TSCA Amendments at Two-Year Anniversary

June 21, 2018

EPA is at a crossroads in implementing the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” at the two-year anniversary of then-President Obama signing the measure into law on June 22, 2016. 

The 2016 amendments were historic, as they were the first substantive overhaul of the primary chemical control law in the United States since TSCA was enacted in 1976. It also was the first significant new environmental law since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

The amendments directed the EPA to promulgate a number of framework rules to implement key provisions of the law, including the Inventory Reset, Risk Prioritization, and Risk Evaluation rules. 

EPA faces a number of tight deadlines imposed by the amendments over the next 24 months as the Agency must move from evaluating 15 chemicals in commerce this year to 50 chemicals next year, as well as proposing restrictions on five in 2019.

“Because EPA must demonstrate to Congress and stakeholders that it can effectively manage the workload and review the potential risk of chemicals, it is likely that the Agency will turn to industry to supply a lot of information, such as data on exposures,” said ILMA CEO Holly Alfano.

Alfano also said that ILMA and other stakeholders are waiting on the federal courts to weigh in on framework rules EPA previously promulgated on its new responsibilities under the amendments. EPA’s TSCA rules are being challenged in three federal circuit courts, and the decisions expected later this year could force the Agency to start over again and or redo analyses of specific decisions it already has made on chemicals.

ILMA will continue to monitor and report on important TSCA revisions and developments.