A list of five mercury compounds that will be prohibited from export as of January 1, 2020 is the latest step taken by the EPA to implement the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which was signed into law in June.

The reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gives the EPA a number of responsibilities that must be completed within a tight timeframe. On June 29, 2016, the agency outlined its plan for fulfilling that mandate. The plan included issuing the list of prohibited mercury compounds list (which it did on August 26, 2016) , which will prevent the ability to convert these compounds to elemental mercury after export from the United States.

The EPA has also held a series of public meetings during which it gathered comments and feedback from stakeholders the processes that will be used to establish fees and prioritize and evaluate chemicals under the new law.

The first determinations on seven premanufacture notices under TSCA were completed in July, 2016. The new law requires the agency to make affirmative determinations on new chemical substances before they can enter the marketplace. The EPA says additional determinations will be released as they are completed.

And, the agency is establishing the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) to provide independent advice and expert consultation on scientific and technical aspects on risk evaluations, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches.

The new amendments to TSCA are expected to bring about significant improvements to public health.

More about the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act and EPA’s implementation activities and to sign up for updates, visit: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/frank-r-lautenberg-chemical-safety-21st-century-act