Lautenberg Implementation

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The New Toxic Substances Control Act is Now Five Years Old: A Report Card - It Is a Mixed Bag, but We Are Getting There," The Debate, from ELI The Environmental Forum , May/June 2021.

June 22 of this year will mark the fifth anniversary since President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Popularly still known by the name of the 40-year-old statute it replaced, the new version of the Toxic Substances Control Act had a vision to follow in reforming a system for evaluating and regulating chemicals in commerce that everyone, from industry to green NGOs to government officials, agreed was weak and ineffective. The new TSCA, promising to fix a broken statute, received bipartisan support and was the first major environmental law in a quarter century.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Better Understand TSCA’s Long Reach," Chemical Processing, March 14, 2021.

If anyone on planet Earth thinks the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended, is not commercially consequential, think again. The implementation of the 2016 amendments by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is triggering tremendous commercial disruption. The EPA’s March 8, 2021, announcement seeking comment on five final rules for persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals issued on January 6, 2021, and, importantly, granting a rare “No Action Assurance” regarding the PIP (3:1) rule, is demonstrable proof of TSCA’s enormous reach. The reasons behind this regulatory action are revealing and demonstrate why the PIP (3:1) experience is a cautionary tale.

Richard E. Engler, Ph.D. and Jeffery T. Morris, Ph.D., "Why the US EPA can, and should, evaluate the risk-reducing role a new chemical may play if allowed on the market," Chemical Watch, February 22, 2021.

In the 21st century, we take as given a continuous stream of new and better products. From electronics to building materials to transportation solutions, the flow of new and better products and applications seems unending. New chemical substances play a fundamental role in creating those products and making existing products better. If the pipeline of new chemicals were closed off, the flow of new products and applications would slow to a trickle and eventually dry up. Modern life as we know it would not exist without the continued invention, production and use of new chemicals.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Orders Testing For Nine Chemicals," Chemical Processing, February 21, 2021.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on January 15, 2021, that it has issued test orders under Section 4 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain additional data on nine of the next 20 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation. Many in the industrial chemical community expect the EPA to use its TSCA testing authority much more in the coming years. The January orders seem to confirm that expectation. This article discusses the significance of the action.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Environmental Justice: Operationalizing TSCA to Fulfill Its Destiny," American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Blog, February 4, 2021.

The Biden Administration has embraced environmental justice with unprecedented gusto.  In its July 2020 Plan to Secure Environmental Justice and Equitable Economic Opportunity (Plan), the Biden Administration sets out in broad terms how it intends to use an “All-of-Government” approach to “rooting out systemic racism in our laws, policies, institutions, and hearts.”

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Proposes Revisions To TSCA Fees Rule," Chemical Processing, January 19, 2021.

On January 11, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to amend the 2018 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) fees rule. This column discusses the proposal and its improvements to the rule.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Fee Controversy Continues," Chemical Processing, December 16, 2020.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to collect fees from chemical manufacturers (including importers) to defray a portion of the costs associated with TSCA implementation efforts. The TSCA fees rule requires payment for eight categories of fee-triggering events under TSCA, including EPA-initiated risk evaluations under TSCA Section 6. The EPA must prepare a preliminary list of manufacturers subject to fee obligations for EPA-initiated Section 6 risk assessments, which it did (see, “Are You on the List?” and “EPA Tells Businesses to Pay Up”). Since then, who pays for what has led to significant controversy. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Announces Carbon Tetrachloride Risks," Chemical Processing, November 20, 2020.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride on November 4, 2020. The EPA found unreasonable risks to workers and occupational non-users (ONU) for 13 of the 15 conditions of CCl4 use, but no unreasonable risks to the environment. According to the EPA, there are no consumer uses of this chemical. Most agree the findings are not unexpected. This article explains the assessment and the results.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Eve C. Gartner, "The essentials of TSCA practice," ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Trends, November/December 2020.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is not the arcane federal law it once was. Amended in 2016 in response to a demand so loud and persistent from nongovernmental organizations, consumers, and, eventually, the industrial chemical community that Congress could no longer ignore it, TSCA is now a force with which to be reckoned. While the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Act that amended TSCA invites criticism among stakeholders, there is no disagreement that today TSCA is a more consequential law, deserving of legal practitioners’ attention.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Tells Businesses To Pay Up," Chemical Processing, September 16, 2020.

On August 26, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the much-anticipated interim final list of businesses subject to risk evaluation fees for the 20 chemicals designated as “high priority” under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Making the interim final list available now gives businesses and other stakeholders an opportunity to review the list for accuracy. It also provides time for businesses to reach out to form consortia to share in fee payments. That is a fancy way of saying the race is on to try to get off the list or find others to share in the not-so-trivial cost of $1.35 million — the EPA’s fee for work on the risk evaluation.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Feeling the Pinch: who pays TSCA risk evaluation fees?," Financier Worldwide, September 2020.

Ordinarily, government fees command little interest in corporate finance and board-level business circles. Newly imposed fees to defray the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) risk evaluation of high-priority chemical substances under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are extraordinary, however, and are commanding significant interest. This article explains why.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Off to the Races—CDR Reporting Begins!," Washington Watch, Fall 2020.

As the expression goes, it is that time of year again.  Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires manufacturers, including importers, to provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with information on the production and use of chemicals in commerce at four-year intervals.  The last reporting cycle for the requirement, known as the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirement, was in 2016, so TSCA stakeholders have been gearing up since then for the current quadrennial reporting obligation, which commenced on June 1, 2020.  This column provides an overview of what is new and different since 2016.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Eyes Carpet Chemicals," Chemical Processing, August 21, 2020.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to regulate “forever chemicals,” named such for their persistence and risk to the environment and health. On July 27, 2020, the EPA issued a long-awaited final rule amending significant new use rules (SNUR) issued earlier on such chemicals — one pertinent to certain perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances and the other on long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemical substances. To some, the final rule reflects comments on the proposed rule issued five years ago; to others, the rule weakens to the public’s detriment a proposal the Obama Administration issued. This article discusses the rule and its implications.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Charles M. Auer, and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., "What Lies Ahead for the Next Four Years of TSCA?," Chemical Watch, July 14, 2020.

The Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is four years old. While to some 22 June 2016 seems like yesterday, the past four years have been transformational. The US EPA has worked hard, been timely and done well in thoughtfully implementing the changes. 

Anniversaries tend to inspire reflection on the past, and this year was no exception. The Environmental Law Institute, Bergeson & Campbell and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health convened for an all-day seminar on TSCA reform, four years after the enactment of Lautenberg. Diverse stakeholders offered their perspectives on TSCA implementation and shared candid reviews on where we are as a TSCA community.

Rather than look back, this article looks forward to the next four years and speculates on some of the many challenging topics the EPA and other TSCA stakeholders are likely to address.

Download a PDF of this article here

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Understand Chemical Data Reporting Changes," Chemical Watch, June 17, 2020.

Section 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) compels manufacturers (including importers) to provide the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with information on the production and use of chemicals in commerce. The last Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) cycle was in 2016, so TSCA stakeholders have been gearing up for this quadrennial reporting obligation in 2020. This column provides an overview of changes since 2016.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA-Initiated TSCA Risk Evaluations: Who Is on the Hook for Fees Has Changed," Washington Watch, Summer 2020.

Under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority to collect fees from chemical manufacturers and importers to defray a portion of the EPA costs associated with risk evaluation efforts.  The fees are quite substantial and who pays them has been the subject of considerable debate and uncertainty.  This column addresses issues that have caused confusion and anxiety for industry stakeholders regarding the self-identification criteria, time lines, and procedures, and seeks to add much needed clarity to this chaotic issue.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Compliance: Talk To Your Supply Chain," Chemical Processing, May 13, 2020.

Much attention now focuses on COVID-19 and subsequent supply chain disruptions; here, we tackle supply chain communications and ways to optimize them. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires such communications, as do evolving best business practices. Managing supply chain communications effectively, and strategically optimizing the commercial interactions and exchanges of information they elicit are essential business practices.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Effectively Managing Supply Chain Communications Under TSCA," Bloomberg Environment Insights, April 28, 2020.

The EPA’s amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act reporting requirements have increased the need for chemical stakeholders to manage actively supply chain communications. Lynn L. Bergeson, owner and managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell P.C., explores the upsides to be realized through these communications and the perils of failing to seize them. Download a PDF of this article here.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Importers are on the Hook for TSCA Risk Evaluation Fees," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Spring 2020.

Is your company potentially liable for a share of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $1,350,000 fee for developing a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation? This is a hot topic these days, given EPA’s notice dated January 27, 2020, identifying the “preliminary lists” of manufacturers, including importers, of the 20 chemical substances that EPA has designated as “high-priority” substances for risk evaluation and for which fees will be charged. Stakeholders are required by March 27, 2020, to “self-identify” as manufacturers of a highpriority substance irrespective of whether they are included on the preliminary lists identified by EPA.  

Lynn L. Bergeson and Christopher R. Blunck, "Expert Focus: What Are the Implications of the US EPA’s Expected Final Rule on Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic Chemicals?," Chemical Watch, March 26, 2020.

PBT chemicals have long been recognised to behave differently in the environment and in biological systems from non-PBT substances. The US Congress acknowledged this when amending TSCA in 2016 by crafting special provisions under the Regulation’s Section 6(h) that were uniquely applicable to PBTs. Last July, the EPA proposed a rule that would implement the section, but this caused much controversy and led to comments from, among others, the retail, coatings and aerospace sectors and NGOs. It also raised several novel legal issues relating to TSCA’s interpretation.

 

Nevertheless, the EPA must issue a final rule within 18 months of the proposal, that is to say by December 2020. This article focuses on the novel issues that have arisen and the implications of their resolution on affected stakeholders.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA Fee Controversy Continues," Chemical Processing, March 20, 2020.

In last month’s column, we reported on the January 27, 2020, notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifying the preliminary lists of manufacturers, including importers, of the 20 chemical substances the EPA designated as high-priority for risk evaluation and for which fees will be charged. The notice created a firestorm of criticism over the lack of any exemptions from being considered potentially responsible for paying a share of the EPA’s $1,350,000 fee for conducting a risk evaluation of a high-priority chemical. This column updates the status of this fast-changing matter.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "TSCA Risk Evaluation Fees: Who Is on the Hook?," Washington Watch, Spring 2020.

Is your company potentially liable for a share of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) $1,350,000 fee for developing a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation?  It may well be.  This is a hot topic these days, given EPA’s Federal Register notice published on January 27, 2020, identifying the “preliminary lists” of manufacturers, including importers, of the 20 chemical substances that EPA has designated as “high-priority” substances for risk evaluation and for which fees will be charged.  Until March 27, 2020, stakeholders are required to “self-identify” as manufacturers of a high-priority substance irrespective of whether they are included on the preliminary lists identified by EPA (yes, you must submit a form to EPA even if your company name is already identified by EPA).  The preliminary lists are available in Docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0677 and on EPA’s website at http://www.epa.gov/TSCA-fees.  This article explains the notice and suggests way to respond to it.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Toxic Substances: Are You On The List?," Chemical Processing, February 24, 2020.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on January 27, 2020, a notice identifying the preliminary lists of manufacturers (including importers) of the 20 chemical substances that the EPA designated as high-priority substances for risk evaluation and for which fees will be charged (85 Fed. Reg. 4661). The list and the EPA’s interpretation of the fee rule caught many off guard. This column explains why.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Protecting Confidential Business Information: An Evolving Challenge," International Chemical Regulatory Law Review, Volume 2, Issue 2, Summer 2019.

The concept of confidential business information (CBI) is sometimes considered at odds with the concept of the ‘right-to-know.’ When Congress amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 2016 throughenactment oftheFrankR.LautenbergChemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg), it wasmindful ofthe public’s growing interestin knowing more about the identity of chemicals to which they may be exposed, but equally mindful of a business’ legitimate interest in protecting highly proprietary and commercially sensitive trade secret and other information entitled to protection from disclosure. Congress enacted several significant TSCA modifications in an effort to balance these competing interests, amendmentsthatthe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been implementing through rulemaking and guidance documents over the past three years. This article discusses key CBI initiatives, and the stakeholder community’s response to them.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Revises “Working Approach” Document," Chemical Processing, January 14, 2020.

On December 20, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated “Working Approach” document that builds upon its November 2017 version. The EPA states that the updated version, “TSCA New Chemical Determinations: A Working Approach for Making Determinations under TSCA Section 5,” explains its approach for making affirmative determinations on new chemical notices under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This article highlights key changes in the document.

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