The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to increase the reporting required on chemical usage, manufacturing and production while decreasing the information that chemical companies and importers can keep confidential.
The proposed modifications to the Inventory Update Reporting Rule, published Aug. 13 in the Federal Register, fall under EPA’s current statutory authority through the Toxic Substances Control Act.
“The Inventory Update Reporting Rule enables EPA to collect and make current information on volumes of chemical production, manufacturing facility data, and how the chemicals are used,” the agency said in a statement. “This information helps the agency determine whether chemicals may pose risks to people or the environment.”
The reporting proposal is completely separate from the congressional chemical management bills that were introduced earlier this summer, an EPA spokesman said.
The earlier legislation, which would overhaul TSCA, has drawn opposition from the American Coatings Association and the American Chemistry Council, but those groups have not commented on the new proposal.
Coatings Industry Impact
The regulation would expand reporting in the coatings industry.
“Manufacturers, including importers, of chemical substances, including those in the coatings industry, likely would be affected by the IUR Modifications proposal,” the EPA spokesman told PaintSquare News.
“For instance, if a manufacturer or importer of a subject chemical substance previously produced its chemical in volumes of 25,000 pounds or more but under 300,000 pounds, it previously would have reported only manufacturing information. Under the proposal, the manufacturer or importer also may need to report processing and use information.”
EPA says the modifications will improve public safety.
“Enhanced reporting on the production and use of chemicals will help give the American people greater access to information on the chemicals to which their children and families are exposed every day,” said Steve Owens, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
The proposal would allow EPA “to more effectively and expeditiously identify and address potential chemical risks and improve the information available to the public on chemicals most commonly used in commerce.”
The proposal would require manufacturers, including importers, to submit information electronically, which will help the agency to make the data public more quickly. The measure also would limit the information that can be treated as confidential so the public can access it, and require more reporting from chemical manufacturers.
This proposal will undergo public comment, which EPA will use to develop the final rule and guidance documents. EPA expects to finalize the modifications to the chemical information reporting rule in time for the next reporting period, scheduled for June 1 - Sept.30, 2011. EPA will make the electronic reporting software and associated guidance materials available before the start of the submission period.
In addition to the proposed rule on chemical reporting, EPA is seeking public comment on a draft guidance document on chemical information reporting and on specific documents relating to the reporting of chemical byproducts.
To submit comments on the proposed rule and the guidance document, see docket EPA–HQ–OPPT–2009-0187: http://www.regulations.gov.
More information about the TSCA Inventory Update Reporting program and the IUR Modifications proposed rule: http://www.epa.gov/iur.