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
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on March 23, 2021, that it is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards.  According to a Federal Register notice scheduled for publication on March 24, 2021, the awards will recognize the leadership contributions of Safer Choice partners and stakeholders who, over the past year, have shown achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals that further outstanding or innovative source reduction.  EPA “especially encourages” award applications that show how the applicant’s work in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of those products promotes environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, or improves drinking water quality.  All Safer Choice stakeholders and program participants in good standing are eligible for recognition.  Interested parties should submit to EPA information about their accomplishments and contributions during 2020.  Submissions are due May 31, 2021.  EPA will recognize award winners at a ceremony in fall 2021.
 
Safer Choice is an EPA Pollution Prevention (P2) program, which includes practices that reduce, eliminate, or prevent pollution at its source, such as using safer ingredients in products.  The Safer Choice program certifies products containing ingredients that have met its “specific and rigorous” human health and environmental toxicological criteria.  EPA notes that the Safer Choice program allows companies to use its label “on certified products that contain safer ingredients and perform, as determined by expert evaluation.”  EPA states that the Safer Choice program certification “represents a high level of achievement in formulating products that are safer for people and the environment.”


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a fully remote hearing on March 10, 2021, on “The Path Forward:  Restoring the Vital Mission of EPA.”  According to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s March 3, 2021, press release, the hearing will examine the “critical need to restore the mission” of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and how EPA “can address climate change and other urgent challenges to the nation’s environment and public health.”  Subcommittee members will hear “from former EPA leaders about what steps must be taken to undo the damage done to the agency over the last four years and to re-empower it to fulfill its mission.”  The hearing will be available via live webcast.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change announced on March 6, 2019, that it will hold a hearing on March 13, 2019, on “Mismanaging Chemical Risks:  EPA’s Failure to Protect Workers.”  The Subcommittee will address how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “is systemically ignoring worker risks in its implementation of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act and other worker protections.”  Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) stated that protecting vulnerable populations is an essential part of EPA’s mission, but under the Trump Administration, EPA “has systematically undervalued or completely overlooked the risks workers face from exposure to chemicals on the job.  Workers should not have to choose between their health and their jobs.”  Information for the hearing, including the Majority Memorandum, witness list and testimony, and a live webcast, will be posted on the hearing web page as they become available.