Category: Chemicals

Today’s workplace uses thousands of chemicals, many of which are hazardous. The resources in this section will help guide you in the safe and legal identification, storage, transport, and use of these chemicals, and in making sure that your employees right to know how to be safe around such substances is provided, as required by law.

3M Announces $10B PFAS Settlement

On June 22, 2023, 3M Company announced a momentous $10.3 billion settlement in its mass torts lawsuit with thousands of plaintiffs over the company’s alleged contamination of municipal drinking water by per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals.” Subject to court approval, the agreement: Provides funding for public water systems (PWS) across […]

Preventing and Reporting Chemical Releases During Extreme Weather Events

Many parts of the country are experiencing significant rainfall that’s leading to widespread flooding and catastrophic damage in some areas. In addition, the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is underway. Hurricanes are often accompanied by a storm surge that can also lead to significant flooding, so it’s important for […]

Chemical Safety Board Closes Four Investigations

On July 6, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) released its final report on a fatal incident on December 8, 2020, at Optima Belle LLC in Belle, West Virginia. The board also recently closed two other investigations. During Optima Belle’s production of a sanitizing compound for Clearon Corporation, a dryer at the […]

EPA Proposes Ban on Most Uses of Perchloroethylene

On June 8, 2023, the EPA proposed a rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to ban most uses of perchloroethylene (PCE), a chemical known to cause serious health risks such as neurotoxicity and cancer. The proposed rule bans all consumer uses of the chemical while allowing for many industrial/commercial uses to continue only […]

CSB Releases Final Report on Fatal Chemical Release

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) released a final report on a hydrogen chloride (HCl) release at the Wacker Polysilicon North American facility in Charleston, Tennessee. A worker was fatally injured in the incident. The CSB found that at the time of the incident in November 2020, there were multiple contract workers […]

CourtWatch Judge Rules U.S. Forest Service Violated CWA Regulations

In May, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen of the U.S. District Court in Montana ruled the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) in its use of fire-retardant materials in areas with waterways without a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The judge also ruled the USFS can continue to use […]

EPA’s Final Rule Updates TSCA CBI Requirements

On June 1, 2023, the EPA issued a final rule to update confidential business information (CBI) requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that increases transparency, modernizes the reporting and review procedures for CBI, and aligns with the 2016 amendments to TSCA. “The final rule allows EPA to release non-confidential information more quickly, demonstrating […]

CSB Issues Final Report on Fatal Acetic Acid Release

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) released its final report on a fatal acetic acid release at the LyondellBasell La Porte Complex in La Porte, Texas, on July 27, 2021. The inadvertent removal of the pressure-retaining components of a valve caused the release of 164,000 pounds (lb) of an acetic acid mixture, […]

EPA Considers Additional PFAS for CERCLA Designation

Last month, the EPA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) asking the public for input regarding potential future hazardous substance designations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. “Today’s announcement highlights EPA’s commitment to transparency and the use of the […]

Proposed Ban on Methylene Chloride

On May 3, 2023, the EPA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register banning most uses of methylene chloride. The EPA’s authority for the proposed rule is provided under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), with methylene chloride being the second chemical to undergo risk management under the reformed process created by the 2016 […]