Current Chemical Activities
March 10, 2015 – In response to requests from the public, EPA extended the public comment period for the proposed Significant New Use Rule under TSCA on long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances by 90 days. EPA expects the notice announcing this extension to be published in the Federal Register on March 16, 2015. Comments on the proposed rule were originally due March 23, 2015. Comments will now be due June 26, 2015.
June 25, 2014 – EPA released its final TSCA Work Plan Chemical Risk Assessment for Trichloroethylene (TCE) (PDF) (212 pp, 3.0 mb, About PDF), identifying health risks from exposure when used as a degreasing agent, a spot removal agent in dry-cleaning and as a spray arts fixative.
- TSCA Work Plan Chemicals
- Current Chemical Risk Reduction Activities
- Pollution Prevention Programs
- Relevant Sections of TSCA
TSCA Work Plan Chemicals
As a continuation of EPA’s comprehensive approach to enhance the Agency’s existing chemicals management, in March 2012 EPA identified a work plan of chemicals for further assessment under TSCA. The TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments: 2014 Update was updated in October 2014. The changes reflect updated data submitted to EPA by industry on chemical releases and potential exposures.
EPA intends to use the TSCA Work Plan to help focus and direct the activities of the Existing Chemicals Program over the next several years. Read about the TSCA Work Plan Chemicals and ongoing TSCA Work Plan Chemical Assessments The Agency is performing assessments of chemicals on the TSCA Work Plan. If an assessment identifies unacceptable risks to humans or the environment, EPA will pursue risk reduction.
Current Chemical Risk Reduction Activities
In addition to risk reduction activities for Work Plan chemicals for which risks exist, EPA is continuing to pursue risk reduction activities on specific chemicals described in the Existing Chemicals Action Plans published from 2009 through 2011. Chemicals for which the Agency is pursuing risk reduction efforts under TSCA include:
- Benzidine dyes
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Ethylene glycol ethers (Glymes)
- Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)
- Methylene chloride/dichloromethane (DCM)
- Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI)
- N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP)
- Nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates
- Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs, including PFOA)
- Penta, octa, and decabromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in products
- Short-chain chlorinated paraffins
- Toluene diisocyanate (TDI)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
Some regulatory measures taken under TSCA apply to specific chemical substances and involve coordination with other federal agencies or with other laws administered by EPA. Learn more about EPA's activities relating to:
Pollution Prevention Programs
EPA also uses voluntary programs to encourage both pollution prevention and risk reduction. Some of these programs apply to a wide variety of chemicals and industries.
Safer Choice helps consumers and commercial buyers identify and select products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance. When you see a product with the Safer Choice label, it means that every ingredient in the product has been reviewed by EPA scientists. Only products that meet our Safer Choice Standard, which includes stringent human health and environmental criteria, are allowed to carry the label.
The 2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Program involves a global commitment by eight major companies to reduce both facility emissions and product content of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) by 95 percent by 2010, and to work toward elimination of the chemical by 2015.
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) helps the federal government "buy green," and in doing so, uses the federal government's enormous buying power to stimulate market demand for green products and services.
Green Chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances.
E3:Economy, Energy and the Environment brings together federal agencies, states and local communities to strengthen small-to-medium sized American manufacturers.
Green Suppliers Network, which is now a part of E3:Economy, Energy and the Environment, works with large manufacturers to engage their small-and medium-sized suppliers in low-cost technical reviews that focus on process improvement and waste minimization.
Relevant Sections of TSCASpecific sections of TSCA grant authority for EPA to require risk management measures, provide for the coordination of activities under TSCA with other Federal agencies and with other laws administered by EPA, and give citizens the opportunity to petition for action.
TSCA Section 4 provides that EPA can issue rules to require companies to generate hazard and exposure information through specific tests or measurements on chemicals in certain circumstances.
TSCA Section 5(a) Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) can be used to require notice to EPA before either new or existing chemical substances and mixtures are used in new ways that might create concerns.
TSCA Section 5(b)(4) provides that EPA can compile and keep current a list of chemical substances that present or may present an unreasonable risk of injury to human health or the environment.
TSCA Section 6 provides for the regulation of hazardous existing chemical substances and mixtures.
TSCA Section 9 governs the relationship of TSCA to other Federal laws.
TSCA Section 21 allows citizens to petition EPA to take specific regulatory actions on chemicals and mixtures under TSCA.