TSCA Reform Status Report: 1 Year Later

Posted on October 6,2017 by Anthony Cardno

On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA), more commonly referred to as “TSCA Reform.” The new law focused heavily on creating new risk-based safety standards and establishing a mandatory requirement for the EPA to evaluate existing chemicals under strict and enforceable deadlines.

More than one year later, where does the Environmental Protection Agency stand on meeting its responsibilities for implementing TSCA reform?

New TSCA Risk-based Safety Standards

TSCA required the EPA to create “cradle-to-grave” management programs for any chemical that poses an unreasonable risk of injury to human health and the environment. The Lautenberg Act revises the standard by which the EPA makes an “unreasonable risk” determination. The Lautenberg Act requires EPA to create a risk-based screening process for identifying which chemicals already on the TSCA Inventory exhibit a high- or low-priority for safety assessment within one year.

The EPA has created this screening process and on November 10, 2016, identified the first 10 chemicals that will undergo the process. Each of these 10 will be designated as “high priority” (a full risk-evaluation will follow as well as probably regulatory development) or “low priority” (no further action will be taken).

Decisions about the chemicals must be made before June 22, 2019. By 2019, three years from the development of the screening process, the EPA is required to enlarge the list of chemicals being evaluated to 20 high-priority and 20 low-priority chemicals.

The TSCA Chemical Inventory “Reset Rule”

The regulations for creating the initial TSCA inventory were promulgated into 40 CFR 710 in 1977. By 2015, the Inventory had grown to about 85,000 chemicals. There was some concern that some of these chemicals might no longer be manufactured in or imported into the United States.

Section 10 of the Lautenberg Act requires the EPA to categorize chemicals on the TSCA Inventory as active or inactive and to reaffirm any Confidential Business Information (CBI) claims on chemicals already on the Inventory. The EPA has five years chemical inventory subject to TSCAafter compiling the list of active chemicals to review all CBI claims. EPA has promulgated the rules for what is being called the “Inventory Reset” into 40 CFR 710.

Manufacturers and processors must submit a one-time retrospective notice to indicate which of the 85,000 chemicals on the Inventory they have manufactured or imported in a ten-year period from June 21, 2006 to June 21, 2016. This notice, the Notice of Activity Form A, must be submitted to EPA by February 7, 2018. Any chemical not reported as being manufactured or imported in that ten-year period will be deemed “inactive” and separated out from the “active” chemicals.

Once EPA has moved a listed chemical to the inactive list, any person planning to manufacture, import, or process the substance must submit a Notice of Activity Form B not more than 90 days prior to the anticipated date of manufacturing, importing, or processing.

Read more about the “TSCA inventory reset rule” here: TSCA Inventory Reset Reporting Requirement.

Live Training on TSCA Reports and Recordkeeping

Join a full-time Lion instructor and TSCA expert on October 19 from 1—3 PM for the final TSCA Reporting & Recordkeeping Rules Webinar of 2017!

Find out what you must collect, report, and keep on file to maintain compliance with EPA’s latest TSCA chemical reporting and recordkeeping regulations. Plus, get the latest updates on EPA’s efforts to implement TSCA reform and how new chemical reporting requirements are already impacting chemical facilities nationwide.

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