Erik Baptist Discusses Outlook for TSCA Policies Under Biden Administration
Erik C. Baptist, partner in Wiley’s Environment & Product Regulation Practice, was quoted by Bloomberg Law Environment & Energy Report and Chemical Watch about the Biden Administration’s priorities for evaluating and regulating chemicals under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
In Bloomberg Law, Mr. Baptist discussed the Biden Administration’s plans to interpret TSCA more broadly, and what that approach may mean for new chemicals and the chemical industry at large. He said “downstream users” will gain more awareness of TSCA’s potential impacts as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) restricts chemicals based on the first batch of 10 risk evaluations conducted under the 2016 TSCA amendments.
Companies that buy chemicals to make goods will wake up “to the degree TSCA affects their business and bottom line,” said Mr. Baptist, who previously served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Law and Policy in the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The EPA under President Biden also appears likely to take a broader view of whether “reasonably foreseeable” uses of new chemicals may pose unreasonable risks to people’s health or the environment, Mr. Baptist told Bloomberg Law. He said that type of expanded approach will probably lead to consent orders or significant new use rules that would restrict the production or imports of new chemicals.
Mr. Baptist also said “it takes less time, paper, and effort” for the EPA to restrict a new chemical through a consent order than to determine that it’s “not likely to present an unreasonable risk.” He added that “Those ‘not likely’ determinations are judicially reviewable.”
In Chemical Watch, Mr. Baptist discussed the EPA’s plans to impose more rigorous requirements as part of the TSCA review and approval process for new chemicals. He said companies seeking to produce new substances should try to engage with the EPA early in the process, and then address any concerns in their premanufacture notice (PMN) submissions.
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