single corporate entity.  The chemicals are part of the so-called “Fourth Group of Unsponsored HPV Chemicals (HPV4).”  Public comments are due by January 19, 2012.

EPA’s use of two rules is an innovative approach to regulating this group of 45 HPV chemicals.  If successful, the Agency may use the same approach to regulating future HPV chemicals (i.e., those designated HPV in in 2012 and beyond).  According to EPA, it is proposing the two actions together because the Agency believes they are complementary and will best ensure these HPV chemicals are adequately evaluated.  For example, if EPA receives comments on this proposal sufficient to establish that one of the 23 chemicals proposed for testing is not used in a way that meets the substantial exposure criteria in section 4(a)(1)(B), but information received indicates that the chemical meets the criteria for the SNUR, EPA intends to include the chemical in the final SNUR rather than the test rule, without further public notice and comment.  According to the Agency, simply removing such a chemical from the test rule, without including it in the SNUR, would not provide a regulatory mechanism for timely notification to EPA in the event of changed circumstances that would likely justify the issuance of a test rule for the chemical.  EPA also states that, if public comment on these proposed actions is sufficient to establish that any of the uses to be covered for the 22 chemical substances proposed in the SNUR are, in fact, on-going, yet such comments also establish that there is already substantial exposure to the chemical substance, EPA intends to review the status of the chemical and, as warranted, take appropriate steps to promulgate a test rule rather than a SNUR for the chemical.

The 23 chemicals subject to the test rule, and for which the SNUR is an option, are the following:

CAS Number

Name

56-40-6

Glycine

67-72-1

Ethane, 1,1,1,2,2,2-hexachloro-

78-00-2

Plumbane, tetraethyl-

95-14-7

1H-Benzotriazole

118-48-9

2H-3,1-Benzoxazine-2,4(1H)-dione

128-44-9

1,2-Benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one, 1,1-dioxide, sodium salt (1:1)

928-72-3

Glycine, N-(carboxymethyl)-, sodium salt (1:2)

1809-19-4

Phosphonic acid, dibutyl ester

25377-73-5

2,5-Furandione, 3-(dodecen-1-yl)dihydro-

26544-38-7

2,5-Furandione, dihydro-3-(tetrapropenyl)-

27859-58-1

Butanedioic acid,2-(tetrapropenyl)-

28777-98-2

2,5-Furandione, dihydro-3-(octadecen-1-yl)-

29385-43-1

1H-Benzotriazole, 6(or75)-methyl-.

32072-96-1

2,5-Furandione, 3-(hexadecen-1-yl)dihydro-

61789-73-9

Quaternary ammonium compounds, benzylbis(hydrogenated tallow alkyl)methyl, chlorides

64665-57-2

1H-Benzotriazole, 6(or7)-methyl-, sodium salt

68131-13-5

Naphthenic acids, reaction products with diethylenetriamine

68153-60-6

Fatty acids, tall-oil, reaction products with diethylenetriamine, acetates

68424-85-1

Quaternary ammonium compounds, benzyl-C12-16-alkyldimethyl, chlorides

68442-77-3

2-Butenediamide, (2E)-, N1,N4-bis[2-(4,5-dihydro-2-nortall-oil alkyl-1H-imidazol-1-yl)ethyl] derivs.

68607-28-3

Quaternary ammonium compounds, (oxydi-2,1-ethanediyl)bis[coco alkyldimethyl, dichlorides

68909-18-2

Pyridinium, 1-(phenylmethyl)-, Et Me derivs., chlorides

69834-17-9

Benzene, decylphenoxy-

The 22 chemicals subject to the SNUR, and for which a future test rule is an option, are the following:

CAS Number

Name

98-16-8

Benzenamine, 3-(trifluoromethyl)-

100-53-8

Benzenemethanethiol

104-91-6

Phenol, 4-nitroso-

110-03-2

2,5-Hexanediol, 2,5-dimethyl-

124-63-0

Methanesulfonyl chloride

142-30-3

3-Hexyne-2,5-diol, 2,5-dimethyl-

460-00-4

Benzene, 1-bromo-4-fluoro-

542-92-7

1,3-Cyclopentadiene

553-26-4

4,4′-Bipyridine

8007-45-2

Tar, coal

28106-30-1

Benzene, ethenylethyl-

35203-06-6

Benzenamine, 2-ethyl-6-methyl-N-methylene-

35203-08-8

Benzenamine, 2,6-diethyl-N-methylene-

37734-45-5

Carbonochloridothioic acid, S-(phenylmethyl) ester

37764-25-3

Acetamide, 2,2-dichloro-N,N-di-2-propen-1-yl-

61789-72-8

Quaternary ammonium compounds, benzyl(hydrogenated tallow alkyl)dimethyl, chlorides

61790-13-4

Naphthenic acids, sodium salts

65996-91-0

Distillates (coal tar), upper

68308-01-0

Tail gas (petroleum), cracked distillate hydrotreater stripper

68478-20-6

Residues (petroleum), steam-cracked petroleum distillates cyclopentadiene conc., C4-cyclopentadiene-free.

68526-82-9

Alkenes, C6-10, hydroformylation products, highboiling

68909-77-3

Ethanol, 2,2′-oxybis-, reaction products with ammonia, morpholine derivs. Residues

Similar to the final rule discussed above, EPA’s action affects more persons than those who are required to perform testing or submit SNUNs.  Once the rule became final, exporters of the chemicals subject to the final test rule would be subject to the export notification requirements in section 12(b).  However, exporters of chemicals subject to the proposed SNUR became subject to those requirements upon publication of this proposed rule.

****

Readers interested in following EPA’s innovative approach to regulating HPV should look for future posts on this topic, here at the Green Chemistry Law Report.

ECHA Publishes the 2011- 2013 Work Program of the REACH and CLP Enforcement Forum

REACH/CLP Enforcement:

On July 6, 2011, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published the 2011 -2013 work program for the Forum on Exchange of Information on Enforcement of the REACH and CLP Regulations.  The program lists the Forum’s current and upcoming activities, a description of the activities, the expected time frame for each, and its priority.  Readers less familar with the REACH and CLP Regulations should know that the Forum coordinates a network of authorities responsible for enforcement of the regulations in each country or “Member State.”

Very high priority activities for the work period include the follwing: 

  • EU-wide coordinated REACH Enforcement Projects (REFs) such as the coordinated project concerning downstream user obligations of formulators of mixtures;
  • clarification of the links between ECHA, Member State competent authorities and Member State enforcement authorities;
  • access to REACH-IT by Member State enforcement authorities;
  • cooperation with customs authorities, including execution of a coordinated enforcement initiative; and
  • preparation of advice concerning the enforceability of REACH restriction proposals.

In addition, new rules of procedure for the Forum adopted at the recent ECHA Management Board meeting are published, along with minutes of the Forum meeting held in March of this year. 

Copies of the documents are avaialble here.

Reminder: Upcoming ABA Conference on the Governance of Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology:

For readers interested in the environmental regulation of nanotechnology, you ought to seriously consider this program. The speakers are top-notch and the topics are timely and interesting.  Enjoy!

___________________________

ABA Webinar Thursday May 19

Nano Governance: The Current State of Federal, State, and International Regulation

Program: 1-5:30 p.m.

Networking Reception Immediately Following (DC site only)

No cost for in-person attendance

Washington, DC (register)

San Francisco, CA (register)

Durham, NC (register)

Webinar (register)

Overview:

The program will explore the new and creative applications of existing regulatory tools and governance approaches to address the potential risks of nanotechnologies, implement new risk assessment approaches to evolving technologies, and maximize the potential benefits of these materials. Speakers will discuss the approaches various government agencies are pursuing to accommodate evolving nanotechnologies and address potential public health and environmental impacts.

 Panelists:

Jim Alwood, Program Manager, Chemical Control Division, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, U.S.

Raj Bawa, M.S., Ph.D., President of Bawa Biotechnology Consulting LLC, Ashburn, VA

Richard A. Denison, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund, Inc., Washington,

Steffi Friedrichs, Ph.D., Nanotechnology Industries Association, Brussels, Belgium

Steve Froggett, Ph.D., Froggett & Associates, Seattle, WA

Thomas R. Jacob, Coordinator, California Nanotechnology Initiative

William Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Pesticide Programs, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,

Neena Sahasrabudhe, Ph.D., Office of Pollution Prevention and Green Technology, California

Treye A. Thomas, Ph.D., Toxicologist, Directorate for Health Sciences, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission,

Rosalind Volpe, Ph.D., Executive Director, Silver Nanotechnology Working Group A Program of Silver Research

EPA's Chemical Screening Gets a Big Boost – From a Robot!

Chemical Screening:

On March 10, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially launched a robust new tool for screening chemicals for health and environmental hazards.  It’s a robot called the Tox21 Robotic Testing System, or “ToRTS” for readers preferring acronyms.  Robots have been used previously for chemical testing, but ToRTs appears to be one of the bigger systems.  EPA says it will use the robot to test 10,000 different chemicals for potential toxicity.  A video of the robot is available here.

ToRTS is located at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) in Rockville, MD.  It is part of the Tox21 project, which merges existing agency resources (research, funding, and testing tools) to develop ways to more effectively predict how chemicals will affect human health and the environment. The ToRTS system marks the beginning of a new phase of the Tox21 collaboration, which aims to working to protect human health by improving how chemicals are tested in the United States.

Tox21 was established in 2008 between the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program (NTP), the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), and the EPA.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) joined in 2010.  More information on Tox21 is available here

Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing on TSCA Reform

TSCA Reform:

On Thursday, February 3, 2010, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Superfund, Toxics, and Environmental Health held a hearing titled “Assessing the Effectiveness of U.S. Chemical Safety Laws.”  Although the hearing’s title suggests that a broader discussion of US chemical control laws occurred, reforming the federal TSCA statute was the primary focus.  Representatives from industry, academia, the environmental community, and EPA testified on two different panels, and all witnesses supported TSCA reform.  The level of interest in the hearing seems to have surprised Subcommittee staff – the chamber was completely full, and with no room made available for overflow, the hall outside remained crowded for nearly the entire hearing. 

Readers will recall that the Subcommittee Chair, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), introduced a bill last year – the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2010” – that would have substantially revised TSCA.   Thursday’s hearing undoubtedly served to demonstrate the importance that Senator Lautenberg places on revising TSCA and his commitment to maintaining active debate on the topic.  Whether his commitment will enable the parties in both houses to reach consensus and pass legislation in 2011, or even 2012, remains to be seen.  There are plenty of reasons for skepticism; however, passage of a revised TSCA is likely to occur in the next few years. 

Senator Lautenberg began the hearing with a review of the testimony the Subcommittee received during the 111th Congress.  Other Subcommittee members, including Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Senator David Vitter (R-LA) also provided statements. 

In his statement, Senator Inhofe expressed hope that the parties could “reach an agreement to develop a workable bill, one based on the best available science, one that protects human health, and one that balances the need to protect jobs and economic growth.”  Senator Inhofe alluded to concerns in the House of Representatives about the potential impact on jobs and innovation that might result from a revised TSCA statute, concerns that could very well make passage of a revised statute difficult while fears of a double-dip recession still linger.  He also stated that modernization of TSCA should (1) be based on the best available science, (2) use a risk-based standard for chemical reviews, (3) include more rigorous cost-benefit requirements, (4) protect proprietary information, (5) reduce the likelihood of litigation, (6) avoid compelling product substitution, and (7) prioritize reviews for existing chemicals.

Senator Vitter offered six broad principles for the upcoming debate: (1) the need for EPA to update the TSCA Inventory to remove those chemicals which are no longer in commerce, which he estimated to be nearly three-quarters of the approximately 80,000 currently listed, (2) the unacceptability of adopting a program modeled after the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation since it would threaten innovation and US competitiveness, (3) the mistake of prematurely assuming REACH will become the global standard for chemicals regulation, (4) the need for any scientific studies to be repeatable when used by EPA to restrict or prohibit use of a chemical, (5) the need for peer review processes to be truly independent; and (6) the need for sound science, and not media attention, to provide the basis for any EPA decision to re-review a chemical prior to an established schedule. 

A total of six witnesses testified on the two panels, with EPA testifying exclusively on the first.  Again, all witnesses supported reforming or “modernizing” the TSCA statute.  They included:

  • The Honorable Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), EPA;
  • Ms. Kelly M. Semrau, Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs, Communication, and Sustainability, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.;
  • Mr. Steven J. Goldberg, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, BASF Corporation;
  • Ms. Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC);
  • Mr. Cal Dooley, President, American Chemistry Council (ACC); and
  • Dr. Lynn Goldman, MD, MPH, Dean, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Mr. Owens summarized the Obama Administration’s principles for TSCA reform, first articulated in 2009.   In response to questions, Mr. Owens also expressed concern about the potential over-use of claims of confidentiality – i.e., confidential business information (CBI) – to protect the identity of chemicals listed on the TSCA Inventory.  According to Mr. Owens, approximately 17,ooo of the 84,000 listed chemicals have their identities claimed as CBI, affecting the ability to study and understand their potential effects. 

Ms. Semrau testified that S.C. Johnson supports the modernization of TSCA, but stressed the need to protect product innovation. She observed that although S.C. Johnson evaluates all chemicals used in its products, data gaps remain and revising TSCA would provide an opportunity to examine where data gaps occur and how they could be filled. She also expressed the company’s concern about chemicals being regulated on a state-by-state basis, noting the potential for the states to adopt different, and potentially conflicting, chemical management requirements.

Mr. Goldberg emphasized the need for Congress to act, so that chemicals are managed at the federal level rather than on a state-by-state basis. He noted that American Chemistry Council, the Consumer Specialty Products Association, and the American Cleaning Institute have circulated principles for TSCA modernization, which BASF supports. Interestingly, he also stated that he believed, after reviewing the principles articulated by the various stakeholders, that industry and the environmental community had more in common than is often assumed. 

Ms. Beinecke expressed appreciation for the Subcommittee’s decision to convene a hearing on TSCA reform early in the 112th Congress. She, like the other witnesses, noted that the states are adopting their own chemical regulations due to federal inaction. She observed that, in the last eight years, 18 states have adopted 71 measures concerning controls on the use of specific chemicals or classes of chemicals, and that some have adopted broader reform initiatives, most of which received strong bipartisan support.  She also noted that legislators in more than 30 states introduced or announced plans to introduce chemical control legislation this year, and that various industrialized countries around the globe are also undertaking efforts to reform or adopt chemical management programs.

Mr. Dooley agreed on the need for TSCA modernization.  He urged Congressional action so that the U.S. would remain competitive globally, seemingly anticipating objections that may come from some in the House of Representatives.  He also urged action to discourage states from passing their own laws. Mr. Dooley stated that ACC and a broad coalition of its “value chain partners” are calling for “good TSCA modernization.” According to Mr. Dooley, a revised TSCA should require scientific objectivity, prioritize to identify data needs, and use a risk-based safety standard that considers a chemical’s use when taking regulatory actions.

Dr. Goldman, a former Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) — currently called the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention — reviewed a paper recently prepared by an American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Special Committee on TSCA Reform.  The Special Committee includes a bipartisan group of former EPA officials.  According to Dr. Goldman, the officials agreed on several points, including: (1) the necessity of a practical approach to amending TSCA because of the need for a flexible and a prioritized system to regulate chemicals, (2) the limited organizational capacity and resources currently available to EPA’s TSCA program, (3) the understanding that all chemicals are not created equal and therefore TSCA modernization should not become a “numbers game” where EPA is required to review a certain number of chemicals each year instead of first determining priorities for regulatory attention, (4) the need to preserve, but strengthen, much of the current chemical management system, (5) the availability and usefulness of other regulatory systems, in addition to REACH, that should be evaluated and potentially have elements incorporated into a revised TSCA, and (6) the need for Congress not to legislate how EPA should do the science since it can evolve quickly.

Whether Senator Lautenberg’s enthusiasm for reform will enable him to achieve a bipartisan and bicameral consensus remains to be seen.  Certainly, the calls for reforming TSCA are increasing among the various stakeholders.  However, as noted elsewhere, economic considerations are certain to affect the extent of any near-term progress.  Those considerations will influence not only the Congressional resources devoted to TSCA reform, but also the details of any legislative proposals.

Reminder: DTSC Reschedules Meeting on Results of Information Call-In for Carbon Nanotubes

Nanotechnology:

Due to state budget constraints, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has had to reschedule its August 13 meeting on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and other nanoscale chemicals substances and materials.  No new date has been provided.

DTSC was co-sponsoring the meeting with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the University of California, Los Angeles.  The sponsors had planned to discuss the results of the CNT information call-in that DTSC recently completed, future activities by DTSC on nanomaterial call-ins, and U.S. EPA efforts related to carbon nanotubes and future regulatory plans for nanomaterials.

Although readers can register here to attend in-person or via teleconference, no new date for the event has been provided.

Upcoming ABA-UM Law Conference on TSCA Reform in Baltimore, MD

TSCA Reform:

38th National Spring Conference on the Environment

Chemicals Regulation: REACHing For TSCA Reform

Date:   June 11, 2010

Enacted in 1976, the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the primary means by which the United States regulates commercial chemicals. Although intended to be ambitious in scope, TSCA has proven to be a poor regulatory framework and generally is considered inadequate. In the 33 years since its enactment, advances in toxicology and analytical chemistry have raised new questions about the effects of certain chemicals on human health and the environment. These questions have left the public anxious and confused about the safety of myriad different products. Technology seems to have outstripped the regulatory regime.

There is a growing national consensus that the United States needs to modernize its chemical management law. In recent years, individual states have entered what they perceive to be a regulatory vacuum, raising the prospect of an inconsistent regulatory patchwork. The European Union’s recently enacted REACH initiative has dramatically expanded the regulatory compliance obligations for United States companies doing business in the EU. Moreover, the Obama Administration has identified risk-based chemical regulation as one of its environmental priorities. While affirming the Administration’s commitment to green innovation, U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson also has called on Congress to grant the Agency new enforcement authority and has proposed a new funding mechanism for generating the information necessary to assess chemical safety. Recent high-profile Congressional hearings also underscore the momentum for change. It is very likely that both Houses of Congress will take up the issue of TSCA reform in the next turn.

This 38th National Spring Conference on the Environment addresses the question of chemical management regulation. Featuring prominent federal, state, and private-sector experts at the center of the emerging proposals for TSCA reform, the day-long conference will provide a wide-ranging discussion about the unprecedented opportunities and challenges inherent in crafting a national regulatory framework capable of ensuring public and environmental safety while also promoting green-chemistry innovation. The conference will consider the legal implications of regulatory change and will focus on the key policy choices at the heart of the reform process.

Keynote presentations from the primary initiator of TSCA and the Senior U.S. EPA Policy Advisor responsible for the Agency’s current TSCA efforts will add unique and timely perspectives to this critical set of discussions.

Program Co-Chairs
Rebecca M. Bratspies • Sara K. Orr
Blake A. Biles

This conference is hosted by the University of Maryland of Maryland School of Law and takes place in the Ceremonial Moot Court Room at the Nathan Patz Law Center, 500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

http://new.abanet.org/committees/environmental/Pages/38thNationalSpringConference.aspx

Welcome!

Welcome to the Green Chemistry Law Report, a legal blog produced by Verdant Law, PLLC, a boutique environmental and sustainability law firm in Washington, D.C.  Although located in the United States capital, Verdant has a global perspective, providing high-quality, personalized legal services to domestic and foreign clients on matters at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as those arising internationally.

Green Chemistry and Chemicals Management is one of the Firm’s principal areas of practice.  Because this is a rapidly evolving area, articles and conference speeches are not as well-suited to a timely discussion of the issues as a legal blog is.  Therefore, the Firm is launching the Green Chemistry Law Report to provide timely, in-depth coverage of regulatory issues concerning chemicals and products, and hopefully serve as a forum for discussing them.  Here you will find analysis and commentary on the latest legal and regulatory developments, as well as notices about news and events. Some of the topics the Report will cover include:

  • TSCA Reform,
  • REACh,
  • Product stewardship,
  • CEPA, 1999 and
  • California’s Green Chemistry Initiative.

So, check back frequently and actively participate.  And again, Welcome to the Green Chemistry Law Report!