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Chemical Regulation

US EPA at risk of missing TSCA deadlines, agency watchdog says

by Britt E. Erickson
August 21, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 32

 

The US Environmental Protection Agency failed to meet its deadline to complete the first 10 chemical risk assessments under the 2016 revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Those first 10 assessments were due by June 19, but so far the agency has completed only 2 of them—methylene chloride and 1-bromopropane. If the EPA does not identify what additional staff and resources it needs to comply with TSCA mandates, it is at risk of missing future deadlines, the agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) says in an Aug. 17 report. The EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), which is responsible for implementing the 2016 amendments to TSCA, has not analyzed its workforce needs in a systematic way since 1987, the OIG found. The EPA plans to increase staffing at OPPT this year, but the agency needs to conduct a workforce analysis to balance workloads and ensure that it meets its TSCA deadlines, the OIG says. In response to the report, the EPA agreed to conduct a workforce analysis and annually identify what resources are required to conduct work related to TSCA implementation.

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