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EPA Issues 3 New Notices Taking Action under Amended TSCA

1. Proposed Ban on Certain Uses of Trichloroethylene

EPA is issuing a proposed rule under section 6(a) of TSCA to prohibit the manufacture, import, processing, and distribution in commerce and to prohibit commercial use of trichloroethylene (TCE) for aerosol degreasing and for spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities. EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers, processors, and distributors, other than retailers, to provide downstream notice of these prohibitions throughout the supply chain, and to maintain certain limited records. Section 26(l)(4) of TSCA authorizes EPA to issue risk management rules under section 6(a) of TSCA that are consistent with the scope of a risk assessment completed on a Work Plan Chemical before the date of enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. EPA published the risk assessment for TCE on June 25, 2014, in which the Agency determined that the above uses result in significant non-cancer risks (under acute and chronic exposure scenarios) and cancer risks. Comments on the proposed rule will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. A pre-publication copy of the Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking is available here.

2. Comments Requested on Definition of Small Manufacturer and Processor

Section 8(a)(3)(C) of TSCA requires EPA, after consultation with the Small Business Administration, to review the adequacy of the standards for defining “small manufacturers and processors” that are subject to certain reporting exemptions under TSCA. EPA has preliminarily determined that an increase in the current size limit is indeed warranted. Through this Federal Register notice, EPA is requesting comments by January 17, 2017 to determine whether a revision is warranted. If EPA determines that a revision is warranted, such revision would occur by subsequent rulemaking, which would involve a further opportunity for public notice and comment.

3. Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Announced to Develop CDR Inorganic Byproducts Requirements

As required by section 8(a)(6) of TSCA, EPA has announced plans for establishing a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee to develop a regulation limiting TSCA section 8(a) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirements for inorganic byproducts that are recycled, reused, or reprocessed. EPA anticipates selecting 10 to 25 members and is soliciting comments, due January 17, 2017, regarding procedures for establishing the committee and the issues the committee should address. Once the procedures for establishing the Committee are determined, EPA will publish another Federal Register notice seeking members to serve on the Committee.