REGULATORY ALERT: TSCA REFORM AND PRIORITIZATION

3 October, 2016

What’s Happening?

With the enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, there are numerous changes being implemented with regards to the Toxic Substances Control Act.  One of the more significant changes is that of the Inventory Reset which will allow the EPA to determine which chemical substances are active in commerce and which are now inactive.  Once the list of active chemical substances is established, the EPA must prioritize these active substances as either high-priority or low-priority substances.  

A high-priority chemical substance is one that may present an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment and EPA must then conduct a full risk evaluation.  If there is an absence of data on the chemical substance and the potential for unreasonable risk cannot be determined, that chemical substance will also be designated as a high-priority chemical.  

A low-priority chemical substance has sufficient information to determine that it is not high-priority.

How Could it Impact Me?

Within one year of the final rule being enacted, EPA must promulgate a rule that will establish a risk-based screening process for designating high- and low-priority substances.  The screening process must take the following into consideration:

  • Hazard and exposure potential
  • Exposure to susceptible subpopulations
  • Storage near significant sources of drinking water

After the full risk assessment is performed on those designated as high-priority, if the chemical substance is found to cause unreasonable risk, the agency must act by doing one of the following:

  • Ban the chemical
  • Phase out the chemical
  • Impose restrictions that will ensure that the chemical substance will no longer present an unreasonable risk.

This section of new TSCA will result in the review and prioritization of thousands of chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory.  The determination that a chemical substance is found to cause unreasonable risk could result in restrictions or even a complete ban of the chemical.  

The deadlines that have been put in place as a result of TSCA Reform are very aggressive.  Within 3.5 years of enactment of the new law, the EPA must be conducting risk evaluations on at least 20 high-priority chemicals.  In the same timeframe, the EPA must also designate at least 20 low-priority substances.

Contact Us:

Critical Path Services can help you to interpret the changes implemented through the new law and assist you in positioning your company to meet these new challenges.

Critical Path can also provide representatives of your company with a free consultation to talk you through the major changes in TSCA and how these changes could affect your business.

Elizabeth Dederick, Ph.D. Vice President, Industrial Chemicals and Biocides
+1 610 558 3001 Ext. 102 +1 610 558 6025 send mail