Chemical Reform in Motion

The White House Office of Management and Budget approved proposed changes to EPA’s Inventory Update Reporting(IUR) rule for chemicals last week. The IUR acts as the agency’s primary chemical screening program. The EPA made the proposed rule changes last August and it is unclear what, if any changes OMB made to the rule during the review process. The changes will not be known until EPA publishes its final rule, which they expect to do sometime in August. Some of the changes EPA made in the draft rule include: requiring electronic reporting, modifying the reporting of manufacturing, process and use data for most chemicals, and it would “require a greater amount of substantiation for confidential business information claims.”

Late last week as well speculation began again that the Senate may take up TSCA legislation this fall. Many people believe the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold its first vote on Sen. Lautenberg’s legislation, S. 847 in September. The bill gives EPA broader authority to require any data so that it can more easily determine the safety of chemicals. It would make the EPA block chemicals that are deemed high risk to the public. If the bill moves through committee it would likely see a floor vote as well this year, however its fate once it reaches the House is murky at best.