NASF Public Policy Update – April 2021

The National Association for Surface Finishing has released its Public Policy Update for April 2021. Some of the highlights in the update are summarized below. You can access the April 2021 Public Policy Update here.

COVID Stimulus: The American Rescue Plan Act Becomes Law — President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) on March 11, 2021. The act provides for $1.9 trillion in aid and relief to individuals, businesses and local governments that continue to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

President Biden Announces Infrastructure Plan — The Biden Administration released its broad plan to address the country’s infrastructure. The “American Jobs Plan” calls for a grand total of more than $2 trillion in federal investment in a broad array infrastructure initiatives and supports President Biden’s other priorities, including climate change and environmental justice.

Proposed Legislation to Offer Medical Monitoring for PFAS — Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Representative Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) has announced the “PFAS Accountability Act” that would create a medical monitoring program and encourage funding for safety research on the family of thousands of PFAS substances. The legislation would also allow courts to award medical monitoring, and would establish a federal cause of action allowing exposed people to bring claims against PFAS manufacturers.

California Announces Rule to Transition Hexavalent Chromium Processes to Trivalent Chromium — California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced its intent to initiate a rulemaking that would require the transition of all decorative chromium and functional chromium processes to trivalent and impose stringent control measures on other processes using hexavalent chromium. CARB has targeted the end of 2021 to finalize the rule.

EPA Grants Temporary Reprieve to TSCA PBT Chemical Prohibition — EPA issued a prohibition under section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for five persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals. To avoid imminent supply chain disruptions to large sectors of the economy, EPA agreed to a 180-day pause in enforcement of the rule and announced a 60-day comment period to re-examine the rule. Many surface finishing companies have received letters from customers asking them if any of the five PBT chemicals are used in the manufacture of any component or product that they purchase from them.

PFAS in Rainwater — New and phased-out PFAS substances were detected in rainwater collected in the Ohio-Indiana region. The next step in the research is to perform isomeric fingerprinting in the hopes of tracing some of the PFAS that were detected in rainwater back to local point sources in the region.

State Agency Chiefs Release Updated White Paper on PFAS — The Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) released an updated version of its “white paper” that outlines state efforts and considerations for future regulatory activities on PFAS.

Proposed Update to OSHA Hazard Communication Standard — OSHA recently issued a proposed rule to amend and update the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard. The proposal would update the current US regulation to align with the most recent version of the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals and would trigger additional compliance obligations for employers.

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