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James Votaw Quoted in Inside TSCA Article on EPA’s Strict Approach to Managing ‘Unreasonable Risk’

Keller and Heckman Partner James Votaw was quoted in the Inside TSCA article titled “Industry Attorney Says EPA Could Base TSCA Rules On ‘Range’ Of Risk.” The article refers to Keller and Heckman’s April 10, 2024, TSCA 30/30 webinar, where James questioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strict approach to managing “unreasonable risk” in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rules to date. 

“Unreasonable risk,” James explained during the webinar, “is not defined in statute, regulation, or guidance. There are no bright lines on what that value is.”

“For TSCA, EPA’s risk evaluations should include robust risk characterizations that, properly done, are upfront about the sources of uncertainty in EPA’s estimates and the quantitative effect on EPA choices on estimates of risk,” James told Inside TSCA after the webinar. “And they should clearly articulate the likelihood and magnitude of practical harm to different persons and the uncertainty associated with those estimates. Although rarely followed, EPA’s existing policy has long required this kind of characterization of risk, which is embodied in its Risk Characterization Handbook, finalized during the Clinton Administration.”

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