On June 29th, the EPA issued its first-year plan to implement the newly amended U.S. chemicals law.

The plan describes changes the Environmental Protection Agency already has made to comply with the Toxic Substances Control Act amendments of 2016, which President Barack Obama signed into law June 22. Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) is the first major reform bill of toxic chemicals rules in 40 years.

Now, the focus will be on the specifics of how EPA will implement the extensive new authorities under the law for addressing the safety of chemicals.  State preemption, how EPA will handle the assessment of chemicals under TSCA versus the Integrated Risk Information System as well as how science will be assessed throughout the process (of particular concern to KCMA will be how the formaldehyde science will be assessed) with respect to chemicals in commerce and those entering into the marketplace are issues yet to be fully resolved.

There are provisions in the law that protect Confidential Business Information on new chemical assessments with “substantiation” requirements with CBI claims sun-setting after ten years although they can be re-substantiated.  

The EPA is beginning to identify the first 10 chemicals it will evaluate for health and environmental risks with a deadline to produce the list within 180 day from enactment of the law.  mid-December 2016; and

Publish scope of each assessment within 6 months – mid-June 2017.

KCMA is working with relevant groups to assess the impact on chemicals such as formaldehyde used in the wood products industry. See article by Ross Eisenberg, NAM, VP Energy and Resource Policy