EPA Releases Risk Evaluation Documents For Public Comment

June 4, 2018
The Environmental Protection Agency also proposes action on asbestos.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) releases the following for public comment: (1) the first 10 problem formulation documents, (2) EPA’s systemic review approach document and (3) a significant new use rule (SNUR) proposal enabling the Agency to prevent new uses of asbestos – reportedly the first such action on asbestos ever proposed.

“These actions provide the American people with transparency and an opportunity to comment on how EPA plans to evaluate the 10 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation, select studies, and use the best available science to ensure chemicals in the marketplace are safe,” says EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “At the same time, we are moving forward to take important, unprecedented action on asbestos.” 

The problem formulation documents refine the scope of risk evaluations for the first 10 chemicals selected under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The Agency’s problem formulation documents are an important interim step prior to completing and publishing the final risk evaluations by December 2019. They clarify the chemical uses that EPA expects to evaluate and describe how EPA expects to conduct the evaluations. Comments are due in 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register.

EPA’s systematic review approach document will guide EPA’s selection and review of studies in addition to providing the public with transparency regarding how the Agency plans to evaluate scientific information, according to the EPA. Comments are due in 45 days upon publication in the Federal Register (Docket: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0210).

For asbestos, EPA is proposing a SNUR for certain uses of asbestos (including asbestos-containing goods) that would require manufacturers and importers to receive EPA approval before starting or resuming manufacturing, and importing or processing of asbestos. This review process would provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use of asbestos and, when necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the use. Comments are due in 60 days upon publication in the Federal Register (Docket: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0159).

Upon publication in the Federal Register individuals can comment in each of the chemical’s respective dockets:

Asbestos: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736 (each has link)

1-Bromopropane: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0741

Carbon Tetrachloride: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0733

1,4-Dioxane: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0723

Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD): EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0735

Methylene Chloride: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0742

N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP): EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0743

Pigment Violet 29 (Anthra[2,1,9-def:6,5,10-d’e’f’]diisoquinoline-1,3,8,10(2H,9H)-tetrone): EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0725

Trichloroethylene (TCE): EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0737

Perchloroethylene: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0732

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act required EPA to select the first 10 chemicals to undergo risk evaluations. These 10 chemicals were announced on December 16, 2016. As required, EPA issued corresponding scope documents on June 22, 2017 for these chemicals, which describe the scope of the risk evaluation to be conducted, including the hazards, exposures, conditions of use and potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations that the Agency expects to consider. The problem formulation documents EPA just issued refine those scope documents.

For more information, visit: www.epa.gov

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