Chemical Makers Urged to Prepare for Updated TSCA

By Pat Rizzuto

March 23 — Chemical manufacturers should review the chemicals they make and chemical data they have in hand to prepare to implement an amended Toxic Substances Control Act even before Congress passes the law, attorneys and chemical company officials said March 23 during a Global Chemical Regulations Conference.

Shaun Clancy, director of product stewardship at Evonik Industries, said his company already has talked with attorneys about actions it can take to prepare for the passage of TSCA-reform legislation. He spoke at the annual global conference co-hosted by ACC and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates, or SOCMA.

Momentum Building

Nearly every speaker said he or she expects Congress to pass this year some bill that merges the two chambers’ bills: the TSCA Modernization Act (H.R. 2576) and the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which passed the Senate as an amendment to H.R. 2576.

The Senate bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency to “reset” the TSCA inventory, which lists those chemicals that are or have been made in or imported into the U.S. since 1978. About 86,000 chemicals are currently on the inventory, but speakers said far fewer are expected to be in commerce.

In light of a possible inventory reset, Evonik plans to examine the chemicals it makes to be sure it knows which ones need to remain on the inventory, Clancy said. It also plans to double-check the names, or “nomenclature,” used to identify those chemicals, he said.

Substantiate Confidentiality Claims

Mark Duvall, an attorney with Beveridge & Diamond PC, said companies that conduct such internal reviews to prepare for an inventory reset should be prepared to substantiate any confidentiality claims they intend to make. Clancy said Evonik staff also will identify toxicity and exposure data the company has about its chemicals to be prepared to join trade association discussions that will address data call-in, the agency likely will issue in a few years, Clancy said.

In the near term, it is examining which company experts will participate in the EPA's implementation of the new law as there will be a need for technical and advocacy work, he said.

Cal Dooley, president and chief executive officer of the American Chemistry Council, said he expects the House and Senate to make significant progress on a TSCA-reform bill before Memorial Day.

The two chambers began to negotiate in earnest about differences between their two bills two weeks ago, Dooley told reporters. Had they started those negotiations two months ago, a bill could be law by now, he said.

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

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