Comments by Lynn L. Bergeson Featured in Chemical Watch “Global Outlook 2021: Risk assessment and management under TSCA – what should we expect?”
Chemical Watch’s “Global Outlook 2021: Risk assessment and management under TSCA – what should we expect?” includes a conversation between Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and Terry Hyland, North America Managing Editor, Chemical Watch, regarding what to expect from the Biden Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2021. Excerpts from the article are below.
New challenges also lie ahead for the EPA, still working to update its TSCA fees rule and dealing with legal cases that could bring an expansion of asbestos reporting.
Day-to-day actions on TSCA policy, however, may not see significant change for some weeks, as the EPA awaits US Senate confirmation of presumptive new EPA administrator Michael Regan and deputy administrator Janet McCabe.
”One wildcard in future TSCA chemical reviews is the role environmental justice might play,” Lynn Bergeson, managing partner at Bergeson and Campbell, said.
Environmental justice is the idea that all people have the right to equal environmental protection under the law, and to live and work in communities that are healthy and safe. Mr. Biden has pledged to make that a central part of the EPA’s mission.
“It’s a very important goal,” Ms. Bergeson said, “but it has often been difficult to operationalise it.”
The Biden administration already has issued a pair of orders, calling for the EPA and other agencies to advance racial equity and under-served communities and to avoid burdening those that are vulnerable or marginalised.
Once Mr. Regan is confirmed as EPA administrator, Ms. Bergeson said she would expect a consistent focus “on all things” related to environmental justice, including risk evaluations, data management and the crafting of regulations.
Ms. Bergeson said her law firm has always prepared as much information as possible in advance of a new chemical submission. “The EPA’s approach has always been crystal clear,” she said, “if you don’t have a thorough submission, then you will pay the consequences.” That could mean a slower evaluation process, a potential order with added conditions or even a rejection of a PMN submission.