Environmental

    • 26 Oct 2015

    Continuing Efforts to Ban Microbeads

    The District of Columbia (D.C.) is the latest to propose a ban on microbeads starting January 1, 2018. The proposed ban, part of D.C.’s omnibus fisheries and wildlife bill aimed at ensuring marine areas and waterways remain pollutant-free, is one of the more aggressive approaches prohibiting the supply, manufacture, or import of personal care products containing microbeads. Fines up to $37,500 may be imposed for...
    • 14 Oct 2015

    Canada Takes Action to Ban Microbeads

    The Canadian government recently took action to ban microbeads, very small particles found in a variety of consumer and personal care products that may pose adverse environmental impacts in rivers, lakes, and oceans after they are washed down the drain. Specifically, the Canadian government proposes to designate microbeads as toxic substances and to develop regulations that would prohibit the manufacture, import, and...
    • 13 Oct 2015

    EPA’s Safer Choice Program Awards

    EPA’s Safer Choice program (formerly Design for the Environment) recognizes products that meet stringent ingredient and product level criteria. Safer Choice products do not contain carcinogens or reproductive or developmental toxins. The program helps consumers and commercial buyers identify and select products with safer chemical ingredients without sacrificing quality or performance. According to EPA, there...
    • 23 Sep 2015

    International Chemicals Management Meeting

    In 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development , the international community adopted an ambitious target for world wide sound management of chemicals and hazardous wastes by 2020: that chemicals are used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment, using transparent science-based risk assessment procedures and science-based risk management...
    • 4 Aug 2015

    EPA Issues Vapor Intrusion Guidance

    By Channing J. Martin Vapor Intrusion (“VI”) is the migration of vapors from contamination in the ground into overlying buildings and structures. It’s no secret that regulatory agencies have increased their focus on VI over the last decade. Moreover, under ASTM E1527-13, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment must consider whether VI at the property being assessed could be a concern. EPA recently...
    • 3 Aug 2015

    Lesson Learned from EPA Enforcement of EPCRA Form R Requirements

    By Ryan W. Trail EPCRA § 313 requires certain facilities manufacturing or “processing” more than 25,000 lbs. or otherwise using 10,000 lbs or more of a listed toxic chemical to file a Form R annually on or before July 1. In the last two issues of this newsletter, we discussed frequently asked questions and answers designed to assist you in the preparation of Form R reports for your facility. With...
    • 30 Jul 2015

    Recent Antimicrobial Registration Provides for Intermediate Master Batches

    On May 15, 2015, EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) (Antimicrobials Division) conditionally approved Nanosilva LLC’s registration of “NSPW-L30SS” as a materials preservative with an explicit clearance allowing the manufacture of intermediate master batches. EPA Reg. No. 84610-2 . NSPW-L30SS is an antimicrobial additive containing 1.00% nanoscale silver that can be incorporated into synthetic...
    • 28 Jul 2015

    House Passes TSCA Modernization Act, What's Next

    The House of Representatives passed the TSCA Modernization Act (H.R. 2576), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this bill: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], by an overwhelming majority of 398-1, on June 23, 2015. The alternative Senate bill, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (S. 697), [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this bill: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], has not been...
    • 28 Jul 2015

    TSCA Modernization Act Hearing

    On June 3, 2015, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously, with one abstention by Representative Eshoo (D-CA), to submit the amended TSCA Modernization Act to the House of Representatives. During the hearing, two amendments were introduced. One bipartisan amendment offered by the bill’s sponsor, Representative Shimkus (R-IL), makes “technical” changes and was unanimously adopted....
    • 27 Jul 2015

    House TSCA Modernization Act Gains Unanimous Bipartisan Support in Subcommittee, But More Work to be Done

    On May 14, 2015, the House of Representatives Environment and the Economy Subcommittee unanimously reported its TSCA Modernization Act legislative proposal. The draft is a result of bipartisan efforts led by the Subcommittee Chairman, John Shimkus (R-IL), and supported by Subcommittee Ranking Member, Paul Tonko (D-NY), and the Chairman and Ranking Members of the full Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton (R-MI) and...
    • 23 Jul 2015

    EPA Denies Request to Ban Trisclosan

    EPA has denied the January 14, 2010 petition submitted by the Food & Water Watch and Beyond Pesticides to ban the antimicrobial pesticide triclosan. The petition requested that EPA take the following regulatory actions: • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA): (1) reopen the Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED); (2) issue a notice...
    • 22 Jul 2015

    Environmental Appeals Board Decision in the Elementis Case: What It Means For The "Continuing Violation" Doctrine Under The Statute of Limitations For TSCA Section 8(e) and EPA's Guidance Definition For "Corroborative Information"

    On March 13, 2015, the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) overturned a controversial decision issued by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in 2013. The ALJ held that Elementis Chromium (Elementis) failed to report to the U.S. Environmental Protecting Agency (EPA) a study on occupational exposure involving hexavalent chromium, in violation of section 8(e) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and imposed $2,571,800...
    • 22 Jul 2015

    Senate Committee Passes Amended TSCA Reform Bill, S. 697

    On April 28, 2015, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed an amended version of the bipartisan bill S. 697, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this bill: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21 st Act.” The amended bill passed out of Committee with an ample majority, by a vote of 15-5. Several additional Democrats crossed over to support...
    • 1 Jul 2015

    US Recommends Reducing Fluoride In Drinking Water

    By Meredith James Communities throughout Canada and the US add fluoride to their drinking water supplies to prevent dental cavities. As we’ve written about before , some opponents claim that the risk of adverse health effects outweighs the public health benefits of fluoridation. A recent report by the U.S. Public Health Service (US PHS) recommends an optimum fluoride concentration at the low end of the previously...
    • 21 May 2015

    Summary of EPA's Proposed Rule for Nanoscale Substances

    EPA’s Proposed TSCA Rule for Information Collection on Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed at the Nanoscale Deadline for comment: July 6, 2015 Statutory authority: Section 8(a) of TSCA, 40 C.F.R. Part 704 Overview • EPA is proposing to collect information from companies that have manufactured, imported, or processed chemical substances at the nanoscale in the three years prior to...
    • 20 May 2015

    US EPA Toxic Release Inventory 2015 Changes

    There are a number of changes for the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) report due on July 1, 2015 (RY 2014). New Chemical added to the list In the final rule published on November 7, 2013 (78 FR 66848), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], o-nitrotoluene was added to the list of chemicals subject to TRI reporting. The RY2014 activities will be the first to require reporting on o-nitrotoluene. ...
    • 13 May 2015

    Court Directs EPA to Review Corrosivity Standards

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to examine current corrosive dust standards as part of an agreement to hold in abeyance legal proceedings between the EPA and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). PEER and an EPA scientist sued the EPA in September 2014 over federal corrosivity standards, alleging that the agency’s current dust...
    • 12 May 2015

    TSCA Reform 2015: A Tale of Two Bills

    On March 10, 2015, Senators Tom Udall (D-NM), David Vitter (R-LA), and a coalition of 15 additional Democratic and Republican Senators, introduced the “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” (S. 697), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], a bipartisan bill to reform the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) (15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.), [ enhanced version available...
    • 11 May 2015

    Safer Chemicals: Protecting Employees and the Earth at the Same Time

    By Andi S. Kenney Chemicals, natural and synthetic, are all around us. We can’t live life without them--and we wouldn’t want to. But some chemicals are toxic to humans and the flora and fauna with which we share the earth. Replacing toxic substances found in the workplace, distributed in commerce and contained in wastes with less harmful materials protects employees, consumers and the environment at...
    • 11 May 2015

    Green Chemistry – The State of the States

    By Sheila A. Millar and Nathan A. Cardon From one corner of the country to the other – literally, from California to Maine – industry is facing a growing number of green chemistry initiatives, each giving states varying degrees of authority to regulate “chemicals of concern” in certain consumer products. Some laws apply only to “children’s products,” while other states have...
    • 6 May 2015

    DEHP and its Endocrine Effects on the Environment

    The Legal Implications of the Phthalate’s Recently Amended Candidate List Entry By Herb Estreicher, Partner, Keller and Heckman LLP On 17 December 2014, Echa amended the entry for Bis (2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) on the candidate list of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) to indicate that the substance meets the Article 57(f) criterion of equivalent level of concern, based on endocrine effects on...
    • 6 May 2015

    Regulation of Chemicals in Consumer Products on the Rise

    In recent years, manufacturers have seen a marked increase in state regulation of chemicals in consumer products. While the regulation of hazardous and toxic chemicals in consumer products is certainly not a new concept, particularly on the federal level, the proliferation of state regulation creates many new regulatory burdens and potential pitfalls that manufacturers must account for to avoid costly violations and regulatory...
    • 30 Apr 2015

    EPA Proposes New Nanoscale Chemical Reporting Rule

    By E. Lynn Grayson EPA has proposed one-time reporting and record keeping requirements on nanoscale chemical substances in the marketplace. The proposed rule contains a 90-day public comment period. After the comment period, EPA will review and consider those comments before issuing any final rule. EPA also anticipates a public meeting during the comment period to obtain additional public input. Specifically...
    • 29 Apr 2015

    FTC Fails to Prove Green Guides' Meaning of "Biodegradable"

    In an Initial Decision announced February 6, 2015, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) held that ECM BioFilms, Inc. d/b/a Enviroplastics International (“ECM”) made false and unsubstantiated claims that plastics made with its additive “would completely biodegrade, including in a...
    • 28 Apr 2015

    EPA TSCA Penalty Struck Down

    By Steven M. Siros On March 13, 2015, the Environmental Appeals Board ("EAB") struck down a landmark $2,751,800 penalty that had been imposed on Elementis Chromium for its alleged failure to comply with the Toxic Substances Control Act's ("TSCA") reporting obligations under Section 8(e). Under TSCA Section 8(e), companies are obligated to report information showing that chemicals and/or mixtures...