Media Mention

Erik Baptist Discusses TSCA’s Potential Role in Addressing Climate Change

Chemical Watch
November 24, 2020

Erik C. Baptist, partner in Wiley’s Environment & Product Regulation Practice, was quoted by Chemical Watch in a November 18 article discussing whether climate change could be addressed through the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). For example, under a new Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could exercise its authority under TSCA to regulate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), according to the article.

The EPA can use TSCA Section 6 to restrict uses of chemical substances if the agency determines there is an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment, Chemical Watch reported. Understanding the exact wording of a 2017 D.C. Circuit opinion, which was written by then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh, will be the key to determining whether this means HFCs can be regulated under TSCA, according to Mr. Baptist.

“If you’re going to try to use TSCA to regulate climate change impacts, you’re going to have to show how there is harm by this particular chemical substance to the environment,” he said.

Mr. Baptist added that it might also be possible to address the effects of HFCs through legislation, despite the prospect of congressional gridlock on climate change issues. “It might be more of a technical, targeted amendment to TSCA,” he said, “but I wouldn’t necessarily write it off.”

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