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EPA Considers Modifying TSCA Fees

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its plan considering a proposed rule that would look at potential exemptions to the Toxic Substances Control Act Fees Rule.

The consideration is in response to stakeholder concerns about implementation challenges.

“By considering a proposal to narrow the broad scope of the current requirements, the agency could significantly reduce burden on potentially thousands of businesses across the country while maintaining the ability to successfully implement the Lautenberg Act amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act to protect human health and the environment,” the EPA said in a statement.

Some Background

The EPA announced that it was looking into the fees earlier this month. The TSCA Fees Rule mandates that manufacturers (including importers) of each chemical prioritized for risk evaluation are responsible for paying the fee associated with those evaluations.

As a first step, the agency extended the comment period by 60 days for the preliminary lists of manufacturers subject to fees associated with EPA-initiated risk evaluations. That comment period ran through March 27.

© iStock / Skyhobo

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced its plan considering a proposed rule that would look at potential exemptions to the Toxic Substances Control Act Fees Rule.

This public comment period provided an opportunity for all manufacturers of these 20 high-priority chemicals to report to EPA and identify whether they are actively involved in the manufacture and/or import of these chemicals.

That preliminary list of companies was published in January, shortly after the chemicals list.

The Chemicals

The EPA announced that the list of 20 chemicals to undergo risk evaluation under the Toxic Substances Control Act, which were initially flagged at high-priority in March 2019, was moving forward to public comments in August.

In December, the EPA announced that it had finalized the list.

The EPA issued documents for each substance that describes chemical-specific information, analysis and basis that the EPA used to support the proposed designation and comments were due by Nov. 21.

The 20 proposed high-priority chemicals include seven chlorinated solvents, six phthalates, four flame retardants, formaldehyde, a fragrance additive and a polymer precursor.

The full list includes:

  • p-Dichlorobenzene;
  • 1,2-Dichloroethane;
  • trans-1,2- Dichloroethylene;
  • o-Dichlorobenzene;
  • 1,1,2-Trichloroethane;
  • 1,2-Dichloropropane;
  • 1,1-Dichloroethane;
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) (1,2-Benzene- dicarboxylic acid, 1,2- dibutyl ester);
  • Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) - 1,2-Benzene- dicarboxylic acid, 1- butyl 2(phenylmethyl) ester;
  • Di-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) - (1,2-Benzene- dicarboxylic acid, 1,2- bis(2-ethylhexyl) ester);
  • Di-isobutyl phthalate (DIBP) - (1,2-Benzene- dicarboxylic acid, 1,2- bis-(2methylpropyl) ester);
  • Dicyclohexyl phthalate;
  • 4,4'-(1-Methylethylidene)bis[2, 6-dibromophenol] (TBBPA);
  • Tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP);
  • Phosphoric acid, triphenyl ester (TPP);
  • Ethylene dibromide;
  • 1,3-Butadiene;
  • 1,3,4,6,7,8-Hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta [g]-2-benzopyran (HHCB);
  • Formaldehyde; and
  • Phthalic anhydride.

What Now

“Stakeholders are important partners in the work we do to ensure the safety of chemicals and seeking feedback from the public is a standard and valuable part of all our processes,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Alexandra Dapolito Dunn.

“After reviewing their input and concerns regarding the TSCA Fees Rule, we are taking action to continue evaluating potential risks from chemicals while ensuring our requirements are practical and realistic.”

The agency plans to initiate a new rulemaking process to consider proposing exemptions to the current rule’s self-identification requirements associated with risk evaluations for manufacturers that:

  • Import the chemical substance in an article;
  • Produce the chemical substance as a byproduct; and
  • Produce or import the chemical substance as an impurity.

The agency may also consider proposing other changes to the rule, which is consistent with TSCA’s requirement to reevaluate the Fees Rule every three years.

Additionally, the EPA has issued a “no action assurance” for the three categories of manufacturers at this time


Tagged categories: Construction chemicals; EPA; EPA; Good Technical Practice; Government; NA; North America; Regulations

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