Proposed Changes to TSCA SNUR Rules for Chemical Manufacturers

Posted on 9/26/2016 by Roger Marks

US EPA has proposed changes to the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) chemical reporting requirements intended in part to align the TSCA rules with OSHA’s Hazard Communication, or “HazCom,” Standard (HCS) and other best safety practices. See the text of the proposed TSCA rulemaking.

Hazard Control and PPE Under TSCA

In short, EPA proposes changing the language pertaining to respiratory protection requirements at 40 CFR 721.63 to update the references to OSHA and NIOSH work safety standards. For all SNURs issued by US EPA, manufacturers and processors may follow the updated respiratory protection standards without triggering a Significant New Use Notification (SNUN) requirement. 

In addition, EPA’s proposal would update 40 CFR 721.63 to designate as a Significant New Use the failure to implement a hierarchy of controls to protect workers. Like the OSHA requirements at 29 CFR 1910.134(a)(1), the updated TSCA rule would require employers to identify and use proper controls—substituting or eliminating the hazard, implementing engineer controls, administrative and work practice controls—before using personal protective equipment (PPE) for worker protection. 

Have questions about using PPE in the workplace? Read Is PPE Your Last Resort for Workplace Safety?
TSCA chemical regulations

Proposed Changes to TSCA

EPA plans to add paragraphs to the TSCA SNUR requirements which will:  
  • Require employers to develop and implement a written hazard communication plan as required by OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.1200 HazCom rules, and
  • Describe hazard statements and warnings that may be required based on EPA’s risk assessment of a chemical substance
Other changes in the proposed TSCA rulemaking include:
  • Clarifying the definition of Significant New Use for ne chemicals to include the language “Use other than as described in the premanufacture notice referenced in Subpart E of this part for the substance” or more specific information about the use;
  • Clarify the meaning of the phrase “predictable or purposeful release” with respect to 40 CFR 721.90 reporting requirements; the phrase does not apply to releases where true emergency conditions exist and a SNUN is not possible;
  • Updating the bona fide procedure for Confidential Business Information (CBI) under 40 CFR 721.11;
  • Revising the requirements at 40 CFR 721.38, 720.45 and 723.50 to require Safety Data Sheets (SDS) already developed must be submitted as part of TSCA notifications (PMN, SNUN, LVE, LoREX, or TME); and
  • Fixing typographical errors, etc.
Read EPA’s full proposed rule here.

The American Coatings Association provides a useful breakdown of the  proposed TSCA rule as well, here.  

Tags: chemical, GHS, hazard communication, reporting and recordkeeping, TSCA

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