Erik Baptist Discusses Potential Impact of Substance-Wide TSCA Risk Determinations by EPA
Erik C. Baptist, partner in Wiley’s Environment & Product Regulation Practice, was quoted by Chemical Watch in a May 20 article about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan to revisit some or all of its risk evaluations and reverse major policy decisions of the previous Administration.
One significant change floated by the EPA is the concept of making a single risk determination for a substance as a whole, rather than a risk finding for each of its conditions of use, according to the article.
Mr. Baptist said the statute still requires the EPA to impose regulations “to the extent necessary” to mitigate risk. Therefore, EPA will likely still focus its regulatory activities on those applications that exceed acceptable risk levels, he said.
Mr. Baptist also said the proposal to supplement or re-open the EPA’s first 10 risk evaluations – in addition to the 25 ongoing risk evaluations – would “tremendously increase the workload” of agency staff, which could negatively impact employees’ quality of life.
While there have been efforts from the EPA to hire and retain more staff, Mr. Baptist said the agency is facing “a crushing amount of work for the current resources,” particularly as the private sector remains a tough competitor when hiring for these roles. Bringing more employees on board “is easier said than done,” he said.
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