Date: May 12, 2011
Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) promulgated a final rule amending the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) regulations under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to suspend the next IUR submission period. 76 Fed. Reg. 27,271 (May 11, 2011). The IUR regulations require manufacturers and importers of certain chemical substances listed on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory to report information related to manufacturing sites, production volumes, processing and use. The next reporting period was to run from June 1, 2011 to September 30, 2011. Yesterday's final rule suspends this reporting period until further action by EPA.
The Agency's proposed amendments to the IUR regulations, published on August 13, 2010, prompted this suspension. 75 Fed. Reg. 49,656. The amendments would require electronic reporting, increase the frequency of reporting and expand the breadth of information required. See EPA Proposing to Amend TSCA Inventory Update Rule (Aug 11, 2010). With the reporting period fast approaching, finalization of the proposed amendments would leave industry very little time to prepare for and comply with the new requirements. In April, Congressmen Fred Upton (R-MI) and John Shimkus (R-IL) sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director, Jacob Lew, opposing finalization of the amendments. The Congressmen asserted that the amendments failed to meet the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act and President Obama's Executive Order 13563.
In response to concerns, EPA has suspended the next reporting period to provide additional time to finalize the proposed modifications to the IUR regulations and prepare for compliance with the new requirements. The Agency expects to finalize the amendments, which would supersede the current suspension, in the near future. Note that yesterday's rulemaking is a one-time suspension of the next submission period only. It does not alter the timing of subsequent submission periods (e.g., the submission period running from June 1, 2016 to September 30, 2016).