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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) spring 2022 Unified Agenda, published on June 21, 2022, includes the following rulemakings under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) or the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).

Proposed Rule Stage

  • Tiered Data Reporting to Inform Prioritization, Risk Evaluation, and Risk Management under TSCA (2070-AK62): EPA is developing a rulemaking under TSCA Sections 8(a) and (d) to establish reporting requirements based upon a chemical’s status in the Risk Evaluation/Risk Management (RE/RM) Lifecycle and update the reporting requirements under the 40 C.F.R. Part 711 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) regulation. Specifically, EPA is seeking occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure information. EPA is developing this rule to obtain information about potential hazards and exposure pathways related to certain chemicals, particularly occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure information. According to the Unified Agenda item, EPA needs this information to inform prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management of chemical substances under TSCA Section 6. EPA intends to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in May 2023 and a final rule in September 2024. More information on EPA’s July 27, 2021, webinar on development of the proposed rule is available in our July 29, 2021, memorandum.
  • Revisions to the TSCA Fees Rule (2070-AK64): In January 2021, EPA proposed updates and adjustments to the 2018 TSCA fees rule. EPA proposed modifications to the TSCA fees and fee categories for fiscal years (FY) 2022, 2023, and 2024 and explained the methodology by which the proposed TSCA fees were determined. EPA proposed to add three new fee categories: A Bona Fide Intent to Manufacture or Import Notice, a Notice of Commencement of Manufacture or Import, and an additional fee associated with test orders. In addition, EPA proposed exemptions for entities subject to certain fee-triggering activities, including an exemption for research and development (R&D) activities; an exemption for entities manufacturing less than 2,500 pounds of a chemical subject to an EPA-initiated risk evaluation fee; an exemption for manufacturers of chemical substances produced as a non-isolated intermediate; and exemptions for manufacturers of a chemical substance subject to an EPA-initiated risk evaluation if the chemical substance is imported in an article, produced as a byproduct, or produced or imported as an impurity. EPA updated its cost estimates for administering TSCA, relevant information management activities, and individual fee calculation methodologies. EPA proposed a volume-based fee allocation for EPA-initiated risk evaluation fees in any scenario where a consortium is not formed and is proposing to require export-only manufacturers to pay fees for EPA-initiated risk evaluations. EPA also proposed various changes to the timing of certain activities required throughout the fee payment process. In light of public comments, EPA states that it has decided to issue a supplemental NPRM in October 2022 and seek additional public comment on changes to the January 2021 proposal. More information on the proposed rule is available in our December 30, 2020, memorandum.
  • New Chemicals Procedural Regulations to Reflect the 2016 Amendments to TSCA (2070-AK65): On June 22, 2016, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act) was signed into law, amending TSCA and impacting how EPA reviews and makes determinations on new chemical notices under TSCA Section 5. EPA states that as a result of these increased responsibilities, it has become more challenging to complete reviews within 90 days. This rulemaking seeks to revise the new chemicals procedural regulations in 40 C.F.R. Part 720 to improve the efficiency of EPA’s review process and to align its processes and procedures with the new statutory requirements. This rulemaking seeks to increase the quality of information initially submitted in new chemicals notices and improve EPA’s processes to reduce unnecessary rework in the risk assessment and, ultimately, the length of time that new chemicals are under review. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in February 2023.
  • Confidential Business Information (CBI) Claims under TSCA (2070-AK68): EPA is considering proposing new and amended rules concerning the assertion and maintenance of claims of CBI under TSCA. Amendments to TSCA in 2016 included several new provisions concerning the assertion and EPA review and treatment of confidentiality claims. EPA states that it is considering procedures for submitting and supporting such claims in TSCA submissions, including substantiation requirements, exemptions, electronic reporting enhancements, and maintenance or withdrawal of confidentiality claims. EPA is also considering whether the proposed rule should also elaborate on EPA’s procedures for reviewing and communicating with TSCA submitters about confidentiality claims. EPA expects the proposed rule to include new provisions, as well as revisions to existing rules on asserting confidentiality claims to conform to the 2016 amendments to TSCA. As reported in our May 17 and May 18, 2022, memoranda, EPA issued a proposed rule on May 12, 2022. EPA intends to issue a final rule in May 2023.
  • Chemical-Specific Rulemakings under TSCA Section 6(a): TSCA Section 6 requires EPA to address unreasonable risks of injury to health or the environment that the Administrator has determined are presented by a chemical substance under the conditions of use. Following risk evaluations for the following chemicals carried out under the authority of TSCA Section 6, EPA initiated rulemakings to address unreasonable risks of injury to health identified in the final risk evaluations:
    • Methylene Chloride (2070-AK70): EPA’s risk evaluation for methylene chloride, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0437, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0742. EPA intends to issue an NPRM in February 2023 and a final rule in August 2024. More information on EPA’s draft revision to its risk determination for methylene chloride will be available in a forthcoming memorandum;
    • 1-Bromopropane (2070-AK73): EPA’s risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0235, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0741. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in May 2023 and a final rule in August 2024;
    • Carbon Tetrachloride (2070-AK82): EPA’s risk evaluation, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0499, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0733. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in April 2023 and a final rule in August 2024;
    • Trichloroethylene (TCE) (2070-AK83): EPA’s risk evaluation for TCE, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0500, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0737. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in March 2023 and a final rule in August 2024. More information on EPA’s draft revision to its risk determination for TCE will be available in a forthcoming memorandum;
    • Perchloroethylene (PCE) (2070-AK84): EPA’s risk evaluation for PCE, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0502, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0732. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in February 2023 and a final rule in August 2024. More information on EPA’s draft revision to its risk determination for PCE will be available in a forthcoming memorandum;
    • N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) (2070-AK85): EPA’s risk evaluation for NMP, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0236, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0743. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in May 2023 and a final rule in August 2024. More information on EPA’s draft revision to its risk determination for NMP will be available in a forthcoming memorandum; and
    • Asbestos (Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos) (2070-AK86): EPA’s risk evaluation for chrysotile asbestos, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0501, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736. More information on EPA’s proposed rule to prohibit ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos is available in our April 7, 2022, memorandum. EPA intends to publish a final rule in November 2023.
  • Procedures for Chemical Risk Evaluation under TSCA (2070-AK90): As required under TSCA Section 6(b)(4), EPA published a final rule on July 20, 2017, that established a process for conducting risk evaluations to determine whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation, under the conditions of use. This process incorporates the science requirements of the amended statute, including best available science and weight of the scientific evidence. The final rule established the steps of a risk evaluation process, including: scope, hazard assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and risk determination. EPA states that it is now considering revisions to that final rule and will solicit public comment through an NPRM. EPA intends to publish the NPRM in September 2022. More information on EPA’s 2017 rule is available in our June 26, 2017, memorandum.
  • Asbestos; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements under TSCA (2070-AK99): This rulemaking, under the authority of TSCA Section 8(a), would require certain persons that manufactured (including imported) or processed asbestos and asbestos-containing articles (including as an impurity) to report certain exposure-related information, including quantities of asbestos and asbestos-containing articles manufactured (including imported) or processed, types of asbestos used, and employee data. Reported information would be used by EPA and other federal agencies in considering the regulation of asbestos. EPA notes that this rulemaking is the result of a settlement agreement stemming from litigation pursuant to TSCA Section 21. See Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization v. EPA, No. 19-CV-00871; State of California et al. v. EPA, No. 19-CV-03807. More information on EPA’s proposed reporting and recordkeeping requirements is available in our May 6, 2022, memorandum. EPA intends to publish a final rule in November 2022.
  • Other Chemical Substances Undergoing TSCA Section 6 Risk Evaluation; Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for Certain Non-Ongoing Uses (2070-AL05): EPA is developing TSCA Section 5(a)(2) SNURs on conditions of use identified as not currently ongoing in the final scope documents for the high-priority substances undergoing TSCA Section 6 risk evaluations. EPA states that it will use the SNURs to require notice to EPA before chemical substances and mixtures are used in new ways that might create concerns. Persons subject to a SNUR who intend to manufacture (including import) or process the chemical substance for the significant new use must notify EPA at least 90 days prior to initiating activities via a significant new use notice (SNUN). EPA intends to publish an NPRM in December 2022 and a final rule in May 2024.
  • The Unified Agenda includes the following chemical-specific SNURs for certain non-ongoing uses:
    • Phthalates; SNUR for Certain Non-Ongoing Uses (2070-AL06): EPA intends to publish an NPRM in November 2022 and a final rule in May 2024;
    • Flame Retardants; SNUR for Certain Non-Ongoing Uses (2070-AL07): EPA intends to publish an NPRM in December 2022 and a final rule in November 2023; and
    • Certain Solvents; SNUR for Certain Non-Ongoing Uses (2070-AL08): EPA intends to publish an NPRM in December 2022 and a final rule in May 2024.
  • Inactive Inventory Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) SNUR (2070-AL10): EPA is developing a SNUR under TSCA Section 5(a)(2) for certain uses of Inactive Inventory PFAS. Persons subject to the Inactive Inventory PFAS SNUR would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing manufacture or processing for any use that EPA has determined is a significant new use. The required notifications would initiate EPA’s evaluation of the intended use within the applicable review period. Manufacture and processing for the significant new use would be unable to commence until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in association with that determination. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in September 2022 and a final rule in June 2023.
  • TRI; Response to Petition to Add Diisononyl Phthalate (DINP) to the TRI List of Toxic Chemicals (2025-AA17): According to EPA, this action arises from a petition received by EPA to add DINP to the list of toxic chemicals reportable under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). In response to the petition, EPA initiated a rulemaking on September 5, 2000, proposing to add DINP to the TRI list. On June 14, 2005, EPA issued a notice of data availability seeking comments on EPA’s revised hazard assessment for DINP in further support of EPA’s proposal to add DINP to the TRI list. EPA states that the addition of DINP to the TRI list would make it subject to all the reporting requirements under the Toxic Chemical Release Reporting Rule. EPA intends to publish a supplemental NPRM in July 2022 and a final rule in May 2023;
  • Changes to Reporting Requirements for PFAS; Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting (2070-AK97): EPA is developing a proposal to add PFAS subject to reporting under EPCRA Section 313 and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) to the list of Lower Thresholds for Chemicals of Special Concern (Chemicals of Special Concern). EPA states that the addition of the PFAS to the Chemicals of Special Concern list will eliminate the use of the de minimis exemption, eliminate the option to use Form A, and limit the use of range reporting. In addition, EPA is proposing to eliminate the use of the de minimis exemption under the Supplier Notification Requirements for facilities that manufacture or process all chemicals included on the Chemicals of Special Concern list. According to EPA, Chemicals of Special Concern may be found in products below de minimis levels; this is especially true for PFAS that are used at low concentrations in many products. Because of the widespread use of PFAS and their (or their degradants) persistence in the environment, however, even concentrations below de minimis levels can contribute significantly to environmental loading. The elimination of the de minimis exemption for supplier notification purposes will help facilities to identify potential sources of PFAS and other Chemicals of Special Concern. EPA believes that the elimination of the de minimis exemption under the Supplier Notification Requirements for PFAS and other Chemicals of Special Concern will result in a more complete picture of the releases and waste management quantities for these chemicals. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in September 2022 and a final rule in November 2023.
  • Addition of Certain PFAS to the TRI (2070-AL03): EPA is developing a rulemaking to add certain PFAS to the list of chemicals reportable under EPCRA Section 313. EPA states that the addition of these PFAS is in direct response to a statutory mandate under Section 7321(d) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA). Under Section 7321(d), EPA was required to evaluate whether certain specific PFAS meet the EPCRA Section 313 listing criteria by December 2021 and is required to add any PFAS that EPA determines meet the listing criteria by December 2023. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in February 2023 and a final rule in November 2023.
  • Community Right-to-Know; Adopting 2022 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes for TRI Reporting (2070-AL09): EPA is developing a proposed rule to incorporate the revised 2022 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for TRI reporting purposes. According to EPA, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) updates the NAICS codes every five years. OMB approved the 2022 NAICS codes on December 21, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 72277), with an effective date of January 1, 2022. EPA currently uses 2017 NAICS codes, and with this proposed rule would implement the 2022 codes for TRI Reporting Year 2022. Facilities reporting to the TRI would be required to use 2022 NAICS codes on reports that are due to EPA by July 1, 2023. This rule also proposed to update the C.F.R. to clarify the scope of facilities required to report to the TRI. According to EPA, the actual data required by a TRI form would not change as a result of this rulemaking, nor would the rule affect the universe of TRI reporting facilities that are required to submit reports to EPA under EPCRA Section 313. EPA intended to publish an NPRM in June 2022 and a final rule in November 2022.

Final Rule Stage

  • Significant New Uses of Chemical Substances; Updates to the Hazard Communication Program and Regulatory Framework; Minor Amendments to Reporting Requirements for Premanufacture Notices (PMN) (2070-AJ94): In 2016, EPA proposed changes to the existing regulations governing significant new uses of chemical substances under TSCA (40 C.F.R. Part 721, specifically “Protection in the Workplace” (40 C.F.R. Section 721.63) and “Hazard Communication Program” (40 C.F.R. Section 721.72)) to align these regulations with revisions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communications Standard (HCS) (29 C.F.R. Section 1910.1200), which are proposed to be cross referenced, and with changes to the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) respirator certification requirements pertaining to respiratory protection of workers from exposure to chemicals. EPA also proposed changes to the significant new uses of chemical substance regulations based on issues that have been identified by EPA and issues raised by public commenters for SNURs previously proposed and issued under these regulations. Additionally, EPA proposed a minor change to reporting requirements for PMNs and other TSCA Section 5 notices. EPA states that it expects these changes to have minimal impacts on the costs and burdens of complying, while updating the significant new use reporting requirements to assist in addressing any potential effects to human health and the environment. EPA is reviewing the comments received and is planning to issue a final rule. EPA intends to issue a final rule in October 2022. More information on the proposed rule is available in our July 29, 2016, memorandum.
  • Reporting and Recordkeeping for PFAS under TSCA Section 8(a)(7) (2070-AK67): EPA published a proposed rule on June 28, 2021, addressing reporting and recordkeeping requirements for PFAS under TSCA Section 8(a)(7). In accordance with obligations under TSCA Section 8(a), as amended by NDAA Section 7351, persons that manufacture (including import) or have manufactured these chemical substances in any year since January 1, 2011, would be subject to the reporting and recordkeeping requirements. In addition to fulfilling statutory obligations under TSCA, EPA states that it expects that the proposed rule would enable it to characterize better the sources and quantities of manufactured PFAS in the United States. EPA intends to publish a final rule in December 2022. More information on EPA’s proposed rule is available in our June 11, 2021, memorandum.
  • TRI; Response to Petition from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) to Add 25 Chemicals (2070-AK26): The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) submitted a petition under EPCRA Section 313(e)(1) to add 25 chemicals to the EPCRA Section 313 list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under the TRI. Three of the 25 chemicals were added to the EPCRA Section 313 list through actions unrelated to the petition. EPA states that it evaluated the remaining 22 chemicals to determine if they met the listing criteria of EPCRA Section 313(d)(2). EPA proposed the addition of 12 of the 22 chemicals that were determined to meet the EPCRA Section 313(d)(2) criteria and for which reports were expected to be filed. EPA is reviewing the comments received and is planning to issue a final rule. EPA intends to issue a final rule in November 2022.
  • Parent Company Definition for TRI Reporting (2070-AK42): In 2021, EPA proposed to codify the definition of “parent company” for purposes of reporting to the TRI. Although the existing regulation requires facilities reporting to the TRI to identify their parent company in annual reporting forms, no codified definition of this data element exists. Among the facilities reporting to the TRI are those with complicated corporate ownership structures. As such, effort is required each year by reporting facilities and EPA to clarify how the parent company data element should be represented on the form. According to EPA, a codified definition of parent company would allow EPA to address various corporate ownership scenarios explicitly and reduce the reporting burden caused by regulatory uncertainty. EPA states that the proposed rule would clarify existing regulations to reporting facilities and add a foreign parent company data element, if applicable, while improving EPA’s data quality. EPA is reviewing the comments received and is determining next steps. EPA intends to publish a final rule in October 2022.
  • NDAA Mandated Addition of Certain PFAS to the TRI for Reporting Year 2022 (2070-AL04): According to EPA, NDAA Section 7321 provides a framework for PFAS to be added automatically to the TRI list on January 1 of the year following certain EPA actions. In December 2021, EPA announced the statutory addition of the PFAS chemicals covered by the NDAA to the list of chemical substances subject to reporting for the TRI. This regulatory action amends the EPCRA regulations in 40 C.F.R. Part 372 to reflect this statutory addition. EPA intended to publish a final rule in June 2022.

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on July 6, 2022, that it is inviting small businesses to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SER) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel that will focus on EPA’s development of a proposed rule to collect data to inform each step of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation and risk management process. EPA states that the proposed rule would establish a framework of reporting requirements based on a chemical’s status in the TSCA Section 6 Risk Evaluation/Risk Management Lifecycle. Additionally, the new data reporting rule would enhance the exposure-related data collected through the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) process. According to EPA, collecting data geared specifically towards prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management would help ensure that EPA has relevant and timely data to inform each step of the process for reviewing potential risks from existing chemicals. Self-nominations are due July 20, 2022.

The data reporting rule, including changes to CDR, is tiered to specific stages of the TSCA Section 6 existing chemicals program:

  • Identifying a pre-prioritization pool of substances as potential candidates for prioritization;
  • Selecting candidate chemicals and completing the prioritization process; and
  • Assessing high-priority substances through a robust risk evaluation that may be followed by risk management actions (depending on the outcome of the risk evaluation).

According to EPA, tying specific reporting requirements to the activities that make use of reported data will also reduce the burden related to data collection efforts while ensuring that EPA has the information it needs to fulfill its risk evaluation and risk management responsibilities. EPA intends the proposed rule to create a framework to obtain information about potential hazards and exposure pathways related to certain chemicals, particularly occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure information. EPA’s ability to collect data under this proposed rule would derive from authorities in TSCA Sections 8(a) and 8(d), which give EPA authority to require:

  • Manufacturers and processors to provide known or reasonably ascertainable information, including chemical identity, production volumes, uses, byproducts, and worker exposure; and
  • Manufacturers, processors, and distributors to submit health and safety information.

EPA states that the potentially regulated community consists of entities that manufacture, import, or process chemical substances, potentially including when the chemical substance is manufactured as a byproduct or is part of a formulated product or article (including import and processing). According to EPA, it anticipates most respondents affected by this collection activity to be from the manufacturing sectors, including chemical manufacturing; petroleum and coal product manufacturing; chemical, petroleum, and merchant wholesalers; paper, plastics, paint, and printing ink manufacturing; electronic product and component manufacturing; or other activities, including utilities and construction.

The Panel, convened under the authority of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act, will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA. The Panel members ask a selected group of SERs to provide advice and recommendations on behalf of their company, government, or organization to inform the Panel members about the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities. EPA seeks self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rule requirements. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs.

More information on EPA’s July 27, 2021, webinar on the development of the rule is available in our July 29, 2021, memorandum.

Tags: CDR, SBAR, SER, tiered

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

On May 12, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the publication of information collected during the 2020 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) cycle to increase public awareness of chemicals being manufactured in communities and to enable citizen and stakeholder access and use of the reported information. The CDR rule requires manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemicals listed on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory to report data to EPA every four years. Manufacturers (including importers) are required to report if they meet certain production volume thresholds, generally 25,000 pounds or more of a chemical at any single site. CDR is the most comprehensive source of basic exposure-related information on chemicals in U.S. commerce. EPA states that the collection of CDR information “is essential to meeting the agency’s information needs, especially for prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management of chemicals under TSCA.” According to EPA, CDR information enables it to develop an understanding of the types, amount, end uses, and possible human exposure to inform its identification, evaluation, and management of risks to human health and environmental risks.

The 2020 CDR information primarily covers manufacture, processing, and use activities for calendar year 2019. The data released include company and site information, manufacturing (including import) information, production volume, and processing and use data, as well as information on chemicals not included in previous releases. According to EPA, this includes chemicals that lost their confidential status on the TSCA Inventory because one or more manufacturers reported the chemical identities as non-confidential during the 2012, 2016, and/or 2020 CDR reporting periods. Therefore, the 2020 CDR database will include information related to those chemical identities that could not be revealed publicly in previous publications of CDR data.

The 2020 CDR data are available in downloadable files on EPA’s CDR web pages. EPA states that it will also soon make the data available in ChemView. Resources about using the CDR database and interpreting the CDR data are also available from EPA’s CDR website.

Tags: CDR

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On October 27, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested public nominations of scientific experts to consider for service as ad hoc reviewers assisting the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) with two peer review topics anticipated for early 2022: the draft EPA Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Systematic Review Protocol and the draft EPA TSCA Screening Level Approach for Assessing Ambient Air and Water Exposures to Fenceline Communities. 86 Fed. Reg. 59382. EPA states that individuals nominated should have expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Systematic review: Individuals nominated for peer review of the draft systematic review protocol should have expertise in one or more of the following areas: systematic review approaches of human health and ecological hazard, exposure topics, and fate. All experts, including those representing other fields of interest, who have experience with engineering, machine learning, artificial intelligence techniques, and natural language processing approaches as applied to systematic review are also needed. EPA states that understanding the TSCA risk evaluation process “is highly desirable for the context of this peer review.”
  • Exposures to fenceline communities: Individuals nominated for peer review of the draft EPA TSCA Screening Level Approach for Assessing Ambient Air and Water Exposures to Fenceline Communities should have expertise in one or more of the following areas: chemical fate and transport via ambient air and water pathways; atmospheric modeling of fate, transport, and human exposures; human health, exposure, and risk assessment for airborne and/or waterborne chemicals; expertise estimating environmental air releases of chemicals from a variety of sources and databases such as Chemical Data Reporting (CDR); experience developing air dispersion methodologies and/or models to estimate ambient air concentrations and impacts to human populations; expertise estimating environmental water releases of chemicals from a variety of sources and databases such as CDR, Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), and Discharge Monitoring Report; experience developing methodologies and/or models to estimate chemical concentrations in ambient/source/drinking water and impacts to human populations; and public health protection for at-risk communities.

EPA states that any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals to be considered prospective candidates for these reviews. Individuals may also self-nominate. Nominations are due November 17, 2021.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on October 15, 2021, that it is updating the confidential status of 377 chemical identities and will include these chemical identities on the next update of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory, planned for winter 2022. The TSCA Inventory is a list of all existing chemical substances manufactured, processed, or imported in the United States. According to EPA, the Inventory contains 86,607 chemicals, of which 41,953 are active in U.S commerce.

As reported in our April 30, 2021, blog item, in April 2021, EPA announced its review of 390 specific chemical identities that were expected to lose their confidential status on the TSCA Inventory. Of the 390 chemicals under review, EPA states that it found that 13 accession numbers corresponded to substances that are already on the public portion of the Inventory or to substances reported using an invalid accession number (which was later corrected and/or the confidentiality claim was withdrawn). The remaining 377 chemical identities were reported as non-confidential by one or more manufacturers during the 2012, 2016, and/or 2020 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) periods -- “meaning that at least one manufacturer did not request that each of these chemical identities be kept confidential, effectively saying it is not a secret that the chemical is in U.S. commerce. Therefore, these substances are no longer eligible for continued confidential Inventory status.”


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On August 23, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of and solicited public comment on guidance on two petition processes applicable to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) regulations. 86 Fed. Reg. 47102. The guidance covers petitions for full exemption of byproduct substances that are recycled or otherwise used within site-limited, physically enclosed systems and petitions for partial exemption of chemicals for which the CDR processing and use information has been determined to be of “low current interest” by EPA. EPA states that the guidance “is designed to elucidate the process and requirements of CDR-specific petitions and is consistent with both existing regulations and guidance.” The CDR regulations require manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemical substances included on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory) to report data on the manufacturing, processing, and use of the chemical substances. According to EPA, the guidance identifies and clarifies examples of the types of information submitters can provide to EPA in support of petitions for full or partial exemption from CDR rule requirements. EPA expects the guidance to make the requirements and process of submitting a CDR-specific petition “more comprehensible,” enabling petitioners to determine if a petition is appropriate and to provide better a petition containing the information needed for EPA to reach a determination. Comments on the guidance are due December 21, 2021.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) met with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on August 5, 2021, to clarify concepts from the July 27, 2021, tiered data reporting (TDR) webinar. EPA’s meeting summary states that EDF representatives requested clarification on the following issues discussed during the webinar:

  • Whether EPA intends to scale back the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirements with respect to the amount of information collected per chemical or to the number of chemicals reported.
    • EPA responded that the changes to CDR discussed in the webinar presentation would reduce the data collected per chemical and would not impact which chemicals were required to be reported under CDR.
  • Whether the data expected to be used to inform the identification of potential candidate chemicals for prioritization was limited to CDR.
    • EPA responded that the webinar presentation was not intended to identify all sources of information that would be used for the various steps of the overall existing chemicals process, including informing the identification of the pool of potential candidate chemicals for the prioritization process. Rather, the intent was to identify the data that would be available from either CDR or TDR for use for each step in the process.
  • Reasoning behind EPA’s decisions regarding timing of the collection tiers and selected data elements.
    • EPA responded that the specifics of what data elements would be included in which collection tiers was under development and that the Agency is interested in comments from EDF or other stakeholders to help inform the TDR proposal.
  • Whether EPA had any more details about the post-risk management stage, which was included in the webinar presentation as “TBD.”
    • EPA responded that there were no additional details at this time.

According to the meeting summary, EDF provided additional comments during the meeting, including concern about scaling back CDR; belief that data should be collected earlier in the existing chemicals process to be more useful and enable EPA to make better use of TSCA Section 4; and a request to make the reported data publicly available in a timely manner to inform public comment. EDF “also reiterated their concern with the length of the comment period following the webinar.” The meeting summary states that EPA will accept supplemental comments after August 16, 2021, that are e-mailed to Susan Sharkey (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), but that such comments should be provided as soon as possible. EPA noted that interested parties could comment during interagency review and following the publication of the proposal.

More information on EPA’s July 27, 2021, webinar is available in our July 29, 2021, memorandum. As reported in our August 6, 2021, blog item, EPA posted a memorandum in Docket ID EPA-HQ-OPPT-2021-0436 stating that it will not extend the August 16, 2021, comment period stemming from the July 27, 2021, public webinar.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 

On July 27, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) will hold a public meeting to engage with interested stakeholders on the development of a proposed rule for implementing a tiered data collection strategy to help inform EPA’s prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management activities for chemical substances or mixtures under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). According to EPA, it currently primarily collects exposure-related data through the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) process. EPA is interested in ensuring that data collection strategies provide information to meet better its basic chemical data needs, such as information related to exposure, health, and ecotoxicity. To this end, EPA states that it is exploring a data reporting rule that is tiered to specific stages of the TSCA existing chemicals program: identifying a pool of substances as potential candidates for prioritization; selecting candidate chemicals for and completing the prioritization process; and assessing high-priority substances through a robust risk evaluation, which may be followed by risk management actions (depending on the outcome of the risk evaluation). According to EPA, feedback from the public meeting and comments received will help inform its development of a proposed rule. The meeting will be held virtually via WebEx on July 27, 2021, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. (EDT). Those who would like to make a comment during the meeting must register by 6:00 p.m. EDT on July 22, 2021. Those who would like to participate in listen-only mode must register by 6:00 p.m. EDT on July 26, 2021. Written comments are due August 15, 2021.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced on June 29, 2021, that it filed suit against three companies in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for alleged violations of the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. According to CEH, an investigation found that four companies imported 65 chemicals that are subject to reporting under the CDR rule. CEH states that the chemicals “include several recognized carcinogens, including benzene, butadiene, trichloroethylene, isoprene, di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate, di-isononyl phthalate, carbon black and arsenic.” In February 2021, CEH notified the importers of the apparent violations in accordance with Section 20(b) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). One of the four companies, Tribute Energy, “approached CEH and entered into an agreement to audit its operations and come into compliance. CEH is not taking legal action against Tribute in recognition of its good faith and commitment to following the law.” CEH filed suit against the other three companies under TSCA Section 20(a). The three companies are 3N International, Harwick Standard Distribution Corp., and Braskem Inc. CEH notes that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated some of the chemicals as high-priority substances under TSCA and is conducting risk evaluations to determine whether they present an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. CEH states that “CDR reporting is critical in determining these risks because, according to EPA, the ‘exposure information [reported] is an essential part of developing risk evaluations and . . . collecting this exposure information is critical to [EPA’s] mission of characterizing exposure [and] identifying potential risks.’” CEH asks that the court order the companies to report their imports in compliance with the CDR rule and restrain the companies from any other ongoing violations of CDR reporting requirements.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

As reported in our April 30, 2021, blog item, on April 29, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of a list of 390 chemicals that it states are “expected to lose their confidential status and move to the public portion of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory, furthering the agency’s commitment to data transparency.” EPA announced on May 14, 2021, that it is extending the notification deadline to June 30, 2021. According to EPA, the American Chemistry Council and BASF requested additional time to review the list of 390 chemicals. EPA states that concerns were expressed over the potential that some of the chemicals overlap with those reported under the Active-Inactive rule and the perception that EPA relied only on 2020 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule submissions to identify these chemicals.

According to EPA, in regard to the industry concerns that it relied solely on 2020 CDR submissions, it plans to declassify the specific identities of these chemicals because one or more manufacturers reported the chemicals as non-confidential during the 2012, 2016, and/or 2020 CDR reporting periods -- “meaning that at least one manufacturer did not request that each of the chemical identities be kept confidential, effectively saying it is not a secret that the chemical is in U.S. commerce.” EPA states that additionally, it did an “extensive review” of each individual instance in which confidential status was not requested for these chemical identities to confirm the accuracy of the list.

EPA acknowledges that some of the chemicals may also have been reported or subject to reporting under the Active-Inactive rule, which required companies to identify chemicals manufactured, imported, or processed in the United States during the ten-year time period ending on June 21, 2016. Although EPA is aware that there may have been submitter confusion and questions regarding confidentiality claims during the initial reporting period, it states that for each of the 390 chemicals, “there is also one or more independent CDR-based (and EPA-validated) reasons to consider the chemical identities to be no longer eligible for inclusion on the confidential portion of the Inventory.” EPA intends to update the TSCA Inventory listings for these chemicals to list the specific chemical identities on the public portion of the Inventory during summer 2021.

EPA states that stakeholders with interest, questions, or concerns about this change in confidential status may contact the EPA staff listed on its webpage no later than June 30, 2021. Stakeholders should review the list of substances and ensure that none of those substances is of critical importance to maintain confidential status.


 
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