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EPA’s Update to TSCA Risk Evaluation Rule Would be a ‘Sea Change,’ Prero Says

December 18, 2023

Environmental counsel Judah Prero was quoted in the Chemical Watch article, “Update to TSCA risk evaluation rule would be ‘sea change’ for existing chemicals programme,” which discusses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent proposal to rework its previous risk evaluation framework rule that was published in 2017.

By mandating a whole-chemical approach for risk determinations, the proposal aims to codify the EPA’s current policies for conducting reviews of chemicals with high-priority. The proposal also calls to remove the EPA’s discretion to exclude any conditions of use from an evaluation, to require consideration of fence line communities, to edit and remove certain scientific definitions, and to overhaul current procedures for manufacturer-requested risk evaluations.

Prero told Chemical Watch that the proposal represents a “sea change” for the existing chemicals program. “If it really goes ahead as EPA is proposing, it’s totally shifting the dynamic,” he said. He added that putting the proposal’s policies into a regulation would eventually result in a long risk evaluation process and “more onerous and conservative” risk management rules. “Legally, the bar has been raised,” Prero said. The EPA “may not necessarily realize the totality of what will happen if this actually gets finalized.”

Read the full article (subscription required).