The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profits to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) to provide advice and recommendations to a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. The panel will focus on the agency’s development of a proposed rule to address unreasonable risks identified in EPA’s recently completed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation for this chemical.
Under TSCA, EPA is required to evaluate the risks associated with existing chemicals in commerce using the best available science before taking action to address any unreasonable risk. The agency issued a final risk evaluation, Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos, in December 2020, showing unreasonable risks to workers, occupational non-users (ONUs), consumers and bystanders under certain conditions of use. EPA is now moving to the risk-management step in the TSCA process by working to draft a regulation to protect public health from the unreasonable risks identified in the final risk evaluation.
The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to establish a SBAR Panel for rules that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBAR panel will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and EPA.
SERs will be selected by the SBAR Panel to provide comments on behalf of their company, community, or organization and advise the panel on the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities. EPA is seeking self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs.
SERs provide advice and recommendations to the panel. The SERs participate in consultations with the SBAR Panel via telephone, webinar, or in-person in one or two meetings and are given an opportunity to submit written comments to the panel. Self-nominations may be submitted through the link below and must be received by Feb. 25, 2021.
In addition to engaging with small businesses, EPA is executing a robust outreach effort on risk management that includes formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes and environmental justice communities. There will also be an open public comment on any draft risk management regulation.
While outreach and stakeholder engagement on risk-management activities for this chemical will continue to move forward, EPA is actively reviewing the final risk evaluations to ensure it uses the best available science and protects human health and the environment, in accordance with the Executive Orders and other direction provided by the Biden-Harris administration. The agency will keep stakeholders updated as decisions are made and next steps are determined.