EPA Announces Action Plans for Four Existing Chemicals

EPA closed out 2009 by issuing “chemical action plans” for four chemicals: phthalates, long-chain perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in products, and short-chain chlorinated paraffins.  For each chemical, the action plan provides a summary of existing hazard, exposure, and use information, an outline the risks that the chemical may present, and a description of the specific steps that the agency plans to take to address those risks.  The plans indicate that Administrator Jackson was serious about moving forward with existing authorities even as TSCA reform is debated.  While the plans are essentially simply expressions of future intentions, carefully caveated as one would expect from a federal agency, they are quite specific in some interesting ways.  For example, they tend to emphasize the possibility of a regulatory ban or phase in discussing action under Section 6 of TSCA.  Also, it was refreshing to see explicit discussion, albeit brief, about using alternatives assessment “as input to a regulatory action” in the phthalates action plan.

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