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EPA Finalizes TSCA Chemical Data Reporting Rule Amendments

March 23, 2020

Changes to the chemical data reporting rule under the Toxic Substance Control Act should improve the reliability and usefulness of the data collected, ensure timeliness of submissions, and reduce the burden on some reporting entities.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its amendments to 2020 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a), the chemical data reporting (CDR) rule, on March 17. This rule revision will align reporting requirements with the Lautenberg Act amendments to the TSCA. The new rule should also reduce burden for certain CDR reporters, and improve the quality of CDR data collected.

What the CDR Rule Is

TSCA Section 8(a)(1) provides EPA with the authority to promulgate rules requiring chemical processors and manufacturers to keep and submit records to EPA. In general, the CDR rule requires importers and manufacturers of certain chemicals on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory to report their use, manufacturing, and processing of these chemicals every four years.

Some classes of chemicals are exempted from reporting, however, and there are also reportable quantity thresholds. Methods of disposal, descriptions of byproducts, and chemical identity are some examples of the types of information that may be reported under the TSCA rules. The purpose of the CDR rule is to allow EPA to assess the environmental and possible human health effects of the reportable chemicals.

What the CDR Revisions Do

The CDR Revisions Final Rule, which will be officially published in the Federal Register, incorporates some statutory changes to the TSCA under the Lautenberg Act amendments. EPA has indicated that the changes are aimed at improving the reliability and usefulness of the CDR data collected, ensuring timeliness of submissions, and reducing the burden on some reporting entities.

However, the new rule may also require some reporters to submit additional data and information. EPA is also updating the public version of the TSCA reporting tool. Importantly, in light of these changes, EPA has extended the CDR reporting period by two months, and reporters now have until November 30, 2020, to submit their data.

The new rule will simplify the reporting process, in part by allowing reporters to use some data and processing codes based on those used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which codes are already widely used in the industry. The rule also allows for two different reporting mechanisms for co-manufacturers, further simplifying the process.

The rule also incorporates exemptions for certain byproducts under specific circumstances, and amends the rule’s confidential business information claim requirements to reflect changes to the TSCA. It will also require submitters to report the NAICS code(s) for chemicals’ manufacturing sites.

Further, the rule modifies an existing requirement to now only require reporters to indicate if a chemical is somehow eliminated from the waste stream and recycled. The rule also includes voluntary reporting of the percent of the total production volume that is byproduct.

Secondary submitters of joint reports and “parent companies” are also subject to the new requirements under the rule. The rule also clarifies the overall text of the regulations by, for example, removing outdated language.

Some of these amendments are being finalized as originally proposed, while others are being modified based on information EPA received during the public comment period. Certain of the originally proposed provisions will not be finalized as a result of the public comment process, which ended June 24, 2019.

Contacts

If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this LawFlash, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Princeton
John McGahren

Los Angeles
Rick Rothman

San Francisco
Ella Foley Gannon

Washington, DC
Duke McCall

Philadelphia
Glen Stuart
Jeff Hurwitz