EPA AND NANOTECHNOLOGY: OVERSIGHT for THE 21st CENTURY

Publication Date : 2007
200 Visited Entry Date : 2013/04/10

UNITED STATES

English
Document type Report
Subject Regulatory & Legal Aspect
Summary
The author of this report, J. Clarence (Terry) Davies, has thought through and analyzed many of the nanotechnology regulatory issues and challenges facing the EPA, as well as other parties such as the Congress. In a prior report, Dr. Davies argued that better and more aggressive oversight and new resources are needed to manage the potential adverse effects of nanotechnology and to promote its continued development (Davies 2006). In this report, he points out weaknesses within the system, and offers solutions. Following a comprehensive review of EPA’s experience regulating nano-based substances and products, Dr. Davies evaluates various environmental management and policy tools and proposes a number of innovative regulatory and non-regulatory approaches.
The intention of this report is to stimulate a broad dialogue about a next-generation oversight system that will work with nanotechnologies and the technologies that follow. The report contains a number of action items for government, industry, and other stakeholders in both the near and long term. Finally, it challenges EPA to rethink its role, resources, and capabilities and provides a starting point for a discussion about environmental protection in the 21st century.
This paper focuses on the need for an oversight system for nanotechnology that will identify any potential adverse health or environmental effects of the technology and prevent them from occurring. It analyzes the steps that must be taken to create such a system, particularly emphasizing the role of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This paper identifies many of the actions that should be taken. It focuses in particular on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which will be a key agency in any oversight effort because of its numerous regulatory authorities and its mission to protect the environment and human health.
The report concludes with an action agenda that contains more than 25 actions that need to be taken to improve the oversight of nanotechnologies. This report provides an agenda for creating that system and for ensuring that society is prepared as nanotechnology advances.
Content
Foreword

Author’s Preface

Executive Summary

About the Author

I. Setting an Agenda
     Definition of Nanotechnology    
     Nano Promise and Red Flags    
     Setting an Agenda    

II. The Current Situation
     Science and Regulation    
     EPA Product Programs and Media Programs    
     Legal Authority of EPA Programs to Cover Nano    
     Adequacy of EPA Programs to Deal with Nano    
     Resources to Deal with Nano    
     Political Will to Address Nano Effects    
     EPA Experience Regulating Nano    

III. Tools for Dealing with Nano
     Adjusting Existing Programs    
     Information Tools    
     Voluntary Efforts: Industry Initiated    
     Voluntary Efforts: Government Initiated    
     Economic Tools    
     Liability Tools    
     State and Local Governments    
     Public Participation    
     Reforming Regulation    
     Dialogue Is Necessary    

IV. EPA in the 21st Century
     EPA’s Problems    
     EPA as a Science Agency    
     The Need for Integration    
     Getting Good People    
     The International Context    
     Evaluating Programs, Measuring Progress    

V. Next Steps
     One to Two Years    
     Two to Five Years    
     Beyond Five Years    

Bibliography

Acronyms
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