EPA Announces Updated Chemical Review Status Tracker
On August 1, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has updated its online chemical review status tracker. The Agency has committed itself to increasing transparency in both its information and its endeavors, and this update represents an important step in its efforts to do so. We present a brief review of the update and look at some of the key benefits associated with it.
About the Updated Status Tracker
Under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA has already evaluated more than 2,000 new chemical cases and made determinations on whether the chemicals present an unreasonable health or environmental risk. Currently there are approximately 443 active chemical cases under review by the Agency at various stages of evaluation:
- Incoming Cases
- Risk Assessment
- Risk Characterization
- Regulatory Decision and Action Development
- Final Determination
Among these are cases for Premanufacture Notices (PMNs), Significant New Use Notices (SNUNs), and Microbial Commercial Activity Notices (MCANs).
With the updated chemical review status tracker, individuals can now search monthly updates, by case number, for any PMN, SNUN, or MCAN under active consideration by the EPA. In being able to identify cases on an individual basis, the tracker enables access to significantly more information than would otherwise be possible without this ability. An additional benefit associated with the updated status tracker is that it permits users to download the list of all active cases and the associated status for each.
The Agency recently noted the importance of these updates, with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stating “By making this tracker available online, for the first time the public will easily be able to learn where a particular new chemical is in the EPA review process. With this step the agency is following through on its commitment to transparency and is providing applicants, stakeholders and the public with an easy-to-use tool to monitor the progress of new chemical safety reviews.” The EPA intends to continue improving information access by increasing the update frequency for the tracker in 2020.
Accessing More Information
The EPA's chemical review process is an integral part of risk assessment for new chemical substances. Likewise, the recent update of the Agency’s chemical review status tracker is a valuable part of making associated information easily available to the public.
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