March 31, 2023
Member Alert: Positive Amendments to TSCA Reflected in House Bill
Legislation places increased accountability on EPA around New Chemicals reviews
Yesterday, The House of Representatives passed a bill titled H.R. 1 – The Lower Energy Costs Act, which focuses on securing energy supply for the U.S.
The Bill includes language that modifies TSCA, specifically the review of new chemicals that can be categorized as a “critical energy resource,” which SOCMA and our members have long advocated for. The proposed legislation is not law at this point and faces hurdles in the Senate.
The important changes for SOCMA members to be aware of regarding “critical energy resource” chemicals are:
- EPA would be required to complete reviews of these chemicals within statutory deadlines, otherwise the submitter would be permitted to commence manufacture of the product.
- EPA would be required to deliver a draft determination on the submission before requesting a withdrawal or suspension.
SOCMA is pleased with the inclusion of this language in the overall bill, as we continue working with the House Energy & Commerce Committee to provide evidence of member companies’ challenges in the review of PMNs and LVEs, and the substantial hurdles in bringing a new chemical to market. This legislation is a positive step forward for improving the review of new chemicals.
The legislation still has a long path to enactment, and it is possible the Senate will not consider the bill until after the next Congressional election. In the meantime, SOCMA and our members will continue educating the House of Representatives and Senate on the importance of improving the PMN/LVE review process.
Hear More During SOCMA’s April 4 Town Hall
On April 4 at 11:00 am, Jerry Couri, Deputy Chief Counsel, Environment Subcommittee, House Committee on Energy and Commerce, joins SOCMA to provide an overview of Committee activities related to the specialty chemical industry, and the House of Representatives’ overall priorities and agenda for the 118th Congress. Register Here
Below is the full section of TSCA language critical to SOCMA member companies:
- Sec. 10012. Ending future delays in chemical substance review for critical energy resources:
“(i) ACTIONS AUTHORIZED —If, with respect to a chemical substance that is a critical energy resource, the Administrator fails to make a determination on a notice under paragraph (3) by the end of the applicable review period and the notice has not been withdrawn by the submitter, the submitter may take the actions described in paragraph (1)(A) with respect to the chemical substance, and the Administrator shall be relieved of any requirement to make such determination.
“(ii) NON-DUPLICATION —A refund of applicable fees under paragraph (4)(A) shall not be made if a submitter takes an action described in paragraph (1)(A) under this subparagraph.
“(C) PREREQUISITE FOR SUGGESTION OF WITHDRAWAL OR SUSPENSION —The Administrator may not suggest to, or request of, a submitter of a notice under this subsection for a chemical substance that is a critical energy resource that such submitter withdraw such notice, or request a suspension of the running of the applicable review period with respect to such notice, unless the Administrator has—
“(i) conducted a preliminary review of such notice; and
“(ii) provided to the submitter a draft of a determination under paragraph (3), including any supporting information.
“(D) DEFINITION— For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘critical energy resource’ means, as determined by the Secretary of Energy, any energy resource—
“(i) that is essential to the energy sector and energy systems of the United States; and
“(ii) the supply chain of which is vulnerable to disruption.”
Our Government Relations team will continue monitoring the progress of this legislation as it makes its way through Senate and will provide updates as they are available.
Contact Robert Helminiak with questions about this bill, or for guidance on additional matters at email@example.com.