More on Managing Existing Chemicals
- HPV Challenge Program
- HPVIS - Making HPV Available Online
- Inventory Update Reporting
- Chemical Nanoscale Materials
- Managing Potential PFOA Risks
- Potential Chemical Risks to Children
- Section 21 Petitions
- Using TSCA Section 8(e)
- TSCA Section 12(b) Export Notifications
- International Work
- OECD HPV Chemicals Program
OPPT participates in an array of international work aimed at reducing risks, facilitating the sound management of chemicals and preventing pollution. Complementing OPPT's domestic mission, the work ranges from facilitating the exchange of information, for example, on chemical assessments and risk assessments, to cooperating on the scientific and technical aspects of international commitments.
A major step forward, the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America Leaders' Summit, resulted in commitments on behalf of the United States, Canada and Mexico to work together to ensure the safe manufacture and use of industrial chemicals. Read more about the SPP commitments on chemical cooperation made by the United States, Canada and Mexico.
OPPT is fulfilling U.S. commitments made under SPP through EPA's new Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP), which builds on EPA's High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program and extends EPA's efforts to include moderate production volume chemicals.
ChAMP and the SPP work complement the United States' continuing work with Canada and Mexico under the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) Sound Management of Chemicals (SMOC) Working Group. Together, these North American efforts comprise a regional approach to implement the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). SAICM is an international policy framework to foster the sound management of chemicals.
In addition to SAICM, countries have committed to global partnerships within the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to reduce releases and uses of mercury. OPPT helped spearhead this initiative and is leading partnership efforts on mercury in products. EPA's PFOA Stewardship Program is also making significant progress toward reductions in releases and use in products both domestically and globally.
OPPT continues its technical, scientific and regulatory cooperation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Over the years, OPPT's work in OECD has contributed in a significant way to the Screening Data Information Sets (SIDS) program, out of which grew EPA's HPV Challenge program. Both programs are giving citizens screening-level hazard data on HPV chemicals, and are, in turn, contributing to the new ChAMP.
OPPT also provides substantial leadership and international coordination through our Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) and participation in the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN).
The Administration supports the United States becoming a party to the:
- Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs),
- 1979 Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP) Protocol on POPs, a regional convention,
- 1998 Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
Both the Stockholm Convention on POPs and the LRTAP Protocol on POPs include provisions that require parties to eliminate or restrict the production, use and/or release of the POPs chemicals listed under the respective Agreements. In general, POPs under these Agreements are chemicals that are persistent and toxic, can bioaccumulate and be transported long distances in the environment, and are likely to affect human health or the environment in locations distant from their sources.
The United States is a party to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe LRTAP Convention, including the Protocol on Heavy Metals, but is not yet a party to the POPs Protocol.
The 1998 Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade was developed with strong U.S. support to promote information exchange and informed risk-based decisions in the trade of hazardous chemicals and pesticides. Among other provisions, the Convention gives force to importing country decisions on listed chemicals by prohibiting unwanted exports and requiring that exports meet conditions specified by importing governments. Legislative changes to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) that would provide the authority needed to implement the respective agreements have been considered in Congress.
- At the August 2007 SPP Leaders' Summit, the United States committed to completing by 2012 risk characterizations and taking action, as appropriate, on high- and moderate-production volume chemicals produced above 25,000 pounds per year. EPA created the Chemical Assessment and Management Program (ChAMP) to implement these commitments.
SMOC Working Group
The SMOC Working Group held a public meeting in March 2008 to discuss North American cooperative efforts on assessment and management of chemicals, including efforts to:
- Establish a foundation for chemicals management across North America
- Develop and implement a sustainable regional approach to monitoring, including biomonitoring
- Reduce the risk from chemicals of mutual concern in North America, as identified by the SMOC Working Group
- Improve environmental performance of sectors
- The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) directed the Sound Management of Chemicals (SMOC) Working Group to create a strategy for chemicals management in North America that addresses issues of mutual concern, supports CEC's priorities, and advances shared international objectives, including implementing SAICM in the North American region. In 2007, the SMOC Working Group took initial steps to implement this strategy, which included:
- A multi-sector and stakeholder workshop to advance the development of a chemical inventory in Mexico.
- Support for a project to reduce use of mercury in the health care sector and to update an inventory of mercury use and demand, including mercury-containing products.
- The eChemPortal was released to the public in June 2007 by the OECD in collaboration with several OECD countries and global organizations, including the United States, with OPPT taking the lead in the United States. This information portal is a significant step towards achieving long-standing international commitments to improve the public availability of data on chemicals. It is an Internet gateway that provides public access to information on the properties, hazards and risks of chemicals free of charge and allows users simultaneously to search multiple databases prepared for government chemical review programs around the world. The U.S. High Production Volume Information System (HPVIS) is a key component of the health and environmental effects data that will be directly accessible from this one Web site.
- In the past year, OECD member countries have approved six test guidelines (on, for example, a sediment organism and pesticide residues) and have declassified three guidance documents (on, for example, honey bees and on pesticide residue methods), to keep OECD test guidelines current with scientific developments.
- OPPT is currently leading or co-leading 16 projects that will result in new and updated test guidelines and guidance documents. OPPT relies on consensus-based OECD test guidelines and Good Laboratory Practices to ensure the development of high-quality, valid test data under its regulatory testing programs. This ensures that data generated in the United States are also acceptable to other OECD countries under the Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) agreement which combine to save governments and industry over $85 million annually.
- EPA participates in and provides technical support to the U.S. delegation at relevant Stockholm Convention meetings. This included the third meeting of third meeting of third meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which took place in Dakar, Senegal, from April 30 to May 4, 2007, as well as the third meeting of the POPs Review Committee, November 19 - 23, 2007, in Geneva, Switzerland.
- EPA participates in relevant Rotterdam Convention meetings including the third and fourth Chemical Review Committee (CRC) meetings, which occurred in March 2007 and 2008 respectively and took place in Rome. EPA also participated in the third Conference of the Parties.
- EPA engages in information exchange and, where feasible, technical assistance, on the above matters. Most recently, EPA contributed to and participated in a February 2008 Workshop on Continuing Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) Management in the Latin American and Caribbean Countriesand in a regional SAICM meeting to help facilitate chemical management activities. The SAICM regional meeting also provided an opportunity to follow up on an earlier international PCB Consultation Meeting hosted by UNEP. For more information on EPA's participation in SAICM activities, read the SAICM section of this report.
Read other sections of this report for additional information on OECD Screening Information Data Sets (SIDS) program and EPA's international work with mercury.