Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
After years of negotiation and with input from many stakeholders, Congress passed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) to reform the regulation of chemicals in commerce. The LCSA, enacted on June 22, 2016, protects health and the environment; supports economic growth; and promotes America’s role as the world’s leading innovator.
IPC supported the bipartisan efforts to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) because a strong, cost-effective, science-based federal chemical regulatory program is important to our members, who use chemicals to manufacture electronics for the nation’s defense, aerospace, automotive, consumer and other industries. Ultimately, these regulations affect the broader U.S. economy and all American consumers.
The legislation “Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act” – is not perfect, but it is a big step in the right direction.
The bill addressed three key issues for IPC members:
- Stronger preemption of state laws
- Regulation of Articles
- Burden relief for substances sent for recycling and subject to duplicative TSCA reporting as new chemicals
Strong Preemption of State Laws
Electronics companies cannot manufacture unique products for sale in a particular state.
The bill being voted on strengthens federal preemption, a significant win for IPC members.
Exemption of Byproducts Sent for Recycling from Duplicative and Burdensome TSCA Reporting
Under current EPA interpretation of the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, which is authorized by TSCA, most manufacturing byproducts sent for recycling are treated as new chemicals and therefore are subject to extensive reporting requirements that duplicate other EPA reporting requirements. By contrast, the same chemicals in byproducts that are landfilled require no reporting under TSCA.
This interpretation serves as a disincentive to recycling. It places unnecessary, duplicative and costly burdens on companies striving to improve their environmental performance by recycling byproducts of their manufacturing processes. TSCA should explicitly encourage the recycling of byproducts by exempting certain recycled byproducts.
The Lautenberg Act directs the U.S. EPA to review the disincentives to recycling byproducts and promulgate new regulations within 42 months.
Limited Regulation of Chemicals in Articles
We believe that TSCA should maintain focus on ensuring the safety of chemicals in commerce and that regulation of chemicals in articles should be limited. Prior to regulating articles, EPA should be required to demonstrate that the objective of the action cannot be adequately addressed through action on chemical substances and mixtures alone. TSCA should maintain the article exemptions from the import and export provisions.
The Lautenberg Act largely preserves the status quo on this issue.