EPA Issues First-Year Plan to Implement New Chemicals Law

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By Pat Rizzuto

June 29 — The Environmental Protection Agency issued its first-year plan June 29 to implement the newly amended U.S. chemicals law.

The plan describes changes the agency already has made to comply with the Toxic Substances Control Act amendments of 2016, which President Barack Obama signed into law June 22.

It also lists chemical regulations the EPA plans to propose before the end of this year and final rules the agency is required to issue in 2017.

The EPA organized its plan based on timelines the newly amended law gives to implement its requirements.

For example, the agency already is requiring chemical manufacturers and processors to substantiate claims they assert that would require the agency to keep specific chemical identities of new chemicals confidential.

Jim Jones, EPA's assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention, mentioned that and other immediate changes the TSCA amendments caused when he spoke at a June 28 American Bar Association luncheon.

By mid-July the EPA intends to develop an approach to routinely review new confidential business information (CBI) claims made for other types of information, EPA's plan said.

Four Rules Coming

The plan lists four rules the EPA plans to propose before the end of December. The agency intends to propose:

  •  the approach it would use to reset the TSCA inventory of chemicals that are or have been in U.S. commerce;
  •  the criteria and process it would use to identify chemicals as high priorities for risk evaluation or low priorities not needing immediate review;
  •  the procedures it would use to evaluate the risks of high priority chemicals; and
  •  the fees it would set to help defray the costs of implementing certain provisions of the TSCA amendments.

The procedures EPA will establish to evaluate the risks of high priority chemicals will be important not only to the agency but also to chemical manufacturers and other third parties that may submit draft risk evaluations to the agency.

Risk Management Rules

Rules that would restrict the use of three solvents—trichloroethylene (TCE), methylene chloride and n-methylpyrrolidone (NMP)—will be proposed by the end of 2016, according to the implementation plan.

The TSCA amendments allowed the agency to continue with chemical rulemakings that were already underway.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pat Rizzuto in Washington at prizzuto@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

For More Information

The EPA's first-year TSCA implementation plan is available at http://src.bna.com/gmR.

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