By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
As part of a multi-agency effort to address pollution from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on October 18, 2021, the PFAS Strategic Roadmap: EPA’s Commitments to Action 2021-2024. The Strategic Roadmap includes:
- Timelines to set enforceable drinking water limits under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) to ensure water is safe to drink in every community;
- A hazardous substance designation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to strengthen the ability to hold polluters financially accountable;
- Timelines for action -- whether it is data collection or rulemaking -- on Effluent Guideline Limitations under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for nine industrial categories;
- A review of past actions on PFAS taken under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address those that are insufficiently protective;
- Increased monitoring, data collection, and research so that EPA can identify what actions are needed and when to take them;
- A final toxicity assessment for GenX that can be used to develop health advisories that will help communities make informed decisions the better to protect human health and ecological wellness; and
- Continued efforts to build the technical foundation needed on PFAS air emissions to inform future actions under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
EPA also released a national PFAS testing strategy that will require PFAS manufacturers to provide toxicity data and information on categories of PFAS chemicals to inform future regulatory efforts. EPA states that it will select the PFAS to be tested “based on an approach that breaks the large number of PFAS into smaller categories based on similar features and considers what existing data are available for each category.” According to EPA, it will “strategically” select the initial set of test orders from more than 20 different categories of PFAS. EPA expects to use its TSCA Section 4 order authority to require PFAS manufacturers to conduct and fund the studies. EPA plans to issue the first round of test orders by the end of 2021 with additional phases thereafter. More information and a detailed commentary will be available in a forthcoming memorandum that will be posted on our website.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On October 7, 2021, the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) completed its review of a proposed rule on “Regulation of Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals Under TSCA Section 6(h); Phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate (3:1); Further Compliance Date Extension.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on September 3, 2021, an extension of certain compliance dates for Phenol, Isopropylated Phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) to March 8, 2022, “to address the hardships inadvertently created by the original applicable compliance dates in the January 2021 final rule to ensure that supply chains are not disrupted for key consumer and commercial goods.” The proposed rule reviewed by OIRA is expected to propose further extensions to certain article-related compliance dates. More information on EPA’s September 3, 2021, announcement is available in our memorandum, “EPA Plans New Rulemaking for PBTs, Extends Compliance Dates for PIP (3:1) Rule.”
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is pleased to offer the recording, slides, and written Question and Answer (Q&A) document from our “PFAS Reporting Rules -- What Every Company Needs to Know” webinar, focusing on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed reporting rules for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), presented by B&C Managing Partner Lynn L. Bergeson and Director of Chemistry Richard E. Engler, Ph.D.
Do you wonder if the PFAS reporting rules extend to domestically-produced articles? Or if businesses that incorporate PFAS into their products are required to notify the end users? Do you know whether you need to report your Low Volume Exemption (LVE) substance? We encourage you to view the webinar and read the additional materials to learn answers to these and other questions related to EPA’s recent PFAS actions.
We also encourage you to consider the following issues discussed in the webinar and to submit comments to EPA regarding how these will affect your operations:
- Identifying chemicals subject to reporting (i.e., specific PFAS and whether to include imported articles);
- Considerations for economic analysis;
- Submission period;
- Potential duplicative reporting concerns;
- Scope of “existing environmental and health information” collected;
- Additional data elements or information collected;
- EPA’s use and publication of non-confidential business information (CBI);
- Availability of joint submissions; and
- Small manufacturer considerations (i.e., regulatory and non-regulatory assistance and outreach).
Comments on EPA’s proposed PFAS rules are due on September 27, 2021.
This week's All Things Chemical® Podcast will be of interest to readers of the TSCAblog®. A brief description of the episode written by Lynn L. Bergeson is below.
This week I sat down with Richard E. Engler, Ph..D., Director of Chemistry with Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and The Acta Group (Acta®), to discuss the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) continuing struggle to regulate certain persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals, especially those found in finished products, what EPA refers to as “articles.” The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has always applied to the products, or articles, that contain chemical substances of interest to EPA under TSCA. While EPA previously used that authority somewhat sparingly, the 2016 Amendments to TSCA have jump-started a new wave of regulations that expressly apply to articles. EPA is required under TSCA to regulate certain PBTs, and EPA issued a final rule earlier this year that inspired chaos in the business community, especially in the electronics sector and its complicated supply chain. Rich and I discuss these PBT rules and help explain what may well be the new normal with regard to the regulation of finished products under TSCA.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is pleased to present a complimentary webinar focused on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) regulations on September 9, 2021, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (EDT). B&C Managing Partner Lynn L. Bergeson and Director of Chemistry Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., will discuss three actions recently taken by EPA:
- Proposing a rule designed to obtain comprehensive data on more than 1,000 PFAS manufactured in the United States;
- Withdrawing guidance that EPA believes weakened its July 2020 significant new use rule (SNUR) restricting certain long-chain PFAS; and
- Publishing a final rule that incorporates three additional PFAS into the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) maintained under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
The proposed rule intended to obtain comprehensive data on PFAS would require all manufacturers (including importers) of PFAS in any year since 2011 to report information related to chemical identity, categories of use, volumes manufactured and processed, byproducts, environmental and health effects, worker exposure, and disposal.
As a result of these EPA regulatory actions, companies that never expected to need to know the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are now finding themselves in EPA’s crosshairs. This webinar will explore the full scope of these potential rules, how entities can determine if they will be subject to reporting, and the specific recordkeeping requirements that have been proposed.
Register for the webinar now
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (EDT)
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health are pleased to present “TSCA Reform - Five Years Later.” This complimentary virtual conference marks the fifth Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Annual Conference, reflecting on the accomplishments and challenges since the implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments and where TSCA stands today. Speakers will dive into a host of topics, including the systems of risk evaluation and risk management, environmental justice, regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), new chemicals, and more. Register online.
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
|Welcome and Overview of Virtual Forum
Lynn R. Goldman, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., Michael and Lori Milken Dean, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, George Washington University
|9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
||Morning Keynote Discussion
Michal Freedhoff, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
10:00 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.
|Panel 1: Risk Evaluation under TSCA
With the EPA under the Trump Administration completing 10 evaluations and the EPA conducting another 23 under the Biden Administration, there are differences of opinion over what the law requires and the best way to assess chemical risks. This panel will share perspectives on these issues and discuss whether and how the new Administration might revisit the 10 completed evaluations.
Robert M. Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates, Moderator
Ryan J. Carra, Ph.D., Principal, Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.
Penny Fenner-Crisp, Ph.D., Environmental Protection Network
Suzanne Hartigan, Ph.D., Senior Director, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council
Jon Kalmuss-Katz, Supervising Senior Attorney, Earthjustice
11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
|Panel 2: Risk Management under TSCA
The new regulatory frontier associated with the 2016 TSCA amendments is determining how best to manage chemical risks found to be unreasonable. This panel will discuss EPA’s authority under the Lautenberg amendments and options for deploying its risk management authority.
Jeffery T. Morris, Ph.D., Jeff Morris Solutions, LLC, Moderator
Eve C. Gartner, Managing Attorney, Toxic Exposure & Health Program, Earthjustice
Randy S. Rabinowitz, Executive Director, OSH Law Project LLC
Sara Beth Watson, Of Counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Kimberly Wise White, Ph.D., Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council
11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
|Panel 3: TSCA and Environmental Justice
The TSCA amendments offer enormous opportunities to help eliminate environmental injustice by evaluating and managing chemical risks. This panel will consider how TSCA can be leveraged to address concerns regarding environmental justice.
Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell P.C., Moderator
Dianne Barton, Council Chair, National Tribal Toxics Council
Marianne Engelman Lado, Deputy General Counsel, Environmental Initiatives, Office of General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Timothy W. Hardy, Partner, Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P.
Adrienne Hollis, Senior Climate Justice and Health Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists
|12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Hon. Jeffrey Alan Merkley, U.S. Senator, Oregon (invited)
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
|Panel 4: New Chemicals Review
The TSCA New Chemicals Program was modified in the 2016 amendments and what the law requires has been vigorously debated. This panel will discuss the evolution of EPA’s implementation of Section 5 under the past Administration and now under the Biden Administration.
Lawrence E. Culleen, Partner, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Moderator
Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Partner, Baker Botts L.L.P.
Richard A. Denison, Ph.D., Lead Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
Daniel Rosenberg, Director, Federal Toxics Policy, Healthy People & Thriving Communities Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
3:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
|Panel 5: TSCA and PFAS
This panel will address how TSCA authorities can be used to address concerns about both new and existing PFAS, as this class of substances continues to gain significant attention.
Robert M. Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates, Moderator
Dennis R. Deziel, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. and former Administrator, Region I, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Liz Hitchcock, Director, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
Robert J. Simon, Vice President, Chemical Products and Technology and Chlorine Chemistry, American Chemistry Council
Betsy Southerland, Issue Team, Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Environmental Protection Network
3:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
|Panel 6: TSCA Litigation Update
Unsurprisingly, TSCA litigation is on the rise five years into implementation of the new law. This panel will discuss key issues in dispute and where the courts might be headed.
Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., Moderator
Martha E. Marrapese, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
Gavin McCabe, Special Assistant Attorney General, New York State Office of Attorney General
4:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
|Concluding Remarks and Adjournment
Scott Fulton, President, Environmental Law Institute
John Pendergrass, Vice President, Programs & Publications, Environmental Law Institute
Join ELI, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, leading experts, and distinguished keynote speakers for a robust exploration of the issues and regulations surrounding TSCA. Full program and registration available online.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On June 10, 2021, the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA) Retail Compliance Center (RCC) and Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), presented “TSCA - It Is Not What You May Think.” While the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has long been regarded as a law applying to chemical producers, reforms made in 2016 have drawn many retailers, product manufacturers, and other “article” manufacturers into TSCA’s reach. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than a recent final rule under Section 6(h) limiting or prohibiting the manufacture (including import), processing, and/or distribution in commerce of five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals, including phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)). This complimentary webinar, intended for large and small retailers, product stewards, and professionals throughout the product supply chain, covered:
- What TSCA is and why it matters to retailers;
- What retailers need to know about their products;
- What the PIP (3:1) case study signals about the potential reach of TSCA; and
- What steps to take to prepare for new regulations.
A full recording of this webinar is available now, along with slides and detailed responses to the Q&A portion of the event.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
As reported in our January 6, 2021, blog item, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued final rules under Section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals, including phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) (86 Fed. Reg. 894). The final rules limit or prohibit the manufacture (including import), processing, and/or distribution in commerce of the five PBTs, with certain exceptions. In accordance with Biden-Harris Administration Executive Orders and directives, as well as “[n]ewly-raised compliance issues” associated with the PIP (3:1) rule, EPA announced on March 8, 2021, that it would ask for additional public comment. EPA also issued a temporary 180-day “No Action Assurance” (NAA) indicating that the Agency will exercise its enforcement discretion regarding the prohibitions on processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) for use in articles, and the articles to which PIP (3:1) has been added.
Under the final rule, each person who manufactures PIP (3:1) for any use after March 8, 2021, must, prior to or concurrent with the shipment, notify persons to whom PIP (3:1) is shipped, in writing, of the prohibitions on processing, distribution, and releases to water. 40 C.F.R. § 751.407(e)(1). Each person who processes or distributes in commerce PIP (3:1) or PIP (3:1)-containing products for any use after July 6, 2021, must, prior to or concurrent with the shipment, notify persons to whom PIP (3:1) is shipped, in writing, of the prohibitions on processing, distribution, and releases to water. 40 C.F.R. § 751.407(e)(2). The final rule clarifies that the downstream notification requirement applies only to those scenarios where a product has an accompanying safety data sheet (SDS). EPA also included an alternative method of compliance for downstream notification. If a manufacturer, processor, or distributor chooses, they may include specified text on their label, instead of on their SDS.
EPA’s NAA applies only to the prohibitions on processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) for use in articles, and the articles to which PIP (3:1) has been added. It does not apply to the downstream notification requirements or to the downstream notification requirements for manufacturers that began March 9, 2021. Processors and distributors should review the regulations now to ensure that they are prepared to begin providing downstream notifications on July 7, 2021. Information regarding Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s TSCA services is available on our website.
By Christopher R. Blunck, Carla N. Hutton, and Lynn L. Bergeson
On June 11, 2021, the Office and Management and Budget released its “Spring 2021 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions” (Regulatory Agenda). It includes an entry for an interim final rule planned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entitled “Regulation of Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals Under TSCA Section 6(h); Reconsideration and Extension of Certain Compliance Dates.” This action, planned for publication in September 2021, would be in follow-up to EPA’s March 16, 2021, proposed rule that sought additional public comment on final rules published on January 6, 2021, covering five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals, i.e., decabromodiphenyl ether; 2,4,6-tris(tert-butyl)phenol; hexachlorobutadiene, pentachlorothiophenol; and phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)).
In the March 16, 2021, proposed rule, EPA stated that it sought additional public comment in “accordance with the January 21, 2021, Executive Order entitled “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis” and other Biden-Harris Administration Executive orders and other direction.” EPA stated also in the proposed rule that it is “aware of and plans to consider revisions in response to implementation issues that have been raised by a range of stakeholders” and that “[i]n particular, EPA is seeking comment on newly-raised issues associated with the March 8, 2021, compliance date in the PIP (3:1) rule for certain regulated articles.”
Concurrent with EPA’s announcement on March 8, 2021, of the March 16, 2021, proposed rule that opened the PBT rules for comment, EPA issued a temporary 180-day “No Action Assurance” (NAA) indicating that EPA would exercise its enforcement discretion regarding the prohibitions on processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) for use in articles, and the articles to which PIP (3:1) has been added. EPA stated that it “is taking this [NAA] action to ensure that the supply chain of these important articles is not interrupted while EPA continues to collect the information needed to best inform subsequent regulatory efforts and allow for the issuance of a final agency action to extend the March 8, 2021, compliance date as necessary.” EPA stated that the NAA “is to remain in effect until either (1) 11:59 PM ET, September 4, 2021, or (2) the effective date of a final action addressing the compliance date for the prohibition on processing and distributing in commerce of PIP (3:1); including in PIP (3:1)-containing articles, whichever occurs earlier.”
The Regulatory Agenda entry for the interim final rule states that EPA intends to address compliance date issues in the action, and that if it “determines to further amend the recent final [PBT] rules, EPA will address those amendments in one or more future Regulatory Agenda entries.”
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
As reported in our March 9, 2021, blog item, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on March 8, 2021, that “in accordance with Biden-Harris Administration executive orders and directives,” it is asking for additional public input on five final rules for persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals issued on January 6, 2021, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). On March 16, 2021, EPA announced that comments on the final rules are due May 17, 2021. 86 Fed. Reg. 14398. EPA seeks comment on:
- Whether the rules sufficiently reduce exposure to these chemicals, including exposures to potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations and the environment;
- Newly raised compliance issues associated with the final rule on phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)), including the compliance dates for certain regulated articles; and
- Whether to consider additional or alternative measures or approaches.
EPA will use the feedback received during the comment period to determine the best path forward, which could include amending the final rules to include additional or alternative exposure reduction measures or extending compliance dates for certain regulated products and articles.