Thursday, March 18, 2010

EPA Set to Post More Chemical Action Plans - Bisphenol A and Benzidine Dyes

EPA appears to be taking seriously its commitment to produce "action plans" for chemicals it feels need to be more closely regulated. In December 2009 it issued action plans for four chemicals, and now they are preparing action plans for Bisphenol A (BPA) and Benzidine dyes. Both of these were listed in the September 29, 2009 outline of Administrator Jackson's "comprehensive approach to chemicals management," along with the four noted in the December action plans (phthalates, long-chain chlorinated paraffins, PBDEs, and perfluorinated chemicals).

The action plans for BPA and benzidine dyes will be posted on EPA's website shortly. Like the earlier ones, the new action plans may include listing of chemicals that pose a concern using Section 5(b)(4) of TSCA authority, Section 6 limitations, Section 4 test rules, and incorporating Design for the Environment activities.

In addition, EPA is announcing four more chemicals that will be the subject of upcoming action plan development, which EPA anticipates releasing in late spring. Those four are:

NP/NPE (nonylphenol/nonylphenol ethoxylate)
HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane)

Finally, EPA is also in the process of developing a list of potential chemicals for future action plan development and anticipates making that information available this summer.

So while a TSCA reform bill may be imminent, it will likely take some time before a bill reaches the House and Senate floors for a vote, and then there will be a transition period before the new requirements come into force. In the meantime, EPA is using all the authority it believes it already has under TSCA, something that perhaps it wasn't doing so robustly in the past.

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