EPA Increases Transparency Rules on Chemical Risk
February 1, 2010
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new policy to increase the public’s access to information on chemicals.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new policy to increase the public’s access to information on chemicals. EPA has announced its intention to reject a certain type of confidentiality claim, known as Confidential Business Information (CBI), on the identity of chemicals. The chemicals that will be affected by this action are those that are submitted to EPA with studies that show a substantial risk to people's health and the environment and have been previously disclosed on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Inventory. This action represents another step to use the agency’s authority under the existing TSCA to the fullest extent possible.
Under TSCA, companies may claim a range of sensitive, proprietary information as CBI. Under Section 8(e) of TSCA, companies that manufacture, process, or distribute chemicals are required to immediately provide notice to EPA if they learn that a chemical presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment. The Section 8(e) reports are made available on EPA’s Web site. However, until now, companies would routinely claim confidentiality for the actual identity of the chemical covered by the Section 8(e) submission, so the public posting of the information would not include the name of the chemical. The new policy ends this practice for chemicals on the public portion of the TSCA Inventory. This new policy will increase the amount of information available by granting the public access to the chemical identification information submitted, along with other health and safety data under Section 8(e).
For additional information on the new policy, visit www.epa.gov/oppt/tsca8e/.