Dear Mr. President,
The 250 member companies of the Consumer Specialty Products Association congratulate you on your successful inauguration and express our steadfast commitment to work with you and your administration to vastly improve the nation’s economy.
CSPA is the premier trade association representing the interests of companies engaged in the manufacture, formulation, distribution and sale of more than $100 billion annually in the U.S. of familiar consumer products that help household and institutional customers create cleaner and healthier environments. CSPA member companies employ hundreds of thousands of people globally.
CSPA represents products including disinfectants that kill germs in homes, hospitals and restaurants; air fresheners, room deodorizers, and candles that eliminate odors; pest management products for pets, home, lawn, and garden; cleaning products and polishes for use throughout the home and institutions; products used to protect and improve the performance and appearance of automobiles; aerosol products and a host of other products used every day.
Through our product stewardship program — Product Care® — and the association’s retail engagement on chemicals management, transparency and compliance issues, CSPA provides its members a platform for addressing product safety and sustainability.
I have outlined our top priorities for 2017 that involve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We look forward to working with you, your Administration and the 115th Congress on these issues that are of critical importance to our member companies.
Toxic Substances Control Act
The formulated products industry was at the forefront of the successful effort to modernize the law governing the safety of chemicals in commerce – the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). With strong bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, the law was updated and signed by President Obama in June 2016. The implementation of the new law will be a top priority for our members in 2017.
The new law is intended to enhance consumer confidence and to impose a single, science-based, federal regulatory system, rather than a patchwork of state-by-state laws, which can result in costly and overly burdensome regulations for businesses of all sizes.
- CSPA respectfully requests that you appoint strong leadership for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. The next EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention should be very familiar with the new law and understand the interests of all segments of the regulated community, including consumer product companies. Some of the most important rulemakings under the new law must be promulgated within the first few months of the Trump Administration, and the new Assistant Administrator will need to be in a position to make informed decisions quickly so the chemical industry receives the certainty that all industries and businesses need to create jobs and sustain economic growth.
- CSPA requests adequate EPA resources for implementation. While the industry funds a portion of EPA’s activities under the new law, appropriated funds cover the majority of the costs. Funding for TSCA implementation should increase significantly beyond the baseline set during the years when the law was essentially dormant. Delays on decisions would not only be costly to the chemical industry, but would also stifle job creation.
- CSPA asks for support from the White House and the EPA Administrator on TSCA. The new EPA Administrator and environmental advisors in the White House should understand that regulation under TSCA is not an impediment to business. In fact, regulation enhances U.S. brands by assuring retailers and consumers that a trusted regulator has evaluated risks from chemicals in a neutral, unbiased, and science-based manner. When science and the new law dictate that restrictions on chemicals are necessary, then EPA should follow through and issue regulations accordingly. Otherwise, some states will step in to fill the gap, creating a patchwork of laws that would be costly and overly burdensome for our member companies to navigate.
EPA’s Safer Choice Program
EPA’s Safer Choice Program is a voluntary program with safety and efficacy standards surrounding ingredients and product packaging. Any product that meets these higher standards is awarded the opportunity to use a program specific logo that can be used on the product label and in advertising, creating a market-based incentive for innovation. The Safer Choice logo helps consumers, businesses, and purchasers find products that are safer for human health and the environment while maintaining a high level of performance. With over 500 industry partners and more than 2,000 products, companies have made significant financial and employee investments to qualify for the Safer Choice logo.
- EPA should continue the Safer Choice voluntary program to allow products that meet the standards of the program to carry the logo. Many of our member companies have invested substantial resources to develop and market these products so the potential elimination of the program would negate all of the innovation that resulted from those costly efforts.
- EPA should expand the program to allow antimicrobial products that meet the standards to carry the logo, unless the products are specifically prohibited from using the Safer Choice logo under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). We have member companies that see the market value (through proactive innovation) of being part of the Safer Choice program.
Reauthorization of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act
Under FIFRA, a pesticide cannot be used legally if it has not been registered with EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. The Pesticide Registration Improvement Act of 2003 (PRIA) governs the EPA approval process for pesticides, including a fee schedule for pesticide registration requests. It lists specific timeframes for EPA to make a regulatory decision on pesticide registration and tolerance actions once submitted to the agency. The goal of PRIA was to create a more predictable and effective evaluation process for affected pesticide decisions and couple the collection of individual fees with specific decision review periods. It also promoted shorter decision review periods for reduced-risk applications. PRIA expires on September 30, 2017.
PRIA has been beneficial for stakeholders by providing predictable timelines for industry, new products for consumers, funds for completion of various registration activities (tolerance reassessment/re-registration), and funds for pesticide safety education for farmworkers.
Reauthorization of PRIA, dubbed PRIA-4, has brought together a coalition that includes CSPA, CropLife America, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), American Chemical Council Biocides Panel, International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA), Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Biopesticide Industry Alliance (BPIA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Farmworker Justice and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. The coalition’s proposal is a consensus document that clarifies the intent of the original bill and continues the fee for service program, with some technical adjustments and increased stable funding. Congress should move quickly to reauthorize the highly successful pesticide registration program and provide certainty for the regulated community.
- CSPA respectfully requests that you support the legislation that will be introduced shortly and must pass by September 2017.
- CSPA asks that you sign the bill when it reaches your desk, thereby providing predictability for companies, which will help them to innovate new products, helping grow the economy, and providing important health tools necessary to protect Americans from insect borne disease.
Achieve Air Quality Improvements while Maintaining Industry’s Ability to Innovate and Expand Economic Growth
Since the late 1980s, CSPA member companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in consumer products to help improve air quality while maintaining our industry’s ability to supply effective and affordable products that consumers can rely on to benefit their health, safety and quality of life each and every day.
Specifically, CSPA worked cooperatively with EPA in developing the current national consumer products regulation. Moreover, because many consumer products are manufactured for a nationwide or regional marketplace, CSPA has worked cooperatively with the California Air Resources Board to support technologically and commercially feasible regulations that California needed to comply with the federal ozone standards. CSPA is on record supporting regionally consistent regulations in 16 other states to improve air quality without imposing unnecessary impediments to interstate commerce.
However, CSPA member companies have serious concerns about the feasibility of achieving the recently promulgated 2015 national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone within the current timeframe established by EPA. In addition, we are very concerned about the cost burdens that the scheduled implementation of the ozone standards will impose on our country:
- Short-term: restricts businesses from expanding existing facilities or building new facilities in areas of the country that fail to comply with the 2015 ozone standards.
- Long-term: requires states to implement updated regulatory requirements that will force companies to expend significant amounts of money to reformulate their products.
During the 114th Congress, CSPA joined with other industry groups supporting commonsense legislation to: (1) provide states with more time and flexibility to implement the 2015 ozone standards by extending regulatory deadlines; (2) reform the regulatory review period for NAAQS; and (3) improve the regulatory process to include consideration of feasibility, cost and additional information.
- It is anticipated that similar legislation will be introduced and passed by the 115th Once Congress acts to pass this necessary legislation, we would respectfully urge you to sign the bill(s) and enact laws to achieve improvements in air quality while allowing companies to innovate and help the economy grow.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) provides the national framework for the solid waste program established by Congress and gives EPA the authority to develop the program, regulations, policy, and guidance for the handling of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste. While non-hazardous solid waste is regulated under the statute, states play an important role in the implementation and may enact more rigorous standards. Hazardous waste, regulated under another section of the statute, is treated differently—it is regulated by the states and if a state fails to have a program, EPA implements the requirements for the state.
EPA recently released the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule, which contains suggested changes in RCRA regulations and RCRA policy and guidance. EPA has stated its intention to develop a proposed rule that would address aerosol cans as universal waste and, therefore, they would not need to be classified as hazardous waste.
- CSPA urges EPA to promptly draft and publish for comment the proposed regulation indicating that aerosol containers be classified as universal waste. CSPA member companies support this action, which would increase the recycling of aerosol containers.
Thank you for your consideration of CSPA member companies’ most important public policy issues. We would be truly grateful for the opportunity to brief White House and EPA staff on our positions.
Stephen J. Caldeira
President & CEO