The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reportedly approved EPA’s plans for testing bisphenol A (BPA). The June 17, 2011, approval clears the way for EPA to proceed with a proposal requiring chemical manufacturers to provide the agency with information on the presence of BPA in the environment and its effects on human health and the environment.

In March 2010, EPA released a BPA action plan noting its intent to develop an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) or “pre-rule.” In the action plan, the agency indicated that it would consider initiating a rulemaking under TSCA, section 4(a), which authorizes EPA to require chemical manufacturers to conduct toxicity and other tests on chemicals. The proposed tests would address BPA’s purported environmental effects to help the agency determine whether the chemical presents an unreasonable injury risk. The testing could include monitoring data in the vicinity of landfills, manufacturing facilities or similar locations to determine whether the chemical is entering the environment at levels of potential concern.

BPA is a chemical used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics in CDs, DVDs, reusable bottles, electronic equipment, food cans, and coatings. It has been alleged to cause adverse human health effects.