EPA, ECHA Enter Partnership for Chemical Data Sharing

Arguably the two top environmental acronymn heavyweights, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have just announced a partnership that will promote enhanced technical cooperation on chemical management activities.  This is another sign that America’s revamping of chemical regulation known as TSCA reform will likely become more REACH-like and more solidified.  The question is, how soon?

ECHA is the agency that implements the European Union’s chemical management program known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals).  The REACH regulation has taken the world by storm.  EPA said in a release that the newly-announced partnership is part of EPA’s commitment to “improve chemical safety.”

One of the major anticipated areas of collaboration, say the agencies, will be on the exchange of data and information.

For example, the statement of intent will promote the exchange of non-confidential information on hazards, uses, and substance identification between ECHA and EPA, including data collected under REACH and by REACH software.  The two agencies will also share criteria for managing confidential business information with the goal to increase the availability of chemical information to the public.

Overall this joining of efforts and sharing of best practices is probably a good idea.  We just hope for more efficiency rather than another dimension of beurocracy.  For more on this, see details at the EPA page.

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About Kal

Kal Kawar, CIH, PE, has a bachelor's in chemical engineering and a master's in industrial hygiene. His professional experience includes serving as staff industrial hygienist for IBM's New York semiconductor manufacturing facility, and as industrial hygienist for IBM’s US headquarters. Now executive vice president of Actio, Kal taps more than 20 years' worth of chemical engineering, industrial hygiene, and environmental engineering experience. His far-reaching expertise with global regulatory challenges created by EPA, TSCA, REACH, RoHS, WEEE – and hundreds of others – aid in developing Actio software solutions for MSDS management, raw material disclosure compliance, and product stewardship in a supply chain.