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No one, not even the Environmental Protection Agency, knows how many chemicals are in use today. EPA has more than 85,000 chemicals listed on its inventory of substances that fall under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). But the agency is struggling to get a handle on which of those chemicals are in the marketplace today and how they are actually being used.
EPA is extending the comment period for two proposed rules on Trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic chemical with human health concerns identified by EPA in a 2014 risk assessment. EPA proposed these rules in December and January to ban certain uses of the chemical in aerosol degreasing, as a spot cleaner in dry cleaning facilities, and in commercial vapor degreasing.
The comment period for the proposed ban on TCE as an aerosol degreaser and for spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities is extended to March 16.
The comment period for the proposed ban on TCE as a commercial vapor degreaser is extended to April 19.
Read more about the rulemaking here.
The Agency is meeting another requirement of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemicals Safety for the 21 Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), by publishing an annual report on risk evaluation. The reformed TSCA requires that EPA identify the chemical substances that will undergo risk evaluation during that year, those for which risk evaluation will be initiated and those for which risk evaluation will be completed, including status and schedules. This report must also identify the resources necessary to complete these tasks. Read the report.
Under TSCA EPA is now required to evaluate existing chemicals to determine whether they “present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.” Under the conditions of use for each chemical, EPA will assess the hazard(s), exposure(s), and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations(s) the Agency plans to consider. This information will be used to make a final determination as to whether the chemical presents an unreasonable risk.
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On February 14th, EPA will hold a public meeting to receive public input and information on uses and conditions of use for the initial ten chemicals to be evaluated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. Information on uses and the conditions of use will assist EPA in identifying potential exposure scenarios for the ten chemicals.
The meeting will be held on February 14, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Polaris Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20004.
To participate, please register online at https://tscachemicaluse.eventbrite.com. The meeting will also be available by remote access for registered participants. EPA has also established public dockets for those who wish to submit information. Written comments and materials will also be accepted and should be submitted before March 1, 2017.
For additional information, including links to the public dockets, please visit https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/evaluating-risk-existing-chemicals-under-tsca.
Today, EPA is announcing the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under TSCA reform.
“Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace.” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the of Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We can ensure the public that we will deliver on the promise to better protect public health and the environment.”
The first ten chemicals to be evaluated are:
- Carbon Tetrachloride
- Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster
- Methylene Chloride
- Pigment Violet 29
- Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, requires EPA to publish this list by December 19, 2016. These chemicals were drawn from EPA’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan, a list of 90 chemicals selected based on their potential for high hazard and exposure as well as other considerations.
When the list is published in the Federal Register it will trigger a statutory deadline to complete risk evaluations for these chemicals within three years. This evaluation will determine whether the chemicals present an unreasonable risk to humans and the environment. If it is determined that a chemical presents an unreasonable risk, EPA must mitigate that risk within two years.
Under the newly amended law, EPA must release a scoping document within six months for each chemical. This will include the hazard(s), exposure(s), conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation(s) the agency plans to consider for the evaluation.
Additional chemicals will be designated for evaluation, and all of the remaining Work Plan chemicals will be reviewed for their potential hazard and exposure. For each risk evaluation that EPA completes, TSCA requires that EPA begin another. By the end of 2019, EPA must have at least 20 chemical risk valuations ongoing at any given time.
For more on the chemicals listed and additional information: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/evaluating-risk-existing-chemicals-under-tsca
Read the full story at Ensia.
The updated Toxic Substances Control Act brings new hope for protecting Americans’ health and environment. Here’s what it does — and doesn’t — do.