Democrats Call On EPA To Address Plastics Crisis


On February 9, 2023, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) led 45 Democrats in the Senate and House in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan “encouraging the agency to expand its current efforts to address the plastic production crisis.” According to Booker’s February 9, 2023, press release, EPA can take the following actions to protect communities, climate, and the environment from plastic production and pollution:

  • Create new nationwide targets for single-use plastic source reduction and reuse/refill requirements in the packaging and food service sectors;
  • Incentivize the expansion of reusable and refillable systems across the country, prioritizing overburdened communities through agency grant making and public-private partnerships;
  • Reject the Trump EPA’s proposal to remove pyrolysis and gasification from the definition of incinerators under Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 129;
  • Remove harmful chemical recycling technologies from the National Recycling Strategy;
  • Require financial assurance requirements for new or expanded covered facilities (as defined in the Protecting Communities from Plastics Act, Section 4 (a)(3)) as a condition to receiving CAA or CWA permits;
  • Initiate a rulemaking under TSCA to review the entire petrochemical industry, from their facilities to specific chemicals used, to understand how these chemicals, alone or mixed, impact human health; and
  • Establish and lead a microplastics pilot program to test the efficacy and cost effectiveness of tools, technologies, and techniques to prevent the release of microplastics into the environment and to remove existing microplastics without causing additional harm to the environment.

Read More

JDSupra, 06-03-23