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April Updates from the PCRRTK Committee

Lynn L. Bergeson, Nancy Beck, Lawrence E Culleen, Marshall Robert Morales, Todd J Stedeford, and Javaneh Tarter


  • Provides articles written by members of the Pesticides and Chemicals committee in one location.
  • Explores recent updates and cases in Pesticides and Chemicals law.
April Updates from the PCRRTK Committee
Lucas Ninno via Getty Images

EPA Proposes National Primary Drinking Water Regulation to Set Stringent Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water, Including Four Newly Targeted Substances—published April 3, 2023, by Matthew Z. Leopold, Nancy B. Beck, Javaneh S. Tarter, Paul T. Nyffeler, and Gregory R. Wall

On March 29, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register its long-awaited proposed rule to restrict certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). This action is part of EPA’s whole-of-agency approach in its PFAS Strategic Roadmap and is expected to directly affect 66,000 public water systems across the country. Comments on the proposal are due on May 30, 2023. 

EPA’s New Chemicals Program Holds Second Webinar in Series on Standardized Approach for MMOs in New and Modified CAMs—published April 6, 2023, by Lynn L. Bergeson, Richard E. Engler, and Carla N. Hutton

On March 30, 2023, the EPA New Chemicals Program (NCP) held the second of a two-part webinar series on EPA’s new standardized process to assess risk and apply mitigation measures, as appropriate, for mixed metal oxides (MMO), including new and modified cathode active materials (CAM). Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA reviews new chemical substances before they enter the marketplace to ensure they do not present unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. In October 2022, EPA announced an “innovative effort” to help make its review of new MMOs, including new and modified CAMs, more efficient. More information on the initiative is available in our October 11, 2022, memorandum.

ECHA Convenes Online Information Session Regarding the Proposal to Restrict More than 10,000 PFAS under REACH—published April 7, 2023, by Lynn L. Bergeson, Carla N. Hutton, and Edith G. Nagy

On April 5, 2023, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) convened an online information session as part of the consultation period regarding the proposal to restrict more than 10,000 PFAS under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation. The speakers during the information session explained how the REACH restriction process works, provided details regarding the restriction proposal, and described how stakeholders and interested parties can participate in the consultation. Stakeholders are strongly encouraged to submit comments, accompanied by supporting evidence, until the September 25, 2023, deadline.

Court Dismisses Private-Citizen Suit against Inhance—published April 11, 2023, by Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

On April 6, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a suit brought by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) to prevent Inhance Technologies USA (Inhance) from generating PFAS when fluorinating plastic containers. As reported in our January 6, 2023, blog item, CEH and PEER sought a court order restraining Inhance from continued manufacture of PFAS in violation of a 2020 significant new use rule (SNUR) “requiring it to stop all distribution of fluorinated containers in commerce until and unless [TSCA] requirements are met and directing it to inform purchasers and users of these containers of the dangers of exposure to [perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)] and other PFAS.”

HSE Publishes RMOA for PFAS—published April 12, 2023, by Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

On April 4, 2023, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published a regulatory management options analysis (RMOA) for PFAS. The RMOA is a preliminary step used within the UK REACH framework. The RMOA collates, combines, and analyzes information on the nature and extent of exposure to chemical substances, and it considers existing laws and also how PFAS are being managed around the world, including Europe, Asia, and the United States. 

Will EPA Be Designating Entire Categories of PFAS as CERCLA Hazardous Substances?—published April 13, 2023, by Karen Vincent, Elissa J. Preheim, and Lawrence E. Culleen

EPA is considering designating more PFAS to the list of hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). On April 13, 2023, EPA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in which it is seeking public input and data to assist in its consideration of potentially designating as hazardous substances not just the seven specific PFAS identified in the notice by CAS Registry Numbers, but also “Categories of PFAS.” The implications of a broad category listing are noteworthy.

NGO Seeks Review of TSCA Section 5 Order for a New Chemical Substance—published April 17, 2023, by Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

Earthjustice announced on April 7, 2023, that Cherokee Concerned Citizens, a community group in Pascagoula, Mississippi, filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for review of an Order for a New Chemical Substance under section 5 of TSCA, signed by EPA. According to the petition, the August 11, 2022, Order authorizes Chevron U.S.A. Inc. to manufacture, process, distribute in commerce, use, or dispose of certain new chemical substances. 

EPA Will Propose to Prohibit Most Uses of Methylene Chloride under TSCA Section 6(a)—published April 25, 2023, by Lynn L. Bergeson, Carla N. Hutton, Richard E. Engler, and Todd J. Stedeford

On April 20, 2023, EPA announced the release of a proposed rule under section 6(a) of TSCA that would prohibit most uses of methylene chloride. EPA states that its unreasonable risk determination for methylene chloride was driven by risks associated with workers, occupational non-users (ONU), consumers, and those in close proximity to a consumer use. EPA identified risks for adverse human health effects, including neurotoxicity, liver effects, and cancer from inhalation and dermal exposures to methylene chloride. According to EPA, its proposed risk management rule would “rapidly phase down” manufacturing, processing, and distribution of methylene chloride for all consumer uses and most industrial and commercial uses, most of which would be fully implemented in 15 months. EPA notes that for most of the uses of methylene chloride that it will propose to prohibit, its analysis found that alternative products with similar costs and efficacy to methylene chloride products are generally available. Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register will begin a 60-day comment period.

EC Publishes Report on Developing the Essential Use Concept—published April 26, 2023, by Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The European Commission (EC) has published a report entitled Supporting the Commission in Developing an Essential Use Concept. The report presents the outcome of a project to support the EC to define further the essential use concept and associated criteria to help phase out the most harmful chemicals. According to the abstract, the report investigates how the essential use concept could be implemented in European Union (EU) legislation, including the REACH regulation, the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive, food contact materials legislation, the Cosmetic Products Regulation, the Taxonomy Regulation, and the End-of-life Vehicles Directive. 

GAO Finds Progress in EPA’s Process for Assessing and Controlling Toxic Chemicals—published April 27, 2023, by Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

On April 20, 2023, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its updated High Risk List, which highlights 37 areas across the federal government that are vulnerable to waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement, or that need broad reform. The High Risk List includes “Transforming EPA’s Process for Assessing and Controlling Toxic Chemicals.” GAO states that EPA’s ability to implement its mission of protecting public health and the environment effectively depends on its assessing the risks posed by chemicals in commerce and those that have yet to enter commerce in a credible and timely manner. EPA supports the evaluation of such risks through its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) and by implementing TSCA. 

U.S. EPA Proposes Rule Banning Methylene Chloride in All Consumer Uses—published April 27, 2023, by Marshall R. Morales, Samuel B. Boxerman, and Jagdeep Singh

On April 20, 2023, EPA proposed a rule seriously restricting the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride. EPA is exercising its authority under section 6(a) of TSCA, which allows the agency to impose such prohibitions on chemical substances that it determines, following a risk evaluation, to present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. Methylene chloride is most commonly used as a solvent in adhesives and sealants, automotive products, and paint and coating removers, and this rule could affect, among others, the automotive, pharmaceutical, and chemical manufacturing sectors.