EPA Publishes the TSCA 2018 Annual Plan
February 5, 2018
On January 31, 2018, EPA released the 2018 annual plan for chemical risk evaluations. This annual plan includes updates on the status of chemical risk evaluations, chemical prioritization, fees, and EPA’s report to Congress.

Chemical Risk Evaluation – EPA was required to initiate ten risk evaluations in 2016, and at least 20 more within 3 years after enactment of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act), or by December 2019. The law required that the initial ten chemicals be drawn from the 2014 Update of the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments and that EPA publish the list of the initial 10 chemicals within 180 days of enactment. The TSCA Amendments also required that the scope of the risk evaluations be published not later than 6 months after the initiation of the risk assessment. The 10 chemicals undergoing risk assessment are listed below and scope documents were released on June 22, 2017.

  • 1, 4-Dioxane 
  • Methylene Chloride 
  • 1-Bromopropane 
  • N-Methylpyrrolidone 
  • Asbestos
  • Pigment Violet 29 
  • Carbon Tetrachloride 
  • Trichloroethylene 
  • Cyclic Aliphatic Bromide Cluster (HBCD) 
  • Tetrachloroethylene 

The EPA will also issue problem formulation documents, which are refinements to the scope documents. EPA anticipates publishing and taking comments for 45-days on problem formulation documents in early 2018.

Chemical Prioritization – EPA expects to initiate prioritization for 40 chemicals – at least 20 Low-Priority and 20 High-Priority candidates – by the end of calendar year 2018, so that by December 22, 2019, EPA will have designated 20 substances as Low-Priority and initiated risk evaluations on 20 High-Priority substances.

What to Expect: TSCA Update for Chemical Prioritization

Regardless of which approach EPA selects for designating chemicals for prioritization, chemical exposure and hazard (human health and ecological) data, as well as persistence and bioaccumulation data, will be needed to adequately prioritize chemicals. Due to the additional data gathering authorization provided under the amended TSCA, EPA is now more likely than in the past to request generation of new data to fill existing data gaps.

TSCA Fees – EPA expects to propose a draft TSCA Fees Rule in early-mid Fiscal Year 2018 and anticipates a final TSCA Fees Rule in late Fiscal Year 2018.

Report to Congress – On January 18, 2017, EPA submitted an initial report to Congress, as required under Section 26(m)(1) of TSCA. The report included the best estimates available at that time of the resources necessary to conduct risk evaluations. This report to Congress was required 6 months after enactment of the Lautenberg Act and every 5 years thereafter.

How Can Exponent Help?

Exponent’s scientific and regulatory consultants have expertise in new and traditional methods for conducting chemical risk evaluations and designing strategies to address TSCA risk evaluations and risk-based prioritization. Our staff are well-versed in EPA’s Sustainable Futures models, QSAR modeling, read-across strategies, testing design and monitoring, and weight-of-the-evidence-based hazard and risk assessments. Exponent can help perform relative risk screenings for chemicals in your existing inventories, as well as identify significant data gaps, and design intelligent data gathering programs to cost effectively provide the most critical information. In addition, our scientists and materials engineers can assist you in identifying and integrating favorable substitutes for chemicals of potential concern used in your products.