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TSCA Reform -- What It Means To You

Wednesday, June 15, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jessica Hall
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TSCA Reform Update

HIA worked with 200 organizations as part of the
American Alliance for Innovation (AAI) to limit state authority to restrict substances as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform Bill. With the President's signature expected shortly, the TSCA Reform bill will soon become law. For HIA members and others within the industry including retailers, this naturally raises the questions as to how the reform will change existing TSCA.

The new law will:

-Establish a health-based safety standard
-Require the EPA to assess the risk of existing chemicals under "judicially enforceable deadlines", without consideration of cost. This process will include identification of substances on the market, designation of low and high priorities, risk evaluation of high-priority substances, and restrictions for those that present an unreasonable risk;
-Strike the existing statute's mandate that the EPA implement "least burdensome" regulatory requirements;
-Mandate that the EPA make "an affirmative safety finding" before allowing a new substance on the market, under a 90-day review period (which may be extended to 180 days);
-Increases the EPA's authority to order testing, with a requirement to "reduce and replace animal testing where scientifically reliable alternatives exist";
-Trigger an EPA review of all past confidential business information (CBI) claims, and require re-substantiation of approved claims after ten years;
-Limit state authority to restrict substances that are undergoing EPA review, have been found by the agency not to pose unreasonable risk, or are subject to federal risk management, unless they seek out a waiver. States' authority to require reporting and monitoring are preserved, and chemical restrictions enacted prior to 22 April 2016 are 'grandfathered' in ( If EPA acts to study or regulate a substance Staes must defer to it and can only enforce identical requirements). ;
-Call for identification and protection of most vulnerable populations;
-Require science-based decisions, founded on weight of evidence (WoE); and
-Collect fees on new and existing chemicals that go directly to the EPA.
Lawmakers have said that they will be closely overseeing the EPA's implementation of the law. Click here for a summary of the compromise changes to the language.Members will be kept up to date by HIA's Legal Counsel as EPA seeks to implement the law's provisions and as States are forced to defer to federal requirements, rather than seeking to enact new nonidentical requirements that will likely be preempted if EPA acts to regulate the same. The challenge will be to ensure that local governments do not act rashly during the gap period between the date the law passes and the date that EPA elects to regulate a substance or product.