According to a report released on June 25, 2010, by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) faces challenges in effectively regulating nanomaterials that may be released in air, water, and waste because EPA lacks the technology to monitor and characterize these materials, or the statutes include volume-based regulatory thresholds that may be too high for effectively regulating the production and disposal of nanomaterials. In preparing its report, GAO identified examples of current and potential uses of nanomaterials; determined what is known about the potential human health and environmental risks from nanomaterials; assessed actions EPA has taken to better understand and regulate the risks posed by nanomaterials as well as its authorities to do so; and identified approaches that other selected national authorities and actions U.S. states have taken to address the potential risks associated with nanomaterials. GAO analyzed selected laws and regulations, reviewed information on EPA’s Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program, and consulted with EPA officials and legal experts to obtain their perspectives on EPA’s authorities to regulate nanomaterials.

Continue Reading GAO Report States That EPA Faces Challenges in Regulating Risk of Nanomaterials

On April 29, 2010, during the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) meeting, William Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), presented slides regarding nanotechnology and pesticides. Jordan briefly described how OPP is defining nanoscale materials and how the technology is being applied to the field of pesticides. His presentation described OPP’s recent consultation with EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) concerning nanosilver and other nanometal pesticide products, as well as other ongoing regulatory activity and future actions OPP intends to take.

Continue Reading PPDC Discusses Nanotechnology and Pesticides

On April 15, 2010, Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) released the text of the Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 (S.3209), which is intended to address the “core failings” of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Also on April 15, 2010, Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL), Chair of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and Henry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on February 3, 2010, a proposed significant new use rule (SNUR) under Section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for multi-walled carbon nanotubes. The proposed rule would require persons who intend to manufacture, import, or process the substance for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by the proposed rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. EPA states that the required notification would provide EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs. Comments are due March 5, 2010.

Continue Reading EPA Proposes a Second SNUR for Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

On November 6, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed significant new use rules (SNUR) under Section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for two chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN). EPA identified the substances generically as multi-walled carbon nanotubes and single-walled carbon nanotubes. According to the notice, these substances

In a notice in the August 4, 2009, Federal Register, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Interagency Testing Committee (ITC) released its latest report to the Administrator. Under TSCA Section 4(e), the ITC is required ‘‘to make recommendations to the Administrator respecting the chemical substances and mixtures to which the Administrator should give priority consideration

On June 25, 2009, the Norwegian Board of Technology announced that the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT) has established “a scheme for Norwegian businesses to report their use of nanomaterials in chemical products.”  According to a spokesperson for the Board, until now the Norwegian market has “lacked oversight of nanomaterials.”  Under the scheme, information about nanomaterials in chemical products will be incorporated as a separate topic in declarations to the Norwegian Product Register, which is administered by the SFT. The initiative will supplement Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) due to its “focus on how substances are marketed and used in real life.”

Continue Reading Norway Asks Businesses to Report Presence of Nanomaterials

On March 19, 2009, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (CDTSC) will hold a full-day nanotechnology symposium on nanomaterials regulation from a variety of perspectives. According to CDTSC, the symposium will focus on the regulatory aspects of nanotechnology, the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and CDTSC’s chemical information call-in program including nanoscale materials. CDTSC states that federal interest in nanomaterial regulation and California’s efforts “provide a great opportunity for fostering technological advances that recognize environmental and public health concerns. The goal is to create a partnership where we can enhance research where needed and promote sustainable processes as well as applications.” Registration is required. The symposium will also be available via web cast.

Continue Reading CDTSC Will Hold Nanotech III Symposium