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PCBs Regulations in United States of America

Saturday, February 13, 2016

In the USA, PCBs are regulated in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), acts that controls the usage of dangerous materials, like 15 U.S.C. §2601 et seq., as amended.

TSCA directs the Administrator of USEPA to promulgate regulations, using the least burdensome requirements possible, to govern the manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of a chemical substance or mixture, or any combination of such activities, if there is a reasonable basis to conclude that such activity presents or will present an “unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.”  15 U.S.C. §2605(a).

One of the unique concepts in TSCA is the directive for USEPA to consider whether a risk is unreasonable in promulgating the regulations and in granting applications for alternative use, storage, and disposal options.  TSCA §6(e), 15 U.S.C. §2605(c).

 In evaluating whether or not a risk is reasonable, USEPA considers the probability that a regulatory action will harm health or the environment, and the costs and benefits to society that are likely to result from the action.  In other words, USEPA must protect against unreasonable risks from PCBs by providing cost-effective and environmentally protective options that reduce exposure to PCBs.