Charles Franklin and Stacey Mitchell Pen Article for Bloomberg BNA on New Chemical Review Process

Bloomberg BNA’s Chemical Regulation Reporter has published the article “Should Firms Ask for Chemical Risk Reviews?” written by Akin Gump environment and natural resources senior counsel Charles Franklin and partner Stacey Mitchell. The article discusses the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century (LCSA), which, as of this past June, enhances the authority and mandate of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and manage risks “from the tens of thousands of chemicals already in U.S. commerce and the hundreds of new chemicals proposed for commercialization each year.”

One goal of the LCSA, which is actually a series of amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, the authors write, is to restore public confidence in the regulatory system “by clarifying and strengthening the EPA’s regulatory authority, setting quotas and deadlines for the agency’s prioritization and review of existing chemicals.” The chemical industry, according to Franklin and Mitchell, had requested some of the provisions allowing for the enhanced reviews and, while they will not make sense for most chemical companies, they appear to offer “strategic opportunities for certain data-rich companies with targeted objectives, including market differentiation, strategic pre-emption, litigation risk management, or defensive review.”

The bottom line, Franklin and Mitchell write, is that, while companies “can burnish the reputation of low-risk products, reduce the risk of state regulatory action, hedge against future product liability claims and help shape federal reviews,” the price of doing so is steep. They warn that companies must be “supremely confident in the safety of their product, as well as the business benefits of a review.”

To read the full article, please click here.