American Bar Association
Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know

Pesticides, Chemical Regulation, and Right-to-Know

Committee Related Events


The Story of TSCA Reform
July 14, 2016

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, amending the Toxic Substances Control Act for the first time since its passage in 1976. While environmental organizations, public health advocates, the regulated community, and EPA have all supported updating the law since at least 2009, political challenges seemed destined to prevent comprehensive reform. Nonetheless, dedicated advocates from various stakeholder groups and committed members of Congress and their staffs overcame the hurdles and passed the most significant federal environmental law in a quarter century. How did stakeholders and elected officials negotiate the political gridlock surrounding most recent attempts at environmental legislation? How were major issues such as the preemption of state law and financing addressed? What other roadblocks were overcome, and what can environmental, public health, and industry advocates learn from the experience? The Environmental Law Institute assembled a knowledgeable panel comprised of individuals and organizations critical to TSCA reform, and discussed how ultimate success was reached. Speakers shared insights from the road to reform and fielded questions from the audience.

John Pendergrass, VP of Programs & Publications, Environmental Law Institute (moderator)
Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell PC
Sarah Brozena, Senior Director, Regulatory & Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council
Richard Denison, Lead Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
David Goldston, Director of Government Affairs, Natural Resources Defense Council
Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety & Pollution Prevention, US EPA
David J. McCarthy, Chief Counsel, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, House Committee on Energy and Commerce
Senator Tom Udall, US Senate (D-NM)

The video of the panel discussion is here

July 15, 2016, Free Friday Forum

SPEAKER: Michael Walls, Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council.

TIME/LOCATION: 8:30 - 9:30a.m.(ET) American Chemistry Council (ACC is connected to Union Station by an indoor corridor. There is a parking garage in ACC's building).

RSVP REQUIRED: RSVP required for in-person attendees and those attending via conference call. Please send your RSVP to Joanne Thelmo ( by Wednesday, July 13th.

SPEAKER BIO:As Vice President of Regulatory and Technical Affairs of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), Mr. Walls has a role in policy development as he oversees the issue, regulatory process and agency experts whose work provides a foundation for ACC’s advocacy efforts.

Mr. Walls has been with the ACC for 22 years and has experience in a wide range of U.S. domestic chemical regulatory issues, including the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), among others. His experience also includes work on international chemical regulatory issues, including the European Commission’s proposed regulation for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) and the Chemical Weapons Convention. He has represented the industry in several international chemical negotiations, and in support of U.S. ratification and implementation of those agreements.

Mr. Walls began his work at ACC in the Office of the General Counsel, where he first provided legal advice on a range of international environmental and trade issues and product regulation. Before joining ACC, Mr. Walls was in private law practice in Washington, D.C., where he represented domestic chemical manufacturers. He also served on the staff of U.S. Sen. Jim Sasser (D-Tenn.). Mr. Walls was an adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Maryland’s School of Law and American University’s Washington College of Law.

Mr. Walls received his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, his law degree from Syracuse University College of Law and his master’s degree in business administration from the Georgetown University School of Business.

July 19, 2016, Meet the ABA/SEER Event for "Summers"

Tuesday, July 19, 2016, 4-6 p.m. (ET)

Arnold & Porter

601 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC

This is always a well-attended event in which our Committee, working collaboratively with the other SEER Committee and the EPA’s Summer Law Clerks Program Coordinator, hosts Summer Legal Interns/Summer Law Clerks/Summer Associates who have an interest in environmental law and are spending the summer working in Government Agencies, at NGOs, and in law firms.

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform

The American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Pesticide, Chemical Regulation and Right-to-Know Committee, with the support of the Section’s Special Committee on Congressional Relations, has developed a legal overview of the current TSCA statute and four white papers targeting challenging legal issues raised by TSCA reform, including:

  • Management of trade secret and confidential business information.

  • Development of federal pre-emption policies governing state tort law.

  • Development of federal pre-emption policies governing state statutes and regulation.

  • Development of appropriate legal standards to guide regulatory action.

These papers can be found on SEER’s new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform Page.

Message from the Chair

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you. August 31st will mark the end of my term as Chair of the Pesticides, Chemical Regulations and Right to Know (PCRRTK) Committee. And, it is my hope that during my two year term I have been able to make a positive impact on both the current and future of PCRRTK Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to lead and for your patience as I grew in my position.

During the next few months, Keith Matthews will be transitioning to take over as Chair. With his wealth and depth of experience in both the public and private sector coupled with his sense of humor, I have no doubt he will do a great job leading us.

My journey in leading PCRRTK Committee wasn't done alone. I was accompanied by a team of dynamic Vice Chairs, former Chairs, members and volunteers who shared in our successes.

So I would like to take this opportunity to thank a number of people for their hard work and dedication, and without whom running the PCRRTK wouldn't have been possible.

In particular I'd like to thank Lynn Bergeson, former PCRRTK Chair and our Editor extraordinaire who tirelessly works on our newsletter for her wisdom, continued support, guidance and encouragement, Charles Franklin, former PCRRTK and at-large Vice Chair for his invaluable suggestions and introducing me to the PCRRTK Committee in 2011, Martha Marrapese, former Chair and at-large Vice Chair for her confidence in me to be Chair and enthusiastic support and all of the Vice Chairs, former Chairs, Friday Forum sponsors and guest speakers, and volunteers for their dedication in serving with me. There are not enough words to express the thanks and appreciation of these great leaders. For without their passion and undying commitment to devote many hours of volunteer service, we would not be the vibrant committee that we are and will continue to be.

My sincerest thanks to our ABA headquarters team: Dana Jonusaitis, our ABA SEER Director, for her management, Fawziah Bajwa and Julie McCullough for their dynamic work on our programs, Cristina Vautier and Toma Toma for their remarkable support, Romeo Talento and Peter Clark, Technology Manager for taking terrific care of our members and website. Their invaluable and ongoing support throughout these last two years are greatly appreciated.

But most importantly, my thanks go out to you, the PCRRTK Members, for all your support during these past two years. For without you, the PCRRTK Committee would not exist. It has been my pleasure and an honor to serve you.

With heartfelt thanks and appreciation,

Joanne Thelmo

Related Products

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Matthews, Keith

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Modified by Peter Clark on September 26, 2016

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