Part 3 of Biofuels Digest's 'Thought Leadership' series highlighting some of the ways the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) applies to biobased products was published May 18, 2015. Summaries of the first two 'TSCA and the Bioeconomy' articles, written by Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) Senior Policy Advisor and former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Chemistry program, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., were summarized in the May 7, 2015, BRAG report.
'The Toxic Substances Control Act and the Bioeconomy: Part 3, Call to Action,' presents options for reforming TSCA and the related implementing regulations to put novel, biobased chemistry on an even footing with incumbent products and processes that were grandfathered under the original TSCA Inventory. Among the suggestions and options offered is the expansion of the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) nomenclature system to cover more sources related to biobased products:
Opening the 40-year-old list of organisms eligible to use SDA nomenclature would go a long way towards enabling novel triglyceride sources to enter commerce without triggering new chemical substance notifications throughout the supply chain. Right now, EPA has no mechanism for adding sources without conducting a full rulemaking. A mechanism that enables EPA to add sources to the SDA list as part of the premanufacture notice (PMN) review of a new source would maintain EPA's ability to ensure new sources do not present unreasonable risk to human health and the environment, as well as lower the barrier to market adoption of these new sources.
The article closes with a call for the regulated community, both producers and their customers to:
[E]ngage with EPA to seek broad solutions, as a group, rather than individual companies seeking individual solutions. These solutions may require rulemaking and a collective approach could bring the issue to a high enough priority to justify the effort and expense for EPA to undertake rulemaking.
Dr. Engler will be speaking about opportunities and challenges presented by TSCA for the biobased products community at the 19th Annual American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference, July 14 - 16, Bethesda, Maryland, and at BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, July 19 - 22, Montreal, Canada. Contact him if you plan on attending either of these events and would like to speak further about these issues while at the conferences.