Erik Baptist Discusses EPA’s Potential Two-Pronged Strategy for TSCA Risk Evaluations
Erik C. Baptist, partner in Wiley’s Environment & Product Regulation Practice, was quoted in a January 29 Bloomberg Environment article about a two-pronged approach the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may take for completing certain chemical risk evaluations.
As noted in the article, the EPA is required, under the 2016 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) amendments, to release risk evaluations by June 2020 for uses of 10 chemicals – including asbestos and a group of flame retardants. The EPA is also considering whether to conduct supplemental risk analyses, after the June deadline, just for discontinued uses of each of the affected chemicals. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in November that the EPA violated TSCA by categorically stating by rule that the agency would exclude such “legacy” uses from its risk evaluations.
Mr. Baptist said splitting the analyses could create problems because it’s unclear whether the EPA can complete a risk evaluation if it examines only some uses of the chemicals. Supplemental risk analyses could also complicate the agency’s ability to meet TSCA’s longer-term risk evaluation deadlines, he said.
Mr. Baptist added that it may be possible for the EPA to evaluate legacy uses, as required under the Ninth Circuit ruling, and still meet TSCA’s June deadline through quick, targeted analyses. Much is already known about the health risks of asbestos and many existing laws and regulations are designed to reduce possible exposures, he said.
Bloomberg Environment also cited a January 14 blog post that Mr. Baptist authored on this topic for the Wiley Environmental Law Line (The WELL).
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