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Tracking Progress: ACC Launches Tool to Signal Concerns with EPA’s Approach to TSCA New Chemical Reviews

91% Percent of New Chemical Submissions are Backlogged in EPA’s Process

Telly Lovelace

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2023) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today announced a newly created tool tracking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) progress in new chemicals reviews under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

ACC designed the tool to track the lagging progress of EPA’s New Chemicals Program. Updated monthly using EPA public data sources, the tool provides a transparent overview of the total number of new chemicals undergoing TSCA review, the number of new chemicals reviewed within the TSCA-mandated 90-day deadline, and those new chemical reviews exceeding 90 days. ACC’s TSCA new chemicals tool also includes data and findings on premanufacture notices (PMNs) and TSCA Section 5 LVE and LoREX exemptions.

Chris Jahn, President & CEO
New chemistries introduced in the United States continue to face regulatory barriers and uncertainty. ACC’s new tool helps demonstrate the lack of progress EPA is making in conducting timely reviews. These challenges and delays are harming the U.S. economy and hindering American innovation and competitiveness in the global market, particularly against countries like China.

“For the United States to remain a leader in the global race to innovate the products and materials our modern society demands, it is critical for EPA’s TSCA New Chemicals Program to be reliable, timely and effective,” said ACC Vice President for Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Dr. Kimberly Wise White. “ACC members are committed to working with EPA to support a New Chemicals Program that’s striving ’to work smarter, not harder’ while utilizing all available science and resources to get the job done.”

ACC’s new tool features several interactive visualizations and analysis highlighting the overall number of new chemicals under TSCA review, premanufacture notices (PMNs) and TSCA Section 5 exemptions.

ACC’s new chemicals analysis and visualizations currently show there are a total of 397 new chemicals currently undergoing TSCA review, 36 have been under review for less than 90 days. The other 361 chemicals remaining in EPA’s review process have been under review for more than 90 days, the backlog.

Chris Jahn, President & CEO
In other words, since January 2021, 91 percent of new chemical submissions are backlogged in the EPA’s new chemicals review process beyond the TSCA-mandated three-month review period. In order for the U.S. to innovate and be a global leader, EPA needs to get the job done right, and on time. EPA’s uncertainty and delays in chemical reviews could have an impact on key Biden administration priorities, including implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the CHIPS Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We want this tool to encourage more accountability and increased transparency in new chemical reviews.

On June 13, ACC released a new report offering seven chemical management approaches EPA should consider to enhancing U.S. supply chain resiliency and the onshoring of American manufacturing through TSCA implementation. The report includes recommendations on TSCA new and existing chemicals review processes.

For more background on EPA’s TSCA new chemicals review process, visit ACC’s TSCA webpage.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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