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Update: 2018 TSCA Mercury Reporting Rule Revised

Posted on 11/22/2021 by Roger Marks and Lauren Scott


Update (11/8/21)

On November 8, a revision to EPA's 2018 rule "Reporting Requirements for TSCA Mercury Inventory: Mercury" was published to the Federal Register.

The original rule requires reporting from persons who manufacture (including import) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process. The latest update would mean companies that import pre-assembled products that contain a mercury-added component (such as a watch with a mercury-added battery) would be required to report such imports to EPA.

The original 2018 mercury reporting rule was challenged in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in July 2018, and the court issued its decision on June 5, 2020, vacating an exemption for companies that import pre-assembled products containing a mercury-added component. In its decision, the court found that the exemption for importers of products containing mercury-added components was an unlawful interpretation of TSCA because it lacked a reasoned explanation.

The new revisions announced implement the court’s order vacating this exemption. This change goes into effect on December 8, 2021.


Original Article Text (7/6/18)

In late June 2018, US EPA finalized a rulemaking to require manufacturers, importers, distributors, and users of mercury and mercury-added products to report to EPA about their activities.

Issued under TSCA Section 8(b)(10), this new chemical reporting requirement will enable EPA to fulfill a statutory mandate under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act: Once every three years, EPA must release an “inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade” that includes data collected from industry.

EPA estimates the new reporting requirement—including time spent learning the new rule, determining applicability, etc.—will result in a burden of 72,600 hours and $5.8 million in the first year or reporting.
For more information on which industries may be affected by this rulemaking, see our coverage of the proposed rule published in October 2017.  


Who Is Excluded?

Not every facility that has mercury on site will be required to report. The following groups are not covered by the new mercury reporting requirement:
 
  • Persons who only generate, handle, or manage mercury-containing wastes
  • Persons who only manufacture mercury as an impurity
  • Persons engaged in activities involving mercury not with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage
EPA is also working on exemptions for facilities that already report for mercury and mercury-containing products under TSCA Section 8(a) Chemical Data Reporting, or CDR, and the IMERC Mercury-added Products Database. 


TSCA Training—Anytime, Anywhere

Learn what you must know to achieve and maintain compliance with EPA’s Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) reporting, recordkeeping, and chemical management rules. The TSCA Regulations Online Course covers the detailed rules for handling, storing, processing, and manufacturing regulated chemical substances. Plus, learn what you must report, record, and keep on file to avoid TSCA fines.
 

Tags: EPA, mercury, new rules, reporting and recordkeeping, TSCA

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