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May 10, 2011

EPA Will Suspend Next IUR Reporting Period

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

According to a Federal Register notice scheduled for publication in the May 11, 2011, Federal Register, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a) Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) regulations by suspending the next IUR submission period, which would otherwise run from June 1, 2011, to September 30, 2011. The IUR requires manufacturers, including importers, of certain chemical substances included on the TSCA Inventory to report current data on the manufacturing, processing, and use of the chemical substances. On August 13, 2010, EPA published a proposed rule that would modify the IUR regulations. The forthcoming Federal Register notice states that EPA is suspending the next submission period “to allow additional time to finalize the proposed modifications to the IUR regulations, and to avoid finalizing changes to the reporting requirements in the midst of the 2011 submission period. EPA expects to finalize, in the near future, changes to the IUR reporting requirements which will supersede this action.” The pre-publication version of the Federal Register notice is available online.

In the notice, EPA states that suspension of the IUR submission period is necessary due to the length of time that has been necessary to complete work on the proposed modifications. According to EPA, this is a one-time suspension of the next submission period only, and it does not alter the timing of subsequent submission periods (e.g., the submission period fromJune 1, 2016, to September 30, 2016). EPA submitted a final rule on January 20, 2011, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, where it remains. According to the OMB website, OMB has had a number of meetings with stakeholders regarding the proposed IUR revisions, which would require more information in the 2011 reporting period, and that some of the information on chemical volume cover not only 2010, but also 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. In an April 4, 2011, letter to OMB, Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and John Shimkus (R-IL), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, stated that EPA’s final IUR rule should be withdrawn because it would needlessly burden the economy, imposing new and unwarranted cost burdens with no added benefit. The letter is available online.

In the forthcoming Federal Register notice, EPA states that suspending the reporting period also addresses concerns raised by the regulated community about the span of time between the issuance of a final rule modifying the IUR and the close of the next submission period. EPA received “numerous” comments asking that the span be sufficient to accommodate the commenters’ adjustments to their internal information collection procedures. According to EPA, it is completing work on the proposed rule and “expects to promulgate, in the near future, a final rule addressing IUR modifications.”