Posts Tagged ‘TSCA’

The TSCA Reform Bills Have Passed Through the Senate Chemicals

Monday, February 15th, 2016

Recently, the Senate passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697). This was a historic moment in U.S. environmental law. But a great deal of work remains to be done before the objective of the bill is complete. Most importantly, S. 697 must be reconciled with the TSCA Modernization Act of 2015 (H.R. 2576), which was passed by the House in June 2015.

It is difficult to find anyone involved in industry, government, or environmental advocacy who opposes reforming TSCA, and provisions in both bills take similar approaches to that reform. For example, both bills would remove the shackles that have made it virtually impossible for the EPA to take action against existing chemicals that endanger public health. Both bills would install a safety-only analysis in place of the onerous cost-benefit analysis the EPA must undertake before regulating a chemical in commerce. The bills would also require that the Agency give special attention in its assessments to the effects chemicals have on children and other vulnerable subpopulations. The existing TSCA has no provision requiring consideration of any chemical’s impact on the most vulnerable groups. (more…)

TRI: The Now and Future Things

Monday, July 13th, 2015

What does the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have on tap for future TRI reports?

A TRI Recap

TRI reports are required to be submitted by facilities with 10 or more full-time employees, in specified Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes that manufacture, process, or otherwise use listed TRI chemicals in excess of the established thresholds. The thresholds per calendar year are:

  • 25,000 lbs per toxic chemical manufactured or processed, other than persistent bio-accumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals;
  • 10,000 lbs per toxic chemical for chemicals otherwise used, other than PBT chemicals; and
  • As listed in 40 CFR 372.28 for PBT chemicals.


Senate Panel Approves Toxic Chemical Safety Bill

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A Senate committee passed a bill on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 that would reform the federal government’s regulation of toxic chemicals for the first time in decades.

The bill passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee represents a last-minute bipartisan compromise that attracted the votes of all Republicans and four Democrats on the panel.

The measure would overhaul the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and is named after late Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who worked hard toward a TSCA reform bill for years before dying in 2013.

The draft bill introduced in March 2015 was criticized by most Democrats as a giveaway to the chemical industry, prompting Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), its sponsors, to negotiate a new compromise.  (more…)

2014 TSCA Work Plan Assessment Update

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), in 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began assessing existing chemicals for risks to human health and the environment and, in October 2014, published the first update to the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments.

In the beginning, back in 2012, the EPA first used several sources to identify chemicals meeting prioritization factor criteria as potential candidates for review, a process that initially identified 1,235 chemicals. Next, the chemicals were screened to determine if any chemicals should be excluded due to other factors, including:  (more…)

EPA Adds New TRI Reporting Category for Nonylphenol

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), in 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an Action Plan for Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates to look at near-term ways for addressing concerns about the chemicals’ toxicity. In September 2014, the EPA published a final rule adding the chemicals as a reporting category to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), effective beginning in the 2015 reporting year. Below is an overview of the chemicals, the category and compliance applicability.  (more…)

Conclusions from the TSCA Assessments

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Assessing risk from existing chemicals and certain uses of chemicals is the purpose of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Work Plan. As of September 2014, four chemical assessments were completed, two of which indicated the need for regulatory and/or risk reduction activities.

Conclusions from the TSCA Trichloroethylene Assessment

Each year, the United States uses 225 million pounds of Trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile organic compound (VOC) and human carcinogen. TCE is used widely, primarily in industrial and commercial processes as a solvent, degreaser, and fixative. EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (EPA/OPPT) focused the TCE assessment on characterizing human-health risks from inhalation and exposures to the chemical in scenarios that were expected to make frequent use of TCE in high concentrations and/or pose high potential for human exposure.  (more…)

TSCA Chemical Data Reporting

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requirements takes time and knowledge to become or remain compliant. The CDR submission periods are from June 1 to September 30 at 4-year intervals, beginning in 2016. The 2012 CDR submission period, in which 2011 manufacturing, processing, and use and 2010 production volume information was reported, ended August 13, 2012.

There’s still another couple of years until the 2016 TSCA reporting, however, there is no time like the present to get organized. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) included several changes in the 2012 reporting requirements, the agency delayed implementation of others until 2016, including: (more…)

House Introduces Draft Bill Aiming to Reform Toxic Substances Control Act

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

A draft bill aiming to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act would require EPA to categorize chemicals as “high priority” or “low priority” and would preempt state and local regulations when EPA issues rules and restrictions on specific chemicals.

The draft bill “reforms the law to ensure a transparent, workable and risk-based process for chemical review and regulation,” the House Energy and Commerce Committee said.

“It would create a commonsense prioritization and evaluation program for all existing chemicals in commerce and establish a uniform federal standard to help better facilitate interstate commerce in chemicals and other downstream U.S. manufactured goods,” the committee said in a news release. “The bill would also broaden access to specific chemical information while maintaining protection of intellectual property.” (more…)

$2.5 M Penalty Assessed for TSCA Violation

Friday, January 10th, 2014

The recent court decision penalizing one of the largest chromium manufacturers in the world $2,571,800, for Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) violations, is a very serious reminder to chemical manufacturers, processors and distributers to comply with TSCA disclosure requirements.

Statute of limitations is no defense in TSCA violation

The penalty was the result of a complaint filed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the chromium manufacturer who failed to immediately inform EPA’s Administrator of substantial risk information it obtained on October 8, 2002, via receipt of a report entitled Collaborative Cohort Mortality Study of Four Chromate Production Facilities, 1958-1998 – FINAL REPORT. According to EPA, the Report contained information that filled a gap in scientific information available concerning the relationship between exposure to hexavalent chromium and respiratory cancer in modern manufacturing facilities. (more…)

Are You Ready for TSCA Reform?

Monday, August 29th, 2011

The question most often asked when addressing this topic is, “Are you ready for Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) reform?” as if it is looming on the horizon but has yet to happen. The truth, however, is that most producers, manufacturers, and importers of chemical substances are dealing with chemical management changes on a daily basis.

Last year, there seemed to be growing momentum on this topic when both the TSCA of 2010 (H.R. 5820) and the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 (S. 3209) were introduced. Both bills were immediately referred to congressional committees, where they remained for quite some time. Although one committee hearing was held on H.R. 5820, no further legislative activity was ordered, and because these bills were introduced in a previous session, no further action can occur. So are they dead? Not likely. Members often reintroduce bills that did not come up for debate under a new number in the next session. Although last year’s expedited reform came to a halt, it is safe to say TSCA reform by Congress is not behind us. However, when it will return remains a question. (more…)