Action Alert | Report Highlights Chemicals that Could Receive Additional Regulatory or Legislative Attention, Also Suggests Bans on Certain Products Containing Flame Retardants

Action Request | Contact AIV to Stay Informed and Engaged

As noted below, it would benefit all manufacturers to be aware of and review the draft biennial report of the Interagency Committee on Chemical Management, particularly those that file reports under Tier II of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and especially those that make use of any chemicals identified as a risk to human health or the environment in Appendix C of the report, or those that make products that incorporate a flame retardant.

These issues are in addition to those outlined in the October 11 post on chemical issues (click here for the post) that manufacturers should be aware of and learn more about.

Potentially impacted manufacturers should contact AIV at info@aivt.org with any questions and to discuss options for keeping informed and potentially engaging in any related regulatory or legislative developments.

As noted below, the ICCM report is open for comment through December 5, and is expected to be finalized for December 15.

Key Points of the Draft Biennial ICCM Report

Vermont manufacturers are strongly urged to review the draft of the Interagency Committee on Chemical Management’s first regular biennial report, which among other issues gives preliminary indications as to what chemicals might be subject to further regulatory or legislative attention.  The ICCM report is open for comment through December 5, and is expected to be finalized for December 15.  Contact information can be found here.

The full report should be reviewed (click here for the main draft report, contact AIV at info@aivt.org for appendices other than Appendix C linked below), but there are three sections of particular interest to manufacturers:

II. Recommended Statutory Amendments or Regulatory Changes to Existing Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements that are Required to Facilitate Assessment of Risks to Human Health and the Environment Posed by Chemical Use in the State

This section follows up on initial recommendations in the ICCM’s July 1, 2018 report (see related post here and click here for the July 1 report) outlining a general framework for state review, coordination, and analysis of risks to human health and the environment posed by a chemical, class of chemicals, or grouping of chemicals, including the engagement of a technical team and citizen advisory panel before the ICCM would provide recommendations for further action.  The proposed process is laid out in greater detail in this report, and stakeholders from the regulated community should review it.

IV. Summary of Identified Risks to Human Health and the Environment from Reported Chemical Inventories

Section III of the report addresses an initial inventory of chemicals used in Vermont based on Tier II reporting required of 2632 Vermont facilities under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), which is incorporated in Vermont law under 20 VSA §31.

Section IV of the report includes Appendix C, which lists the 719 unique chemicals and substances reported under Tier II that included a Chemical Abstract Number (CAS number).  It further includes initial assessments by the Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets (AAFM), Department of Public Safety (DPS), Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the Department of Health (VDH) as to whether that agency or department considers the given chemical a risk to human health or the environment.  Section IV of the report provides some explanation of the assessment process.

Although this is a broad initial step in reviewing chemicals used in Vermont, those companies that utilize any of the 719 chemicals identified by any of the agencies and departments as a risk to human health or the environment should pay particular attention to the continued work of the ICCM and related agencies and departments, and should contact AIV at info@aivt.org to discuss options for keeping informed and potentially engaging in any related regulatory or legislative developments.  Click here to review  Appendix C.

VI. Recommended Legislative or Regulatory Action to Reduce Risks to Human Health and the Environment from Regulated and Unregulated Chemicals of Emerging Concern

While the chemicals identified in Section IV as being of some concern to regulators could be expected to get greater attention that could lead to further regulatory or legislative considerations, Section VI goes somewhat further on a particular catagory of chemicals, suggesting that legislation could be considered to ban certain products with flame retardants banned by other states.  The section does not make specific recommendations, but does cite legislation enacted in California and Maine (click here to review California’s law and click here to review Maine’s).  This should be of particular interest to manufacturers incorporating flame retardants in their products, and especially manufacturers of products for juveniles, mattresses, and upholstered furniture, which are among the primary targets of such legislation in other states.

Potentially impacted manufacturers should contact AIV at info@aivt.org to discuss options for keeping informed and potentially engaging in any related regulatory or legislative developments.