Sunday, March 29, 2020

EPA proposes three-prong approach to chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency recently outlined its proposal for evaluating and prioritizing chemicals, approximately five months ahead of the deadline to do so.

The EPA wants to undertake a three-prong approach: inventory, prioritization and risk evaluation. The rules are intended to address problems with the Toxic Substances Control Act, which was enacted in 1976. At that time, thousands of unevaluated chemicals were allowed to remain in the market, and there was no method for evaluating chemicals or requiring companies to provide information on them.

“After 40 years, we can finally address chemicals currently in the marketplace,” Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said. “Today’s action will set into motion a process to quickly evaluate chemicals and meet deadlines required under, and essential to, implementing the new law.”

An inventory rule would require manufacturers and importers to list the chemicals they continue to produce out of the more than 85,000 identified in the EPA's current inventory.  A prioritization rule would allow the EPA to identify the risk factor of a chemical to determine whether it needs to be evaluated. Finally, a risk evaluation rule would list the steps to be undertaken to determine a chemical's risk and would clarify how public comment on chemicals will be included.

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Environmental Protection Agency Region 7

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