Article

Recent EPA Actions under the TSCA

Posted on: October 10, 2013

Among the most recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are the following:

  • releasing TSCA Inventory reporting guidance for Isotopes;
  • promulgating and amending Significant New Use Rules (SNURs);
  • publishing notices regarding the disposition of petitions submitted under TSCA Section 21;
  • announcing the receipt of the Interagency Testing Committee’s (ITC’s) Seventy-Second Report to the Administrator of EPA;
  • launching a new web tool on chemical information; and
  • releasing a draft report on alternatives to the flame retardant chemical Hexabromocyclododecane.

On June 19, 2013, EPA released a Fact Sheet entitled, “TSCA Inventory Guidance Regarding Isotopes.”  According to EPA, the primary goal of this document is to help the regulated community comply with the requirements of the TSCA Section 5 Premanufacture Notification Program for chemical substances that contain deliberate isotopic modification to an element in the substance.  The Fact Sheet is available online at:  http://www.epa.gov/oppt/newchems/pubs/isotopes.pdf.

On June 26, 2013, EPA finalized a SNUR for 17 chemical substances which were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs).  15 of these chemical substances are subject to TSCA Section 5(e) consent orders issued by EPA.  This action requires persons who intend to manufacture or process any of these 17 chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this final rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity.  According to EPA, the required notification will provide the Agency with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs.

On July 11 2013, EPA published a notice announcing the availability of the Agency’s response to a TSCA Section 21 petition submitted by Earthjustice and 114 other organizations for chemical substances and mixtures used in oil and gas exploration and production.  In its response, EPA partially granted and partially denied the petition.

On July 24, 2013, EPA published a notice of receipt of the ITC’s Seventy-Second Report to the Administrator of EPA.  In the 72nd ITC Report, which was included with the notice, the ITC revised the TSCA Section 4(e) Priority Testing List by removing 16 chemicals with insufficient dermal absorption rate data, 98 High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program orphan chemicals, and 50 diisocyanates and related compounds.  The ITC is removing 16 chemicals with insufficient dermal absorption rate data because information from dermal studies can be readily obtained through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and EPA databases or other authoritative scientific resources.  The ITC is removing the 98 HPV Challenge Program orphan chemicals because they no longer meet the production volume threshold of one million pounds for the HPV Challenge Program.  The ITC is removing the 50 diisocyanates and related compounds because their production or importation volumes were not reported to the 2006 Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule or the 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule.

On July 31, 2013, EPA published a final rule to amend the SNUR for the chemical substance identified as Ethaneperoxoic acid, 1,1-dimethylpropyl ester, which was the subject of PMN P-85-680.  This action requires persons who intend to manufacture or process this chemical substance for a use that is designated as a significant new use by this final rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity.  The Agency believes that this action is necessary because new uses of the chemical substance may be hazardous to human health.  According to EPA, the required notification would provide the Agency with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs.

On August 7, 2013, EPA promulgated SNURs for 53 chemical substances which were the subject of PMNs.  Seven of these chemical substances are subject to TSCA Section 5(e) consent orders issued by EPA.  This action requires persons who intend to manufacture or process any of these 53 chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use to notify the Agency at least 90 days before commencing that activity.  According to EPA, the required notification will provide the Agency with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs.

On August 12, 2013, EPA published a notice announcing the availability of the Agency’s response to a TSCA Section 21 petition.  The petition, dated May 9, 2013, was submitted by American University students, alumni and faculty.  The petitioners requested EPA to take action to prohibit the use of Hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) as a water fluoridation agent.  After careful consideration, EPA denied the petition for the reasons discussed in this document.

On September 9, 2013, EPA launched a new web tool on chemical information.  According to the Agency, this new tool, called ChemView, will significantly improve access to chemical-specific information developed by EPA as well as data submitted under the TSCA.  On the same day, EPA held a webinar to introduce ChemView to the public.  ChemView can be accessed through EPA’s Existing Chemicals website at http://www.epa.gov/chemview/.  A comprehensive User’s Guide has also been posted on this site.

On September 11, 2013, EPA finalized the SNUR for three chemical substances which were the subject of PMNs and subject to a TSCA Section 5(e) consent order.  This action requires persons who intend to manufacture (including import) or process any of these three chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this final rule to notify the Agency at least 90 days before commencing that activity.  According to EPA, the required notification will provide the Agency with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs.

On September 24, 2013, EPA released a draft report on alternatives to a flame retardant chemical, Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), which has persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic characteristics.  The Agency stated that the findings in this report can help manufacturers to identify safer alternatives to the use of HBCD in polystyrene building insulation.  A copy of the draft HBCD report can be found at http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/projects/hbcd/about.htm.

References

Environmental Protection Agency.  “EPA Issues Fact Sheet on Isotopes.”  News Release.  June 19, 2013.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances”  Federal Register 78 (26 June 2013):  38210-38223.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Chemical Substances and Mixtures Used in Oil and Gas Exploration or Production; TSCA Section 21 Petition; Reasons for Agency Response”  Federal Register 78 (11 July 2013):  41768-41771.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Seventy-Second Report of the TSCA Interagency Testing Committee to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; Receipt of Report and Request for Comments”  Federal Register 78 (24 July 2013):  44858-44866.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Modification of Significant New Uses of Ethaneperoxoic Acid, 1,1-Dimethylpropyl Ester”  Federal Register 78 (31 July 2013):  46283-46287.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances”  Federal Register 78 (7 August 2013):  48051-48068.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Hydrofluorosilicic Acid in Drinking Water; TSCA Section 21 Petition; Reasons for Agency Response”  Federal Register 78 (12 August 2013):  48845-48848.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Significant New Use Rules on Certain Chemical Substances”  Federal Register 78 (11 September 2013):  55632-55635.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “EPA Web Tool Expands Access to Scientific, Regulatory Information on Chemicals.”  News Release.  September 9, 2013.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “EPA Evaluates Flame Retardants Including a Safer Substitute for HBCD.”  News Release.  September 24, 2013.

See also:

TSCA Essentials

TSCA PMN Preparation

TSCA Services


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