Increased burden, uncertainty for small manufacturers
Some voices have not yet been heard in this debate. For example, ACMA’s Government Affairs Committee believes the CSIA would effectively transfer much of the responsibility for the safe management of toxic chemicals, as well as non-productive compliance burdens, from suppliers to smaller manufacturing companies that use chemicals to produce non-chemical products such as composites.
The CSIA would allow EPA to pull these small processors fully into regulation under TSCA, and may require them to develop toxicity and exposure data. This is because the CSIA would focus EPA’s attention on the uses of chemicals with the highest exposures, which will often mean small manufacturers. The health risk at these processors is of course an important concern, but the CSIA has none of the safeguards small companies will need to survive this kind of EPA scrutiny and the resulting uncertainty.
The industry is likely to advocate for the following considerations if the House moves forward to draft TSCA reform legislation.
Use as directed – Processors (chemical users) using chemicals only as directed by chemical suppliers should not be subject to EPA toxicity test requirements.
Costly uncertainty – Especially for smaller companies, the time between EPA issuance of a safety determination (whether a given use of a chemical is considered safe) and issuance of a risk management plan (what to do to make it safe) will be a time of very high uncertainty and high risk for tort action and general agitation by workers and plant neighbors. EPA should not issue a final safety determination until it is ready to issue at least a draft risk management plan.
Only one trip through TSCA review – Small processors using multiple chemicals should be subject to EPA review under TSCA only once.
Science quality – Industry has spent the last several years fighting with EPA and other federal agencies over outdated and biased scientific processes employed for hazard or safety determinations. EPA science reforms are needed before the agency should accelerate TSCA reviews, especially since many stakeholders expect a dramatic increase in the pace of EPA chemical safety reviews under a revised program.
Preemption – While some industry wants preemption of state regulation, smaller processors will need preemption of non-TSCA EPA regulation and OSHA regulation. If an industry is complying with a risk management plan issued under TSCA, then EPA should not, for example, issue or enforce redundant or conflicting regulation under the Clean Air Act. If a TSCA risk management plan specifies worker protection practices, OSHA should not issue or enforce requirements aimed at the same occupational hazards. If styrene is determined not to pose a carcinogenic risk as it is commonly used, it should be removed from the Report on Carcinogens.