EPA Webinars Will Kick off Public Engagement and Outreach on Risk Management under TSCA
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on September 8, 2020, a “broad public engagement and outreach effort” to discuss how EPA will approach the rulemaking process to address unreasonable risks found in final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical risk evaluations. After issuing the first two final risk evaluations, methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane, EPA states that it “is moving into the risk management phase and is hosting a robust process to gain important feedback from stakeholders on the options for managing those risks.” EPA will hold two public webinars to kick off this outreach effort:
- The first webinar, scheduled for September 16, 2020, will feature a discussion of the findings from the final risk evaluation for methylene chloride. More information on EPA’s final risk evaluation is available in our June 25, 2020, memorandum; and
- The second webinar, scheduled for September 30, 2020, will include a discussion of the findings from the final risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane. More information on EPA’s final risk evaluation is available in our August 11, 2020, memorandum.
According to EPA, each webinar will provide an overview of the TSCA risk management process and the tools available to manage the unreasonable risks.
EPA intends to schedule additional public webinars as it begins the risk management process for chemicals with unreasonable risks. EPA states that it will also begin one-on-one meetings with stakeholders and formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes, environmental justice communities, and small businesses. EPA notes that there will be an open public comment period on any draft risk management regulation.
According to EPA, there are several actions it can take under TSCA to address unreasonable risks, including banning a chemical; restricting the manufacturing, processing, distribution, or use; requiring warning labels/testing; and requiring manufacturers to notify distributors of any unreasonable risks. EPA has up to one year after issuing a final risk evaluation to propose and take public comments on any risk management actions.