The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday reached a major milestone, on schedule, in its implementation of the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) by finalizing three major framework rules: a rule updating the TSCA inventory, a rule to establish a process and criteria for identifying high priority chemicals and low priority chemicals, and a rule to establish a process for evaluating high-priority chemicals. The agency also provided a guidance document for external parties on submitting draft risk evaluations and released the scoping documents for the first 10 risk evaluations that will be conducted.
“SOCMA is currently evaluating the rules to see how they align with our comments. At first glance it appears EPA is moving in the right direction, although, we still need to sift through the details,” said Robert F. Helminiak, SOCMA’s Managing Director of Government Relations. “I think with all the activity in the TSCA domain we should applaud the agency in this monumental task particularly while meeting its statutory deadline. The treatment of existing chemicals has long plagued the public’s confidence in chemicals in commerce, but those perceptions will start to change for the better with these rules.”
EPA should maintain this momentum and commitment to implementation of new TSCA. Now the agency should be able to focus more resources on getting the new chemicals program back on track, which is one of SOCMA’s highest priorities. Some progress has already been made with increased staff and the elimination of much of the backlog of chemicals in review, but there is more work to be done. SOCMA met with newly appointed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and expressed the specialty chemical industry priorities on TSCA, and the Administrator assured the group the concerns were heard.
Find SOCMA comments on the major framework rules on our website.
The pre-publication copies of the rules and other material can be accessed below: