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Proposals and deadlines for EPA’s new Toxic Substances Control Act (TCSA)

(Source: HTIWC)

Various proposals due from EPA under the new TSCA law have now been published and are as follows:

  • Top 10 scoping proceeding. One of the first 10 substances that EPA has decided to review under the new TSCA law is described as “asbestos and asbestos-like fibers.” For the moment, EPA does not intend to expand the scope of the asbestos listing for purposes of the first ten chemicals to be reviewed under the new TSCA law.  At a recent scoping meeting, the EPA stated that they will use the definition of asbestos that appears in TSCA Title II, which reads as follows:

(3) Asbestos

The term ‘‘asbestos’’ means asbestiform varieties of—

(A) chrysotile (serpentine),

(B) crocidolite (riebeckite),

(C) amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite),

(D) anthophyllite,

(E) tremolite, or

(F) actinolite.

  • Inventory reset proposal.  EPA’s proposal to reset the TSCA inventory under the new law was published on January 13. The comment period is closed.
  • Priority proposal.  EPA’s proposed rules for establishing priorities for future TSCA reviews was published on January 17. The comment period is closed.
  • Risk evaluation proposal.  EPA’s proposed rules for conducting risk evaluations under the new law was published on January 19. The comment period is closed.

Hazardous air pollutants

Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT)

National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)

The Clean Air Act 1990 amendment established the level of control required by MACT. West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection describes the standards: “While the standards for major sources of [hazardous air pollutants] developed per this section are also designated as NESHAPs, they are established according to MACT requirements. MACT is a technology-based standard, as opposed to the original conception of NESHAPs as a risk-based standard.” Ohio’s EPA explains standards are set: “When developing a MACT standard for a particular source category, U.S. EPA looks at the level of emission control currently being achieved by the best-performing similar sources through various control methods, such as clean processes, control devices and work practices. These emission levels set a baseline, often referred to as the ‘MACT floor,’ for the MACT standard.”

Respirable crystalline silica

From the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website: “OSHA has issued a final rule to curb lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney disease in America’s workers by limiting their exposure to respirable crystalline silica. The rule is comprised of two standards, one for Construction and one for General Industry and Maritime.”

Its “key provisions” are:

  • Reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift.
  • Requires employers to: use engineering controls (such as water or ventilation) to limit worker exposure to the PEL; provide respirators when engineering controls cannot adequately limit exposure; limit worker access to high exposure areas; develop a written exposure control plan, offer medical exams to highly exposed workers, and train workers on silica risks and how to limit exposures.
  • Provides medical exams to monitor highly exposed workers and gives them information about their lung health.
  • OSHA Final Rule on Respirable Crystalline Silica
  • OSHA website for Silica, Crystalline

Toxic Substances Control Act

This act provides the EPA with the authority to regulate and restrict chemical substances. The act was originally passed in 1976 and was updated in 2016.


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