The Implications of State Regulatory Schemes Affecting Engineered Nanomaterials in the U.S

W. Rogers, Jr.
Prince Lobel Tye, LLP,
United States

Keywords: EHS, safety, risk management


This discussion will address the implications of the increasing role of state regulators in stepping up to fill the vacuum in engineered nanomaterial-product regulation. Federal inaction, or in some cases severely limited and delayed action, has been the result of protracted political discord in Washington, D.C., agency budgetary and resource constraints, and inexperience or insufficient data on nanomaterial science and toxicity at the federal level in Washington, D.C. We will discuss as examples, the failures of Congress to pass federal safe chemicals and safe cosmetics legislation for many years, clearly lagging behind European regulation in both of these areas, and point to the emergence of state statutes and state regulations, such as the Massachusetts Toxic Use Reduction Act and California’s Green Chemistry Law and related Safer Consumer Products Regulations, as a response to the federal regulatory void, and in promoting less potentially toxic and more sustainable consumer and industrial products. We will also discuss the likely ramifications if the federal government ever passes these or similar legislation, and issues comprehensive regulations of its own in these areas. Will eventual federal legislation pre-empt (nullify) similar state schemes? Will federal legislation only seek to regulate above and around these schemes by carving-out in favor of the pre-existing state schemes? What is the impact of potentially inconsistent state or local regulation on nanotechnology research, development and commercialization? We will seek to address these issues and your questions, in the time available.