June 22, 2018 by Katie Tracy

Nothing to Celebrate as TSCA Reform Turns Two

June 22 marks the two-year anniversary of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (colloquially referred to as TSCA reform or new TSCA). The 2016 law provided some hope that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would finally address the potential risks from tens of thousands of untested and unregulated chemicals common in our households and hygiene products, our food and drinking water, our air, and our workplaces. Unfortunately, under President Trump and Scott Pruitt's leadership, EPA has undermined the law. 

Under Pruitt, EPA finalized controversial and legally indefensible framework rules for prioritizing chemicals for risk evaluation and for conducting those evaluations. Environmental and public health advocates have sued the agency over the framework rules because they allow numerous unreasonable health and environmental risks to continue unabated, in violation of the statute. As EPA continues with TSCA implementation under its flawed framework rules pending the outcome of the litigation, the hope the reforms once gave is on hold. 

On June 1, EPA released problem formulation documents refining the scope of the risk evaluations for the first 10 chemicals the agency selected to assess under the new law. EPA selected these chemicals because of the significant …

March 31, 2016 by Thomas Cluderay, Melanie Benesh

Originally published on EnviroBlog by Thomas Cluderay, general counsel, and Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney, for the Environmental Working Group.

You might think you can’t put a price on protecting public health and the environment. But you’d be wrong – especially if we’re talking about the nation's broken and outdated chemicals law, the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, or TSCA.

We’ve written a lot about how the House and Senate are working to amend this defective law (here, here and here) through negotiations to reconcile language in their respective TSCA reform bills.

A critically important issue still under discussion is to what extent the Environmental Protection Agency must consider economic costs as part of its decisions on regulating chemicals. In practice the requirement that EPA balance costs and benefits translates into serious delays – if action at all – when it comes to protecting people and the …

Aug. 13, 2010 by Matt Shudtz

On Wednesday, EPA announced its intention to revise (pdf) the TSCA Inventory Update Rule (IUR). The TSCA Inventory is the official list of chemicals in commerce, and the IUR is the regulation that requires companies to submit production and use data to EPA to ensure the Inventory accurately represents all of the chemicals out there. This week's announcement marks the second time in ten years that EPA has decided the IUR needs improvement, based on agency staff’s efforts to regulate toxic chemicals using the data available to them. 

As Dan Rosenberg points out over at Switchboard, the changes are mostly good, although EPA certainly could have gone further on a few fronts. For one, EPA has expressed some interest in changing the IUR’s requirements for reporting occupational exposures—changes that would be a huge improvement—but hasn’t yet decided exactly how to implement the …

  • 1 (current)
More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
June 22, 2018

Nothing to Celebrate as TSCA Reform Turns Two

March 31, 2016

Legal Experts: Supreme Court Decision on Mercury Pollution Could Undercut Chemical Reform

Aug. 13, 2010

Changes to TSCA Inventory Update Rule Could Help OSHA, Too