Toy Association Meets With EPA; Continues Push for Risk Management Rule to Aid Members

epa-logoAugust 31, 2020 | The Toy Association’s Alan Kaufman, senior vice president of technical affairs, met with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) August 28 to advocate on behalf of members for a risk management rule as a necessary action to implement the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

The proposed rule would ensure procedural consistency, guidance, and transparency for the agency’s risk management process, giving members greater predictability about how identified risks would be regulated for specific uses.

Earlier this summer The Toy Association helped draft and submit a petition asking the EPA to issue this rule. Kaufman’s meeting with Andrew Wheeler, U.S. EPA administrator, and Alexandra Dunn, assistant administrator at the U.S. EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, allowed him to underscore the toy industry’s position on the issue.

Administrator Wheeler was receptive to The Toy Association’s concerns and indicated agreement that such a rule may be necessary; however, he said that he would need a more in-depth briefing from staff. Given time and resource constraints at the EPA, movement on the issue is not likely to happen before January. The Toy Association is prepared to reinforce its ask should there be a change of administrations.

“In the absence of the rule, the agency may unnecessarily default to the most stringent controls once a risk to the environment or human health has been identified – a risk management process that is not suitable for the additional uses included in the Lautenberg Act amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA),” noted Kaufman. “Our proposed rule, both fair and transparent, would be informed by public comment and not outcome-determinative. It would identify less restrictive measures and formalize decision-making for when the agency should utilize those measures.”

Members will be kept apprised of progress on this issue. Questions may be directed to Alan Kaufman.