February 7, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “OSHA Issues Updated Process Safety Management Enforcement Guidance,” Chemical Processing, February 7, 2024.

On Jan. 26, 2024, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued updated enforcement guidance regarding compliance with OSHA’s standard for the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (PSM standard). The new directive, CPL 02-01-065, provides much-needed updates to the guidance issued in 1994 and explains OSHA’s current thinking regarding compliance with the PSM standard. ...
January 16, 2024

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Global Chemical Regulations: 2024 Will Be a Consequential Year,” Chemical Processing, January 15, 2024.

First, let’s look at U.S. policy and regulatory developments. In this election year, competing priorities will dominate U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions. The agency will seek to complete as many actions as possible while tempering its expectations to avoid any significant pre-election missteps. While there is no consensus on whether the Biden administration’s commitment to policy shifts in chemical management has elicited desirable results, reasonable people will agree it...
December 18, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “The EPA is undermining the TSCA’s potential to reduce plastic waste,” Financier Worldwide, January 2024.

No discussion of energy issues would be complete without some mention of the utility of used plastic as a feedstock in the production of fuels, energy and building block chemicals. In spring 2023, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its Draft National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution (Strategy) to identify voluntary actions to prevent plastic waste. Plastics recycling, including both mechanical and ‘advanced’, is core to achieving improved post-use plastics materials...
December 13, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Proposes Revised PBT Rules for decaBDE and PIP (3:1),” Chemical Processing, December 11, 2023.

It seems like yesterday when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule prohibiting isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)), and for many in the manufacturing sector, the world got a little bit crazier. The EPA vowed to revise the final rule and did so on Nov. 24, 2023. The EPA’s proposal would amend the regulations for decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and PIP (3:1), two of the five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals addressed in...
November 17, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Proposes Ban on Trichloroethylene,” Chemical Processing, November 17, 2023.

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed on Oct. 31, to ban all uses of trichloroethylene (TCE) after determining it presents an unreasonable risk of injury to human health under conditions of use pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). TCE is widely used in cleaning and furniture-care products, degreasers, brake cleaners and tire repair sealants. Alternatives are available for many uses. The proposed rule would ban TCE’s manufacture, processing...
November 8, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Reporting PFAS: reporting burden is the least of businesses’ worries,” Financier Worldwide, December 2023.

Ask just about anyone doing business in the US making or importing products that contain chemicals what they think about the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) reporting rule, and you will get a decidedly grumpy response. Granted, no businessperson welcomes any new chemical reporting obligation, but by any standard, the EPA’s 11 October 2023 final PFAS reporting rule is problematic and is inviting uniquely scathing criticism....
October 16, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Issues Final Rule on TSCA PFAS Reporting Requirements,” Chemical Processing, October 16, 2023.

On September 28, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its long-overdue final rule under Section 8(a)(7) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The rule requires reporting and recordkeeping requirements for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). As discussed in this article, the final rule is not what many of us expected nor wanted....
September 15, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “National Science and Technology Council Releases Sustainable Chemistry Report,” Chemical Processing, September 15, 2023.

Sustainable chemistry has become more central to business success than ever. Societal preferences and climate change implications are pressuring product manufacturers to develop, use and process sustainable chemicals. This trend is here to stay, and cultural, legal and regulatory drivers accelerating this trend are growing exponentially....
August 16, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Rolls Out New PFAS Framework,” Chemical Processing, August 16, 2023.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on June 29, 2023, a new regulatory framework for addressing new per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and new uses of existing PFAS. The framework outlines the EPA’s planned approach when reviewing these chemicals to ensure that, before they are allowed to enter commerce, they meet the safety standard under Section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This article explains the significance of this development....
July 18, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “TSCA, SNURs, and Plastic Waste-Based Feedstocks,” Chemical Processing, July 18, 2023.

On June 20, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 18 chemicals subject to premanufacture notices (PMNs). The rulemaking reflects a level of EPA discomfort with certain new chemicals derived from plastic waste. This article explains the significance of this proposal....
July 1, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Expanding PFAS liability in the US,” Financier Worldwide, July 2023.

Few words inspire the panic that ‘polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS)’ does. Companies producing, processing, distributing and using (whether knowingly or not) these substances must be aware of expanding legal liability and take steps now to minimise risk. This article outlines key US per- and PFAS developments, the legal and commercial implications of these developments, and measures stakeholders should consider taking to limit liability....
May 1, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “TSCA litigation: The case to watch,” Speciality Chemicals Magazine, May/June 2023.

The implementation of the game-changing 2016 Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), is now a hotbed of legal dispute. Lawsuits challenging key aspects of the law’s implementation are piling up. While all are legally noteworthy, one citizen enforcement case in particular merits attention. As discussed below, two recent cases have raised novel issues pertinent to the scope of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s...
May 1, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “EPA Can Lead or Get Out of the Way,” The Environmental Forum, May/June 2023.

A major task we face in achieving circularity is ensuring that policies remain nimble in addressing environmental and public health challenges. Our suite of laws and their regulatory implementation sometimes reflect an unhelpful resistance to circularity, expressed in policies that are indifferent or antithetical to an efficient transition to true resource economy....
January 27, 2023

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Risky Business: Deciding Whether Chemicals Pose Risk Is Getting Really Confusing,” American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Blog, January 27, 2023.

Chemicals are the foundational origin of just about everything we enjoy and cannot live without. The federal law that authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate industrial chemical substances is the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), an almost 47-year-old law significantly amended in 2016 by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg). Lautenberg’s passage was a bipartisan triumph marking the do-over of a law that many...
October 1, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Toxics Regulation: A Brave New World Catching Many Off Guard,” PLI Current, Vol. 6 (2022).

Given the passage of time since the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, the public’s growing awareness of the potential for exposure from chemicals in “articles,” or finished goods, during use, and greater focus on the implications of end-of-life product disposal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation of articles under TSCA has shifted significantly. Historically, EPA elected not to regulate articles for the most part. EPA’s more recent...
October 1, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Due diligence in mergers and acquisitions involving chemical products,” Financier Worldwide, October 2022.

The scope of what diligence is due in any corporate transaction has evolved greatly over the past decade, particularly with respect to transactions involving chemical products. Once upon a time, transactional due diligence involving chemical products, whether ‘neat’ (pure) chemicals, formulations or end-use products, typically consisted of a phase I or phase II environmental site assessment (ESA) focusing on identifying contamination derivative of chemical releases into environmental media...
July 1, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “Environmental Justice and Enforcement in America: what investors need to know,” Financier Worldwide, July 2022.

By any standard, federal enforcement of environmental laws in the US has been uneven, to say the least. The prevailing perception is that democrats are ‘greener’ than are republicans when it comes to environmental enforcement. The data is quite scattered, however, and it would seem no party has cornered the environmental protection market. The Trump administration may be the exception that proves the rule. Most would agree civil and criminal enforcement case numbers were significantly...
May 15, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., et al, “Compilation Memorandum regarding the GCSE Plastics Reports: France and the United States: Comparative Law Analysis and Recommendations Regarding Plastic Waste,” Global Council for Science and the Environment, May 15, 2022.

In February 2022, France and the United States announced their commitment to protect our shared environment for future generations against the harm resulting plastic pollution.Both nations stated their united recognition of the transboundary impacts of plastic pollution and the importance of mitigating plastic waste at its source. On March 2, 2022, as reported by the 5th UN Environment Assembly (UNAE-5.2) in Nairobi, both France and the United States, along with 173 other nations, adopted a...
April 14, 2022

Carla N. Hutton and Karin F Baron, MSPH, “How might EU proposals on harmonised classification and prioritisation of chemicals for classification impact industry?,” Chemical Watch, April 14, 2022.

The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, adopted by the European Commission in October 2020, calls on the Commission to ensure that Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation) is the central legislation for hazard classification and allows the Commission to initiate harmonised classifications. This article examines the effect of possible CLP amendments....
March 1, 2022

Lynn L. Bergeson, “PFAS: making sound investment decisions,” Financier Worldwide, March 2022.

The ubiquity of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the manufacturing sector’s decades-long reliance on them to impart functionalities in a dizzying array of products put the investor between the proverbial rock and a hard place. PFAS varied chemical properties make the broad categorisation of ‘PFAS’ into a monolithic category of ‘forever chemicals’ chemically and scientifically questionable. For better or worse, however, that is exactly what is happening today, and...