Register Now For “UK REACH, What’s Happened And What’s Next?,” On March 23, 2022: Companies worldwide must be aware of the significant implications for chemical regulatory compliance under the United Kingdom (UK) REACH regulation as the UK has completed its first year of complete separation from the European Union (EU). Companies should act quickly to understand their rights and obligations under UK REACH to maintain continuity of their supply chains and market access. “UK REACH, What’s Happened and What’s Next?” will delve into these important issues with The Acta Group (Acta®) professionals who have decades of experience to help evaluate what to expect in 2022.
“What To Expect In Chemicals In 2022” Webinar Recording Available Now: Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) January 26, 2022, webinar “What to Expect in Chemicals in 2022” is now available for on-demand viewing at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/864194569862780944. During the one-hour webinar, Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, B&C; Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, B&C; and James V. Aidala, Senior Government Affairs Consultant, B&C, offered their best informed judgment as to the trends and key developments chemical industry stakeholders should expect to see from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2022. We encourage you to view the webinar, listen to the Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s 2022 Forecast episode of All Things Chemical®, and read our comprehensive Forecast for U.S. Federal and International Chemical Regulatory Policy 2022 to learn more about these competing priorities for which companies should now prepare.
Sustainable Cleaning Chemistries For A Healthier World, February 23, 2022, 3:00 p.m. EST, Via Webinar: Case Medical presents “Sustainable Cleaning Chemistries for a Healthier World,” a webinar for healthcare professionals focusing on the risks of daily exposure to toxic chemicals and what options are available to increase safety and reduce harm. Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, B&C, will present.
Lynn L. Bergeson Authors “Isn’t It Ironic?,” American College Of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Blog: The Biden Administration’s EPA is laser focused on achieving several “whole-of-government” priorities: addressing climate change, identifying and giving environmental justice greater consideration in decision-making, and following the science wherever it may lead. Knowing and respecting leadership in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) tasked with achieving these laudable yet daunting objectives, there is no question the commitment is genuine. It is ironic, however, that EPA is applying the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in ways that are counterproductive to achieving these goals. The full article is available on the ACOEL Blog.
Lynn L. Bergeson Authors “Toxic Substances: EPA Targets Asbestos,” Chemical Processing: TSCA has long been considered the “poster child” of failure as a chemical control law when it comes to asbestos regulation. EPA in its latest approach to regulating “legacy” uses may well invite heightened scrutiny. EPA announced in December the availability of the Draft Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 2. In it, the Agency will evaluate conditions of use of asbestos that were excluded from Part 1 as legacy uses and associated disposals, and use conditions of asbestos in talc and talc-containing products. This article summarizes EPA’s approach.
OMB Reviewing Proposed Rule On Procedures For Submitting Information Subject To CBI Claims Under TSCA: On January 20, 2022, EPA submitted a proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) concerning the procedures for submitting information subject to business confidentiality claims under TSCA. According to an item in the fall 2021 Unified Agenda, EPA is considering proposing new and amended rules concerning the assertion and maintenance of claims of business confidentiality (i.e., confidential business information (CBI)) under TSCA. More information is available in our January 31, 2022, blog item.
EPA Announces It Is Extending Flexibilities To Minimize Supply-Chain Disruptions Facing The Pesticide Industry: On January 20, 2022, EPA announced it is extending supply-chain flexibilities for registrants of certain conventional and biopesticide products to alleviate a supply-chain issue facing the pesticide industry. This is an extension of EPA’s July 2, 2021, action when EPA implemented supply-chain flexibilities that allowed registrants to substitute a combination of pre-approved alternate inert ingredients for inert ingredients derived from propylene oxide (PO) feedstocks. This was intended to address the limited supply of PO feedstocks due to weather events that occurred in the U.S. Gulf Coast in February 2021. This action was originally set to expire on December 31, 2021, but EPA has extended these supply-chain flexibilities until December 31, 2022, due to continued disruptions to production. More information is available in our January 20, 2022, blog.
EPA Announces Effort To Streamline Review Of Climate-Friendly New Chemicals: On January 21, 2022, EPA announced a new effort under TSCA to streamline the review of new chemicals that could be used to displace current, higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting transportation fuels. OCSPP’s New Chemicals Division (NCD) has implemented a “robust, consistent, and efficient process to assess the risk and apply mitigation measures, as appropriate, for substitutes to petroleum-based fuels and fuel additives that use biobased or waste-derived sources to produce biofuels.” According to the announcement, EPA has received over 30 biofuel premanufacture notices (PMN) “that collectively describe plans for close to 800 million gallons per year of production of advanced biofuels, that could contribute to annual volume mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard program and help support the goals of energy security through increasing domestic production” within the United States. The announcement includes information on NCD’s integrated approach to biofuels outreach and training. OCSPP held a kick-off meeting on February 9, 2022, to provide an overview of this initiative and answer questions from stakeholders. More information is available in our January 24, 2022, blog item.
EPA Announces Addition Of Four PFAS To TRI List: On January 24, 2022, EPA announced the automatic addition of four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list. The Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provides the framework for adding additional PFAS to the TRI each year. EPA states that as of January 1, 2022, facilities that are subject to reporting requirements for these chemicals should start tracking their activities involving these PFAS as required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Reporting forms for these PFAS will be due to EPA by July 1, 2023, for calendar year 2022 data. More information is available in our January 25, 2022, blog item.
EPA Publishes Receipt And Status Information For Certain New Chemicals For December 2021: On January 24, 2022, EPA published the receipt and status reports for the period from December 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. 87 Fed. Reg. 3517. EPA states that it is providing notice of receipt of a PMN, significant new use notice (SNUN), or microbial commercial activity notices (MCAN), including an amended notice or test information; an application for a test marketing exemptions (TME), both pending and/or concluded; a notice of commencement (NOC) of manufacture (including import) for a new chemical substance; and a periodic status report on new chemical substances that are currently under EPA review or have recently concluded review. Comments identified by the specific case number provided by EPA are due February 23, 2022.
EPA Publishes Statements Of Findings For December 2021 For Certain New Chemicals Or Significant New Uses: On January 27, 2022, EPA published its statements of findings made after reviewing notices submitted under TSCA Section 5(a) that certain new chemical substances or significant new uses are not likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. 87 Fed. Reg. 4229. The notice presents statements of findings made by EPA during the period from December 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021.
EPA Seeks Participants For SBAR Panel On TSCA Reporting And Recordkeeping Rule For PFAS: On February 2, 2022, EPA announced that it is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profit organizations to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SER) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel. The Panel will focus on EPA’s development of a rule that would require reporting and recordkeeping for PFAS from certain persons who have manufactured (including imported) a PFAS in any year since January 1, 2011. EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs. Self-nominations must be received by February 16, 2022.
EPA Announces Settlements Ensuring That Companies Provide Public With Chemical Information: EPA announced on February 2, 2022, that three companies operating in New England “reported publicly on their use of certain chemicals, creating a safer environment for the public, because of investigations and enforcement actions taken by” EPA:
- EPA alleged that CertainTeed LLC, in Norwood, Massachusetts, owned by the French company Saint-Gobain, failed to file timely TRI reports for zinc compounds and chromium compounds for reporting years 2017, 2018, and 2019. CertainTeed LLC agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $104,572.
- EPA alleged that Manchester Street, LLC, operating in Providence, Rhode Island, failed to file timely TRI reports for ammonia for reporting years 2018 and 2019. Manchester Street, LLC agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $11,707. EPA notes that Manchester Street, LLC’s Rhode Island facility is located in an environmental justice area.
- EPA alleged that Clean Harbors of Connecticut, Inc., operating in Bristol, Connecticut, failed to file timely TRI reports for zinc compounds and nitrate compounds manufactured at the company’s Bristol waste treatment facility in calendar years 2017, 2018, and 2019. Clean Harbors of Connecticut, Inc. has agreed to pay a settlement penalty of $30,688.
EPA states that the three companies “quickly corrected their non-reporting when notified of their oversight and cooperated with EPA throughout the enforcement process.”
EPA Resumes Publishing TSCA Section 8(e) Notices To ChemView: On February 3, 2022, EPA announced that it has resumed publishing notices of substantial risks provided by companies under TSCA Section 8(e) to its ChemView database. EPA states that as the initial phase of its effort to develop an efficient and automated publication process, it started publishing notices received since the procedure lapsed in 2019 due to resource limitations. As resources allow, EPA will “continue to strive” to make non-CBI versions of TSCA Section 8(e) notices publicly available in ChemView more quickly. More information is available in our February 4, 2022, blog item.
Registration Opens For SACC Meeting On Draft Screening Level Approach For Fenceline Communities; EPA Extends Comment Period: EPA announced on February 7, 2022, that registration is now open for the March 15-17. 2022, meeting of the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) to peer review EPA’s “Draft TSCA Screening Level Approach for Assessing Ambient Air and Water Exposures to Fenceline Communities Version 1.0” (screening level methodology). As reported in our January 24, 2022, memorandum, EPA will use the screening level methodology to evaluate potential chemical exposures and associated potential risks to fenceline communities in its TSCA risk evaluations. EPA has extended the comment period to March 22, 2022, to give stakeholders additional time to provide input. EPA “encourages” written comments for consideration by SACC during its peer review be submitted by the original deadline of February 22, 2022. EPA states that it will provide comments submitted after this date to the SACC members, but notes that members “may not have adequate time to consider those comments prior to the meeting’s discussions.” While SACC is unable to consider comments submitted after the March 15-17, 2022, meeting, EPA will consider all comments submitted by March 22, 2022.
To provide oral comments during the virtual peer review meeting, registration must be received by 12:00 p.m. (EST) on February 25, 2022. Stakeholders may register as a listen-only attendee at any time until the end of the meeting on March 17, 2022.
EPA Seeks Comment On Proposed Renewal Of ICR For TSCA Section 8(e) And FYI Notices: On February 8, 2022, EPA announced the availability of and solicited public comment on an Information Collection Request (ICR) that EPA is planning to submit to OMB, “Notification of Substantial Risk of Injury to Health and the Environment under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA),” identified by EPA ICR No. 0794.17 and OMB Control No. 2070-0046. 87 Fed. Reg. 7173. The ICR represents the renewal of an existing ICR that is currently approved through October 31, 2022. Before submitting the ICR to OMB for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), EPA is soliciting comments on specific aspects of the information collection activities and burden estimates. Comments are due April 11, 2022. More information is available in our February 9, 2022, blog item.
EPA Extends Comment Period For Draft Scope Document For Part Two Of Asbestos Risk Evaluation: On February 10, 2022, EPA extended the comment period on the draft scope of a risk evaluation under TSCA for Asbestos Part 2: Supplemental Evaluation Including Legacy Uses and Associated Disposals of Asbestos. 87 Fed. Reg. 7833. As reported in our December 30, 2021, memorandum, in the Part 2 risk evaluation, EPA will evaluate the conditions of use of asbestos (including other types of asbestos fibers in addition to chrysotile) that EPA had excluded from Part 1 as legacy uses and associated disposals, as well as any conditions of use of asbestos in talc and talc-containing products. The draft scope includes the conditions of use, hazards, exposures, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations (PESS) that EPA plans to consider in conducting the risk evaluation for this chemical substance. EPA seeks additional data or information that could be useful to EPA in preparing the final scope of the risk evaluation. Comments are now due March 1, 2022.
EPA Reopens Comment Period For Draft Revision To Risk Determination For HBCD: EPA announced on February 14, 2022, that it will reopen the comment period for its draft revision to the risk determination for the cyclic aliphatic bromide cluster (HBCD) risk evaluation issued under TSCA. As reported in our December 29, 2021, memorandum, EPA is reconsidering two key aspects of the risk determinations for HBCD. First, EPA proposes that the appropriate approach to these determinations under TSCA and implementing regulations is to make an unreasonable risk determination for HBCD as a whole chemical substance, rather than making unreasonable risk determinations separately on each individual condition of use evaluated in the risk evaluation. Second, EPA proposes that the risk determination should be explicit that it does not rely on assumptions regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in making the unreasonable risk determination under TSCA Section 6; rather, the use of PPE would be considered during risk management. EPA “finds that HBCD, as a whole chemical substance, presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment when evaluated under its conditions of use.” EPA will publish a Federal Register notice on February 17, 2022, to reopen the comment period for 15 days. Comments will be due March 3, 2022.
EPA Publishes Determination Of Acceptability For SNAP Program: On January 20, 2022, EPA published a determination of acceptability that expands the list of acceptable substitutes pursuant to its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. 87 Fed. Reg. 3037. The action lists as acceptable additional substitutes for use in refrigeration and air conditioning; foam blowing; aerosols; cleaning solvents; and adhesives, coatings, and inks sectors. The determination was applicable on January 20, 2022.
EPA Requests Public Input On Updating NPDES Industrial Stormwater Fact Sheet Series: on January 25, 2022, EPA announced that it is seeking public input on updating the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Industrial Stormwater Fact Sheet Series. 87 Fed. Reg. 3803. EPA states that its industrial stormwater program has 29 fact sheets currently posted online for each sector covered under the 2021 Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) for stormwater discharges from industrial activity. Each fact sheet describes the types of facilities included in the sector, typical stormwater pollutants associated with the sector, and types of stormwater control measures (SCM) that may be used to minimize the discharge of the pollutants. EPA seeks public input on the fact sheets, particularly focused on updating: common activities, pollutant sources, and associated pollutants at facilities in each sector; and SCMs or best management practices (BMP), including source control and good housekeeping/pollution prevention measures for potential pollutant sources at facilities in each sector. In updating the fact sheets, EPA states that it will consider input received in response to this notice, as well as any relevant comments related to the content of the fact sheets that EPA received during the public comment period for the proposed 2021 MSGP. Comments are due March 28, 2022.
EPA Requests Nominations Of Experts For Review Of Technical Support Document For The Social Cost Of GHGs: On January 25, 2022, the EPA National Center for Environmental Economics, on behalf of the co-chairs of the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases, including the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, the OMB Director, and the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, requested public nominations of scientific experts for the upcoming peer review of the “Technical Support Document: Social Cost of Greenhouse Gas Estimates.” 87 Fed. Reg. 3801. EPA states that the document will undergo independent external scientific peer review managed by a contractor to EPA. Interested stakeholders have until February 15, 2022, to submit nominations for expert reviewers for consideration by the EPA contractor.
EPA Extends RFS Compliance And Attest Engagement Reporting Deadlines: On February 2, 2022, EPA announced final modifications of certain compliance dates under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. 87 Fed. Reg. 5696. First, EPA is extending the RFS compliance reporting deadline and the associated attest engagement reporting deadline for the 2019 compliance year for small refineries only. Second, EPA is extending the RFS compliance reporting deadline and the associated attest engagement reporting deadline for the 2020, 2021, and 2022 compliance years for all obligated parties. Finally, EPA is changing the way in which future RFS compliance and attest engagement reporting deadlines are determined. The amendatory instructions in the final rule were effective on January 31, 2022.
EPA Reconsidering Issues Related To Risks Posed By Ethylene Oxide Emissions For Certain Types Of Chemical Manufacturing: On February 4, 2022, EPA published a notice announcing that it is reconsidering the August 2020 National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for chemical plants that fall under the Miscellaneous Organic Chemical Manufacturing source category (2020 MON final rule). 87 Fed. Reg. 6466. According to EPA, the Administrator received and granted petitions for reconsideration on two issues, specifically, on the use of EPA’s 2016 Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) unit risk estimate (URE) for ethylene oxide in assessing cancer risk for the source category, and the use of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) risk value for ethylene oxide as an alternative risk value to EPA’s 2016 IRIS value for purposes of evaluating risk under the Clean Air Act (CAA). EPA proposes:
- Not to change its decision to use EPA’s 2016 IRIS value for ethylene oxide when assessing risk for the source category in the 2020 MON final rule, as the 2016 ethylene oxide IRIS assessment remains the best available science; and
- To decline to use the TCEQ risk value for ethylene oxide instead of the EPA’s 2016 IRIS value, after careful consideration of the TCEQ risk value for ethylene oxide.
Comments are due March 24, 2022.
EPA Proposes To Reaffirm Scientific, Economic, And Legal Underpinnings Of 2012 MATS For Power Plants: On February 9, 2022, EPA proposed to revoke a May 22, 2020, finding that it is not appropriate and necessary to regulate coal- and oil-fired electric utility steam generating units (EGU) under CAA Section 112, and to reaffirm its April 25, 2016, finding that it remains appropriate and necessary to regulate hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from EGUs after considering cost. 87 Fed. Reg. 7624. EPA states that it is also reviewing another part of the May 22, 2020, action, a residual risk and technology review (RTR) of Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS). Accordingly, in addition to soliciting comments on all aspects of this proposal, EPA is soliciting information on the performance and cost of new or improved technologies that control HAP emissions, improved methods of operation, and risk-related information to further inform the Agency’s review of the MATS RTR as directed by Executive Order 13990. Comments are due April 11, 2022.
EPA Will Host Public Meeting On Environmental Justice Considerations For Development Of Proposed PFAS NPDWR: EPA announced on February 9, 2022, that it will host two identical public meetings to discuss and solicit input on environmental justice considerations related to the development of the proposed PFAS national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). 87 Fed. Reg. 7412. According to EPA, in the context of developing this proposed regulation, environmental justice considerations include the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies with a particular focus on unique challenges faced by communities disproportionately burdened by environmental harms and risks. The meetings will be held March 2, 2022, and April 5, 2022. Registration for the meetings is required. Comments are due April 20, 2022.
FDA Proposes Revisions To Food Contact Notifications: On January 26, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed rule that, if issued in final, would amend its process for determining when a Food Contact Notification (FCN) is no longer effective. 87 Fed. Reg. 3949. The proposed rule would ensure that manufacturers or suppliers have the opportunity to provide input for the process and would provide additional reasons that could be used by FDA as a basis to determine that an FCN is no longer effective. Specifically, additional reasons by which FDA could determine that an FCN is no longer effective include:
- Instances in which the production, supply, or use of the food contact substance for its intended use has ceased or will cease; or
- The use of a food contact substance identified in an FCN is authorized by a food additive regulation or covered by a threshold of regulation exemption.
FDA is accepting comments for this proposed rule until April 11, 2022. For more information, please see our January 27, 2022, memorandum.
FDA Will Hold New Era Of Smarter Food Safety Webinar: FDA continues its efforts with its new approach to food safety, introduced in July 2020, with a webinar, held by FDA and the non-profit organization Stop Foodborne Illness. The webinar, titled “Making Leaders Risk Aware and Push to Reduce Risk,” will “engage experts from the public and private sectors in collaborative exchanges of ideas and experiences related to importance of a robust food safety culture…” The webinar will be held on February 16, 2022, from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. (EST) and additional details, including a registration form, are provided here.
FDA Releases Guidance For Chlorpyrifos Residues: On February 9, 2022, FDA released a final guidance document titled “Questions and Answers Regarding Channels of Trade Policy for Human Food Commodities with Chlorpyrifos Residues: Guidance for Industry.” The guidance is intended to help food producers and processors who handle foods that may contain residues of the pesticide chlorpyrifos.
ISO Publishes Standard For Determining The Mean Size Of Nano-Objects In Liquid Dispersions By SMLS: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently published ISO/TS 21357:2022, “Nanotechnologies — Evaluation of the mean size of nano-objects in liquid dispersions by static multiple light scattering (SMLS).” ISO states that the standard provides guidance and requirements for the determination of the mean (spherical) equivalent diameter of nano-objects (i.e., particles, droplets, or bubbles) dispersed in liquids using the SMLS technique. According to ISO, the technique is applicable to a wide range of materials and does not require dilution of concentrated samples.
EUON Publishes Nanopinion On Why Graphene Is Not The Same As Carbon Nanotubes: On January 18, 2022, the EU Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) published a Nanopinion entitled “What does ‘Graphene’ really look like and why is it not ‘carbon nanotubes’” by Dr. Alberto Bianco, Dr. Maurizio Prato, and Dr. Kostas Kostarelos, of the Graphene Flagship, an EU research initiative, about graphene and why it is not the same as carbon nanotubes. The article states that in particular, the authors wish to emphasize “that ‘graphene’ as a single type of material does not really exist, nor is it used as such in industrial applications.”
EC Committee Statement On Emerging Health And Environmental Issues Includes Nanotechnology Organics And Conversion Of Micro To Nano Plastics In The Environment: On January 21, 2022, the European Commission’s (EC) Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) published a second statement on emerging health and environmental issues. SCHEER members have identified nine emerging issues in the non-food area as having a potential impact on human health and/or the environment in the future and have given them overall prioritization scores (*, 1, 2, or 3, where * is uncertain and three is high). The emerging issues identified include nanotechnology organics (prioritization score two) and the emerging risk of the conversion of micro to nano plastics in the environment (prioritization score three). More information is available in our January 28, 2022, blog item.
ECHA Publishes Update To The Appendix For Nanoforms: The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published a January 2022 update to the Appendix for nanoforms applicable to the Guidance on Registration and Substance Identification (version 2.0). The main changes to the document include additional guidance on the joint submission of data, clarifications regarding the need for one data set per nanoform or set of nanoforms, and information on the registration of sets of nanoforms versus single nanoforms. Changes to the Appendix are limited to Sections 2 and 5 of the currently published document. More information is available in our February 2, 2022, blog item.
NNI Holds NanoEHS Webinar On “What We Know About NanoEHS: Nanoinformatics And Modeling”: On January 31, 2022, the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) held a webinar on “What We Know about NanoEHS: Nanoinformatics and Modeling.” NNI states that nanoinformatics and modeling support and crosscut all areas of assessments of the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanomaterials (nanoEHS). The expert panel explored how progress in nanoinformatics and modeling has impacted the safe and responsible development of nanotechnology.
OECD Publishes Report On Important Issues On Risk Assessment Of Manufactured Nanomaterials: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a February 2022 report entitled Important Issues on Risk Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials. The report provides the current practices, challenges, and strategies for assessing the risk of manufactured nanomaterials in circumstances where data are limited, and the report states that there is a necessity for more research on specific risk assessment issues. As such, the report presents an overview of the chemical risk assessment paradigm and describes how various member countries have adapted existing regulatory frameworks to the assessment of nanomaterials.
EC Notifies WTO Of Draft Amendment To Cosmetics Regulation To Prohibit Certain Nanomaterials: The EC notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) on February 11, 2022, of a draft amendment to the Cosmetics Regulation regarding the use of certain nanomaterials in cosmetics products. The EC states that the amendment is required to enact the prohibition to use in cosmetic products certain nanomaterials for which the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) identified a basis of concern. The draft amendment would revise Annex II to the Cosmetics Regulation (list of substances prohibited in cosmetic products) to implement uniformly within the internal market the prohibition to use the nanomaterials for which a basis of concern has been identified. The nanomaterials are styrene/acrylates copolymer, sodium styrene/acrylates copolymer, copper, colloidal copper, hydroxyapatite, gold, colloidal gold, gold thioethylamino hyaluronic acid, acetyl heptapeptide-9 colloidal gold, platinum, colloidal platinum, and acetyl tetrapeptide-17 colloidal platinum. The EC did not provide a proposed date of adoption or date of entry into force.
B&C® Biobased And Sustainable Chemicals Blog: For access to a summary of key legislative, regulatory, and business developments in biobased chemicals, biofuels, and industrial biotechnology, go to http://blog.braginfo.org.
How Can Battery Production Be Greener? — A Conversation With Mathy Stanislaus: During this episode of All Things Chemical®, Lynn L. Bergeson and Mathy Stanislaus cover a broad range of issues, including the mission of the Global Battery Alliance (GBA), Mathy’s new role as Vice Provost and Executive Director of Drexel University’s Environmental Collaboratory, GBA’s fascinating and potentially transformational Battery Passport project, and other interesting topics. Listen now.
Senate Committee Holds Hearing On Legislative Proposals To Improve Domestic Recycling And Composting Programs: On February 2, 2022, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on legislative proposals to improve domestic recycling and composting programs. The Committee heard from the following witnesses:
- Rhodes Yepsen, Executive Director, Biodegradable Products Institute;
- Pashon Murray, Founder, Detroit Dirt;
- Benjamin Harvey, President, E.L. Harvey & Sons Incorporated; and
- Charles Levell Hairston, Vice President and General Manager for Recycling and Recovered Fiber, International Paper.
House Committee Holds Hearing On Justice, Equity, Diversity, And Inclusion In Environmental Policy Making: The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on February 8, 2022, on “Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Environmental Policy Making: The Role of Environmental Organizations and Grantmaking Foundations.” The Committee heard from the following witnesses:
- Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director, U.S. Climate Action Network;
- Abdul Dosunmu, Campaign Manager, Climate Funders Justice Pledge, Donors of Color Network;
- Mark A. Freeland, Navajo Nation Council Delegate, Crownpoint/Tse’li’Ahi/Nahodishgish/Becenti/WhiteRock/Lake Valley/Huerfano/Nageezi Chapters; and
- Peter Forbes, Co-founder, First Light.
House Subcommittee Holds Hearing On Proposals For Water Resources Development Act Of 2022: On February 8, 2022, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment held a hearing on “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2022: Stakeholder Priorities.” During the hearing, the Subcommittee heard testimony from state and local officials, Tribal groups, and other stakeholders who engage with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to discuss priorities for a new water resources development act (WRDA) for 2022. This hearing is the second in a series of three planned hearings to inform the Subcommittee in its development of a new WRDA, which the Subcommittee expects to develop and approve in 2022.
Senate Committee Will Hold Hearing On EPA’s RFS Program: The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on February 16, 2022, on “The Environmental Protection Agency’s Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Challenges and Opportunities.”
CDC And ATSDR Release PFAS Exposure Assessment Report For Berkeley County, Virginia, Site: On January 20, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) released the report for PFAS exposure assessment conducted near the Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base in Martinsburg, Berkeley County, West Virginia. The exposure assessment found that the level of one PFAS, perfluorohexane sulfonic acid or PFHxS, in the blood of participants was higher than national levels, while the other PFAS tested were similar to national averages or not detected enough to calculate averages. According to CDC, the elevated level of PFHxS in blood may be linked with past contamination of the city’s drinking water. Tap water samples collected during the 2019 exposure assessment met EPA’s 2016 Health Advisory for PFAS. ATSDR does not recommend community members use alternative sources of water.
EPA Announces Enforcement And Compliance Accomplishments For FY 2021: On January 20, 2022, EPA announced its enforcement and compliance accomplishments for fiscal year (FY) 2021. Highlights of EPA’s FY 2021 enforcement and compliance achievements include:
- Commitments of more than $8.5 billion to return facilities to compliance, the highest amount in four years; 28 percent of those commitments were to address non-compliance in communities with environmental justice concerns;
- Proper treatment, minimization, or disposal of 7.6 billion pounds of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, more than in all but one of the past eight years;
- Private and federal party cleanup commitments of $1.9 billion, as well as more than $106.1 million for recovery of past costs EPA spent cleaning up Superfund sites. The cleanup commitment was the fifth largest amount in the history of the program, and $279 million more than in FY 2020;
- Assessment of over $1.06 billion in penalties, the highest amount in four years; and
- Twenty-eight years of incarceration for defendants sentenced in criminal enforcement investigations.
EPA And WHO Partner To Protect Public Health: On January 20, 2022, EPA announced that it signed a five-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the World Health Organization (WHO). EPA states that the MOU “continues EPA-WHO collaboration on a wide range of specific and crosscutting environment and health issues, particularly air pollution, water and sanitation, children’s health, and health risks due to climate change.” Over the next five years, EPA and WHO will focus on addressing the health impacts of climate change. According to EPA, ongoing efforts will address many environmental determents of health affected by climate change, including clean air and safe drinking water. Collaboration will also continue to focus on protecting children by reducing exposure to toxic substances, in particular lead-based paint. WHO and EPA will continue to advance biodefence science to respond to the current pandemic and be better prepared for all biothreats in the future.
ATSDR Publishes Final Toxicological Profile For DEHP: ATSDR has published a final Toxicological Profile for di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP). The Toxicological Profile succinctly characterizes the toxicology and adverse health effects information for the toxic substance described therein. Each peer-reviewed profile identifies and reviews the key literature that describes a substance’s toxicological properties.
OSHA Withdraws ETS Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination And Testing: On January 26, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) withdrew the November 5, 2021, emergency temporary standard (ETS) issued to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 by “strongly encouraging” vaccination. 87 Fed. Reg. 3928. According to the notice, OSHA is not withdrawing the ETS to the extent that it serves as a proposed rule under Section 6(c)(3) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, and this action does not affect the ETS’s status as a proposal under Section 6(b) of the Act or otherwise affect the status of the notice-and-comment rulemaking commenced by the ETS. The withdrawal was effective January 26, 2022.
EPA Requests Nominations Of Experts To Peer Review EPA’s Biofuels And The Environment: Third Triennial Report To Congress: On February 1, 2022, EPA requested nominations for an external expert panel to peer review its Biofuels and the Environment: Third Triennial Report to Congress (RtC3). EPA invites the public to nominate scientific experts to be considered as peer reviewers for this contractor-managed peer review. After consideration of peer reviewer nominations and after consideration of public comments on the List of Candidates (to be announced in a future Federal Register notice), the contractor will select from this pool the final list of up to nine peer reviewers. Nominations are due March 3, 2022.
CDC And ATSDR Release PFAS Exposure Assessment Report For The New Castle County, Delaware Site: On February 2, 2022, CDC and ATSDR released the report for PFAS exposure assessment that took place near the New Castle Air National Guard Base in New Castle County, Delaware. CDC states that the exposure assessment found that levels of some PFAS in the blood of participants were higher than national levels. According to CDC, elevated levels of these PFAS in blood may be linked with past contamination of the drinking water supply systems. Tap water samples collected during the 2019 exposure assessment were below EPA’s 2016 Health Advisory.
EPA Announces Availability Of Draft IRIS Toxicological Review Of PFHxA And Related Salts: On February 2, 2022, EPA announced a 60-day public comment period associated with release of the draft IRIS Toxicological Review of Perfluorohexanoic Acid (PFHxA) and Related Salts. 87 Fed. Reg. 5819. The draft document was prepared by the Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment (CPHEA) within EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD). EPA is releasing this draft IRIS assessment for public comment in advance of an independent external peer review organized by ERG, a contractor to EPA. The external peer reviewers will be provided with all written comments submitted in response to this notice for their consideration as they conduct their review. Comments are due April 4, 2022.
EPA Updates Resources To Help Federal Purchasers Meet The Biden Administration’s Sustainability Goals: EPA announced on February 4, 2022, the release of a “new and improved” Framework for the Assessment of Environmental Performance Standards and Ecolabels for Federal Purchasing under its Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program, as well as a web page highlighting ecolabel criteria that address PFAS. EPA notes that the web page “is an important step toward providing federal purchasers with tools to avoid procurement of products containing PFAS.” The release of the web page is concurrent with work to identify products and purchase categories that are known to be associated with key PFAS uses, as well as outreach to ecolabel and standard organizations regarding addressing PFAS. EPA will hold a webinar on March 2, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. (EST) to provide more information on the updated Framework and initial plans to expand the Recommendations. Stakeholders can register for the webinar and provide questions in advance. More information is available in our February 14, 2022, blog item.
Robin Morris Collin Appointed EPA Senior Advisor To The Administrator For Environmental Justice: EPA announced on February 8, 2022, the appointment of Robin Morris Collin to be EPA’s Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Environmental Justice. Collin will advise EPA Administrator Michael Regan as EPA works to advance environmental justice and civil rights in communities that continue to suffer from disproportionately high pollution levels, including low-income communities and communities of color. Collin is nationally recognized for her leadership and scholarship in the areas of sustainability, energy, and environmental justice, and joins EPA after serving as the Norma Paulus Professor of Law at Willamette University in Oregon. EPA notes that Collin was one of the first U.S. law professors to teach sustainability courses in a U.S. law school and served as founding chair of the State of Oregon’s Environmental Justice Task Force, among other positions on local, state, and federal environmental justice organizations.EFAB Will Hold Public Webinar In March 2022: EPA announced on February 14, 2022, that its Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) will hold a public webinar on March 9, 2022, for the first in a series of webinars as part of a Pollution Prevention Finance Forum to support the EFAB Pollution Prevention workgroup and its charge. 87 Fed. Reg. 8245. The Pollution Prevention Finance Forum is a series of webinars that explore opportunities and challenges in financing sustainability, with an initial focus on advancing opportunities for small- and medium-sized manufacturing businesses. According to EPA, the purpose of this first webinar is to define the common types of pollution prevention (P2) projects relevant to small businesses and manufacturers, characterize the barriers and risks facing businesses and lenders for P2 projects, and explore financing mechanisms and structures that are well-suited to overcome the barriers and risks to enhance financing for P2 projects. EPA states that due to interest from the full Board, it is opening the webinar to the public.
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