There is growing interest in which chemicals the EPA will select for its initial risk evaluations under the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) signed by President Obama June 22, 2016. Under the law, one of the Agency’s first tasks is to designate 10 chemicals for evaluation no more than 180 days after enactment. The law states that the 10 chemicals are to be drawn from the Agency’s 2014 TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments, a list of about 90 chemicals the Agency assembled to focus the activities of its Existing Chemicals Program so that existing chemicals having the highest potential for exposure and hazard are assessed and, if warranted, are subject to risk reduction actions.
The first 10 evaluations must be completed by 3 years after designation, although a 6-month extension is possible. The EPA has said it may also consider chemicals not on the Work Plan for risk evaluations and potential risk management action if warranted by available information.
Also, within 1 year after enactment, the Agency must establish by rule a risk-based screening process, including criteria for designating chemical substances as high-priority substances for risk evaluations or low-priority substances for which risk evaluations are not warranted at the time.