TSCA: From Inception to Reform: A Public Dialogue 

River with PCBS

Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

Date: March 3, 2011
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005 

2nd Floor Main Auditorium 

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: Online registration is now closed.

“TSCA: From Inception to Reform” offers an opportunity to hear firsthand the history of TSCA as told by those who built and implemented it.

Panel discussion: 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Reception: 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

About the event

For the first time in more than 30 years, calls for toxics reform have gained momentum at the state and national levels and may result in reform of chemicals legislation. Industry, government, and NGO representatives agree that current oversight of toxic chemicals, guided by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976, has proven inadequate in meeting the health, environmental, and business needs of the 21st century.

At CHF’s Center for Contemporary History and Policy, we believe that a deeper understanding of TSCA’s regulatory history will create the opportunity for a more informed debate and smarter legislation.

Here is the chance for dynamic exchange between the audience and panelists, providing a rare opportunity to ask questions of those individuals who created history. Panelists will offer short overviews of their time working with TSCA before the floor is opened to a dialogue focused on the context and content of what has become the Toxic Substances Control Act.

This event is free and open to the public, but we request that you RSVP above.  To send questions and comments, contact CHF’s Environmental History and Policy program at ehp@chemheritage.org. Additional information on TSCA can be found here


  • James V. Aidala, Associate Assistant Administrator, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, 1993–2000
  • Charles M. Auer, Office of Toxic Substances, 1976–2009 
  • Charles L. Elkins, Director, Office of Toxic Substances, 1986–1990
  • Mark A. Greenwood, Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, 1990–1994
  •  Glenn E. Schweizer, First Director, Office of Toxic Substances, 1973–1977

About the panelists:

James V. Aidala

Between 1975 and 1993 Aidala worked for the pesticides program in the Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances, on two Congressional committees, and with the Congressional Research Service, with a focus on TSCA and FIFRA implementation. He was the associate assistant administrator of the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances from 1993 to 2000. He is currently a research associate with the law firm Bergeson & Campbell, where he speaks and writes on TSCA reform.

Charles M. Auer

Auer spent 33 years in the OTS, starting as a staff chemist in 1976 and concluding as director from 2002 to 2009. His experience ranges from new chemicals, to existing chemicals, to chemicals control, although most of his career was focused on developing and using structure activity relationships for evaluating chemical toxicity. After retiring from the EPA, he established the environmental consulting firm Charles Auer & Associates. He is also an affiliate with the law firm Bergeson & Campbell, where he speaks and writes on TSCA reform.

Charles (Chuck) L. Elkins

Elkins spent 15 years working in several of EPA’s regulatory programs before becoming director of the OTS from 1986 to 1990. He oversaw the OTS’s promulgation of the Section 6 ban on the use of asbestos in most products—a regulation that was overturned by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in the influential Corrosion Proof Fittings case because that court believed that the regulation did not meet the stringent requirements of Section 6. Elkins also oversaw the initial implementation of the Toxics Release Inventory program.  From the OTS, Elkins moved to the EPA Office of General Counsel as Associate General Counsel for four years. After leaving the EPA, Elkins worked at the environmental consulting firm of Jellinek, Schwartz & Connolly for another four years before starting his own environmental consulting firm, Chuck Elkins & Associates. He continues to practice part time and in the meantime has founded and currently manages the EPA Alumni Association.

Mark A. Greenwood

After finishing his law degree in the new field of environmental law, Greenwood worked in the EPA Office of General Counsel from 1978 to 1990. He worked on RCRA and Superfund before spending his last two years as general counsel on pesticides and toxic substances. After leaving the Office of General Counsel, he became the director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (formerly the Office of Toxic Substances) from 1990 to 1994. He oversaw the aftermath of the Corrosion Proof Fittings case and the office’s transition to pollution prevention. He is currently a partner in the law firm Ropes & Gray LLC, where he has published about TSCA reform.

Glenn E. Schweitzer

Schweitzer joined the EPA after serving in the U.S. Foreign Service and the Office of the Vice President, where he worked primarily on issues of science and diplomacy. He became the first Director of the Office of Toxic Substances in 1973 ahead of the passage of TSCA in Congress, a role he continued until 1977. Schweitzer then directed the EPA monitoring laboratory in Las Vegas before joining the National Academies of Science as Director of International Affairs.





Register for an event link

Need Meeting Space?

CHF’s state-of-the-art conference center is in Philadelphia’s beautiful historic district.

Support CHF

Help us preserve and share the history of chemistry and related sciences. Make a tax-deductible tax-deductible gift online.