Since enactment three and a half years ago, EPA has been hard at work effectively and efficiently implementing the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as Congress intended. The agency continues to consistently meet key TSCA deadlines and requirements, and today marks another milestone in that process as EPA finalized the designation of 20 chemical substances as high priority for risk evaluations and 20 substances as low priority for risk evaluations.
What are high and low priority chemicals?
The prioritization process for high and low priority substances is central to EPA’s ability to conduct a more systematic evaluation of chemicals in commerce. Designation as a low priority substance means the agency has determined that chemical does not require a risk evaluation at the time, but it can be reconsidered based on new information in the future.
A final high priority designation, on the other hand, initiates a TSCA risk evaluation of the substance. It is important to note that—as EPA has said—designation of a substance as a high priority “does not constitute a finding of risk” and should not be cause for concern.
So, what’s next for the 20 high priority chemicals?
Information and cost sharing
In an effort to share costs and promote efficiency to address the requirements of a TSCA risk evaluation, stakeholders can form consortia to collaborate on the development of comments, generate relevant data/information and meet with EPA to discuss the draft TSCA risk evaluation. The ACC’s Center for Chemical Safety can serve as the scientific, technical and advocacy hub for providing information and building consortia to help those stakeholders navigate the TSCA prioritization and risk evaluation processes.
There is much more EPA has been doing to successfully implement the law, and there is a lot of work left to be done. ACC and its member companies will continue to support and meet the requirements of the law in order to help ensure implementation enhances public, industry, and government confidence in TSCA’s federal chemical regulatory system.
We are confident that once fully implemented, TSCA will represent the premier chemical regulation in the world. Successful implementation of the law, in accordance with the statute and congressional intent, is essential to ensuring protections for human health and the environment, while enabling our industry to continue to innovate, create jobs and grow the economy.