TSCA Week Ahead

The Week Ahead

PFAS Reporting Comments Due; Freedhoff Speaks At Stewardship Meeting

September 27, 2021

Comments are arriving on EPA’s draft TSCA reporting rule for makers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) -- a rule that industry has already charged will be unworkably broad, even as Congress weighs legislation that would expand it further. Agency chemicals chief Michal Freedhoff is set to give the opening address to the Product Stewardship Society’s (PSS) annual conference.

PFAS

Sept. 27 marks the deadline for public comments on EPA’s proposed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reporting rule targeting companies that have manufactured PFAS or PFAS-containing products since 2011. Industry has already raised arguments that the rule will be unworkable unless the agency reverses course and offers exemptions such as for finished products or small amounts of chemicals, but officials have said Congress’ directive to issue the rule leaves them no room to offer exceptions. And last week the House voted to make the rule even broader in an amendment to its fiscal year 2022 defense spending bill.

The executive committee of EPA’s board of scientific counselors (BOSC), which advises the agency’s research office on its scientific agenda, will meet Sept. 29-30 to discuss PFAS research issues.

Background Reading: Industry Attorneys Eye Likely Battle Over Scope Of PFAS Reporting Rule

Product Stewardship

Freedhoff is set to speak at the opening of PSS’s Sept. 28-30 conference in Anaheim, CA. The agenda also includes discussion of EPA’s chemical testing program and recent significant new use rules for new chemicals, as well as a closing address by Lauren Zeise, director of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Background Reading: Industry Pushes Back On TSCA Testing List As Environmentalists Applaud

NAS Meeting

The National Academy of Sciences’ standing committee on toxicology will hold its annual meeting on Sept. 27, focused on PFAS health issues and toxicology concerns at the Department of Defense.

Background Reading: NAS To Review New DOD Approach For Setting Workplace TCE Standard

NAMs

The interagency Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods, which advises the interagency coordinating committee on validating new approach methodologies (NAMs) for non-animal testing, will meet Sept. 28-29 to discuss recent developments in alternate testing approaches, and “regulatory needs” to further aid advances in the field.

Background Reading: EPA Asks NAS Panel To Weigh 'Benchmarks And Expectations' For NAMs

New Chemicals

EPA and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) are due to file an update by Oct. 1 on negotiations in EDF’s pending suit seeking more transparency in the TSCA new-chemicals program, after signaling in an August status report that they could settle the case -- a possibility that industry attorneys say could have unpredictable consequences for the program such as broader release of companies’ safety data and public involvement in approval decisions.

Background Reading: Industry Fears ‘Bad News’ From Settlement Talks In New-Chemicals Suit

Looking Ahead

PFAS

The FLUOROS Global 2021 conference on PFAS runs Oct. 3-7 in Providence, RI, with sessions on the toxicology of perfluorinated chemicals as well as policy measures targeting the chemicals. EPA toxicologist Katie Paul Friedman is among the scheduled speakers.

EPA will host an Oct. 7 webinar on its Chemical Transformation Simulator software that “predicts how organic chemicals will transform in environmental and biological systems,” with the demonstration focused on PFAS -- especially “novel” perfluorinated substances.

The BOSC executive committee will continue its PFAS deliberations at an Oct. 8 session.

Background Reading: Study Urges New PFAS Research To Close Gaps On Exposure Risks

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