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December 14, 2015

Chemical Watch Includes Extensive Comments By Lynn Bergeson On Impacts Of TSCA Reform

The ACTA Group

The December 14, 2015, Chemical Watch article “TSCA Bill Could Have ‘Huge’ Impact On Downstream Users,” included quotes from Lynn L. Bergeson on possible results of TSCA Reform.

Changes to the chemical inventory as proposed in the US Senate Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform would have a “huge” impact on downstream users, according to Lynn Bergeson, owner of Bergeson & Campbell, PC.  Bill S697 proposes to reset the TSCA Inventory of Chemical Substances to determine which chemicals are still active and which are inactive.

Ms Bergeson said she couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of the inventory reset for manufacturers, processors, and downstream users. They should, she said ensure that their chemical – whether “on the receiving side from the supplier or a manufacturing or importing side” – stays on the inventory. Failure to reassert a chemical could “jeopardise” the substance, given that if it is not reasserted it would be required to go through the “front door”, that is to say through the new chemical requirements.

Ms Bergeson added that whether a TSCA reform package is passed or not, it is likely that EPA may continue to seek ways to exercise its authority under the current law. These efforts may include increased use of its authority under Section 5 of TSCA, additional use of “more robust” significant new use rules (Snurs), and the use of the agency’s “growing interest in diminishing the historic reliance upon the exemption for articles of chemicals that are subject to Snurs”.

In the current state of play, existing Snurs can act as a “regulatory backstop” to producers’ voluntary commitments to reduce or phase-out manufacture or import, which affects the downstream user’s use those substances. This was the case with such substances as perfluorinated chemicals (including PFOS and PFOA) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers like penta- and octa-PBDE, said Ms Bergeson.

Additionally, some new chemical control actions and Snurs include specific restrictions for downstream processing or uses. She said that these more “creative” uses of Snurs “show the agency is seeking to use what it has in new and different ways independent of TSCA reform”.