TSCA Reform Becomes Law, Now the Clock Starts to Tick on Implementation

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, H.R. 2576. This historic legislation overhauls the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the first time in 40 years. It is the first major environmental law to be enacted in 25 years (since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990). A legislative effort that began in earnest in 2009 has resulted, seven years later, in a strengthened statute that gives EPA new authority to prioritize, evaluate, and regulate chemicals as appropriate and gives stakeholders an important role in that process.

With the enactment of TSCA reform, attention now switches to EPA implementation of the new TSCA. The amendments have no effective date, meaning that the new provisions take effect immediately, with no waiting period for EPA. The attached table identifies the deadlines for actions under the updated statute, by section of TSCA. Some of these are tied to the date of enactment, while others relate to actions with no mandated start date. Also attached is a timeline of EPA deadlines.