31 Aug 2023

Regulatory Review: July–August 2023

Trudy Watson-Leung, SETAC

Given increasingly busy schedules, we all benefit from digests that give us a quick way to review the news, hot research, upcoming due dates. We believe it would be beneficial to monitor upcoming regulatory developments, forums, webinars, and other events pertaining to chemical regulation and then share these with the SETAC audience. If you would like to contribute, please send along any pertinent and useful items to globe@setac.org.

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

ECHA’s Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) adopted its final opinion to support an EU-wide gradual ban on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in firefighting foams, with an expectation that this restriction could reduce PFAS emissions by 13,200 tons over 30 years. Next steps include ECHA sending the restriction proposal to the European Commission (EC) who will decide whether a restriction is necessary.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

The OECD released the Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) 2023 Global Report. The report noted that continued gender discrimination is inhibiting global efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Empowerment through increased access to land-use and ownership, improved balance in decision-making, paid care and domestic work, reduced social and institutional discrimination and gender stereotyping in the fields of climate resilient agriculture, disaster risk reduction and renewable energy would empower women as agents of change and boost the world’s capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)

ECCC announced draft Clean Electricity Regulations. The draft regulations are designed to help Canada achieve a net-zero electricity grid by 2035, in close collaboration with provinces, territories, Indigenous partners, industry and others.

The comment period for the ECCC Consultation document has closed for Pollution prevention planning notice for primary food plastic packaging: Targets for reduction, reuse, redesign, and recycled content. The Canadian government proposed requirements for large grocery retailers to prepare and implement pollution prevention plans with an ambitious aim towards zero plastic waste from primary food plastic packaging.

U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)

USEPA Releases Initial Nationwide Monitoring Data on 29 PFAS and Lithium
The USEPA released the first of 12 sets of data to be released through 2026 on PFAS and lithium in drinking water. The monitoring data will help the agency make determinations about future actions to protect public health under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This action advances the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to combat PFAS pollution and safeguard drinking water for all people.

USEPA Initiates New Review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards to Reflect the Latest Science
The USEPA announced a new review of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to ensure they reflect the most current, relevant science and protect people’s health from these harmful pollutants. The USEPA intends to incorporate the advice and recommendations of the independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) and promises to move swiftly to execute this new review of the underlying science and standards – prioritizing transparency, scientific integrity, inclusive public engagement and environmental justice.

The USEPA released Appendix E: Detecting and evaluating biological effects of contaminants of emerging concern in Great Lakes tributaries. This report provides an overview of a five-year research effort, aimed at developing approaches and tools that can be used to predict or detect biological activities associated with contaminants of emerging concern, provide insights into their sources, define the types of adverse effects to wildlife that might be associated with those exposures, and understand what classes of organisms may be vulnerable.

A USEPA report on a national, multi-sector scale on Climate Change and Children’s Health and Well-Being in the United States was released. The report quantifies projected health effects associated with extreme heat, air quality, changing seasons, flooding, and infectious diseases and where possible, considers how these risks disproportionately fall on children from overburdened populations. 

Author's contact: science@setac.org