EPA to Issue Three Chemical Rules, 10 Risk Review Plans

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By Pat Rizzuto

The EPA is on track to issue by June 22 three final chemical rules regulating chemicals in commerce and documents laying out its strategies to assess the health and environmental risks of 10 specific chemicals that companies already use.

“EPA will be releasing the scope documents for the first 10 chemicals to undergo risk evaluations under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act at the same time that EPA releases the Lautenberg framework rules. We believe that the public will benefit from releasing the scopes at the same time as the rules because the scopes reflect our first efforts to implement the new risk evaluation process and the framework rules provide important context for that work,” Nancy Beck, deputy assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention, told Bloomberg BNA by email.

An EPA spokeswoman confirmed the rules and documents are scheduled to come out June 22, the statutory deadline for the three final rules.

The rules and risk evaluation scoping documents will affect companies up and down the supply chain as evidenced by a few examples of companies and trade associations that weighed in on them during their development. These companies included the Dow Chemical Co., the Procter & Gamble Co., the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, and the International Fragrance Association North America.

State regulatory agencies, unions, communities living near manufacturers and disease organizations are among the organizations tracking the rules and risk scoping documents to determine whether they lay out procedures that will adequately protect human health and the environment.

The Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, which overhauled the Toxic Substances Control Act as of June 22, 2016, required the EPA to develop the three final rules and 10 risk evaluation scoping documents.

The three final rules will describe the procedures the EPA will use to know what chemicals are actively in commerce, select chemicals as high or low priorities for future risk evaluations, and carry out those risk evaluations. Risk evaluations will determine whether a chemical poses an unreasonable risk warranting some kind of labeling, use or other restriction.

Information Development

The “scoping” documents will discuss the health and environmental concerns, chemical uses and exposures, and populations the EPA will evaluate as it examines the risks of 10 chemicals:

  •  asbestos;
  •  pigment violet 29, which is used to provide color to art, glass and other decorative materials;
  •  1, 4 dioxane, an impurity that can occur during chemical manufacture;
  •  the cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster of flame retardants called HBCD;
  •  carbon tetrachloride, which is used to make other chemicals; and
  •  1-bromopropane, methylene chloride, n-methylpyrolidone, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene, all of which are solvents.
Depending on what uses and exposures the agency says it will evaluate, companies and their trade associations, unions and other organizations may decide to gather or generate information to inform the agency’s final assessments.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachael Daigle at rdaigle@bna.com

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