EPA announces year benchmarks for Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

29 Jun 2017 by under News

Environmental Protection Agency logo 100x100 EPA announces year benchmarks for Chemical Safety for the 21st Century ActOn the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended to the Toxic Substances Control Act, the U.S.’s primary chemical management law, (EPA) officials announced that the organization has met its first-year implementation milestones under the law.

The Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act marked the first time American chemical regulatory law had been updated in nearly 40 years. As the law required, the EPA released a list of the first 10 chemicals it would evaluate at the end of last year: , 1-Bromopropane, carbon tetrachloride, 1, 4 Dioxane, Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD), methylene chloride, N-Methylpyrolidone, perchloroethylene, Pigment Violet 29, and trichloroethylene.

The law also contained benchmarks the EPA had to meet within the first year of the passage of the bipartisan act. Last week, the EPA announced it had reached those requirements by:

  • Finalizing a rule to establish the process and criteria for identifying other high-priority chemicals to be evaluated.
  • Finalizing a rule to establish the process for evaluating high-priority chemicals.
  • Finalizing a rule to require industry reporting of chemicals for risk evaluation under the law.
  • Releasing scope documents for the first 10 chemicals named to the risk evaluation list. (Find the documents for asbestos here.)

Anti-asbestos advocates are viewing this as an opportunity to finally ban the known human carcinogen, linked to the development of lung cancer and mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lining of internal organs. In light of the new presidential administration, some are pointing out that though the benchmarks have been met, the law appears significantly weaker than when it was first passed.

“It appears that (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt intends to ignore more chemical uses and exposures at every stage of the regulatory process” and label thousands of chemicals as safe in order to avoid review, Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., told the Star Tribune. “As someone who worked to strengthen this law, I’m deeply disappointed by these final rules.”

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