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June 29, 2015

U.S. vs. EU Chemical Regulation:  Harmony and Conflict between TSCA and REACH

The ACTA Group

The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources‘ Young Lawyers Division presented a fascinating webinar on June 23, 2015, on the key areas of alignment and non-alignment between the European Union’s (EU) and the United States’ approach to chemical management by exploring the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The webinar was moderated by Lynn L. Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), and featured panelists Meglena Mihova of EPPA, a management consultancy and public affairs company in Brussels, Belgium, and Lawrence E. Culleen, a partner with Arnold & Porter, LLP.

Over the briskly-paced 90 minute webinar, the participants distilled core elements of both TSCA and REACH governance approaches, identified critical areas of alignment and non-alignment, and discussed several overarching concepts to elicit a better understanding of how TSCA and REACH differ, including:

  • Data collection and generation;
  • Risk assessment and risk management;
  • Enforcement; and
  • Current TSCA and REACH reform activity.

B&C live-tweeted from the webinar; those tweets are reprinted below. A recording of the webinar is available for purchase from Shop ABA

We’ll be live tweeting from the webinar, starting shortly.— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

Outstanding 45 minutes – covered key aspects of TSCA and REACH. Now on to a discussion of data collection.— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

“EPA has lots of authority under TSCA, but deploying that authority to the regulated community has been more problematic.” #TSCAvsREACH— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

Are the consequences of listing a substance on candidate list for Authorization akin to being put on “blacklist” commercially? #TSCAvsREACH— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

Complex products have lead time of 5 – 10 years. Business must know if materials will be authorized – EC must streamline authorization.— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

Only new chemicals process compels risk assessment; congress intended existing chemicals to eventually be assessed- hence EPA work plan list— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

Senate version of TSCA modernization was sweeping, House version more targeted, but the two versions seem to be harmonizing. #TSCAvsREACH— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

REACH implementation amending/correcting through guidance documents. 2018 next significant deadline. #TSCAvsREACH— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

Persistent/bioaccumulative substances will face additional scrutiny for risk mitigation in both versions of TSCA reform bills. #TSCAvsREACH— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

Of 1600 companies in EU polled 35% said REACH has limited innovation. #TSCAvsREACH— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015

Recording of “US vs. EU Chemical Regulation: Harmony and Conflict Between TSCA & REACH” @ABAEnvLaw #TSCAvsREACH :— Bergeson & Campbell (@lawbc) June 23, 2015