By Mike Verespej, Plastics News staff
Baltimore, Maryland -- To better reflect its mission, the unit of the Environmental Protection Agency responsible for the management of toxic chemicals will change its name on Earth Day, 22 April, from the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances to the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
"We wanted to make the name change to better reflect the critical work we are doing to make sure the chemicals manufactured and used in this country are correct," said Steve Owens, assistant administrator of the EPA unit, at Global Chem 2010 in Baltimore on 30 March. "That will clarify better what we are working on."
OCSPP, as the unit will be called starting in late April, is currently developing action plans to manage chemical of concerns, such as bisphenol A, and is responsible for the management of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which is expected to revised sometime within the next year.
EPA's ability to regulate chemicals TSCA is extremely limited as the current statute requires them to find the "least burdensome way" to regulate chemicals. It has only regulated five chemicals in the 34-year history of the act.
Last September, EPA outlined its six principles of TSCA reform, but no bill has been introduced yet in Congress to reform TSCA. The chemical industry, non-government organizations and environmental groups all agree that reform is unlikely to occur in 2010 even though the chemical industry a year ago joined the increasing number of voices calling for TSCA reform.