Date: Jun 16, 2020
Keller and Heckman Partner Greg Clark was quoted in the Inside EPA article, “Lawyer Offers Steps to Shield CBI From Reverse Engineering Under CDR.” The article discusses how, as firms begin complying with EPA’s Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, Mr. Clark, an industry lawyer, has detailed a series of questions they should answer when seeking to protect confidential business information (CBI) and chemical identity, thus shielding the data from being revealed by “reverse engineering.”
As chemical companies prepare to submit their quadrennial reports to comply with CDR, they should inform EPA if the substance leaves the manufacturing or processing site, either as an environmental release or in a product, in situations where they are seeking to protect the chemical identity.
Mr. Clark noted that for each data element claimed as confidential, submitters must answer six questions, including whether the submitter would face “substantial harm to [the] business’s competitive position.” Companies claiming the confidentiality of a chemical identity should also provide EPA with the answers to a series of four other questions to ensure CBI protections. He discussed these questions during a June 10, 2020 webinar on EPA’s recently issues CDR rule, which reflects additional requirements for chemical companies under the 2016 reforms for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The TSCA revisions require companies to substantiate upfront CBI claims.
Mr. Clark urges submitters to include all chemical substances in their reports, watch imports, and report production volumes accurately. He noted that information not claimed as confidential under CDR “may be made public without further notice to submitter."