Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is a Washington, D.C. law firm providing chemical and chemical product stakeholders unparalleled experience, judgment, and excellence in matters relating to TSCA, and other global chemical management programs.

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
As reported in our October 1, 2019, blog item, on September 25, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted a proposed significant new use rule (SNUR) on long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) chemical substances to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review.  According to OMB’s website, OMB completed its review on February 14, 2020.  EPA has not yet publicly released the proposed rule.
 
According to the item on the rulemaking in EPA’s fall 2019 Unified Agenda, EPA is developing a supplemental proposal to its 2015 proposed LCPFAC SNUR amendments.  EPA states that the supplemental proposal would make inapplicable the exemption for persons who import a subset of LCPFAC chemical substances as part of certain articles.  According to EPA, this supplemental proposal is necessary to be responsive to the article consideration provision in Section 5(a)(5) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that was added with the 2016 amendments to TSCA.  Under the provision, articles can be subject to notification requirements as a significant new use provided that EPA makes an affirmative finding in a rule that the reasonable potential for exposure to a chemical from an article or category of articles justifies notification.  Insofar as this new provision has not been used previously for chemical substances with a history of prior import in articles, EPA’s approach to and its arguments in making this required affirmative finding will be important for all stakeholders to consider carefully.

 

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Tags: OMB, SNUR, PFAS, LCPFAC

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pollution Prevention (P2) Grant Program has announced the availability of funds to provide technical assistance (e.g., information, training, tools) to businesses to encourage the development and implementation of source reduction practices.  EPA states that source reduction practices can help businesses save money by reducing resource use, expenditures, waste, and liability costs, while at the same time reducing their environmental footprint and helping to protect human health and the environment.  Applications for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 are due March 31, 2020.
 
EPA states that it anticipates awarding approximately $9.38 million in total federal pollution prevention grant funding over a two-year funding cycle ($4.69 million in FY 2020 funds and approximately $4.69 million in FY 2021 funds).  According to EPA, P2 grants are expected to be awarded in each EPA region and will be funded in the form of grants or cooperative agreements.  EPA provides the following “quick facts” for P2 grants:

  • Eligibility:  State governments, colleges, and universities (recognized as instrumentalities of the state), federally recognized tribes, and intertribal consortia;
  • Match requirement:  50 percent match; for tribal governments that place P2 grant activities into a performance partnership grant (PPG) agreement, the match for the tribe is reduced to five percent;
  • Review of applications:  Along with other requirements that are noted in the Request for Applications (RFA), applications must address one of the following statutory/regulatory criteria to merit further review:
    • Provide technical assistance and/or training to businesses/facilities about source reduction techniques to help them adopt and implement source reduction approaches and to increase the development, adoption, and market penetration of greener products and sustainable manufacturing practices; and
    • Identify, develop, document, and share P2 best management practices and innovations so this information may inform future technical assistance and these P2 approaches and outcomes may be replicated by others;
  • Range of awards:  Individual grant awards may potentially be in the range of $40,000-$500,000 for the two-year funding period (between $20,000 and $250,000 incrementally funded per year).  Some EPA regions may have lower award caps, however; and
  • Average number of grants issued: 40.

 
EPA will hold an informational webinar on February 19, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST).


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will hold a public meeting on February 24, 2020, at 1 p.m. (EST) in Albany, New York, “to discuss amendments to the household cleansing product rules that are being considered for adoption.”  According to NYSDEC, amendments include specifying what information must be reported about covered products and their ingredients, how information should be shared with NYSDEC for the public record, the type of studies that must be reported, and how confidential business information (CBI) should be handled.  NYSDEC states that during the meeting, it “is looking for input on disclosure of nonfunctional ingredients, issues around confidential information, and how to disclose when a product’s formulation temporarily changes, as well as other regulatory concerns.”  Registration is required to attend the meeting.  NYSDEC notes that it “will hold a formal public comment period at a later date once it officially proposes the regulations.”
 
As reported in our September 4, 2019, blog item, on August 27, 2019, the State of New York Supreme Court invalidated the Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program (Disclosure Program).  Information related to NYSDEC’s prior delay of its enforcement of its Disclosure Program is available here, and general information regarding the Program and its extensive requirements for manufacturers of certain consumer cleaning products to disclose information regarding the ingredients in those products is available here.  The court found that the Disclosure Program was established in violation of the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) and the New York State Constitution.  In making this finding, the court held that the Program was a “rule” as argued by Petitioners and not “guidance” for which adherence to SAPA was not required, as argued by NYSDEC.  A more detailed analysis and commentary are available in our August 30, 2019, memorandum, “NY Department of Environmental Conservation Household Cleansing Product Information Disclosure Program Ruled ‘Null and Void.’


 

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is pleased to announce the release of the complete suite of TSCA Tutor™ regulatory training courses online and on-demand at www.TSCAtutor.com.  Professionals seeking expert, efficient, essential training can preview and enroll in on-demand classes to complete at their own pace and timing.  In addition to the newly released online e-learning courses, B&C’s TSCA Tutor™ training platform offers live in-person training at a company’s site and customized live webinar training, so companies can mix and match training modules and training approaches to provide the most suitable combination for their work needs.
 
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) awareness is a critically important element in the 21st century work environment for any business that involves industrial chemicals.  The new normal requires awareness of TSCA’s application to a company’s operations to ensure consistent compliance with TSCA regulations and, importantly, to understand and anticipate how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ongoing implementation of new TSCA will impact a company’s industrial chemical selection and use processes.
 
TSCA Tutor™ online training courses include:

  • Video lessons.
  • Detailed hand-out materials, including copies of all presentations and relevant course materials from EPA and other sources.
  • Customizable, yet detailed and ready-to-use Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the regulatory topic covered in the session.
 
The courses were developed and are presented by members of B&C’s renowned TSCA practice group, which includes five former senior EPA officials; an extensive scientific staff, including seven Ph.D.s; and a robust and highly experienced team of lawyers and non-lawyer professionals extremely well versed in all aspects of TSCA law, regulation, policy, compliance, and litigation.
 
Online courses are offered at $100 for one-hour modules and $200 for 2-hour modules, or $1,400 for the full 12-module training.  Courses can be completed at the learner’s own pace, and enrollment is valid for one full year.  Interested professionals should visit www.TSCAtutor.com to view sample course segments and purchase modules.  Volume discounts are available for companies wishing to purchase courses for multiple employees.  Companies interested in live in-person or customized live webinar training should contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to schedule.
 
For more information about TSCA Tutor™, contact Heidi Lewis at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or read our full course descriptions here.
 
TSCA Tutor -- Curriculum


ONE-HOUR SESSIONS:

  • An Overview of TSCA (Course number T101)
  • New TSCA at a Glance (Course number T102)
  • Import Requirements, TSCA Section 13 (Course number T103)
  • Export Requirements, TSCA Section 12 (Course number T104)
  • Confidential Business Information (CBI) (Course number T105)
  • Reporting and Retention of Information, TSCA Section 8 (Course number T106)

TWO-HOUR SESSIONS:

  • Inspections and Audits (Course number T201)
    • Preparing for a TSCA Audit
    • TSCA Penalties/Overview of Self-Confession Policy
  • TSCA Section 5, Part 1:  TSCA Chemical Inventory, Exemptions (Course number T202)
    • TSCA Inventory
    • Exemptions
  • TSCA Section 5, Part 2:  New Chemicals/New Use (Course number T203)
    • New Chemicals/New Use
    • SNURs
  • Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) (Course number T204)
    • CDR Overview
    • Byproduct Reporting under CDR
  • Chemical Testing (Regulatory)/Animal Welfare, TSCA Section 4 (Course number T205):
    • Chemical Testing
    • How to Prepare/Engage If a Chemical of Interest Is Listed under TSCA Section 4
  • Prioritization and Risk Evaluation, TSCA Section 6 (Course number T206)
    • Overview of Section 6 Risk Framework -- Prioritization, Evaluation, and Management
    • How to Prepare/Engage If a Chemical of Interest Is Listed under Section 6

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. is a Washington, D.C., law firm focusing on conventional, biobased, and nanoscale industrial, agricultural, and specialty chemical product approval and regulation, and associated business issues.  B&C represents clients in many businesses, including basic, specialty, and agricultural and antimicrobial chemicals; biotechnology, nanotechnology, and emerging transformative technologies; paints and coatings; plastic products; and chemical manufacturing, formulation, distribution, and consumer product sectors.  Visit www.lawbc.com for more information.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on December 2, 2019, that it granted the first two manufacturer requests for risk evaluations for diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) and diisononyl phthalate (DINP), two chemicals used in plastic production.  EPA states that if the requests are not withdrawn within 30 days, both DIDP and DINP will enter the risk evaluation process under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Manufacturer-requested risk evaluations are conducted in the same manner as other risk evaluations conducted under TSCA Section 6(b)(4)(A).  EPA received the manufacturer requests from ExxonMobil Chemical Company (for DIDP) and from ExxonMobil Chemical Company, Evonik Corporation, and Teknor Apex (for DINP), both through the American Chemistry Council’s High Phthalates Panel.  Both chemicals were identified in the 2014 Update to the TSCA Work Plan.  As reported in our August 17, 2019, blog item, EPA held a public comment period on the requests, as well as additional conditions of use that EPA identified to include in the risk evaluations.  More information is available in our August 19, 2019, memorandum, “EPA Begins Comment Period on Manufacturer Requests for Risk Evaluation of DIDP and DINP, and Identifies Additional Conditions of Use.”


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice on November 12, 2019, announcing the availability of its response to a petition it received under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).  84 Fed. Reg. 60986.  As reported in our August 23, 2019, blog item, PEER petitioned EPA under TSCA Section 21 to prohibit the use of hydrofluoric acid in manufacturing processes at oil refineries under TSCA Section 6(a) and under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to take the same action pursuant to Section 112 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).  PEER petitioned EPA to prohibit the use of hydrofluoric acid in manufacturing processes at oil refineries and require a phase-out of use at such facilities within two years.  EPA states that after “careful consideration,” it has denied the Section 21 petition.  EPA notes that the Federal Register notice specifically addresses only the TSCA Section 21 petition, not the petition submitted under the APA.  EPA is denying the petition “based on the petition’s lack of sufficient facts establishing that it is necessary for the Agency to issue a rule under TSCA section 6(a).”  According to EPA, to grant a petition for a TSCA Section 6(a) rulemaking, a petition must provide facts establishing that the requested rulemaking is necessary.  Those facts need to be “sufficiently clear and robust for EPA to be able to conclude, within 90 days of filing the petition, that the chemical presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment and that issuance of a TSCA section 6(a) rule is the appropriate response to the petition.”  To make the threshold finding, EPA needs hazard and exposure data and other information to enable it to assess risk and conclude whether the risk is unreasonable.  In this case, EPA states that PEER’s petition “refers to hazard databases and makes conclusory statements of toxicity but provides little further information that would support granting a TSCA section 6(a) rulemaking request.”  According to EPA, the petition lacks the analysis that would be expected in a TSCA risk evaluation preceding a Section 6(a) rulemaking, such as “discussion of the appropriate hazard threshold, exposure estimates, assessment of risks, or how the facts presented allow EPA to comply with its duties under section 26 or other statutory requirements in making an unreasonable risk determination.”  Absent such information, EPA “cannot make the threshold determinations necessary to substantively assess and grant a petition for a TSCA section 6(a) rulemaking.”  EPA denies PEER’s petition request as facially incomplete.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice on November 7, 2019, announcing the availability of the draft risk evaluation for N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) and soliciting public comment.  84 Fed. Reg. 60087.  EPA’s draft risk evaluation findings include:

  • EPA did not find risk to the environment, bystanders, or occupational non-users.  For all the conditions of use included in the draft risk evaluation, EPA has preliminarily found no unreasonable risks to the environment, bystanders, or occupational non-users from NMP.
     
  • EPA’s draft risk evaluation preliminarily found unreasonable risks associated with acute and chronic inhalation and dermal exposure to NMP under a variety of conditions of use.  EPA found that workers and consumers could be adversely affected by NMP under certain conditions of use.

The draft risk evaluation will be peer reviewed by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) on December 5-6, 2019.  EPA will hold a preparatory virtual meeting on November 12, 2019.  Stakeholders must register online on or before November 12, 2019, to receive the webcast meeting link and audio teleconference information.  Written comments for the preparatory virtual meeting and requests for time to present oral comments are due on or before 10:00 a.m. (EST) on November 12, 2019.  EPA requests comments on the draft risk evaluation by November 26, 2019, to allow SACC time to review and consider them before the peer review meeting.  EPA states that it will use feedback received from the public comment and peer review processes to inform the final risk determinations.  Comments on the draft risk evaluation are due January 6, 2020.  More information is available in our November 5, 2019, memorandum, “EPA Releases Draft Risk Evaluation for NMP, Schedules SACC Review for December.”


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On October 29, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the draft Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation for methylene chloride (MC).  84 Fed. Reg. 57866.  As reported in our October 26, 2019, blog item, EPA is submitting the same document to the TSCA Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) for peer review.  SACC will convene an in-person public meeting to consider and review the draft risk evaluation on December 3-4, 2019.  Preceding the in-person meeting, there will be a preparatory virtual public meeting on November 12, 2019, for SACC to consider the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions for the peer review.  Registration for the preparatory virtual meeting must be completed on or before November 12, 2019, to receive the webcast meeting link and audio teleconference information.  Written comments for the preparatory virtual meeting and requests for time to present oral comments are due by 12:00 p.m. on November 8, 2019.  Written comments on the draft risk evaluation that are submitted to EPA on or before November 26, 2019, will be provided to SACC for review and consideration before the December 3-4, 2019, meeting.  Requests to present oral comments at the in-person meeting are due December 3, 2019.  Comments on the draft risk evaluation are due December 30, 2019.
 
The draft risk evaluation states that EPA’s initial determinations of unreasonable risk for the specific conditions of use of MC listed below are based on health risks to workers, occupational non-users (ONU), consumers, or bystanders from consumer use.  According to the draft risk evaluation, risks to the general population either were not relevant for these conditions of use or were evaluated and not found to be unreasonable.

  • Unreasonable Risk to Workers:  EPA determined that the conditions of use that presented unreasonable risks included processing MC into a formulation or mixture; all but two industrial and commercial uses; and disposal;
     
  • Unreasonable Risks to ONUs:  For ONUs, EPA determined that the conditions of use that presented unreasonable risks included import of MC, processing MC as a reactant in several industrial sectors, some industrial and commercial uses, and disposal.  EPA determined in some cases that a condition of use presented an unreasonable risk not only to workers but also to ONUs; in other cases, EPA determined that a condition of use presented an unreasonable risk only to one or the other.
     
  • Unreasonable Risk to Consumers:  EPA determined that all but two consumer conditions of use present unreasonable risks.
     
  • Unreasonable Risk to Bystanders (from Consumer Uses):  When EPA determined that a condition of use presented risks to consumers, unreasonable risks were often, but not always, identified for bystanders.

A more detailed summary of the draft risk evaluation and commentary will be available in our forthcoming memorandum.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 23, 2019, that it settled with Miles Chemical Company Inc. for failing to report timely chemical substances it imported.  Under the settlement, the company will pay a $45,000 penalty.  According to EPA, between 2012 and 2015, Miles Chemical Company failed to submit timely forms to EPA documenting the import of large quantities of two chemicals.  EPA notes that under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), chemical importers and manufacturers are required to submit Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) information to EPA every four years.  This reporting allows EPA to track the chemicals being imported, assess potential human health and environmental effects of these chemicals, and make the non-confidential business information it receives available to the public.  EPA notes that chemical substances listed on the TSCA Inventory that are manufactured or imported at volumes of 25,000 pounds or greater must be reported to EPA, as required by TSCA’s CDR rule.

Tags: CDR,

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On September 23, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced that it plans to begin fieldwork on EPA’s Safer Choice program.  According to OIG, its objectives are to identify and assess the controls that EPA has in place to verify that the Safer Choice program meets its goals and achieves quality standards through its product qualification, renewal, and required audit process.  OIG states that Safer Choice “is a voluntary labeling program that helps consumers and commercial buyers find chemical-based products that are safer for human health and the environment.”  OIG plans to conduct work at headquarters and at various third-party assessor and auditor locations.  It will use applicable generally accepted government auditing standards in conducting its audit.  The anticipated benefits of the audit “are reducing the use of chemicals of concern and empowering consumers to protect their health.”

Tags: Safer Choice,

 
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