EPA Plans for Nanotechnology Regulation

January 16, 2007
by MICHAEL NINES
Client Alert Newsletter Forecast 2007

In early 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") will issue a final white paper on further research needed to address nanotechnology. In the absence of a more robust base of scientific information regarding the risks and benefits of nanotechnology, the regulation process affecting nanotechnology development and deployment will likely remain in flux in the coming years. In the interim, EPA will make regulatory decisions on a case-by-case basis under existing product review authorities such as the Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA"), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act ("FIFRA"), and the Clean Air Act.

EPA is launching a collaborative process to design a TSCA Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program supporting its nanomaterials efforts. Under the program, EPA will gather new test data and data from manufacturers and processors of existing nanoscale materials to bolster the scientific foundation for future nanotechnology regulation. EPA will also use the program to identify and encourage use of a basic set of risk management practices for nanotechnology development and commercialization.