All Published Articles

Lynn L. Bergeson, "OSHA Considers Revisions to Process Safety Management Standard," Chemical Processing, October 25, 2022.

In August, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it is considering revisiting the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard. This column summarizes why OSHA is thinking of amending the standard and what you can do to engage in the process.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Toxics Regulation: A Brave New World Catching Many Off Guard," PLI Current, Vol. 6 (2022).

Given the passage of time since the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) was enacted in 1976, the public’s growing awareness of the potential for exposure from chemicals in “articles,” or finished goods, during use, and greater focus on the implications of end-of-life product disposal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation of articles under TSCA has shifted significantly. Historically, EPA elected not to regulate articles for the most part. EPA’s more recent announcement of its intent to regulate chemicals in articles to a much greater extent has caught many off guard and reflects a significant shift in U.S. chemical regulation policy.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Targets PFAS Cleanup," Chemical Processing, September 23, 2022.

Cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) are about to get a lot more expensive. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on September 6, 2022, that it will propose to designate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), two of the most widely used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as hazardous substances under CERCLA. The rulemaking would also require entities immediately to report releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity (RQ). This article discusses the proposal.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Due diligence in mergers and acquisitions involving chemical products," Financier Worldwide, October 2022.

The scope of what diligence is due in any corporate transaction has evolved greatly over the past decade, particularly with respect to transactions involving chemical products. Once upon a time, transactional due diligence involving chemical products, whether ‘neat’ (pure) chemicals, formulations or end-use products, typically consisted of a phase I or phase II environmental site assessment (ESA) focusing on identifying contamination derivative of chemical releases into environmental media as effluent, emissions, fugitive releases or waste, as well as quantifying the potential for such releases to pose litigation risks or regulatory enforcement, or require costly remediation. Increasingly, parties to corporate transactions now continue to focus on these liabilities and on the compositional elements of chemical products themselves as potential sources of liability and commercial disruption. This article explains why the transition to chemical product due diligence has been slow and offers a few tips to help assess what diligence is due in corporate transactions involving chemical products.

Lynn L. Bergeson and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., "Optimizing the Toxic Substances Control Act to Achieve Greener Chemicals," nr&e, Summer 2022.

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) offers tremendous unrealized potential to promote the development of more sustainable industrial chemicals. Despite the fact that Congress significantly amended TSCA in 2016 specifically to diminish the human health and environmental footprint of industrial chemicals, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is interpreting the revised law in ways that ironically discourage the commercialization of new chemicals and reinforce a “new chemical bias” that undermines the commercialization of greener, more sustainable industrial chemicals. This article explores the EPA policies and practices that blunt the commercialization of promising, more sustainable industrial chemicals and offers recommendations to optimize TSCA to achieve greener chemicals.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Eases TSCA Testing Demands," Chemical Processing, August 15, 2022.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued two new documents for recipients of Section 4 test orders under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The good news is these documents offer relief to stakeholders who otherwise would be responsible for chemical testing costs for certain chemicals they produced or imported.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EPA Seeks Input From Small Businesses," Chemical Processing, August 1, 2022.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invited on July 6, 2022, small businesses to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SER) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel. The EPA seeks self-nominations directly from entities that may be subject to the rule requirements; self-nominations were due July 20, 2022. The panel focuses on the agency’s proposed rule to collect data to inform each step of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation and risk management process. Participating in the SBAR, or at least tracking its activities and engaging as much as possible, is encouraged. The reasons for engagement are discussed in this article.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "How does a recent Supreme Court ruling apply to the EPA’s implementation of TSCA?," Chemical Watch, July 27, 2022.

Since the US Supreme Court issued its blockbuster ruling in West Virginia v EPA, 597 US _ 2022 WL 2347278 (30 June 2022), many are asking whether the Court’s amplification of the 'major questions doctrine' (MQD) might be used to seek to limit the US EPA’s authority in implementing Congress’s 2016 amendments to TSCA, the Frank R Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg). Lynn L Bergeson, managing partner of the law firm Bergeson & Campbell, says there's little doubt that West Virginia v EPA will be used to seek to limit the agency's authority in implementing the 2016 amendments to the law. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Compliance: Get Ready For Superfund Excise Tax," Chemical Processing, June 22, 2022.

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), reinstating the Superfund excise tax on certain chemical substances under Sections 4661 and 4671 of the Internal Revenue Code (Tax Code). Effective July 1, 2022, the tax many were glad to see expire is back; the first deposit of the tax is due on July 29, 2022. This article discusses the tax and the challenges it poses.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Environmental Justice and Enforcement in America: what investors need to know," Financier Worldwide, July 2022.

By any standard, federal enforcement of environmental laws in the US has been uneven, to say the least. The prevailing perception is that democrats are ‘greener’ than are republicans when it comes to environmental enforcement. The data is quite scattered, however, and it would seem no party has cornered the environmental protection market. The Trump administration may be the exception that proves the rule.

Most would agree civil and criminal enforcement case numbers were significantly below those of other administrations, all by design. A raft of other actions taken by the Trump administration crystallised that environmental enforcement was definitely not top of mind. Priorities today are decidedly different, and investors need to know the implications of the Biden administration’s commitment to the twin goals of environmental protection and environmental justice. This article explores these topics.

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