EPA Finalizes Stronger TSCA Chemical Risk Evaluation Process

On May 3, EPA published its final rule to improve its chemical risk evaluation process under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the Federal Register. The 2016 TSCA amendments required EPA to establish this process, which is the basis for EPA’s risk management rules to protect public health and the environment from harmful chemicals. This is the second version of the final rule after EPA’s 2017 rule was challenged in court. The changes in this final rule include:

  • A requirement that risk evaluations are comprehensive in scope and do not exclude conditions of use or exposure pathways, including drinking water.
  • Considerations for multiple exposure pathways (e.g., in air and water) to the same chemical, and combined risks from multiple chemicals.
  • Assurance the agency will base its decisions on the best available science and that risk evaluations will be peer reviewed.
  • New procedures and criteria for whether and how EPA will improve transparency.
  • A requirement to consider impacts to overburdened communities and susceptible populations.

For reference, view ASDWA’s comments on EPA’s 2023 revised procedural framework rule that supported changes to evaluate chemical risks from all exposure pathways, including drinking water. For example, EPA previously excluded drinking water exposure risks from the 2020 supplemental analysis to the draft risk evaluation for 1,4-dioxane.

For more information, read the EPA press release and learn about the TSCA risk evaluation process.