Posted on May 16, 2023 by Lynn L. Bergeson
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on May 11, 2023, that it will hold a webinar on June 7, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) on its proposed rule under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that would ban all consumer uses and most commercial uses of methylene chloride, “a chemical in commercial and consumer products known to cause serious health risks and even death.” As reported in our April 25, 2023, memorandum, EPA proposes prohibitions and protections, with a rapid phase-down for manufacturing, processing, and distribution of methylene chloride for all consumer uses and most industrial and commercial uses, a majority of which would be fully implemented in 15 months after the final rule is issued. For industrial manufacturing, industrial processing, laboratory use, and federal uses that EPA is not proposing to prohibit, EPA proposes a workplace chemical protection program (WCPP) with strict exposure limits to protect workers better. The WCPP would require employers and others covered by it to comply with safety requirements within one year. They would also be required to periodically monitor their workplaces to ensure that workers and others on site are not being exposed to levels of methylene chloride that would lead to an unreasonable risk. Comments on the proposed rule are due July 3, 2023.
According to EPA, the webinar “will be useful for anyone looking for an overview of the proposed regulatory action or to provide input on the proposed program, including industry groups, nonprofit organizations, Tribes, and other stakeholders.” EPA states that it is particularly looking for participation from employers and workers “who can give perspective on the feasibility and efficacy of the proposed requirement for worker protections.”
Participants can register as listeners or to make prepared remarks. To provide remarks during the webinar, registration must be completed by May 24, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. (EDT). Registration as a listener can be completed up until the start of the webinar. Details on how to access the webinar and slides will be sent to participants after registering via Eventbrite.com. EPA states that it will provide copies of the presentation material on its website following the webinar.