SOCMA recently intervened in a lawsuit on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) framework rules on Risk Evaluation and Prioritization.
Three lawsuits were filed by non-governmental agencies (NGOs) against EPA regarding the Risk Evaluation and Prioritization rules in United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits. Among those filing suit are the Environmental Defense Fund (EDU), Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and Safer Chemicals Health Families.
SOCMA engaged in the modernization of TSCA for more than 10 years before its efforts came to fruition last year with the passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA). Once passed, the Obama and Trump administrations took responsibility for developing regulations to implement the law. SOCMA has also engaged in the development of new TSCA regulations by meeting with EPA, developing comments and participating in hearings.
The purpose of the Risk Evaluation rule is to “determine whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk to health or the environment, under the conditions of use, including an unreasonable risk to a relevant potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation.”
The purpose of the Prioritization rule is to “designate a chemical substance as either High-Priority for further risk evaluation, or Low-Priority for which risk evaluation is not warranted at the time.”
SOCMA and its members are very satisfied with the final rules published by EPA and has joined the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) to form a steering committee to guide a coalition as it intervenes in defense of the agency. The rules reflect proper procedures for identifying and reviewing existing chemicals, and at the same time, do not change the already effective aspect of the program, new chemical evaluations.
There are a number of possible outcomes from the law suits. The court can decide that EPA is within its jurisdiction and rule in favor of EPA, or the court can strike down entire rules and command EPA to develop new rules. The court can also strike down specific parts of the rules.
Additional information about the litigation can be found on the Chemical Watch Website.