EPA achieves major TSCA implementation milestone

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Lead Senior Scientist.

The Environmental Defense Fund applauds the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for meeting a major milestone in implementing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the landmark legislation reforming the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that passed in June 2016 with overwhelming bipartisan support.

EPA reached this milestone this week when it released proposals for the three foundational rules that the Lautenberg Act mandates be finalized by June of this year, as well as three proposed rules restricting specific high-risk uses of several chemicals.

The management and staff of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and Office of General Counsel deserve major kudos for their tireless work over these past seven months to reach this milestone. This should also bring satisfaction to the Members of Congress who authored the Lautenberg Act and included aggressive deadlines as part of the bipartisan effort to reform the law.  

Shortly after passage of the Lautenberg Act, EPA issued an implementation plan that called for proposal of each of these rules by about this time, in order to pave the way for the rules to be finalized early in the next Administration.  At the time, a broad range of stakeholders voiced their support for EPA’s plan and stated that the agency could and should meet this timeline for proposing these rules.

All six of these proposed rules are now open for public comment.

A fourth foundational rule to establish a fee system is under development; while it is not subject to a statutory deadline, we understand considerable progress has been made and it is on track to be proposed a little later this year.

In addition, in November EPA also met its 6-month deadline under the law for identifying the first ten chemicals to undergo risk evaluations.  Finally, EPA also promulgated its long-awaited rule requiring reporting of nanoscale materials under TSCA; our blog post on that final rule is here.

Below we provide links to each of these rules as well as EPA’s announcement of the first ten chemicals.

In the coming days, EDF will be reviewing each of the six proposed rules and providing more information via our blog.  (We have already posted on EPA’s proposed rules restricting certain uses of trichloroethylene (TCE):  here and here.)

So stayed tuned!


Foundational procedural rules

Chemical-specific risk management rules


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