Contact: Scott Openshaw (202) 249-6504
WASHINGTON (September 6, 2013) – In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to withdraw two proposals from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), one a proposal to establish a TSCA section 5(b)(4) chemicals of concern list and the other to amend the premanufacture (PMN) regulations regarding confidential business information, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement:
“We strongly support the Agency’s decision to withdraw these proposals and commend EPA for choosing a course of action that will ultimately strengthen the performance of the nation’s primary chemical management law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The proposals were rendered unnecessary when EPA wisely chose to adopt a better approach for prioritizing chemicals and reviewing claims for confidential chemical information under TSCA.
“In the 37 years since TSCA was enacted, EPA never employed its authority under section 5(b)(4) to identify chemicals requiring additional review. In 2012, EPA identified 83 substances in its new Work Plan Chemicals initiative. Under that program, EPA has not only identified priorities for review, it has completed risk assessments on five substances. Assessments on an additional 23 chemicals are already underway. Therefore, the Work Plan Chemicals initiative has made the section 5(b)(4) proposal unnecessary. We are encouraged that EPA’s process incorporates elements of the prioritization tool that ACC shared with the Agency to help establish a clear, science-based approach for reviewing chemicals in commerce and identifying priorities for further review and assessment.
“The Agency made the right decision to withdraw its proposal to deny protection for some categories of confidential business information (CBI), particularly in light of the substantial progress EPA has made via its partnership with industry through the CBI Declassification Challenge program, and its efforts to require greater upfront substantiation of CBI claims. These combined actions will help improve publicly available information about chemicals reported under TSCA, while still protecting critical intellectual property and other proprietary information which is vital to the development of new chemistries in the United States.
“As Congress works toward our shared goal of passing a comprehensive and bipartisan solution for updating TSCA, we will continue to look for further opportunities to work with EPA and offer recommendations in an effort to make TSCA stronger, more efficient and more effective.”