TSCA Reform: EPA Publishes First Year Implementation Plan
(Bergeson & Campbell) On June 29, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted an Implementation Plan that outlines EPA’s plans for early activities and actions under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, legislation that significantly amends many of the provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The amended TSCA has been identified as Public Law Number (Pub. L. No.) 114-182, and copies are expected to be available from the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) next week. EPA notes that the new law imposes new responsibilities on EPA, while providing “comparatively short” deadlines to implement them. EPA “takes these responsibilities and deadlines seriously,” and intends for the Implementation Plan to be a roadmap of the major activities on which EPA will focus during the initial year of implementation. EPA organizes the Implementation Plan by the statutory timeframes during which the activities must be completed, rather than by what is of importance to EPA. EPA states that the Implementation Plan is a living document, and EPA will further develop it over time. EPA cautions that the Implementation Plan “is NOT intended to be a comprehensive listing of all requirements in the new law.”
EPA’s Implementation Plan is reproduced below:
SUMMARY OF IMPLEMENTATION PLAN ACTIONS
The Implementation Plan lists the following actions:
We are pleased that EPA is making strong early efforts to communicate and engage with stakeholders about its early implementation of the new TSCA and its thinking regarding specific provisions. Completing the items listed in the Implementation Plan represents a prodigious amount of work for EPA over the coming months and years. Stakeholders will need to be prepared to respond thoughtfully to rules, lists, and process descriptions as they appear in the Federal Register, or as they are posted.
We do have comments on a few of the items noted by EPA in its plan. One concerns the EPA statement regarding new chemicals which claims, “as a legal matter, [that] the new law effectively resets the 90-day review period.” We presume this EPA statement applies only to new chemical cases which have not reached day 90 (this includes notices still within the initial period or those that that have been voluntarily suspended). While we do not have the benefit of seeing EPA’s legal analysis, we disagree with EPA’s legal view that, based on the text of the act, the review clock resets (effectively or otherwise) for such cases, presumably with day one being the date of enactment of the law. Companies whose notifications are caught up in this EPA decision need to think carefully about their options, and take any needed steps to protect their legal rights. READ MORE
2016 Energy Efficiency Forum
by Sharon Ji (Advanced Biofuels USA) The U.S. Energy Association and Johnson Controls sponsored a conference on strategies and data analysis of energy efficiency which took place on Thursday, June 23 at National Press Club in Washington, DC.
The event focused on how improving efficiency in buildings, district energy systems and infrastructure also provides multiple social, economic and environmental benefits to communities and businesses. Johnson Controls collected data internationally and summarized it in different categories.
The Johnson Control Indicator Survey 2016 indicated that almost two thirds of US organizations have a carbon reduction goal; that Brazil is at an all-time high level of interest in energy efficiency; and that India and China will invest the most in energy efficiency in 2017. However, India and China lack the technical expertise to evaluate or execute projects and the US lacks funding to pay for improvements. In India and Brazil over half of the organizations plan to have resilient facilities that can operate off the grid in the next 10 years. READ MORE