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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: EPA Releases New Chemical Safety Guidelines Aimed at Curbing Animal Testing, Tracking Mercury Imports, and Facilitating the Sharing of Confidential Business Information

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WASHINGTON – On Friday, June 22, 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it had once again met its yearly statutory requirements under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, which amended the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA). On the two-year anniversary of the law, EPA released new guidelines and polices aimed at reducing animal testing, tracking mercury imports and manufacturing, and facilitating sharing of Confidential Business Information (CBI) with emergency responders. This marks the second consecutive year in which EPA has fulfilled its obligations under the law on time. These actions increase transparency and improve chemical safety.  

On the second anniversary of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, EPA announced it had completed the following milestones and new guidelines: 

  • Finalized strategy to reduce animal testing. The strategy promotes the development and implementation of alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine, or replace vertebrate animal testing. It also incorporates input from public meetings and written comments. 
  • Final rule on reporting mercury manufacturing and imports. The information collected through the new reporting requirements will be used to develop future inventories of mercury and mercury-containing product supply, use, and trade in the United States.  
  • Guidance for state, tribal, and local governments, and medical personnel and emergency responders on sharing Confidential Business Information (CBI). The guidance specifies the process that will enable other governmental entities and medical and emergency personnel to request CBI information.
  • Policy and procedures for assigning unique identifiers to better publicly track information on chemicals while protecting CBI. An identifier will be applied to a substance, whose identity is protected as CBI, as well as to other related information or submissions concerning the same substance. This will allow the public to connect information related to the same substance, even while the specific identity is protected as confidential.
  • Guidance on structurally descriptive generic names. This guidance will allow EPA to share more information with the public about the structure of substances while protecting the confidential elements of the substance’s specific chemical identity. TSCA submitters claiming the specific chemical identity of a chemical substance as CBI are required to supply a structurally descriptive generic name that can be disclosed to the public.

You can read more about EPA's newest chemical safety milestones here: 

EPA Administrator Pruitt signs agency action documents under TSCA to mark the second anniversary of the Lautenberg Act, June 2018.Administrator Pruitt signs a guidance and policy on confidential business information, a strategy to reduce animal testing, and a final mercury reporting rule on the two-year anniversary of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act with the hardworking staff of EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention