Policy Statement on a New Chemicals Category for Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals
On November 4, 1999, EPA issued its final policy statement (64 FR 60194) on a category for PBT new chemicals. The policy statement is important in our new chemical assessment and TSCA regulatory programs, and represents the first formal statement of national policy regarding new chemical "persistent organic pollutants" ("POPs"). The policy statement provides guidance criteria for persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity for new chemicals and advises the industry about our regulatory approach for chemicals meeting the criteria. The October 5, 1998 proposed policy statement (63 FR 53417) solicited comments on proposed criteria for identifying PBT chemical substances and their supporting scientific rationale. The final policy statement responded to comments received by the Agency on the proposed notice and restated the policy and criteria with minor revisions and clarification.
Internationally, the October 5, 1998 notice alerted the parties involved in negotiation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) POPs Convention to the need for inclusion of a new chemicals provision in the Convention. The issuance of the final policy statement will reaffirm US leadership on this issue and serve as a model for other countries in taking steps to discourage the introduction of POPs as new chemicals and pesticides.