By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a webinar on September 24, 2021, for stakeholders to learn how to access and use the pollution prevention (P2) information collected by the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program about projects implemented by companies to eliminate or reduce the creation of chemical waste. According to EPA, community members, local government representatives, facility personnel, and others can access this information through multiple online resources and use it to further the identification and advancement of P2 opportunities. The webinar will include a live demonstration of how to find P2 data for specific facilities, chemicals, and industry sectors, as well as:
- Details on what data facilities are required to report;
- Examples of P2 projects implemented at manufacturing facilities; and
- Resources for and benefits of implementing P2 projects at facilities.
The webinar is also part of a series of webinars to mark the 35th anniversary of the TRI Program. Registration is now open.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is pleased to present a complimentary webinar focused on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) regulations on September 9, 2021, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (EDT). B&C Managing Partner Lynn L. Bergeson and Director of Chemistry Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., will discuss three actions recently taken by EPA:
- Proposing a rule designed to obtain comprehensive data on more than 1,000 PFAS manufactured in the United States;
- Withdrawing guidance that EPA believes weakened its July 2020 significant new use rule (SNUR) restricting certain long-chain PFAS; and
- Publishing a final rule that incorporates three additional PFAS into the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) maintained under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
The proposed rule intended to obtain comprehensive data on PFAS would require all manufacturers (including importers) of PFAS in any year since 2011 to report information related to chemical identity, categories of use, volumes manufactured and processed, byproducts, environmental and health effects, worker exposure, and disposal.
As a result of these EPA regulatory actions, companies that never expected to need to know the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are now finding themselves in EPA’s crosshairs. This webinar will explore the full scope of these potential rules, how entities can determine if they will be subject to reporting, and the specific recordkeeping requirements that have been proposed.
Register for the webinar now
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on July 29, 2021, the availability of the preliminary Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data on chemical releases, chemical waste management, and pollution prevention activities that took place during 2020 at almost 21,000 federal and industrial facilities in the United States. EPA notes that the preliminary data include the first-ever reporting on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) added to the TRI by the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The dataset is raw data and does not contain any summary or trend analysis. EPA plans to publish the updated TRI dataset in Fall 2021, and EPA will use it to develop the 2020 TRI National Analysis. EPA expects to publish the 2020 TRI National Analysis in early 2022. According to EPA, the public can use the preliminary data to identify facilities that report to TRI (for example, to locate facilities in a given ZIP code) and learn which chemicals facilities manage and in what quantities.
PFAS-Related Information from the 2020 Preliminary Data
EPA states that at this time, the data related to the PFAS added by the NDAA and received by EPA include 89 TRI reporting forms for 44 discrete PFAS filed by 38 individual facilities. The preliminary data indicate facilities managed more than 700,000 pounds of production-related waste of PFAS during 2020. As EPA reviews the data, it will examine the types of facilities that reported and that did not report, the specific PFAS that were reported and not reported, the information reported, by whom, and the communities in which PFAS are being released or otherwise managed as waste. According to EPA, it will seek to learn to what extent the current TRI reporting requirements regarding PFAS were followed and are adequate in providing the public with important information on the waste management practices of PFAS.
In analyzing the PFAS reporting, EPA states that it will also include a “focused and more rapid effort” intended to provide insights regarding the “seemingly limited” scope of the reporting, including the types and number of facilities reporting and PFAS reported. Depending upon its findings, EPA will take action “as appropriate,” including providing compliance assistance, taking enforcement actions, or proposing modifications to the TRI reporting requirements for PFAS.
The 2020 TRI National Analysis will include a section providing more detailed information on PFAS, including discussion on the quantities of PFAS that were released to the environment, recycled, burned for energy recovery or treated; source reduction activities implemented on PFAS; the facilities and sectors that disclosed this information; and the communities in which these activities took place.
EPA states that it will continue to add PFAS to the TRI per the requirements of the NDAA. For TRI Reporting Year 2021 (reporting forms due by July 1, 2022), the NDAA automatically added three PFAS to the TRI list because they are now subject to a significant new use rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). According to EPA, the TRI data collected will help inform its efforts under EPA Administrator Regan’s EPA Council on PFAS to understand better and ultimately reduce the potential risks caused by PFAS.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked users of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program’s website to complete a website satisfaction survey. EPA states that it wants users to find information easily on the TRI website and ensure that the information is complete and understandable. EPA asks users to “take 5 minutes and tell us what you like about the website and data access tools and how we can improve them.” EPA asks for responses by June 30, 2021.
The TRI website allows users to search to identify industrial facilities in their communities that release chemicals into the air, water, and land. Users can learn what chemicals these facilities release, how these facilities are reducing releases, and potential health impacts of these releases.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on June 10, 2021, three actions intended to protect communities from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The actions include proposing a rule designed to obtain comprehensive data on more than 1,000 PFAS manufactured in the United States, withdrawing guidance that EPA believes weakened its July 2020 significant new use rule (SNUR) restricting certain long-chain PFAS, and publishing a final rule that incorporates three additional PFAS into the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) maintained under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Below is a brief summary of the actions. More detailed information and an insightful commentary are available in our forthcoming memorandum that will be posted on our website.
Proposed TSCA Rule to Require Reporting on PFAS Manufactured in the United States
The fiscal year 2020 (FY2020) National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to add Section 8(a)(7), mandating that EPA promulgate a rule “requiring each person who has manufactured a chemical substance that is a [PFAS] in any year since January 1, 2011” to report certain information. EPA’s proposed rule would require all manufacturers (including importers) of PFAS in any year since 2011 to report information related to chemical identity, categories of use, volumes manufactured and processed, byproducts, environmental and health effects, worker exposure, and disposal. EPA states that the proposed rule will help it better understand the sources and quantities of PFAS manufactured in the United States and support its research, monitoring, and regulatory efforts. Publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register will begin a 60-day comment period.
Withdrawing Compliance Guide on PFAS SNUR
In accordance with the Biden-Harris Administration’s Executive Orders and other directives, including those on environmental justice, scientific integrity, and regulatory review, EPA states that it has withdrawn a compliance guide that EPA believes weakened the July 27, 2020, final SNUR for long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances (85 Fed. Reg. 45109). The final rule prohibits companies from importing certain long-chain PFAS as part of a “surface coating” on articles without prior EPA review and approval. EPA states that examples of articles that could contain these PFAS as part of a surface coating include, but are not limited to, automotive parts, carpet, furniture, and electronic components.
As reported in our January 20, 2021, blog item, EPA issued the compliance guide in January 2021 in the last days of the previous Administration and limited what would be considered a “surface coating” subject to the SNUR. EPA states that “[t]he guide was never deemed necessary by career staff and its development was directed by political officials serving in the last Administration.” Additionally, EPA prepared the final guide without considering or addressing comments submitted by the public. After further review, EPA “determined that the guide inappropriately narrowed the scope and weakened the prohibitions included in the SNUR.”
Implementing NDAA Requirements to Report PFAS to TRI
The NDAA provided a framework for additional PFAS to be added to TRI on an annual basis. For TRI Reporting Year 2021 (reporting forms due by July 1, 2022), the NDAA automatically added three PFAS to the TRI list because they are now subject to a SNUR under TSCA. EPA issued a final rule on June 3, 2021, incorporating these requirements into the Code of Federal Regulations for TRI (86 Fed. Reg. 29698). Per the NDAA requirements, the PFAS additions became effective as of January 1, 2021. Reporting forms for these PFAS will be due to EPA by July 1, 2022, for calendar year 2021 data.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has prepared a strategic plan for the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) for fiscal years (FY) 2021-2023. The strategic plan outlines how OPPT intends to fulfill its obligations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA), and related EPA policies and procedures “in ways that value science, protect people and the environment, and increase transparency for stakeholders and the general public.” The strategic plan includes new vision, mission, and values statements for OPPT. Priority areas include:
- New Chemicals: The New Chemicals Program manages potential risks to human health and the environment from chemicals new to the marketplace. The program identifies conditions to be placed on the use of new chemicals before they enter into commerce;
- Existing Chemicals: TSCA requires EPA to evaluate the safety of existing chemicals through prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management. Ensuring the safety of existing chemicals requires collecting and analyzing information about the chemicals, developing additional information, conducting analyses to evaluate risk, and taking regulatory action on proper conditions of use for each chemical;
- Pollution Prevention/Safer Choice/Toxics Release Inventory (TRI): OPPT supports a suite of programs that are intended to reduce, eliminate, or prevent pollution at its source as an alternative to pollution control and waste disposal. Safer Choice helps consumers, businesses, and purchasers find products that contain ingredients that are safer for human health and the environment. The TRI Program collects information to track industry progress in reducing waste generation and moving toward safer waste management alternatives;
- Transparency and Stakeholder Engagement: OPPT is committed to providing the public with the information needed to understand EPA’s chemical evaluations. It continually seeks more productive means of engaging with interested stakeholders through public comment during rulemaking, Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) workgroups, and other means;
- Human Capital: OPPT strives to provide a healthy and supportive working environment, support for career development, and communication on issues that are important to its colleagues. It closely collaborates with its partners in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention’s (OCSPP) Office of Program Support to ensure that the basics of being an OPPT employee, such as timekeeping, personnel actions, and equipment, are easy to manage; and
- Efficiency and Enabling Tools: OPPT’s priority areas depend on a wide range of data from manufacturers, researchers, and the public. Its employees need to know how to work with these data and to have access to tools that facilitate access to and analysis of these data. OPPT is committed to increasing its ability to manage projects effectively through a unified approach that ensures timely deliverables, increases its ability to track its work, and simplifies its processes.
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is pleased to release a timely episode of the All Things Chemical™ podcast, “Chemical Distribution in the Time of COVID-19 — A Conversation with Eric R. Byer, NACD.” In this episode, Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, B&C, and Eric Byer, President and CEO of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD), sat down to discuss current challenges facing small and large chemical distributors, and how NACD member companies are able to continue to distribute much needed chemical products, including sanitizers and other cleaning products, in response to the pandemic.
Lynn and Eric’s conversation focuses on unique “in the moment” issues and a broad range of federal, state, and international issues on which NACD is focused, including extending the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program, Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) implementation initiatives, and the impact of tariffs on imports from China on NACD member companies. Eric is an amazing leader of an essential trade association, and this conversation provides insights into his success as President and CEO of NACD.
The full podcast episode is available to stream online, where listeners can also find the recent podcast “COVID-19, FIFRA, and EPA — A Conversation with Lisa Campbell” Additional updates on chemical regulatory activity related to COVID-19 can be found on B&C’s Pesticide Law and Policy Blog® and on the Regulatory Developments page of B&C's website, including these recent updates:
All Things Chemical™ engages listeners in intelligent, insightful conversation about everything related to industrial, pesticidal, and specialty chemicals and the law and business issues surrounding chemicals. B&C’s talented team of lawyers, scientists, and consultants will keep listeners abreast of the changing world of both domestic and international chemical regulation and provide analysis of the many intriguing and complicated issues surrounding this space. All Things Chemical™ is available now on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Subscribe so you never miss an episode.
By Lynn L. Bergeson, Charles M. Auer, and Carla N. Hutton
As part of Amazon’s commitment to responsible sourcing, Amazon has posted its chemicals policy, which includes its first Restricted Substance List (RSL). Amazon states that it defines chemicals of concern as those chemicals that: (1) meet the criteria for classification as a carcinogen, mutagen, reproductive, or other systemic toxicant; or (2) are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic. Amazon “strategically prioritize[s] which chemicals of concern to focus on based on product type, customer concerns, and the availability of safer alternatives.” The baseline list of chemicals of concern included on the RSL are those chemicals that Amazon seeks to avoid in Amazon-owned Private Brand Baby, Household Cleaning, Personal Care, and Beauty products in the U.S. According to Amazon, it will expand the policy to additional brands, product categories, and geographies over time.
Read the full memorandum for more information and an insightful commentary.