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March 26, 2014

Manufacturers Urge EPA to Apply TSCA Consistently in Final Rules for Six Mixtures

The ACTA Group

Kathleen M. Roberts was quoted in an article in Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report titled “Manufacturers Urge EPA to Apply TSCA Consistently in Final Rules for Six Mixtures.”

“Chemical manufacturers are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to apply Toxic Substances Control Act policies consistently to both biobased and petroleum-based chemical mixtures as it finalizes a proposed rule that would restrict uses of six chemicals designed for renewable fuels. ‘The agency’s decision on these six chemical mixtures is one of several situations in which the agency could decide to regulate biobased chemicals more stringently than it does the traditional petroleum-based compounds they are designed to replace or supplement,’ Kathleen Roberts, executive director of the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG), told Bloomberg BNA March 25. In this case, she said, a diverse group of biobased and petroleum-based chemical manufacturers all are urging the agency to apply consistently long-standing policies the agency has used to evaluate chemicals under TSCA. Those companies and trade associations include the American Chemistry Council, the American Petroleum Institute, BRAG and Chevron.

“ ‘The six biobased chemicals that would be covered under the proposed SNURs are similar in composition and intended use to existing chemicals derived from petroleum,’ Roberts of BRAG wrote. The biobased products consortium doesn’t represent the manufacturer of the chemicals, she added. Yet the requirements placed on the companies that would work with the biobased chemicals would be more stringent and the material safety data sheets that would accompany them would suggest the biobased chemicals pose greater risks than the petroleum-based chemicals they would replace, she wrote. ‘This will cause unnecessary confusion,’ Roberts wrote. ‘No valid scientific basis exists for imposing these measures, and EPA’s failure to provide any rational explanation for these regulatory choices make them arbitrary and capricious,’ she said.”