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EPA Issues Memorandum Formally Initiating TSCA Inventory "Inactive" Chemical Designation Period

On May 9, 2019, EPA released a pre-publication copy of a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of a signed memorandum that formally identifies chemicals for "inactive" designation under the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Requirements rule.[1]

Signature of the memorandum served to initiate the 90-day delayed effective date for inactive chemical designations that were included in the updated TSCA Inventory released February 19, 2019. Accordingly, inactive designations will become effective on August 5, 2019. Significantly, EPA had earlier indicated via a webinar that the effective date for inactive designations would be May 20, 2019, or 90-days after EPA's February 19, 2019 release of the updated Inventory.

As a result of this action, beginning August 5, 2019 any person who intends to manufacture, import, or process an inactive chemical for a non-exempt purpose must submit a Notice of Activity (NOA) Form B before, but not more than 90-days prior to, the anticipated date of such manufacture, import, or processing. To avoid business disruption, under certain circumstances the regulations also allow submission of an NOA Form B during the period between designation of inactive status and August 4, 2019.

The Agency's action is intended to clarify uncertainty regarding the effective date of inactive chemical designations. It also provides industry with additional time to comply with the NOA Form B requirement. As of March 13, 2019, EPA indicated that 45,573, or 53%, of the 86,228 substances on the TSCA Inventory are designated as inactive.

[1] 82 Fed. Reg. 37,520 (Aug. 11, 2017) (codified at 40 C.F.R. part 710, subpart B).