Th e action plans, discussed in more detail below, summarize available hazard, exposure, and use information; outline the risks that each chemical may present; and identify specifi c steps EPA is taking to address those concerns. According to EPA, “[a]s those actions begin, there will be opportunities for public and stakeholder comment and involvement.” EPA states that its actions “represent its determination to use its authority under the existing TSCA to the fullest extent possible, recognizing EPA’s strong belief that the 1976 law is both outdated and in need of reform.”
Administrator Jackson also announced that EPA intends to establish a “Chemicals of Concern” list and commence a process that may result in regulations requiring “signifi cant risk reduction measures” to protect human health and safety. Th e Chemicals of Concern list will rely on EPA’s authority under TSCA §5(b)(4)(A)(i), which authorizes EPA by rule to “compile and keep current a list of chemical substances with respect to which the Administrator fi nds that the manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal, or any combination of such activities, presents or may present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.” Th is section of TSCA, previously described as the “Risk List,” has not otherwise been used by EPA. Th e listing requires a rulemaking and a fi nding that a chemical “presents or may present an unreasonable risk,” and EPA’s announcement emphasizes the “may present” arm of the fi ndings. When the George W. Bush Administration raised the possibility of using the §5(b)(4) listing under the Chemical Assessment and Management Program, industry raised a number of “black list” concerns in its comments. Th us, any such list is likely to be targeted as a presumptive “hit” list not unlike the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals authorization candidate list. More information is available on the action plans and the Chemicals of Concern list at http:// www.epa.gov/oppt/existingchemicals.