New EPA Rules for Chemicals
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed three new rules which would clarify the evaluating and prioritizing of chemicals which may pose health risks for workers and the public. These new rules cover more than 62,000 chemicals. Organizations are required to have final processes in place no later than June 22, 2017.
According to the EPA’s proposal, the three proposed rules are:
Inventory Rule: Currently, there are over 85,000 chemicals which are covered, however, many of those chemicals are no longer being produced. The inventory rule would require organizations to notify the EPA, as well as the public, the number of chemicals they are still manufacturing.
Prioritization Rule: Under this rule, the EPA will establish how chemicals will be prioritized for evaluation. The agency plans on using a risk-based screening process in order to determine whether a chemical should be labeled a high or a low priority. All chemicals determined to be a high priority will be required to undergo evaluation. Evaluation will not be required for those chemicals determined to be low priority.
Risk Evaluation Rule: The EPA will begin evaluating the risks of all existing chemicals. The agency will develop the steps to complete this process, which will include publication of the assessment’s scope. All hazards and exposures will be assessed. Characterizing and risk determination will also be completed.
The public is invited to comment on the proposed new rules. This can be done online by going to www.regulations.gov and entering the following in the search bar:
- HQ-OPPT-2016-0426 for the inventory rule
- HQ-OPPT-2016-0636 for the prioritization rule
- HQ-OPPT-2016-0654 for the risk evaluation rule