TSCA Week Ahead

The Week Ahead

EPA Weighs TSCA Rules, PFAS Research Reviewed; Advisors Eye NAM

September 14, 2020

EPA is holding the first in a series of webinars to gather input as it prepares to regulate methylene chloride uses, the first of 10 risk management rule under TSCA section 6 the agency will be crafting. Also, EPA officials will brief environmental professionals on its PFAS health effects research, while agency advisors will meet this week to examine non-animal testing methods which is a priority for the chemical industry.

Internationally, a British testing firm discusses the impact of significant new use rules (SNURs) on downstream chemical users, while the annual PSX conference includes an examination of communicating hazards from new chemical evaluations under TSCA.

TSCA Risk Management Rules

EPA Sept. 16 is hosting its first in a series of webinars intended to gather input from industry and other stakeholders as the agency prepares to begin writing its first risk management regulations under the revised TSCA. This week’s webinar will focus on agency plans to regulate methylene chloride, which the agency found -- in its first final evaluation --poses unreasonable risks stemming from dozens of uses. The agency is also slated to hold a Sept. 30 webinar focusing on its recently completed evaluation of 1-bromopropane.

Background Reading: EPA Plans Outreach On TSCA Rules, Delaying Response To Industry Petition

‘Living With TSCA’

Intertek, the British multinational assurance, inspection, product testing and certification company, is hosting a Sept. 15 webinar on a range of topics, including responding to significant new use rules and the Chemical Data Reporting rule. “Receiving a restriction, such as a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) is the new norm. Intertek will provide ideas on how you can communicate this to your downstream user. Intertek will also discuss the States Right to Know Acts and the Chemical Data Reporting Rule,” the company says.

Background Reading: EPA Poised To Declassify Thousands Of Chemicals For TSCA Reporting

PFAS Science and Risks

The Air & Waste Management Association, a group of government and industry environmental officials, is hosting a Sept. 15-17 virtual conference on the science, chemistry and health risks of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), with presentations by EPA and state officials and industry leaders. “Conference sessions will explore the chemistry, health effects, and current regulatory approaches and guidance for PFAS in water, soil, biosolids, landfills, and air, as well as methods for their measurement, treatment, and destruction,” according to the agenda. EPA research chief David Dunlap, as well as Tony Williams and Mike DeVito, of the Center for Computational Toxicology and Exposure, will address questions surrounding PFAS chemistry and public health risks.

Background Reading: Wheeler Vows To Replace ‘Toxic’ PFAS But Seeks To Limit Disruptions

Product Stewardship

The annual PSX conference is happening virtually on Sept. 15-17 to discuss product uses throughout the value chain and the latest techniques and methods for “product stewardship.” Sessions include a Sept. 16 discussion on “Evaluating New Chemicals and Disconnects in Hazard Communication” with Karin Baron of The Acta Group and Richard Engler, director of chemistry at the law firm Bergeson & Campbell. “This session will cover the basics of the [EPA] evaluation process for new chemicals and issues that arise that generate disconnects in hazard communication,” according to the event website. “This will include a basic overview of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012) and the process for hazard determination for new substances. The aim is to educate attendees on the two approaches and to provide insight into how to reconcile EPA views with HCS 2012. Examples and strategies to satisfy EPA while addressing OSHA compliance will be provided.”

Non-Animal Test Methods

EPA’s FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel will hold a Sept. 15 -18 meeting to provide EPA with advice and recommendations on scientific issues associated with: “The evaluation and utility of new, non-animal approach methodologies (NAMs) as part of a weight of evidence evaluation of developmental neurotoxicity potential” and the use of “in vitro acetylcholinesterase inhibition data to develop interspecies and/or intraspecies data-derived extrapolation factors for organophosphate pesticides,” according to the Federal Register notice for the meeting.

Background Reading: EPA Plans To Refine Rules, Guides To Boost Non-Animal Chemical Tests

PFAS’ Essential Uses

Stockholm University is hosting a Sept. 17 seminar on PFAS and the “Essential Use” concept. The issue is growing in significance as environmentalists are increasingly pressing policymakers in the European Union and the United States to bar all uses of the ubiquitous per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) except for those considered “essential.” Speakers include Joel Tickner, the green chemistry expert from the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts- Lowell.

Background Reading: AmCham EU Details Industry Approach For Regulating PFAS In Groups

Looking Ahead

CFATS Program

Comments are due Sept. 21 on a retrospective analysis of the costs of the Department of Homeland Security’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, an effort that could eventually help officials revise the rules without going through Congress. DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) published a notice in the Federal Register June 22 seeking comment on an economic analysis that found the program’s costs to be significantly lower than what the department estimated when it crafted its interim rules in 2007.

Background Reading: As Congress Stalls, DHS Signals Early Step To Overhaul CFATS Rules

Prop. 65

California’s Third Appellate District Court of Appeals is slated to hold Sept. 21 arguments in American Chemistry Council (ACC) v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), et al., in which the chemical industry is challenging the state’s listing of the plasticizer bisphenol-A (BPA) as a reproductive toxicant under the Proposition 65 warning label law.

ACC is challenging the 2015 relisting of BPA as a female reproductive toxicant under Prop. 65 by the OEHHA-administered Developmental & Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee (DART). ACC and multiple other industry groups and businesses argued that BPA should not be listed because new scientific data show the chemical is safe, and that no other government body has concluded the compound is unsafe based on the data cited by OEHHA.

Background Reading: California Court Reschedules Argument In Suit Over Prop. 65 BPA Listing


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