Beveridge & Diamond

New Directions in Chemicals Regulation

March 31, 2011

New Directions in Chemicals Regulation
A DC Bar Program
Mark N. Duvall
Thursday, March 31, 2011, 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
D.C. Bar Conference Center, 1101 K Street, NW, Washington, DC
Contact: Mark Duvall at

Chemicals regulation is changing in this country, and bigger changes could be on the way.  Bills were introduced in both the Senate and the House during the last Congress to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act. However, although there is broad agreement that TSCA needs to be modernized, the bills contained key differences on the details, and they did not come up for a vote. Now, members in leadership positions in both parties in the 112th Congress, along with representatives from industry and environmental groups, have voiced support for reform, including at a February Senate hearing.  Indeed, TSCA reform has been identified as a possible area for environmental action in the new Congress, even with the change in control of the House.  

In the meantime, EPA has moved to more aggressively exercise its authority under the existing statute. EPA is developing rules to address several chemicals - including mercury, flame retardants, perfluorinated chemicals, and products of nanotechnology. Also in the works are a rule to substantially increase chemical reporting under the TSCA Inventory Update Rule, lead renovation rules, a rule to identify chemicals that may present unreasonable risk, and a number of other actions. The Agency has, in addition, issued significant new policies for reviewing claims of confidential business information (CBI). Simply put, there is more activity under TSCA than at any time in the last two decades. States, too, have significantly stepped up their regulation of chemicals in the absence of new Federal legislation.  

This is the backdrop for the spirited discussion we will have on March 31. Come exchange views with key players from government, industry, and the environmental community on a number of hot topics, such as: How should confidential business information be handled under an amended TSCA? Should State regulation be limited or pre-empted? How should international chemicals treaties be addressed?  If comprehensive reform is not possible, would piecemeal reform make sense? On the administrative front, can EPA successfully use provisions of TSCA that have been largely dormant? Do the new EPA policies on release of information claimed as CBI strike the right balance? And how aggressively will the chemicals industry challenge EPA's regulatory efforts?  

This Brown Bag Program is sponsored by the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section and in cosponsorship with the Administrative Law and Agency Practice Section and the Litigation Section.  


  • Richard Denison, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Mark Duvall, Beveridge & Diamond
  • Brian Grant, Office of General Counsel, US EPA (Moderator)
  • Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, US EPA
  • Ted Sturdevant, Director of Washington Department of Ecology  

For more information and registration, please visit




Media Contact

Attorney Contacts
Attorney Contacts