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March 14, 2021

EPA Extends Notification Deadline for Updates to Confidential Status of Chemicals on TSCA Inventory

Lynn L. Bergeson 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.