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June 13, 2018

EPA’s Spring 2018 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan Includes TSCA Rulemakings

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On May 9, 2018, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) posted the Spring 2018 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan.  OIRA states that the semi-annual Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan “provide uniform reporting of data on regulatory and deregulatory actions under development throughout the Federal government, covering over 60 departments, agencies, and commissions.”  Below are highlights of rulemakings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP) that are related to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):

  • Microorganisms:  General Exemptions From Reporting Requirements; Revisions of Recipient Organisms Eligible for Tier I and Tier II Exemptions (RIN 2070-AJ65):  EPA promulgated a final rule under TSCA Section 5 to establish notification procedures for review of certain new microorganisms before they are introduced into commerce.  EPA received petitions to add Trichoderma reesei and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens to the list of microorganisms that may be used as recipient microorganisms to qualify for the exemption from full notification and reporting.  Based on EPA’s evaluation of these petitions, EPA states that it made a preliminary determination that certain strains of both microorganisms will not present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment when used as a recipient microorganism, provided that certain criteria for the introduced genetic material and the physical containment conditions are met, and issued a proposed rule.  EPA is developing a revised proposal that will address concerns raised by commenters, and is considering expanding the earlier proposal to prohibit the inclusion of antibiotic resistance genes in the introduced genetic material in microorganisms qualifying for the TSCA Section 5(h)(4) exemption.  EPA intended to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in May 2018;
  • Long-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylate (LCPFAC) and Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate (PFAS) Chemical Substances; Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) (RIN 2070-AJ99):  EPA is developing a SNUR under TSCA Section 5(a)(2) for LCPFAC chemical substances, and for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or its salts.  On January 21, 2015, EPA proposed to amend a SNUR for LCPFAC chemical substances by designating as a significant new use manufacturing (including importing) or processing of an identified subset of LCPFAC chemical substances for any use that will not be ongoing after December 31, 2015, and all other LCPFAC chemical substances for which there are currently no ongoing uses.  EPA also proposed to make inapplicable the exemption for persons who import LCPFAC chemical substances as part of articles.  In addition, EPA proposed to amend a SNUR for PFAS chemical substances that would make inapplicable the exemption for persons who import PFAS chemical substances as part of carpets.  EPA intended to issue a supplemental NPRM in May 2018 following changes to TSCA brought about by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.  EPA plans to issue a final rule in July 2019;
  • Procedural Rule:  Review of Confidential Business Information (CBI) Claims for the Identity of Chemicals on the TSCA Inventory — Amended TSCA Section 8(b)(4)(C) (RIN 2070-AK21):  EPA is developing a proposed rule to implement TSCA Section 8(b)(4)(C), which requires EPA to establish a plan to review all claims to protect the specific chemical identities of chemical substances on the confidential portion of the active  TSCA Inventory.  EPA intends to publish an NPRM in January 2019 and a final rule in December 2019;
  • TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Revisions (RIN 2070-AK33):  EPA will revise the reporting requirements to align better with new TSCA requirements.  EPA intends to issue an NPRM in September 2018 and a final rule in September 2019;
  • Significant New Uses of Chemical Substances; Updates to the Hazard Communication Program and Regulatory Framework; Minor Amendments to Reporting Requirements for Premanufacture Notices (RIN 2070-AJ94):  On July 28, 2016, EPA issued a rule proposing changes to the applicable Significant New Uses of Chemical Substances regulations to align EPA’s regulations, where possible, with the final revisions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communications Standards.  EPA intends to issue a final rule in September 2018;
  • Certain Nonylphenols (NP) and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPE); SNUR (RIN 2070-AJ96):  On October 1, 2014, EPA issued a proposed SNUR under TSCA Section 5(a)(2) for certain NPs and NPEs.  EPA intends to issue a final SNUR in December 2018;
  • Mercury; Reporting Requirements for the TSCA Mercury Inventory (RIN 2070-AK22):  On October 26, 2017, EPA issued a rule proposing reporting requirements under TSCA Section 8(b)(10)(D) for applicable persons to provide information to assist in the preparation of an “inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States,” where mercury is defined as “elemental mercury” and “a mercury compound.”  EPA intends to issue a final rule in June 2018; and
  • Service Fees for the Administration of TSCA (RIN 2070-AK27):  On February 26, 2018, EPA issued a rule proposing to implement TSCA Section 26(b)(1), which authorizes EPA to issue a rule to establish fees to defray the cost of administering Sections 4, 5, and 6, and collecting, processing, reviewing, and providing access to and protecting from disclosure as appropriate under Section 14 information on chemical substances.  EPA intends to issue a final rule in August 2018.