Charles Franklin Article on TSCA and Chem Control Efforts Published by ABA

“Chemical Control Reform Efforts Under TSCA Should Include Federal “Voluntary” Programs” by Akin Gump environment and natural resources senior counsel Charles Franklin has been published by the Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know Committee Newsletter of the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.

Franklin discusses the Environmental Protection Agency’s and other agencies’ use of extra-regulatory channels, including the Internet and social media, to “shape and influence chemical research, development, commercialization, and selection” and notes that any legislative reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) should “recalibrate EPA’s voluntary program authority as well.”

Franklin notes, “To date, there has been little, if any, public debate about the merits of aligning EPA’s voluntary program activities with EPA’s regulatory activities under a reformed TSCA statute” and outlines three different current legislative proposals and the extent to which they address the agency’s voluntary program activities.

He concludes, “Redirecting EPA’s voluntary programs to consider exposure, risk, and other life-cycle impacts will not resolve the difficult issues remaining for lawmakers in the regulatory reform debate. It could, however, ensure that EPA’s own voluntary programmatic activities do not undermine or contradict the carefully crafted federal risk framework of a reformed chemical control statute.”