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 February 26, 2008, the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars released a brief entitled Application of the Toxics Release Inventory to Nanomaterials, which examines whether the Emergency Planning and Community-Right to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) could be applied to nanomaterials. According to the

On June 9, 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed three Federal Register notices related to the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program (NMSP) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (appended). EPA intends to publish the notices in the July 12, 2007, Federal Register. The first notice announces a public meeting on August 2, 2007, to receive comments on the development of the voluntary NMSP. The second notice announces the availability of two draft documents for public review and comment: (1) “Concept Paper for the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program under TSCA” (Concept Paper); and (2) “TSCA Inventory Status of Nanoscale Substances — General Approach” (TSCA Inventory Paper). The third notice solicits public comments on specific aspects of the proposed information collection request (ICR) for the voluntary NMSP. According to EPA, the purpose of the August 2, 2007, public meeting, which will occur during the comment period on the draft documents, is to further discussion and development of the NMSP. Registration for the meeting will be open until July 30, 2007, but is not necessary to attend the meeting. Registration will be available through the NMSP website at Requests to make oral comments at the meeting are due July 30, 2007.
Continue Reading EPA Will Hold NMSP Public Meeting and Releases Draft Documents