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Chemical Regulation: Observations on the Toxic Substances Control Act and EPA Implementation

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO reported in June 2005 that EPA has historically faced the following challenges in implementing the provisions of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):"
Date: June 13, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Regulation: Approaches in the United States, Canada, and the European Union

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Chemicals are used to produce items widely used throughout society, including consumer products such as cleansers, paints, plastics, and fuels, as well as industrial solvents and additives. While chemicals play an important role in everyday life, some may be harmful to human health and the environment. Some chemicals, such as lead and mercury, are highly toxic at certain doses and need to be regulated because of health and safety concerns. In 1976, the Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in part to authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. TSCA addresses chemicals that are manufactured, imported, processed, distributed in commerce, used, or disposed of in the United States and authorizes EPA to assess chemicals before they enter commerce (new chemicals) and review those already in commerce (existing chemicals). TSCA excludes certain chemical substances, including among other things pesticides that are regulated under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); and food; food additives; drugs; cosmetics or devices that are regulated under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). In this context, Congress asked that we provide comparative information on the following chemical control laws: TSCA, Canadian Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA), the current European Union legislation, and the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as proposed. Specifically, Congress asked that we provide information on the approaches of (1) controlling chemical risks, (2) reviewing existing chemicals used in commerce, (3) assessing new chemicals, and (4) handling confidential business information."
Date: November 4, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Regulation: Options for Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Toxic Substances Control Act

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 1976, authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain information on the risks of industrial chemicals and to control those that EPA determines pose an unreasonable risk. However, EPA does not have sufficient chemical assessment information to determine whether it should establish controls to limit public exposure to many chemicals that may pose substantial health risks. In reports on TSCA, GAO has recommended statutory changes to, among other things, provide EPA with additional authorities to obtain health and safety information from the chemical industry and to shift more of the burden to chemical companies for demonstrating the safety of their chemicals. The most important recommendations aimed at providing EPA with the information needed to support its assessments of industrial chemicals have not been implemented--a key factor leading GAO in January 2009 to add transforming EPA's process for assessing and controlling toxic chemicals to its list of high-risk areas warranting attention by Congress and the executive branch. This testimony, which is based on prior GAO work, addresses EPA's implementation of TSCA and options for (1) obtaining information on the risks posed by chemicals to human health and the environment, (2) controlling these risks, and (3) publicly disclosing information provided by chemical companies under TSCA."
Date: February 26, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Regulation: Observations on Improving the Toxic Substances Control Act

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to obtain information on the risks of chemicals and to control those that it determines to pose an unreasonable risk. EPA also conducts assessments of chemicals under its Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) program. Nonetheless, EPA does not have sufficient information to determine whether it should establish controls to limit public exposure to many chemicals that may pose substantial health risks. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended statutory changes to TSCA to, among other things, provide EPA with additional authorities to obtain health and safety information from the chemical industry and to shift more of the burden to chemical companies for demonstrating the safety of their chemicals. GAO has also recommended that EPA adopt a streamlined, more transparent IRIS assessment process to address significant productivity and credibility issues. Problems with TSCA and IRIS led GAO to add transforming EPA's processes for assessing and controlling toxic chemicals to its list of high-risk areas warranting attention by Congress and the executive branch This testimony, based on prior GAO work, addresses EPA's implementation of TSCA and IRIS and options for (1) obtaining more information on chemical risks, (2) controlling these risks, and (3) sharing more of the information collected under TSCA."
Date: December 2, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Regulation: Actions are Needed to Improve the Effectiveness of EPA's Chemical Review Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Chemicals play an important role in everyday life, but some may be harmful to human health and the environment. Chemicals are used to produce items widely used throughout society, such as cleansers and plastics as well as industrial solvents and additives. However, some chemicals, such as lead and mercury, are highly toxic at certain doses and need to be regulated because of health and safety concerns. In 1976, the Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. This testimony is based on GAO's June 2005 report, Chemical Regulation: Options Exist to Improve EPA's Ability to Assess Health Risks and Manage Its Chemical Review Program (GAO-05-458). GAO's report describes EPA's efforts to (1) assess chemicals used in commerce, (2) control the use of chemicals not yet in commerce, and (3) publicly disclose information provided by chemical companies under TSCA. GAO recommended that the Congress consider providing EPA additional authorities under TSCA to improve EPA's ability to assess chemical risks, and that the EPA Administrator take several actions to improve EPA's management of its chemical review program. EPA did not disagree with our findings and is currently implementing some of our recommendations."
Date: August 2, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Regulation: Comparison of U.S. and Recently Enacted European Union Approaches to Protect against the Risks of Toxic Chemicals

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Chemicals play an important role in everyday life. However, some chemicals are highly toxic and need to be regulated. In 1976, the Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment, but some have questioned whether TSCA provides EPA with enough tools to protect against chemical risks. Like the United States, the European Union (EU) has laws governing the production and use of chemicals. The EU has recently revised its chemical control policy through legislation known as Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) in order to better identify and mitigate risks from chemicals. GAO was asked to review the approaches used under TSCA and REACH for (1) requiring chemical companies to develop information on chemicals' effects, (2) controlling risks from chemicals, and (3) making information on chemicals available to the public. To review these issues, GAO analyzed applicable U.S. and EU laws and regulations and interviewed U.S. and EU officials, industry representatives, and environmental advocacy organizations. GAO is making no recommendations."
Date: August 17, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Regulation: Options Exist to Improve EPA's Ability to Assess Health Risks and Manage Its Chemical Review Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Chemicals play an important role in everyday life, but some may be harmful to human health and the environment. Chemicals are used to produce items widely used throughout society, including consumer products such as cleansers, paints, plastics, and fuels, as well as industrial solvents and additives. However, some chemicals, such as lead and mercury, are highly toxic at certain doses and need to be regulated because of health and safety concerns. In 1976, the Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control chemicals that pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. GAO reviewed EPA's efforts to (1) control the risks of new chemicals not yet in commerce, (2) assess the risks of existing chemicals used in commerce, and (3) publicly disclose information provided by chemical companies under TSCA."
Date: June 13, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department