Possible New U.S. Chemicals Management Legislation Coming
Background U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976
The U.S. Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 is the primary legislative mechanism by which chemicals are managed in the United States. TSCA provides the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the authority to require reporting, record-keeping and testing requirements, and restrictions relating to chemical substances and/or mixtures.
Possible Reform of TSCA Regulations
The Obama administration has been very interested in working with U.S. Congress to revise TSCA. In September, EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, announced plans to push forward on a legislative reform of TSCA. In her announcement, she states, "Today I’m announcing clear Administration principles to guide Congress in writing a new chemical risk management law that will fix the weaknesses in TSCA. Senator Lautenberg, Chairman Waxman, Senator Boxer, Congressman Rush and others in Congress have already recognized that TSCA must be updated and strengthened. EPA needs the tools to do the job the public expects. And we are working together with President Obama on this issue."
No TSCA Reform legislation has yet been introduced into Congress. But based on statements from Jackson and others, such legislation may include the following elements:
- Risk based standards protective of human health and the environment
- Hazard and exposure information provided by industry
- Special considerations for vulnerable groups in risk management
- Clear authority by EPA to restrict chemicals
- Promotion of green chemistry and alternatives
- Industry contribution to regulatory implementation
Potential Impacts to SEMI Members and Industry Partners
Reform of TSCA will likely impact all aspects of the supply chain and manufacturing of semiconductor, microelectronic, photovoltaic (solar), display, solid state lighting, and related high technology industries. The impact will extend to the following:
- Chemicals Suppliers, Manufacturers, Distributors, Importers and Exporters
- Equipment Suppliers (and Components Suppliers)
- Product Manufacturers (and Distributors)
New TSCA Reform Working Group Formed at SEMI
Some SEMI Members and Industry Partners have expressed concern about the positive and negative impacts of TSCA Reform on industry. To address these concerns, SEMI is launching a new Working Group, entitled the "SEMI U.S. TSCA Reform Working Group (WG)". The WG will address SEMI member and industry partner concerns about possible TSCA revisions. The WG will address impacts to the semiconductor, microelectronic, photovoltaic (solar), display, solid state lighting, and related high technology industries. The WG is open to SEMI members. Companies that are not SEMI members are also invited to join.
To get involved in the group, please access the WG Membership Form and input your contact information.
For More Information
For more information, please contact Sanjay Baliga (SEMI EHS Senior Manager in San Jose).
November 19, 2009