HSE Committee Deliberates TSCA Reform Impacts
The PESA HSE Committee met recently to discuss ongoing activities as well as the recent law updating the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), the Nation’s primary chemicals management law.
The most significant change is a new requirement that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct a systematic, risk-based review of all chemicals in commerce. The previous TSCA grandfathered in chemicals already on the market at the time.
The new law sets up a riskbased prioritization for EPA’s review, with chemicals that “may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment” identified as “high priority substances.” High
priority designation triggers a requirement that EPA complete a risk evaluation to determine the chemical’s safety.
If the evaluation finds that it presents an unreasonable risk, EPA will put in place rules for use, from warning requirements, use restrictions, and phase outs or bans. EPA must consider costs and availability of alternatives.
The EPA recently released the first year implementation plan, including slides from a recent webinar. That and other details can be found online at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managingchemicals-under-tsca/frank-rlautenberg-chemical-safety-21stcentury-act.
PESA staff will continue to update member companies regarding this rule. Interested companies are also encouraged to provide information about usage, safety measures in place, costs, and alternatives regarding this rule either through the HSE committee or on an individual basis.
The chairman of the HSE Committee is John Candler of M-I SWACO/Schlumberger; other companies currently participating are Baker Hughes, FairfieldNodal, Halliburton, Newpark Resources, and Weir Oil & Gas. If your company is interested in participating, please contact Ryan Bowley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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