EPA Reviews Go From 90 Days to Six Months (or More)

Since Congress passed amendments to the Toxic Substance Control Act last year, Shaun Clancy sees noticeable delays in the EPA’s review process for new chemicals. The Director of Product Stewardship for Evonik says: “There are two big issues. One is that PMNs submitted on Day 1 of the new rules are still being reviewed in many cases today,” he says. “The second is that substances initially being reviewed under the old rules are being reviewed under new rules, and they’re taking a very long time.”

Clancy says companies have been advised to expect at least six months to complete a review that used to take 90 days. “While we recognize there can be times when the EPA needs more information and review periods can be extended, at present we don’t know how long reviews will take.”

He notes that some reviews have gone through, but the additional length of time creates an uncertainty for businesses’ product development processes. “It’s going to vary from company to company,” he says. “In some cases, the delays are making introductions of the product to market much longer than anticipated.”

The practical concern is that prospective customers will not always wait for the review process to finish before looking at alternatives. “Customers get excited during development; now they want to buy but they can’t,” says Clancy. “If they’re not patient, they may not be table to take advantage of our new chemistries, which sometimes have better EHS profiles than the ones they’re trying to replace.”


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