In our last post, we mentioned that there is legislation currently under consideration in the House of Representatives which would update the Toxic Substances Control Act by expediting the review process for chemicals used in consumer products and give states more authority to pass their own regulations as well as provide companies better guidance on the use of chemicals in their manufacturing process.
The Toxic Substances Control Act entails compliance with various rules, and companies that fail to follow these rules can expect to face enforcement efforts from the EPA and state authorities, which result in fines and orders to make the appropriate changes to come into compliance with federal law.
Because compliance with the law is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency and state agencies, consumers do not have a direct part to play in holding companies accountable for violations. That being said, consumers who suspect that a business may not be in compliance with requirements under the law can inform the appropriate authorities so that it can be determined whether an investigation is necessary.
Some of the examples of violations of the law mentioned on the agency’s website include: a landlord’s removal of lead hazards from residential properties as part of an EPA settlement; settlements with painting companies to protect children from the hazards of lead-based paint; and fines against a company for violations of hazardous waste rules. Such cases often come to the attention of authorities when individuals notice a problem and report to the proper authorities.
Companies, of course, can and should work with build strong compliance programs so that they are in line with the federal law. Our firm can help provide such guidance to help ensure a business protects itself from potential liability.