Date: Mar 18, 2020
On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a prepublication copy of its final rule amending the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.) section 8(a) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule appearing at 40 C.F.R. Part 711. This rule requires U.S. manufacturers and importers of certain substances listed on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (Inventory) to report every four years, using EPA’s e-CDRweb reporting tool, certain information pertaining to the manufacture, import, process, and use of those substances.
The CDR submission period is scheduled to begin June 1, 2020. To allow the regulated community to familiarize itself with the amended requirements, however, in a separate prepublication notice EPA announced the extension of the deadline for submitting 2020 CDR reports until November 30, 2020. EPA expects that approximately 5,660 sites will report for the 2020 CDR.
EPA amended the rule for three primary reasons: to align CDR reporting with the 2016 amendments to TSCA under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act; to improve collected data to support TSCA implementation; and to reduce burdens for certain reporters. The final rule largely mirrors the proposed rule, but certain changes were made from the proposal.
The final rule:
In the proposed rule (84 Fed. Reg. 17,692, Apr. 25, 2019), the Agency had sought to update the TSCA section 8(a) size standards definition for small manufacturers and importers, but these amendments will appear in a separate final rule that was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on March 6. EPA is also not finalizing proposed changes pertaining to the inclusion of a public contact, reporting within metal compound categories for inorganic byproducts, and consolidation of byproduct exemption regulations.
EPA has reportedly made various enhancement to the e-CDRweb reporting tool to facilitate reporting. EPA anticipates holding a webinar to introduce the revised e-CDRweb reporting tool to the regulated community in the next several weeks and will provide a small group of interested parties with an opportunity to test and comment on the updated e-CDRweb reporting tool prior to the 2020 submission period.
Importantly, CDR, as well as Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting, are key data sources being used by EPA for chemical prioritization and risk evaluations under TSCA. Submitting complete and accurate data and keeping in mind the “known to or reasonably ascertainable by” due diligence standard required of reporters are critical. With substantial monetary penalties for non-compliance and aggressive EPA enforcement, companies would be well advised to understand the subtleties of the amended rule and strictly comply with its requirements.