Friday, April 27, 2012

EPA Issues Huge Batch of SNURs - 119 Chemicals in All

In a direct final rule issued today, the USEPA has issued significant new use rules (SNURs) for 119 new chemical substances.  Four of the chemical substances are already "subject to TSCA consent orders issued by EPA."  According to the Federal Register notice, "this action requires persons who intend to manufacture, import, or process any of these 119 chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. The required notification will provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs."

While SNURs significantly restrict the ability for new companies to manufacture the substances - they are limited by the restrictions in the SNUR - they actually can provide a significant benefit to the original PMN submitter who already are being allowed to manufacture or import the substances listed. 

The four chemicals that are subject to consent orders are the only ones that are considered to be of significant risk, hence the consent order to control that risk. All four are perfluorinated substances.  The other 115 chemicals have more limited restrictions designed to ensure safe use.

The SNUR notice can be viewed in full here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

EPA's Lisa Jackson Names a New Science Advisor

On April 24th EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson officially appointed Glenn Paulson as Science Advisor in the Office of the Administrator.  Paulson fills the spot opened up with the resignation of Paul Anastas.  Lek Kadeli will continue to serve as acting assistant administrator in the Office of Research and Development.  According to Jackson:

Given the central place that science holds in the EPA’s decisions and actions, Dr. Paulson will play an important role in the work ahead. He brings with him years of experience in science and policy issues, extraordinary performance in multiple fields, and an unwavering dedication to the integrity that defines this agency's scientific work.

Paulson holds a PhD in environmental sciences and ecology from Rockefeller University.  Previously he has been an academic, was Director of the Center for Hazardous Waste Management at the Illinois Institute of Technology, served as Associate Dean for Research in the School of Public Health and as Director of the New Jersey Center for Public Health Preparedness at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  He has also founded his own environmental and energy consulting firm, and served as assistant commissioner for science at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, was Director of the Scientific Support Program for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and was a Senior Vice President at the
National Audubon Society.

The NRDC praised the selection of Paulson:

“Glenn Paulson will bring to EPA a lifelong commitment to the integrity of science when it comes to making the best decisions to protect our air, water, lands, wildlife and our health. His dedication and collegiality will serve him and the country well.”