Implementing the 2016 TSCA Amendments – Progress & Prognosis

Verdant Attorney Irene Hantman will speak on Wednesday, February 22 at a panel discussion among experts on implementing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The program includes a panel of legal experts, current and former EPA officials, and representatives from environmental NGOs and trade groups. The panel will discuss topics including:

  • The potential effects of the change in Administration
  • Congress’ oversight role
  • Regulatory actions already taken by EPA
  • Regulatory actions required during 2017

The program includes an informal brown bag lunch for in-person participants in Washington, D.C., as well as dial-in participation. If attending in person, please RSVP to Gina Dean at gina.dean@apks.com; teleconference information is forthcoming. This event is sponsored by the Pesticide, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER), with co-sponsorship by the Environmental Law Institute and SEER’s Special Committee on Congressional Relations, and hosted by Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

Please see the announcement [PDF] for more details.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Location: Arnold & Porter LLP, 601 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001

Arrival Time: 11:45 am; plan to arrive in advance to check in and pass through security; the dialogue will begin promptly at noon and will conclude at 2:00 pm.

Moderator: Larry Culleen, Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Panelists:

  • Jim Jones, Former Assistant Administrator, US EPA [invited]
  • Wendy Cleland-Hamnet, Office Director, Office of Pollution Prevention & Toxics, US EPA
  • Mike Walls, VP Regulatory & Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council [invited]
  • Richard Denison, Lead Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Ernie Rosenberg, President & CEO, American Cleaning Institute
  • Lynn Bergenson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell
  • Martha Marrapese, Partner, Keller & Heckman
  • Irene Hantman; Verdant Law

 

Help Wanted: Part-Time Environmental of Counsel Position

Verdant Law, PLLC seeks an exceptional environmental lawyer for its Washington, DC office.  The firm needs support for its enforcement defense and compliance counseling practice.  Most matters involve internal investigations, audits, defense of agency enforcement actions, or regulatory compliance counseling.  The practice concentrates on product-based environmental, health, and safety requirements under federal laws, including the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), the Federal Hazardous Substance Act (FHSA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).  (A description of the firm’s practice is available at www.verdantlaw.com.)

The position requires, on average, 25 hours per week and occasional travel.  The hourly rate will be dependent on experience and credentials.

Requirements:

The ideal candidate will have 5 years of experience in environmental law in an administrative or litigation capacity.  Experience in product-oriented fields, such as advertising, toxic tort, product liability, and consumer product regulation will also be considered.

Candidates must possess creative problem-solving skills, good writing skills, strong interpersonal skills, detail orientation, the ability to work independently, and good judgment.  A technical engineering or scientific background is also desirable.

Submittals:

Candidates should submit a resume, two pieces of original written work product that demonstrate the ability to discuss complex issues clearly and concisely in five pages or less, and three references.  To apply, please send application materials to Philip A. Moffat, Managing Principal, at pmoffat@verdantlaw.com.  No calls, please.

GlobalChem presentation: TSCA Enforcement and Compliance Issues for Industry.

For those of you who weren’t able to make it to GlobalChem 2014 in Baltimore last week, we’ve posted Irene Hantman‘s presentation on enforcement and compliance issues associated with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Irene’s presentation is targeted towards industry members, and was part of a panel discussing various aspects of TSCA compliance and enforcement which also featured Rosemarie Kelley, Director of the Waste and Chemical Enforcement Division at U.S. EPA, and Kindra Kirkeby, HSES Counsel at NewMarket Services. If you have any questions about the presentation, please feel free to contact Verdant or email Irene directly.

Download here: TSCA Enforcement and Compliance Issues for Industry [PDF]

Verdant to sponsor 2014 GlobalChem Conference.

Verdant is proud to announce our sponsorship of the upcoming American Chemistry Council and Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates GlobalChem Conference and Exhibition in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference will be held March 3-5, 2014 and will cover topics important to the chemical regulations field, ranging from TSCA modernization to California’s Safer Consumer Products program to updates on REACH registration.

Verdant’s Managing Principal, Philip Moffat, said:  “This is one of the premier chemical regulatory conferences in the United States.  We’re proud of our partnership with ACC, SOCMA, and the other conference sponsors.”

We will post more information about Verdant’s participation in the conference as it approaches.

Verdant Proudly Sponsors Prop.65 Clearinghouse's Green Chemistry Conference

Green Chemistry:

Verdant is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the Prop.65 Clearinghouse Green Chemistry Annual Conference.  This year’s conference will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, at the The City Club of San Francisco, 155 Sansome Street.

  • Verdant attorney, Philip Moffat, will present on “REACH 2013.”
  • Verdant attorney, Catherine Lin, will present on “Supply Chain Management.”

More information about the conference is available here and an agenda is available here.   A copy of Mr. Moffat’s presentation is available here [PDF].

EPA Proposes Significant New Use Rules for 37 Chemicals and Nanomaterials

TSCA/SNUR/Nanotechnology:

Background

Continuing its robust exercise of its expansive TSCA authority, EPA last week released proposed Significant New Use Rules (“SNURs”) under TSCA for 37 chemicals, including 14 nanoengineered carbon compounds. The SNURs cover a wide range of uses, including the manufacture, processing, and import of adhesives, coatings, colorants, lubricants, chemical intermediates, etc., and result from premanufacture notice (“PMN”) submissions from as long ago as 2000. For almost half of the affected chemicals, the SNURs essentially codify protective measures already required under existing consent orders; the rest are largely based on PMN use scenarios.

EPA has already determined that 17 of the substances addressed by the proposed rule “may present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health or environment” and thus are subject to risk-based consent orders under TSCA § 5(e). The proposed SNURs for these substances adopt certain safety precautions already required by the consent orders. For example, for certain chemicals, workers would be required to wear specified respirators unless air monitoring shows that the substance is actually present in concentrations lower than the New Chemical Exposure Limit (“NCEL”). The NCEL provisions, already incorporated in the § 5(e) consent orders, were established by EPA “to provide adequate protection to human health” and modeled after Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs). Users who wish to pursue the NCEL alternative to the respirator requirement would have to request permission to do so under 40 CFR § 721.30 (“EPA approval of alternative control measures.”) EPA anticipates approving such requests under the same conditions already present in the consent orders.

The other 20 substances covered by the new SNURs are not subject to § 5(e) consent orders. These “non-5(e) SNURs” cover certain changes from the use scenarios described in the PMNs which could result in increased exposure, per 40 CFR § 721.170(c)(2).

In addition to personal protective equipment, the SNURs impose various standard use restrictions on the chemicals, such as prohibiting manufacture in the U.S., limiting use to conditions specified in existing consent orders, and banning release to water. EPA also recommends various types of toxicity testing to better characterize the new chemicals’ environmental effects.

Regulatory actions flowing from SNURs

Upon promulgation of the SNURs, any users of the affected substances will be required to determine whether they must submit a Significant New Use Notification (“SNUN”) to EPA 90 days prior to engaging in one of the designated “new uses.” On receipt of the SNUN, EPA may take further regulatory action under TSCA § 5(e), 5(f), 6 or 7, or otherwise publish a notice in the Federal Register explaining its reasons for not taking action.

In addition, EPA’s proposal of the SNURs triggers export notification requirements under TSCA § 12(b). Any exporter or intended exporter of the affected chemicals must notify EPA of the first export or intended export to a particular country, unless the substance is present at certain low concentrations that qualify for the de minimus exemption. If and when the SNURs are finalized, importers of the affected substances must also certify their compliance the SNURs.

EPA is accepting comments on the proposed SNURs through April 26, 2013.

Naming nanoscale materials and other CBI concerns

In the proposed SNURs, EPA identifies nanoengineered carbon compounds based on generic structural terms in order to protect the confidential chemical identities of the substances. EPA uses terms like, for example, “single-walled carbon nanotube” (or “SWCNT”), along with PMN numbers to identify the substances for inclusion in the TSCA Inventory.

The nomenclature developed by EPA is further described in a document, “Material Characterization of Carbon Nanotubes for Molecular Identity (MI) Determination & Nomenclature,” which should be available soon under the docket number EPA–HQ–OPPT–2012–0727. It is likely to be similar to or the same as the identically-named document published with the SNUR finalized in 2011 for a substance named as “multi-walled carbon nanotubes.”

If an intended user is uncertain whether its chemicals are subject to the new SNURs, EPA advises contacting the agency or obtaining a written determination under the bona fide procedures in 40 CFR § 721.11. Since production volume limits and certain other uses detailed in the proposed SNURs may also be claimed as CBI, users may not know whether their intended production volumes constitute a significant new use. The bona fide procedures also apply to such cases. If, after evaluating detailed submissions on the intended use, EPA finds that the user has a bona fide intent to manufacture, produce, or import the substance, the agency will advise whether the intended use would qualify as a significant new use.

CIEL Report Claims Regulation Stimulates Chemical Innovation

Chemical Regulation/Innovation:

Earlier this month, the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) released its report, Driving Innovation: How stronger laws help bring safer chemicals to market.  In the report, CIEL offers research showing that stronger laws foster innovation by large and small companies alike.  Among other things,CIEL cites the number of patents for alternative chemicals filed every time there’s new chemical regulation. CIEL is located in Washington, D.C. and Geneva, Switzerland.  More information about CIEL is available here.

Forbes magazine recently published an article on this same topic, citing the CIEL report among other sources.  That article is available here.

What do others think of this conclusion?

EU Commission Releases Roadmap on Substances of Very High Concern

EU REACH Substances of Very High Concern:

Last week, the EU Commission released its Roadmap on Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). The Roadmap outlines a process for identifying and assessing potential SVHCs within the following categories: substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMRs); substances that are persistent, bioaccumulative or toxic for the environment (PBTs); substances that are very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvBs); and substances of equivalent concern, such as endocrine disruptors. The Roadmap estimates that the process will evaluate up to 440 substances, a far lower number than the 1,900 substances originally anticipated, with an initial goal of completing 80 assessments by the end of 2014.

The Roadmap follows the Commission’s commitment to compile a comprehensive REACH candidate list of SVHCs and is designed to help meet the Commission’s plan to include all currently known SVHCs on the candidate list by 2020.

The SVHC Roadmap proposes first screening substances with REACH registration dossiers by applying a minimum quantity threshold and generally exempting substances registered only for intermediate uses. The second step entails conducting a “Risk Management Options” (RMO) analysis. Under this approach, the best regulatory option to manage a particular risk is chosen after considering actions available within REACH (like imposing authorization, restriction or substance evaluation requirements) or under other legislative schemes, such as RoHS. For example, the Roadmap suggests that substances with demonstrated risk should be restricted under REACH.

The roadmap is downloadable as a PDF from the EU website.

Upcoming Public Hearing on California's Draft Green Chemistry Regulations

California Green Chemistry Regulations:

California EPA and DTSC have announced a public meeting on the draft regulations.  The meeting will occur on Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

See announcement embedded below.

CALIFORNIA ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY COUNCIL

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING

Department of Toxic Substances Control’s

Safer Consumer Products Proposed Regulations

Need for a Multimedia Evaluation

The Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) will convene a public meeting of the California Environmental Policy Council (CEPC) to consider the need for a multimedia evaluation of the Safer Consumer Products regulations proposed by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). The public meeting will commence as follows:

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.

2ndFloor – Sierra Hearing Room

Joe Serna, Jr. Cal/EPA Building

1001 “I” Street, Second Floor

Sacramento, California

At the public meeting, the CEPC will consider the DTSC staff report on the Need for a Multimedia Evaluation of the Safer Consumer Products Regulations. Based on the report and public comments, the CEPC will determine whether or not DTSC’s proposed regulations will have a significant adverse impact on public health or the environment.  The public comments made in this public meeting should be primarily focused on the recommendation contained in the DTSC report.

Persons interested in commenting on the DTSC Safer Consumer Products regulations must do so by sending their comments directly to DTSC as part of the rulemaking process,  by email to gcregs@dtsc.ca.gov, fax (916) 323-5542, or by mail to:

Department of Toxic Substances Control

Regulations Section

PO Box 806

Sacramento, CA 95812-0806

For further details or for a copy of the report, please visit Cal/EPA’s website at: http://www.calepa.ca.gov/Cepc/

 

 

Virginia Assembly Opposes Agenda 21

Sustainability:

Yes, from the state that brought us Thomas Jefferson and so many other leaders, we now get the following.  Leaders or not?  You decide.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 654

Offered January 9, 2013

Prefiled January 8, 2013

Recognizing the need to oppose United Nations Agenda 21.

———-

Patrons– Lingamfelter, Cole, Hodges, Landes and Peace

———-

Referred to Committee on Rules

———-

WHEREAS, United Nations Agenda 21, a comprehensive nonbinding, voluntarily implemented action plan concerning sustainable development, environmentalism, social engineering, and globalism, was first presented at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992; and

WHEREAS, United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly introduced in states and local communities across the nation by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives through local sustainable development policies such as Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other “green” or “alternative” projects; and

WHEREAS, United Nations Agenda 21, a radical plan of purported “sustainable development,” envisions the American way of life of private property ownership, single-family homes, and individual freedoms as destructive to the environment; and

WHEREAS, in addition, social justice is described by United Nations Agenda 21 as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded by society and the environment that would be accomplished by the redistribution of wealth; and

WHEREAS, United Nations Agenda 21, referring to the 21st century, is an action agenda of the United Nations, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels; United Nations Agenda 21 has been affirmed and modified at subsequent United Nations conferences and various countries have become signatories, including the United States; and

WHEREAS, because United Nations Agenda 21 is not a treaty, the United States Senate has been unable to hold a formal debate or vote to ratify it, and the executive branch has not acted on it in any way; nevertheless, there is support in Congress for United Nations Agenda 21 and over 528 United States cities have become members of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world; and

WHEREAS, according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, national sovereignty is deemed a social injustice and opposition to the policy has increased over the last 10 years in the United States at the local, state, and federal levels, and several state and local governments have passed legislation rejecting United Nations Agenda 21 as “erosive of American sovereignty”; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly recognize the need to oppose United Nations Agenda 21 due to its radical plan of purported “sustainable development,” and that the General Assembly recognize the policy’s infringement on the American way of life and individual freedoms and ability to erode American sovereignty.

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit a copy of this resolution to the United States Secretary of State, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation in order that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter during their deliberations.