Erik Baptist Discusses Key Opportunity to Comment on EPA’s Plans for TSCA Risk Evaluations
Erik C. Baptist, a partner in Wiley’s Environment & Product Regulation Practice, was quoted by Chemical Watch in an April 28 article about the importance of weighing in with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on how the agency should shape its risk evaluations for 20 high-priority chemicals.
The EPA’s comment period is the “one shot” for companies and other stakeholders to make their voices heard as the agency decides how to evaluate substances for health and safety risks under the 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Mr. Baptist told Chemical Watch. Waiting until after this stage to engage the EPA on a chemical’s conditions of use could be “too late” to help define the scope of risk evaluations, he said.
The agency has set a May 26 deadline for commenting on the first batch of 13 draft scope documents, and a June 8 comment deadline for the second batch of seven documents, according to the article.
Mr. Baptist said companies should look at the EPA’s draft scopes for each substance and determine if their use is included or explicitly excluded. At that point, he said, they will need to decide whether or not to advocate for the EPA to include their particular use of a substance for review.
Regulatory action by the EPA could preempt any action by states, and give assurance to the public as to a particular substance’s safety, Mr. Baptist said. On the other hand, he added, companies may not want to run the risk of federal regulation.
It also is important to see how a chemical’s condition of use is categorized by the EPA, Mr. Baptist said. For example, if a particular use is “lumped together with another industry, that could be problematic down the road,” because it could mean there is regulatory action ahead for all of those applications, he said.
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