Date: May 24, 2016
On May 11, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted an Orientation Meeting for the recently activated Chemical Safety Advisory Committee (CSAC). The CSAC was formed under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) to provide expert scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) on the scientific basis for risk assessments, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches. The CSAC will be advising on EPA’s current TSCA Work Plan to assess and evaluate chemicals. The first chemical evaluation meeting of the CSAC is May 24-25 and involves a review of the Draft Risk Assessment for TSCA Work Plan Chemical, 1-Bromopropane.
The CSAC is composed of 10 members that are experts in the fields of toxicology, environmental risk assessment, exposure assessment, biology, epidemiology, and biochemistry, who were appointed by the Administrator of EPA following nominations. The members will have staggered appointment terms, which will generally last for 2-3 years. CSAC members include the following:
In addition to advising on existing chemical reviews, the mission of the CSAC was discussed during the orientation meeting as also providing support to EPA on risk assessment and methodologies in the evaluation of new chemicals under TSCA. CSAC representatives stated at the meeting that they do not anticipate a role for the Committee in the evaluation of PCBs, Mercury, Asbestos, Lead, or Formaldehyde at this time. Relative to perceived agency needs, the CSAC views the evaluations of these substances as relatively mature. Additionally, the CSAC anticipates an advisory role in ways to promote the development of safer chemicals.
The negotiated TSCA Reform Bill, HR 2576, provides for the establishment of a similar advisory committee, however, the composition is modified compared to the current CSAC membership. In particular, H.R. 2576 would require EPA’s Science Advisory Committee to be comprised of 1) government, labor, public health, public interest, animal protection, and industry representatives with scientific expertise; and 2) scientific experts with knowledge of chemical exposures to sensitive populations, such as women and children; additional members representing labor, industry, and public interest groups may need to be appointed to the CSAC. Additional members may also be needed to ensure the Committee has sufficient expertise on chemical exposures to sensitive populations.