January 27, 2020

January 27, 2020

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A Few States Adopt Chemical Legislation Despite TSCA Reform

State legislatures continue to consider legislation to restrict chemicals even as, at the federal level, the Toxic Substances Control Act has been thoroughly overhauled by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.  As previously reported here, over 60 bills to restrict chemicals in various ways were introduced earlier this year.  Now that many state legislative sessions have ended, it’s time to assess the results. 

Most of the bills failed to pass.  The following three bills were enacted: 

  • In the District of Columbia, the Mayor signed into law Carcinogenic Flame Retardant Prohibition Amendment Act of 2015, which set up a two-step road map to restrict the use of two flame retardant chemicals, first in children’s products and residential upholstered furniture and then to consumer products in general (other than exempt products).  The Congressional review period ended in August 2016; and the Act became part of D.C. law effective from May 12, 2016.  A separate alert on this legislation is available here

  • In Washington, the Governor signed into law H.B. 2545 / S.B. 6440, a bill that restricts manufacturing, knowingly selling, offering for sale, distributing for sale, or distributing for use five flame retardant chemicals in children’s products and residential upholstered furniture.  The law became effective on June 9, 2016. 

  • In New York, A.B. 172 / S. 5322 became the law after the Governor signed it on September 9, 2016.  This law effectively prohibits mercury-added wheel weights by disallowing registration of vehicles that use these weights and outlawing sale, offer to sell, or distribution of such weights.  The law became effective immediately upon enactment, but the deadlines for both requirements are in 2018. 

The plethora of legislation introduced in 2016, double the number of similar bills introduced in 2015, reflects the continued interest of states in regulating chemicals.  That only three of the bills passed is not unusual in light of recent experience. 

The impact of TSCA reform enactment on the introduction of state chemicals legislation will likely be seen early in 2017, when most bills for that legislative session will be introduced.  Stay tuned! 

© 2020 Beveridge & Diamond PC


About this Author

Mark Duvali, Environmental Attorney, Beveridge Diamond PC

Mark Duvall has over two decades of experience working in-house at large chemical companies.  His focus at Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has been on product regulation at the federal, state, and international levels across a wide range of programs, and occupational safety and health.  He co-chairs the Firm's Chemicals, Products, and Nanotechnology practice group. 

He heads the Firm’s Toxic and Harmful Substances/Toxic Substances Control Act practice.  His experience under TSCA includes enforcement actions, counseling, rulemaking, advocacy, and legislative actions.  He chairs the...

Ryan J. Carra, Environmental Attorney, Beveridge & Diamond Law Firm

Ryan Carra utilizes his extensive technical background to assist in counseling clients in the electronics, chemicals, and energy sectors regarding a variety of environmental regulatory issues.  Ryan has advised on questions relating to waste classification, chemical hazard classification, chemical notification requirements, and requirements relating to radiation-emitting equipment both domestically and abroad.  Specifically, Ryan is well versed in international agreements relating to materials restrictions and waste, such as the Basel and Minamata Conventions.

Ryan has reviewed marketing materials and drafted internal guidance documents for a large electronics company seeking to ensure compliance with environmental marketing enforcement guidance around the globe, including the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides.  He has also counseled clients on Clean Air Act enforcement matters and has worked closely with regulators to draft environmental covenants containing complex land use restrictions.

Timothy M. Serie, Beveridge Diamond, Chemical Product Litigation Lawyer, Compliance Counseling Attorney

Tim Serie focuses his practice on chemical, product, and environmental regulatory matters and litigation.  Prior to joining Beveridge & Diamond, Tim served for four years as counsel at the American Coatings Association (ACA). Highlights of his career with ACA include:

  • Regulatory Advocacy. Representing the paint and coatings industry in the administrative rulemaking process and with respect to agency actions such as: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) Definition of Solid Waste rule, the South Coast Air...

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