A series of rulemaking actions have begun to implement the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act), which recently modernized the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Last week, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), received two key proposed rules from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The proposed rules, which are not yet publicly available, establish the process for prioritization and risk evaluation under the Lautenberg Act changes to TSCA’s framework. The prioritization process rule will establish procedures and criteria for designating chemicals as either “high priority” or “low priority.” The risk evaluation rule sets out the process for evaluating risks in “high priority” chemicals.
According to EPA’s First Year Implementation Plan, the agency’s goal is to publish these proposed rules in mid-December. Finalization of both rules is required by mid-June 2017, the deadline set by the law. The Plan also set mid-December 2016 as a milestone for publishing proposed rules for inventory reporting and fees. In addition, the Lautenberg Act requires the agency to release the list of ten Work Plan chemicals chosen for initial risk evaluations by the same time.