EPA Announces More Muscular Use of TSCA Section 6

TSCA/Section 6 restrictions:

June 7, 2012 Jim Jones, Acting Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, announced that EPA plans to use TSCA §6 to ban or restrict the use of chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk.  This is an extension of the Administrator’s 2009 Comprehensive Approach to Enhance the Agency’s Current Chemical’s Management Program.  At that time, the Agency announced a renewed focus on identifying chemicals of concern and initiating appropriate risk management, including regulatory action to restrict or ban chemicals.  Jones’ Office explained that the agency intends to use its existing authority to the best of its ability until Congress enacts TSCA reform.  It noted that TSCA reform is one of the Administrator’s highest priorities.

Jones statement was made at the Environmental Council of the States’ State Environmental Protection in 2012 forum.  He spoke extemporaneously.  For further information, Jones’ Office recommends reviewing the Comprehensive Approach and the Administrator’s Essential Principles for Reform of Chemicals Management Legislation.  See also the Administrator’s September 2009 remarks announcing both efforts.

New TSCA Work Plan Chemicals

TSCA/Work Plan for Existing Chemicals/Chemical Risk Assessment

June 1, 2012 EPA announced the addition of 18 chemicals to its work plan for existing chemicals risk assessment. The 18 chemicals include flame retardants, fragrance chemicals, and chlorinated hydrocarbons.  Many of these chemicals are potentially carcinogenic, or pose reproductive or developmental toxicity.  In addition, some of these chemicals present persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic potential or are found in consumer products.  New and existing work plan chemicals are listed on EPA’s website.

As part of the Agency’s strategy to manage existing chemicals (see EPA’s Existing Chemicals Program Strategy (PDF), EPA has been screening chemicals against risk criteria (see e.g., Identifying Priority Chemicals for Review and Assessment).  Chemicals are likely to be flagged for further review and assessment if screening indicates:

  • children’s health effects (e.g., chemicals with reproductive or developmental effects);
  • persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT);
  • carcinogenic effect ;
  • presence in children’s products;
  • presence in consumer products; and
  • detection by biomonitoring programs. 

In the June 1 announcement, EPA solicited unpublished health and safety studies on these chemicals.  Research should be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-20110-516 by August 31, 2012. Health and safety studies comprise “any study of any effect of a chemical substance or mixture on health or the environment or on both,” including but not limited to:

  • Epidemiological or clinical studies;
  • Studies of occupational exposure;
  • In vivo and in vitro toxicological studies; and
  • Ecotoxicological studies;

Risks assessments on the new work plan chemicals will be conducted in 2013 and 2014.

EPA Denies TSCA Petition for Banning Lead Fishing Tackle

TSCA:

On February 14, 2012, EPA formally announced that it was denying the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition to ban or restrict lead (Pb) in fishing tackle  – fishing weights, sinkers, lures,jigs, etc. – pursuant to section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The agency stated succinctly:  “After careful review, EPA has determined that, while the petition does provide evidence ofexposure and a risk to waterfowl in some areas ofthe United States, it does not provide a basis for finding that the risk presented is an unreasonable risk for which federal action under section 6(a) of TSCA is necessary to adequately protect against such risks.”  In other words, CBD failed to show that (a) an unreasonable risk of injury was present, and (b) that risk required federal action to correct.   A copy of EPA’s letter is available here, and the Federal Register notice, setting out the complete supporting analysis, is available here.  CBD’s petition is avaialble here.

EPA reasoned that existing federal and state regulatory and educational efforts were sufficiently protective.   “Your petition does not demonstrate why federal action is necessary given the mix of regulatory and education actions state agencies and the Federal Government already are taking to address the impact of lead fishing tackle on local environments. The risk described in the petition does appear to be more prevalent in some geographic areas than others, and the trend over the past decade has been for increasing state and localized federal activity regarding lead in fishing tackle. The petition does not demonstrate that these state and local efforts are ineffective or have failed to reduce the exposure and risks presented to waterfowl in particular.”  In other words, the data simply weren’t there to support the petitioners’ request.

EPA Budget Would Increase Spending on Chemical Assessment and Control

EPA Budget/Chemical Control

According to an EPA press release, today the Obama Administration proposed a FY 2013 budget of $8.344 billion for the agency. The budget is $105 million below the EPA’s enacted level for FY 2012, but it increases spending by $11 million, or approximately 16%, to “protect … Americans from harmful chemicals.”  This increase for chemical assessment and control signals a clear intention to promote regulatory TSCA reform and related efforts in the absence of legislative reform. 

The press release states – “EPA is proposing $68 million, an increase of $11 million from FY 2012, to reduce chemical risks, increase the pace of chemical hazard assessments, and provide the public with greater access to toxic chemical information. Funding will sustain the agency’s successes in managing the potential risks of new chemicals coming into the market and accelerating the progress to help ensure the safety of chemicals on the market that have not been tested for adverse human health and environmental impacts.”

A complete copy of the agency’s budget proposal is available here.

EPA Fines Dover Chemical $1.4 Million for TSCA Violations – But Was EPA Really Looking for an Easy Way to Ban SCCPs?

TSCA Enforcement:

On February 7, 2012, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with the Dover Chemical Company to resolve alleged violations of the premanufacture notice (PMN) requirements in section 5 of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Section 5 requires companies to file a PMN and receive EPA approval before manufacturing a “new” chemical – i.e., one not listed on the TSCA Inventory of existing chemical substances.  EPA accused Dover of failing to file PMNs before manufacturing various chlorinated paraffins at the company’s facilities in Ohio and Indiana.  Although the settlement is noteworthy in demonstrating EPA’s willingness to reinterpret the TSCA Inventory and enforce that reinterpretation, it is perhaps more noteworthy because it suggests EPA is willing to use enforcement as a shortcut to banning substances, as described in the last paragraph of this posting.  A copy of the settlement agreement is available here, and the EPA press release is available here

As part of the settlement, Dover will pay $1.4 million in civil penalties, and the company will stop manufacturing short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs).  Dover is the only domestic producer of those substances.  In addition, Dover will file PMNs for certain medium-chain and long-chain chlorinated paraffins (MCCPs and LCCPs) in hopes of receiving EPA approval.  Whether the company will receive approval – and if so, under what terms – remains to be seen.

Dover appears to have fun afoul of EPA’s nomenclature guidance and ever-evolving interpretation of the TSCA Inventory.  When EPA first established the TSCA Inventory, the agency arguably required less precision with substance identification.  Over time, however, that has changed.  The agency would certainly disagree, arguing it has been consistent over time, but experience suggests otherwise.  In 1995, EPA published nomenclature guidance – available here – – for complex reaction products, UVCB substances, mixtures, and substances containing varying carbon chain lengths (such as some SCCPs have).  In certain cases, that guidance conflicted with earlier agency statements, requiring some companies to seek Inventory corrections, pursue exemptions or file PMNs for substances they had been manufacturing for years.  Since 1995, EPA has reinterpreted the Inventory status of statutory mixtures and activated phosphors, among others.  It’s almost certain that more changes are on the horizon with the current Administration’s aggressive and expansive use of the TSCA statute.

Perhaps of greatest interest to cynics is the agency’s apparent use of the enforcement mechanism to essentially achieve a ban on SCCPs.  In December 2009, EPA published a Chemical Action Plan for SCCPs , proposing to ban or restrict SCCPs under section 6(a) because the chemicals are thought to be persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT), a set of hazard traits that regulatory agencies are particularly concerned about.  The Plan also identified Dover as the only known domestic producer.  According to the settlement agreement, December 2009 was the same month that Dover received a NOV for alleged violations of the PMN requirements for SCCPs and other chemicals.  It is doubtful that this timing was coincidental.  While Dover’s agreement to cease production of SCCPs doesn’t apply to other manufacturers/importers, by shutting down the only domestic production and publicly questioning the Inventory status of many SCCPs, EPA effectively achieved a ban.   This is a cynical conclusion perhaps, but the publicly available facts suggest it’s a reasonable one to draw.  Did EPA initiate enforcement to achieve a result that would have been more difficult to achieve under section 6(a)?  You decide.

Phil Moffat Will Participate on ABA Panel Concerning California's Green Chemistry Regulations

Green Chemistry Regulations:

Verdant is pleased to announce that Philip Moffat will participate on a “quick teleconference” program sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, titled California Dreaming, Reality, or Nightmare?  California’s New Paradigm in Chemicals and Products Regulation Is Coming to a Store Near You.”  The December 13, 2011, teleconference will discuss the substantially revised regulations recently proposed by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to implement AB 1879, a new California Green Chemistry Initiative law designed to “accelerate the quest for safer products” in the state.  In addition to discussing the law’s requirements and its implementation, the teleconference will provide both industry and public health perspectives. 

Other speakers include:

  • Philip Crowley, Assistant General Counsel, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ
  • Dr. Joseph Guth, UC Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry; and the Science and Environmental Health Network, Berkeley, CA
  • Dr. Jeff Wong, Chief Scientist, DTSC, Sacramento, CA
  • Ann Grimaldi, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, San Francisco, CA

There are two ways to participate in this program, either attending a host site location or individual dial-in.  Participation at a host site location is free of charge for ABA members, and $110 for non-members.  Registration with the host site contact is required, however.  The host sites are:

  • San Francisco, CA
    McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, 101 California St., # 41
    RSVP: Cynthia Kelly, (415) 267-4051 or ckelly@mckennalong.com
  • Washington, DC
    McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, 1900 K Street, NW
    RSVP: Debbie Leitner, (202) 496-7372, dleitner@mckennalong.com

The teleconference will begin promptly at 1:00 pm EasternTime, Tuesday, December 13, 2011, and last for 105 minutes.

  • 1:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time / 12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Central Time
  • 11:00 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Mountain Time / 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time

Additional information about the teleconference is available here.

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.

EPA to Identify Priority Chemicals for Review

Readers interested in EPA chemical risk management efforts may be interested in the Agency’s new initiative to identify priority chemicals for review and possible risk management action under TSCA. This initiative is part Agency efforts to enhance its chemical management program.  The Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics notes that strengthening EPA’s chemicals management and risk assessment program is an Agency priority. Goals for the chemical prioritization initiative include identification of highest priority chemicals, determination of whether risk is significant, and whether risk management or other action under TSCA is warranted. The Agency plans to release an initial list of priority chemicals by late fall.

To identify candidate chemicals for review, EPA will consider risk-based prioritization factors similar to those used for selecting chemicals on which EPA has recently prepared Chemical Action Plans. Children’s health issues, PBT chemicals, and carcinogens are among the Agency’s highest hazard-based priorities.

The Agency has specifically solicited public input on which prioritization factors should receive greatest consideration. Following this data collection, EPA will refine the list of priority chemicals for review using a broader range of data sources. It has also requested comments on which data sources the Agency should consider to help identify priority chemicals. Potential data sources for both exposure and use-related information and hazard data sources are listed in the Discussion Guide for Identifying Priority Chemicals for Review and Assessment (available here). A web-based discussion forum is available for submitting suggestions. Submissions will be accepted only until 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on September 14, 2011. At a later date this information will also be available in docket, EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-0516, at http://www.regulations.gov.

EPA stresses that decisions about whether or not a chemical presents a risk to human health or the environment will be made only after review and assessment efforts are completed. That is, identification of a chemical as a priority chemical for review is not an Agency “finding” under TSCA.

The Agency anticipates that the chemicals identified as priority chemicals for review will likely be well-characterized for hazard and have information indicating exposure potential. The discussion guide notes that EPA will continue to use its TSCA information collection, testing, and subpoena authorities, including sections 4, 8, and 11(c) of TSCA, to develop needed information on additional chemicals that currently have less robust hazard or exposure databases.

A webinar describing this effort was conducted September 7, 2001. The slides presented during that program are available here.

More Information on EPA’s efforts to Identify Priority Chemicals for Review available here.

General information on EPA’s Enhancing EPA’s Chemical Management Program available here.

Information on EPA Development of Chemical Action Plans available here.

EPA Publicly Discloses More Chemical Identities Claimed Confidential under TSCA

TSCA/CBI:

On June 8, 2011, EPA announced the public disclosure of the identities of more than 150 chemicals contained in 104 health and safety studies that had been claimed confidential under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  For those 104 studies, the chemical identity will no longer be redacted, or kept from public view.  According to EPA, the chemicals at issue are used in dispersant formulations and consumer products such as air fresheners, non-stick and stain resistant materials, fire resistant materials, nonylphenol compounds, perfluorinated compounds, and lead.  This latest development is another demonstration of EPA’s commitment to increasing transparency under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by making publicly available more information about chemical hazards.

Readers will recall that, in 2010, EPA challenged industry to declassify voluntarily unwarranted claims of confidential business information (CBI).  EPA also issued new guidance outlining plans to deny CBI claims for chemical identity in health and safety studies under TSCA.  Based on this guidance, EPA notified a number of companies in February 2011 that it had determined that their CBI claims were not eligible for confidential treatment under TSCA and that EPA intended to make the information public.  (See related posts here and here.)   The health and safety studies included in the lastest disclosure  include some declassified by EPA and other voluntary declassifications by companies in response to EPA’s challenge.

In addition to these actions, EPA over the past several months has taken a number of other steps to make chemical information more readily available.  EPA provided the public, for the first time ever, with free access to the consolidated TSCA Inventory on the EPA and Data.Gov websites.  EPA also launched a new chemical data access tool that gives the public the ability electronically to search EPA’s database of more than 10,000 health and safety documents on a wide range of chemicals that they may come in contact with every day. (See related post here.)  More information about EPA’s transparency initiative under TSCA is avaialble here.