Nanoscale Materials and TSCA: EPA’s NPPTAC Recommends a Framework for a Voluntary Program

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

With uncharacteristic speed and remarkable clarity, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Pollution Prevention and Toxics Advisory Committee (NPPTAC) forwarded to EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson on November 22, 2005, its document entitled Overview of Issues for Consideration by NPPTAC.

The Overview of Issues document sets forth NPPTAC’s “analysis and views” on a framework for a voluntary program on existing engineered nanoscale materials. The framework is intended to complement the new nanoscale chemicals requirements promulgated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

This column describes the voluntary nanoscale program outlined in the overview document, and discusses some of the challenging policy and technical issues facing EPA in implementing the program and regulating (under TSCA) new engineered nanoscale materials consisting of chemical substances. A prior installment of this column offers additional background on issues surrounding nanoscale materials.1

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