TSCA New Use Rule for 330 Inactive PFAS Proposed
Under a rule proposed last week, notification to US EPA would be required before manufacturing, importing, or processing for any use any of the 330 PFAS chemicals designated as Inactive on the TSCA Inventory.
The proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) would apply to PFAS that are:
- Designated as Inactive on the TSCA Inventory, and
- Not subject to an existing SNUR.*
* Includes the SNURs at 40 CFR 721.9582 (“certain perfluoroalkyl sulfonates”) and 40 CFR 721.10536 (“long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate chemical substances”)
EPA will accept public comments on the proposed TSCA SNUR until March 27, 2023.
When a substance is covered by a TSCA Significant New Use Rule, anyone who intends to manufacture, import, or process the covered substance/chemical “for a significant new use” must notify EPA 90 days before starting the activity.
Often, EPA includes details in the SNUR about what uses are considered “significant new uses.” A SNUR may say, for example, that “manufacturing or importing Chemical X for use as an additive in ski wax” is considered a significant new use. Anyone who wishes to manufacture/import/process/use that specific chemical for that specific use would be required to notify EPA 90 days in advance.
Other times, a SNUR can be more restrictive. In the rule proposed on January 26, EPA specifies “manufacture (including import) or processing for any use” as a significant new use. Therefore, anyone who wishes to manufacture/import/process one of the 330 inactive PFAS on the TSCA inventory would be required to notify EPA 90 days before commencing the activity.
Active vs. Inactive on the TSCA Inventory
The 330 PFAS covered by this proposed SNUR are “inactive” on the TSCA inventory, which means that none of them has been manufactured, imported, or processed for any purpose in the US since at least 2006.
In 2016, EPA required certain facilities to provide data on chemical manufacturing and import data covering the ten years prior. The data was used to divide the TSCA inventory into those chemical substances that are “active” in the past ten years and those that are inactive.
Of the roughly 86,000 chemicals on the TSCA Inventory, about half (48%) are now deemed “active” in commerce.
In 2021, EPA required PFAS manufacturers and importers to report ten years of chemical production, disposal, use, and safety data (2011—2021). That suggests the data EPA is using about which PFAS are being manufactured, imported, processed, or used in the US is relatively current.
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