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Herb Estreicher Quoted in Inside TSCA Article on TSCA Cumulative Risk Analyses

Keller and Heckman Partner Herb Estreicher was quoted in the Inside TSCA article, “Stakeholders Raise Competing Agendas For TSCA Cumulative Risk Analyses,” which discusses the different views of industry attorneys and environmentalists surrounding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) newly announced plans to incorporate cumulative risk assessment into Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reviews. Herb stated during Keller and Heckman’s January 11, 2023, TSCA 30/30 webinar that industry attorneys have been wary of calls for EPA to use cumulative risk assessments. “Even if there were individual uses of a chemical, which while standing alone would not pose an unreasonable risk, you actually quickly come to the conclusion that all uses of the chemical pose an unreasonable risk and must be banned,” he said. “And I think that’s exactly what the environmental groups are fighting for…Cumulative risk assessment actually predicts the outcome even before you start the review, in my view.” Herb went on to say that there are “significant research gaps” in performing such complex assessments. “It’s not totally certain how you would do this, how you would identify and characterize the factors that lead to cumulative harm,” he noted, along with mentioning that EPA has never conducted such reviews under TSCA, though other offices have used them. “It is quite a different way of doing risk assessments,” he said. “There are a few examples at least, some cumulative assessments are required under the Food Quality Protection Act for pesticides, food use pesticides.” Lastly, Herb pointed to the Biden administration’s focus on environmental justice at EPA and outside pressures from groups like the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) as major factors pushing EPA toward adopting some form of cumulative risk analysis.

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