As the Biden-Harris Administration works to advance EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment, the agency is committed to ensuring the safety of chemicals used by all Americans. To that end, EPA will follow the science and law, and review the agency’s actions issued under the previous Administration and take any needed steps to ensure that they protect human health and the environment. This review is being done in accordance with the Administration’s Executive Orders and other directives, including those on environmental justice, scientific integrity, and regulatory review.
Below is an update on some specific chemical safety actions that have immediate or near-term effective dates or other steps associated with them. These actions, along with other chemical safety actions identified by the Administration, will undergo review (and, as necessary, revisions) to ensure they are protective of human health and the environment. As EPA works through this process, the agency is committed to transparency and keeping all stakeholders informed.
PBT Final Rules
Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA was required to take expedited action on certain persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals and promulgate final risk management actions no later than the statutory deadline of December 2020. To meet that requirement, EPA released final rules to reduce exposure to five PBT chemicals, a critical step in the agency’s efforts to protect the health of Americans – including children, workers, and the environment. These rules, which go into effect today (February 5, 2021), address toxic chemicals that remain in the environment for long periods of time and build up in the body. EPA is aware of concerns about these rules, including implementation issues, that have been raised by a range of stakeholders and may consider additional measures, approaches, or revisions that build upon the steps taken thus far. The agency is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure these rules are both protective and practical.
More information on these rules can be found at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/persistent-bioaccumulative-and-toxic-pbt-chemicals-under.
Dust Lead Post-Abatement Clearance Level (DLCL) Final Rule
In January 2021, EPA finalized lower clearance levels for the amount of lead that can remain in dust on floors and window sills after lead removal activities (abatement), strengthening lead regulations to protect children’s health. The Dust Lead Post-Abatement Clearance Levels (DLCL) final rule goes into effect on March 8, 2021. Keeping the current effective date in place ensures greater protections for children from the dangers of lead-based paint and provides certainty for the regulated community. EPA will continue to consider the DLCL final rule and the related final rule for Dust Lead Hazard Standards, which was revised in 2019, as a part of EPA’s broader review of actions, in accordance with the Executive Orders and other direction provided by the Biden-Harris Administration.
More information on these rules can be found at https://www.epa.gov/lead/hazard-standards-and-clearance-levels-lead-paint-dust-and-soil-tsca-sections-402-and-403.
TSCA Risk Evaluations and Risk Management for First 10 Chemicals
EPA issued final TSCA risk evaluations for the first 10 chemicals starting in June 2020 and immediately began the risk management process for each of these chemicals. While outreach and stakeholder engagement on risk management activities for these chemicals will continue to move forward, EPA is actively reviewing the final risk evaluations in light of statutory obligations and policy objectives related to use of the best available science and protection of human health and the environment, in accordance with the Executive Orders and other direction provided by the Biden-Harris Administration. The agency will keep stakeholders updated as decisions are made, and next steps are determined.
More information on TSCA risk evaluations can be found at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/chemicals-undergoing-risk-evaluation-under-tsca.
SOURCE: US EPA Newsletter (5.2.2021)