U.S. Color Pigments Industry Value Chain Feels Impacts of Broader Chemical Industry Conditions

The regulatory landscape for color pigments manufacturing, pigments processing, and pigments conversion companies is about to become more complicated - and costly - due to broader chemical industry policies and regulatory activity, as being advocated by national, regional, and state governments.

Current policy issues and activity have been captured in trade press articles, at industry trade shows, and across the wider media. Some of the more prominent topics at the forefront currently are:

  • PFAS
  • Extended Producer Responsibility
  • Environmental Justice
  • ESG/Sustainability, and
  • Chemicals Risk Assessments

The focus of a recent Industry Coordinating Group (ICG) meeting was Canada’s recently published Draft PFAS Report, a government publication outlining how Canadian regulatory agencies intend to implement a PFAS chemicals regime. CPMA technical experts believe this indicates Canada's intentions to follow in the footsteps of the European Chemicals Agency, where four organic pigments are being consider as PFAS chemicals.

At a recent meeting conducted by the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA), the Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Environmental Justice & Civil Rights described their very aggressive implementation of a $3 Billion grant program for local community organizations. This program will enable local community groups to establish new chemical facility (including warehouses) monitoring programs outside of existing regulatory requirements.

Such grants may result in new, burdensome layers of federal regulatory requirements and unnecessary associated costs in the name of Environmental Public Health Protection. At the SOCMA meeting, specialty chemical industry executives observed that EPA Environmental Justice policy initiatives conflict directly with Biden Administration Economic Policies recently set forth with a renewed momentum of encouraging the reshoring of manufacturing back to the U.S.A., along with the development of “clean energy” industries.

Another currently trending topic is chemicals risk assessments under TSCA, which as currently in place, is stifling US innovation and poses barriers for specialty manufacturers and related businesses to bring new chemicals to market. The initial four chemical risk assessments as published by EPA have resulted in regulations that essentially ban or restrict most commercial uses of each of the four substances. Furthermore, the process for approving new chemistry technologies under EPA's New Chemicals program has reached an egregious and unlawful three years, and costing companies - many of which are small- mid-sized companies - hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that's before new chemical submissions even receive a final determination/approval. Even if EPA approves a new chemistry product, the Agency is also imposing significant restrictions on its use, which not only stifles chemistry innovation and economic growth, but prevents American businesses from attaining the highest levels competitiveness in the global marketplace.

CPMA continues to provide its members with timely information and technical analysis about these topics, describing impacts on company products and manufacturing operations. CPMA’s insight also identifies impacts of new regulations on downstream customers in the coatings, inks, plastics, personal care, cosmetics, cleaning products, agriculture, and packaging industries.

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