By Lynn L. Bergeson and Ligia Duarte Botelho, M.A.
On June 2, 2022, TSCA NCC submitted comments in response to the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) Request for Information (RFI) related to Subtitle E of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), also called the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act. TSCA NCC’s comments addressed specifically:
- The definition of green chemistry and sustainable chemistry;
- Policy considerations;
- New chemicals bias;
- The meaning of reasonably foreseen; and
- Reduced risk considerations.
Additional information on the RFI is available here.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Ligia Duarte Botelho, M.A.
On May 12, 2022, EPA published a proposed rule relating to the assertion and maintenance of confidential business information (CBI) claims under TSCA. EPA states in its May 12, 2022, press release that the proposed rule includes new and amended requirements that, if made final, would increase transparency, modernize reporting and review procedures, and ensure consistency with the 2016 amendments to TSCA. In addition to providing increased clarity for TSCA submitters, EPA expects the changes to allow it to review and make determinations on CBI claims more efficiently, meeting the statutory review deadline in TSCA and more promptly making required notifications to submitters of claims. Comments are due July 11, 2022. Additional information is available here.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on February 25, 2022, the proposed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program. On March 10, 2022, EPA posted the draft document entitled “Modernizing the Process and Bringing Innovative Science to Evaluate New Chemicals Under TSCA.” The Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) proposes to develop and implement a multi-year collaborative research program focused on approaches for performing risk assessments on new chemical substances under TSCA. On April 26, 2022, the TSCA New Chemicals Coalition (NCC) submitted comments to EPA expressing strong support for EPA’s proposed update to its approach to review and evaluate new chemicals under TSCA Section 5:
- Research Area 1 -- Update and Refine Chemical Categories: The NCC suggests that EPA develop an Integrated Approach to Testing and Assessment (IATA) for each category, and that the IATA include New Approach Methodologies (NAM) both to set boundaries and to provide a tiered approach for testing;
- Research Area 2 -- Develop and Expand Databases Containing TSCA Chemical Information: The NCC suggests that EPA include robust chemical structure information that is searchable by substructure and Markush representations, as appropriate, in the database. The NCC agrees that using IUCLID and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) harmonized templates would be an efficient way to curate the data and would contribute to interoperability with other data systems (especially as data are transported from other regions that rely upon IUCLID);
- Research Area 3 -- Develop and Refine Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship and Predictive Models: The NCC suggests that EPA evaluate whether other existing models may serve EPA’s needs. The NCC also suggests that EPA update E-FAST with additional site-specific stream flows;
- Research Area 4 -- Explore New Ways to Integrate and Apply NAMs: The NCC strongly supports expanding the use of NAMs in the assessment of new chemicals. The NCC also strongly suggests that EPA develop and enforce internal policies about in vivo testing of irritating and corrosive substances; and
- Research Area 5 -- Develop a TSCA New Chemicals Decision Support Tool: The NCC supports developing such a decision support tool, but refers EPA to this function within IUCLID. The NCC supports improved transparency on risk assessments and suggests that EPA separate boilerplate explanations of hazard, exposure, and risk from the unique assessment results.
More information on EPA’s draft document is available in our March 14, 2022, memorandum.
B&C, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health will present “TSCA Reform – Six Years Later” on June 29, 2022. This complimentary virtual conference marks the sixth TSCA Annual Conference, reflecting on the accomplishments and challenges since the implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments and where TSCA stands today. Speakers will dive into a host of topics, including the interface of science and policy under TSCA, new chemicals, risk evaluation and management, the regulation of articles, and more. Register here.
Full Agenda (subject to change):
|9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
||Welcome and Overview of Virtual Forum
|9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
||Morning Keynote Discussion
Michal Ilana Freedhoff, Ph.D., Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
|10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
||Panel 1: The Interface of Science and Policy under TSCA
This panel will examine key issues at the interface of science and policy under TSCA, including the continuing role of animal studies in supporting risk evaluations, the potential use of New Approach Methodologies (NAM) to inform safety determinations for new and existing chemicals, scientific integrity and the TSCA program, methodologies for systematic review, and more.
Moderated by James J. Jones, President, J. Jones Environmental
|12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
||Panel 2: New Chemical Review
The TSCA New Chemicals Program was strengthened in the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments and what the law requires has been vigorously debated. This panel will discuss opportunities for transparency, processes to guide new chemical review, new approaches to assess chemical risks, protection of workers, use of Significant New Use Rules (SNUR) and Section 5(e) orders, and more.
Moderated by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Partner, Baker Botts L.L.P.
|1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
||Panel 3: Risk Evaluation and Management
With the “first 10” evaluations completed, this panel will look back at the lessons learned and areas for improvement; discuss EPA efforts to enhance these evaluations through risk determinations for fenceline communities, revised worker protection assumptions, and the “whole chemical approach”; examine the asbestos risk management proposal and other emerging risk management approaches; evaluate the impact of resource constraints on meeting statutory deadlines; discuss the role of environmental justice considerations; and more.
Moderated by Robert M. Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates
|3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
||Panel 4: TSCA Regulation of Articles
TSCA requirements can apply to “articles,” a manufactured good or finished product. This panel will discuss the potential role of articles as contributors to health and environmental concerns, EPA’s push to remove traditional exemptions of articles and resulting compliance and implementation challenges, potential new rules for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and asbestos requiring reporting on articles, and the application of SNURs and risk management rules to articles, and more.
Moderated by Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell P.C.
|5:00 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.
||Concluding Remarks and Adjournment
Join B&C, ELI, the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, leading experts, and distinguished keynote speakers for a robust exploration of the issues and regulations surrounding TSCA. Full program and registration available online.
Materials from the 2021 conference are available at https://www.lawbc.com/news/recording-of-tsca-reform-five-years-later-conference-and-other-resources-av
The American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute® (ACS GCI) will host its 26th Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering (GC&E) Conference in Reston, VA, from June 6 to June 8, 2022. The theme for the 2022 GC&E Conference is “Thinking in Systems: Designing for Sustainable Use.” This theme will explore how green and sustainable chemistry and engineering contribute to the development and commercialization of products for sustainable use.
On June 6, 2022,B&C will moderate a session organized by B&C’s Director of Chemistry, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., and Ligia Duarte Botelho, Regulatory Assistant, titled “The Role of Sustainable Thinking in New Chemical Reviews.” B&C’s symposium will explore the “new chemical bias” and how it continues to pose a barrier to market acceptance of novel chemistry and sustainable thinking. Organized as a panel discussion, company representatives, EPA scientists, and invited speakers from non-governmental organizations will explore the “new chemicals bias,” as it is called, and how it continues to pose a barrier to market acceptance of novel chemistry and sustainable thinking. Attendees will gain an understanding of the regulatory landscape of TSCA implementation and how EPA might change its approach to reduce barriers to circular economy innovations. Ms. Botelho, the moderator, will introduce the topic, and following brief introductory remarks, the panelists will engage in 20 minutes of practical discussion, including a question and answer session to engage with the audience. Registration information is available here.
By Lynn L. Bergeson
On April 20-21, 2022, EPA held a virtual public meeting to provide an overview of the TSCA New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program and give stakeholders an opportunity to provide input. As reported in our March 14, 2022, memorandum on the draft document entitled “Modernizing the Process and Bringing Innovative Science to Evaluate New Chemicals Under TSCA,” the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) proposes to develop and implement a multi-year collaborative research program focused on approaches for performing risk assessments on new chemical substances under TSCA. Written comments on the draft document are due May 10, 2022. Additional information is available here.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On March 23, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a webinar on “Biofuel Premanufacture Notices: New Chemical Risk Assessment and Applications of Tools and Models.” As reported in our January 24, 2022, blog item, in January 2022, EPA announced an effort to streamline the review of new biobased or waste-derived chemicals that could displace current, higher greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting transportation fuels. EPA states that to support this effort, it is offering outreach and training to stakeholders interested in biofuels. According to EPA, the bi-weekly webinar series includes reviewing requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), outlining the streamlined approaches for risk assessments and risk management actions, and providing information on how to navigate the new chemicals premanufacture notice (PMN) process. EPA provided background and outlined the following challenges for each risk assessment conducted:
- Chemistry Assessment:
- Fuel stream and related substances are broad in number and scope, especially with the addition of current biobased and waste feedstock blends; they can be class 1, class 2, or chemical substances of unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products, and biological materials (UVCB) substances;
- Many petroleum-derived fuel streams are on the original TSCA Inventory and there are very little data associated with them; and
- Complete characterization of the new chemical substance is often unavailable;
- Environmental Fate and Transport Assessment:
- Analysis of constituents may not represent the properties of the new chemical substance;
- Engineering Assessment: Environmental Releases:
- EPA’s release assessment analyzes each manufacturing, processing, and use operation and determines the sources/activities that can result in releases to the environment. These release estimates are used to estimate exposure estimates for ecological and human receptors;
- Examples of release data: (1) Measured release data; (2) Measured release data for a “surrogate” chemical; (3) Modeled release estimates; and
- Release estimates have limitations -- examples:
- Lack of appropriate model/method to estimate releases from specific industrial activities (e.g., storage tank emissions); and
- Limitation in certain release models (e.g., limited to a vapor pressure threshold of 35 torr);
- Engineering Assessment: Occupational Exposures:
- The occupational exposure assessment estimates the magnitude, frequency, and duration of exposures to the new chemical substance at the workplace;
- Worker inhalation and dermal exposures are expected throughout the lifecycle of the new chemical substance (e.g., manufacturing, processing, use); and
- Exposure models do not account for some engineering controls (vapor capture/reduction);
- Exposure Assessment: General Population and Consumer Exposures:
- The occupational exposure assessment estimates the magnitude, frequency, and duration of exposures to the new chemical substance for the general population and consumers via inhalation and drinking water pathways; and
- The confidence of the exposure estimates are affected by:
- Assumptions, limitations, and areas of uncertainty in the fate and engineering analyses; and
- Inherent uncertainties of the exposure parameters and assumptions for the estimation of the general population and consumer exposures;
- Hazard Assessment:
- Data on the new chemical substance or an analogous biofuel are preferred, but few submissions include toxicological or composition data;
- EPA often lacks acute/chronic environmental test data on the new chemical substance and the analogous substances; and
- There are challenges in performing read-across approaches and route-to-route extrapolations with analogous substances of variable composition.
For biofuel PMNs, EPA has started generating one report that combines the results of each of the above assessments. The final webinar in the series will be held April 6, 2022, on new chemicals risk management actions, including TSCA Section 5 orders and significant new use rules (SNUR).
By Lynn L. Bergeson
As reported in our February 25, 2022, blog item, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on February 25, 2022, the proposed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program. 87 Fed. Reg. 10784. On March 10, 2022, EPA the posted the draft document entitled “Modernizing the Process and Bringing Innovative Science to Evaluate New Chemicals Under TSCA.” The Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) proposes to develop and implement a multi-year collaborative research program focused on approaches for performing risk assessments on new chemical substances under TSCA. EPA will hold a virtual public meeting April 20-21, 2022, to seek individual input. Written comments on the draft document are due April 26, 2022. Read more in Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) March 14, 2022, memorandum, “EPA Posts Draft Document on 'Modernizing the Process and Bringing Innovative Science to Evaluate New Chemicals Under TSCA'.”
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On February 23, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a webinar on requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the premanufacture notice (PMN) process for biofuels. As reported in our January 24, 2022, blog item, in January 2022, EPA announced an effort to streamline the review of new biobased or waste-derived chemicals that could displace current, higher greenhouse gas (GHG)-emitting transportation fuels. According to EPA, it has received more than 30 biofuel PMNs “that collectively describe plans for close to 800 million gallons per year of production of advanced biofuels, that could contribute to annual volume mandates under the [Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)] program and help support the goals of energy security through increasing domestic production” within the United States. Future webinars will cover the TSCA Inventory, nomenclature, and Bona Fide process; new chemicals risk assessments, including applications of the tools, models, and databases; and new chemicals risk management actions, including TSCA Section 5 orders and significant new use rules (SNUR).
More information on webinar is available in our March 1, 2022, memorandum.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold a virtual public meeting April 20-21, 2022, to seek individual input on the proposed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program. 87 Fed. Reg. 10784. In addition, EPA announced the availability of and is soliciting public comment on the draft document entitled “Modernizing the Process and Bringing Innovative Science to Evaluate New Chemicals Under TSCA.” EPA states that the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) is proposing to develop and implement a multi-year collaborative research program focused on approaches for performing risk assessments on new chemical substances under TSCA. According to EPA, the effort will be performed in partnership with its Office of Research and Development (ORD) and other federal entities to leverage their expertise and resources. Written comments are due April 26, 2022. Registration for the meeting is now open.
According to EPA, the research program will refine existing approaches and develop and implement new approach methodologies (NAM) to ensure the best available science is used in TSCA new chemical evaluations. Key areas proposed in the TSCA New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program include:
- Updating OCSPP’s approach to using data from structurally similar chemicals to determine potential risks from new chemicals, also known as read-across. According to EPA, this will increase the efficiency of new chemical reviews, promoting the use of the best available data to protect human health and the environment.
- Digitizing and consolidating information on chemicals to include data and studies that currently exist only in hard copy or in various disparate TSCA databases. EPA will combine the information with publicly available sources to expand the amount of information available, enhancing chemical reviews and enabling efficient sharing of chemical information across EPA. Safeguards for confidential business information (CBI) will be maintained as appropriate in this process.
- Updating and augmenting the models used for predicting a chemical’s physical-chemical properties and environmental fate/transport, hazard, exposure, and toxicokinetics to provide a suite of models to be used for new chemicals assessments. The goal of this effort is to update the models to reflect the best available science, increase transparency, and establish a process for updating these models as science evolves.
- Exploring ways to integrate and apply NAMs in new chemicals assessments, reducing the use of animal testing. EPA states that as this effort evolves, the goal is to develop a suite of accepted, fit-for-purpose NAMs that could be used by external stakeholders for data submissions under TSCA, as well as informing and expanding new chemical categories.
- Developing a decision support tool that integrates the various information streams specifically used for new chemical risk assessments. The decision support tool will integrate more efficiently all the data streams (e.g., chemistry, fate, exposures, hazards) into a final risk assessment and transparently document the decisions and assumptions made. Simply put, this will facilitate the new chemicals program tracking decisions over time and evaluating consistency within and across chemistries.
EPA states that additional information on each of these areas will be provided in the draft collaborative research plan that will be available in the docket by March 14, 2022. Later in 2022, EPA plans to engage its Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), a federal advisory committee, for peer review. EPA also intends to issue a Federal Register notice announcing the BOSC meeting and to open a docket for public comments.
Although the notice states that EPA’s background documents and the related supporting materials to the draft are available in the docket established for this meeting, Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2022-0218, nothing is available at this time. EPA states that it will provide additional background documents as the materials become available. After the virtual public meeting, EPA will prepare meeting minutes summarizing the individual comments received at the meeting. EPA will post the meeting minutes on its website and in the relevant docket.