On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century Act (“Lautenberg Act”), a sweeping and historic overhaul of our nation’s primary chemical management law, the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”). The Lautenberg Act grants the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) new powers and mandates that will significantly impact corporate regulatory compliance, supply chains, risk management, and sustainability programs. With EPA’s implementation of the Lautenberg Act already underway, companies that manufacture, process, and use chemicals – including those that incorporate chemicals into their finished products – are working feverishly to assess the near- and long-term impacts on their businesses.
A new day has dawned for manufacturers, processors, users, and other companies in the chemical supply chain. Defying the gridlock in Washington and the partisanship frequently associated with environmental issues, the Lautenberg Act became the first major piece of environmental legislation to become law since the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. It passed the United States Senate and the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, and it garnered the support of a broad range of stakeholders that included industry groups (e.g., the American Chemistry Council), environmental groups (e.g., the Environmental Defense Fund), unions, and many more.
This article was first published by Industry Today on October 14, 2016.