04 August 2016

The US Congress has now passed legislation to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and President Obama signed the Bill into law on 22 June 2016.

Legislators welcomed the end of a 40 year stalemate on achieving progress in this key chemicals legislation.

Under the new TSCA, the US EPA will be required to assess risks from existing chemicals, identifying substances on the market, and setting priorities amongst substances; and to make an “affirmative safety finding” before allowing new substances onto the market. 

These features underline significant differences with the approach in the EU REACH Regulation, which places the primary responsibility onto manufacturers and importers for the substances which they place on the market. 

Our chemicals and product stewardship specialists are working closely with US experts to compare the key features of the new TSCA and with the EU REACH regime for our client base. This is a good example of our collaborative international approach: as an independent UK law firm, we are able to work with the best independent environment lawyers in all jurisdictions relevant to our client’s needs.

Find out more about our REACH, Chemicals Regulation and Product Stewardship team.

TSCA Overhaul Will Have Major Impact on Chemical Manufacture & Use

On 22 June President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, ushering in the first significant legislative reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act since its enactment in 1976. As its provisions are implemented by US EPA, the new TSCA will give rise to significant changes in the way chemicals are manufactured, processed, imported and used. After decades of fruitless efforts to advance TSCA reform legislation and various compromises on thornier issues achieved just this year, the reconciled bill passed both houses of Congress with notable bipartisan support and largely positive comments from many stakeholders affiliated with both industry and environmental advocacy groups. 

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Key contact

Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG

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