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.

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) will hold its next Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) webinar on February 18, 2020, at 1:30-2:30 PM (EST).  The webinar will provide an overview of the data in ECHO and guide users through using the site to answer environmental compliance and enforcement questions.  EPA states that the focus of this session will be a collection of short, step-by-step demonstrations geared toward new and infrequent users.  EPA will demonstrate the capabilities of the ECHO Facility Search to answer questions such as:

  • How to search for a specific facility;
  • How to search for facilities in a community; and
  • How to search for facilities releasing a pollutant.

Registration is now open.  ECHO video tutorials and recorded webinars are available at any time.

Tags: ECHO, Webinar

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated a final rule on January 13, 2020, to adjust the level of the maximum (and minimum) statutory civil monetary penalty amounts under the statutes it administers, including the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  85 Fed. Reg. 1751.  EPA states that this action is mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended through the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act).  The 2015 Act prescribes a formula for annually adjusting the statutory maximum (and minimum) amount of civil penalties to reflect inflation, maintain the deterrent effect of statutory civil penalties, and promote compliance with the law.  EPA notes that the rule does not necessarily revise the penalty amounts that it chooses to seek pursuant to its civil penalty policies in a particular case.  EPA’s civil penalty policies, which guide enforcement personnel on how to exercise EPA’s statutory penalty authorities, take into account a number of fact-specific considerations, e.g., the seriousness of the violation, the violator’s good faith efforts to comply, any economic benefit gained by the violator as a result of its noncompliance, and a violator’s ability to pay.  The final rule was effective January 13, 2020.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public meeting on December 10, 2019, to engage with interested stakeholders on the implementation of EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) New Chemicals program.  At the meeting, EPA will:

  • Provide an overview of EPA’s updated “Working Approach” document that builds upon EPA’s November 2017 “New Chemicals Decision-Making Framework:  Working Approach to Making Determinations under Section 5 of TSCA”;
  • Demonstrate how EPA has used concepts in the “Working Approach” document to reach conclusions and make determinations under TSCA Section 5(a)(3) using specific case examples;
  • Provide an update on confidential business information (CBI) process improvements and clarifications; and
  • Discuss its progress on transparency in the TSCA New Chemicals program.

By the end of 2019, EPA intends to announce the availability of the updated “Working Approach” document and provide an opportunity for written public comment.  EPA states that feedback from the public meeting and comments received will help inform its ongoing efforts to improve the way EPA reviews new chemicals under TSCA.  Details regarding the meeting are available in the prepublication version of the Federal Register notice announcing the meeting.

Background

EPA states in the prepublication version of the Federal Register notice that after considering comments received on the 2017 version of the “Working Approach” document and based on additional implementation experience, EPA is updating the “Working Approach” document.  Later in December 2019, EPA will announce the availability of the updated document after the public meeting and will hold a public comment period.  According to the notice, EPA expects the updated document to provide further clarity and detail on EPA’s approach and practices, including:  (1) EPA’s general guiding principles and concepts for making determinations on new chemical notices submitted to EPA under TSCA Section 5; (2) the decision-making logic and the key questions that EPA must address; and (3) a discussion of how EPA might apply the working approach to reach one of the five new chemical determinations allowable under the statute.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on August 22, 2019, the appointment of Dennis Deziel as Regional Administrator for Region 1.  Mr. Deziel will oversee environmental protection efforts in the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut and in ten Tribal Nations.  According to EPA, Mr. Deziel has spent much of his life working in public service in Washington, D.C.  He most recently worked at Dow as the Director of Federal Government Affairs, where he focused on environment, energy, and regulatory affairs issues.  Prior to entering private industry, Mr. Deziel served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Environmental Management at the U.S. Department of Energy from 2012 to 2014, leading budget, policy, and planning development for the largest environmental cleanup program in the United States.  He also managed chemical security issues at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2004 to 2010, and prior to that, he served as a policy advisor for the Council for Environmental Quality from 2002 to 2004.  EPA notes that Mr. Deziel began his career working at EPA in the pesticides and chemicals program.


 

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is pleased to present the complimentary webinar “New TSCA at 3: Key Implementation Issues.” The webinar will drill down on key implementation challenges facing industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) three years into navigating the legal, regulatory, and science policy issues arising under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act). Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator, EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP); Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, B&C; and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, B&C, will present. Register online now.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
Earlier this month, David Fischer joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) as a Deputy Assistant Administrator.  Prior to joining EPA, Mr. Fischer was most recently a partner of legal and regulatory affairs at IBEX Partners LLC, a public affairs firm.  Before his partnership at IBEX, Mr. Fischer held several senior positions at the American Chemistry Council in its Office of General Counsel and Chemical Products and Technology Division, providing legal and policy counsel on a broad range of industrial, specialty chemical, and product defense matters.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Fischer was also the Director of Environmental Health at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, where he led the first national assessment of state activities in lead poisoning prevention. 


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On July 5, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected an “invitation” to recognize liability under the False Claims Act (FCA) based on a company’s failure to meet a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reporting requirement and failure to pay an unassessed TSCA penalty.  Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP v. BASF Corp. (No. 1:16-cv-02269).  The court states that the FCA imposes civil liability on anyone who defrauds the federal government of money or property.  Under the FCA, a third party may file suit on behalf of the government and collect a “substantial” bounty if successful.  The law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP (Kasowitz) filed suit in 2016, claiming that several chemical manufacturers violated TSCA by “repeatedly failing to inform” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of “information regarding the dangers of isocyanate chemicals.”  Kasowitz argued that the manufacturers’ failure to disclose this information and their subsequent actions deprived the government of property (substantial risk information) and money (TSCA civil penalties and contract damages).  The court noted that Kasowitz demanded “billions of dollars in damages, even though the government openly support[ed] the defendants.”  The district court dismissed its lawsuit, and Kasowitz appealed, asking the court “to become the first court to recognize FCA liability based on the defendants’ failure to meet a TSCA reporting requirement and on their failure to pay an unassessed TSCA penalty.  We decline the invitation and affirm the dismissal.”
 
Kasowitz claimed that the defendants -- BASF Corporation, Covestro LLC, Dow Chemical Company, and Huntsman International LLC -- “manufacture isocyanate chemicals, which are used to produce various polyurethane-based materials such as paint, adhesives, rigid foam for insulation, flexible foam for mattresses and cushions, and parts for automotive interiors.”  According to Kasowitz, the defendants acquired information as early as the 1970s about the adverse health effects of isocyanate chemicals.  The companies failed to disclose this information to EPA, however, despite participating in EPA’s Compliance Audit Program.  Kasowitz argued that the companies’ TSCA violations and their failure to pay penalties for those violations deprived the government of its money and property.
 
In its analysis of Kasowitz’s claims, the court describes the allegation that the companies violated FCA’s reverse false claim provision by “knowingly conceal[ing] or . . . improperly avoid[ing] . . . an obligation to pay” money as a non-starter.  The court notes that “[‌i]t is undisputed that the EPA did not assess TSCA penalties against the defendants for failing to report substantial risk information regarding isocyanate chemicals.”  As a result, there was no FCA “obligation” for the companies to conceal or avoid.  In its decision, the court states that once EPA has taken successful administrative action, it has discretion to impose an appropriate civil penalty, including no penalty.  According to the court, two TSCA provisions make this conclusion “inescapable”:  (1) TSCA expressly grants the EPA authority to remit or otherwise decline to impose a civil penalty; and (2) TSCA itself recognizes that not every violation results in a civil penalty.  Under EPA’s Compliance Audit Program, the court states that a company that failed to report substantial risk information faced no additional penalty and was in the same position it would have been had it not participated in the Program at all.  Kasowitz also argued that the companies violated the reverse false claim provision by “knowingly conceal[ing] or . . . improperly avoid[ing] . . . an obligation to pay or transmit” property in the form of substantial risk information.  The court considered whether the TSCA obligation to inform the EPA of substantial risk information qualifies as an obligation to transmit property.  The court “conclude[d] that TSCA does not require the transmission of a property interest.  TSCA gives the EPA one -- and only one -- interest in substantial risk information: the right to be informed of it.”


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Emily A. Scherer
As reported in our June 28, 2019, memorandum, on June 24, 2019, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.(B&C®), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWU) presented “TSCA: Three Years Later,” a day-long conference with leading experts exploring the current impacts of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on science policies, challenges faced by industry, and the impacts of TSCA on regulatory policies, especially those concerning ensuring compliance and enforcement. A recording of the full conference is available online.  Our memorandum provides details regarding the session topics and presenters, including copies of the presentation where available.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) announced on June 17, 2019, a report entitled Toxic Consequences:  Trump’s attacks on chemical safety put our health at risk.  EDF notes that “[c]oncern over toxic exposures and a lack of confidence in the badly outdated chemical safety system” led to Congress passing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act) to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  The bipartisan bill “finally” gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “the power to strengthen health protections for American families and the environment.”  EDF claims that the Trump Administration “is seeking to dismantle the new authorities and mandates under the law with the goal of shifting policies to serve the chemical industry’s agenda,” however.  According to EDF, EPA has taken the following actions that undermine the Lautenberg Act:

  • Approving new chemicals without regard for the law or public health;
     
  • Ignoring real-life exposures when evaluating risks of existing chemicals; and
     
  • Blocking or weakening bans of toxic chemicals.

EDF concludes that “without a drastic change to EPA’s current direction on chemical safety, we will be forced to endure the toxic consequences of its mistakes for decades to come.”

Tags: EDF, Report

 
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