Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is a Washington, D.C. law firm providing chemical and chemical product stakeholders unparalleled experience, judgment, and excellence in matters relating to TSCA, and other global chemical management programs.
On July 10, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a prepublication version of a direct final rule, Significant New Use Rule on Certain Chemical Substances, noting the issuance of significant new use rules (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 29 chemical substances that were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN) and subject to consent orders under TSCA Section 5(e). These are the first rules with consent orders negotiated under new TSCA. Persons who intend to manufacture or process any of the chemicals for an activity that is designated as a significant new use (SNU) by this rule must notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity, and the notification will initiate EPA’s evaluation of the intended use within the applicable review period. Further, “[p]ersons may not commence manufacture or processing for the significant new use until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and has taken such actions as are required with that determination.” EPA will be accepting comments on these SNURs; comments will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. If comment deemed adverse is submitted after the rules are published in the Federal Register as to any of the 29 chemical substances, EPA will withdraw the rule and propose it for comment. Comment will be due 30 days after publication.
EPA states it is issuing these SNURs for specific chemical substances which have undergone premanufacture review because it wants to achieve the following objectives with regard to the SNUs designated in this rule:
The 29 chemicals are:
On July 7, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the scope documents for the risk evaluations of the first ten chemicals that it will be conducting under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). 82 Fed. Reg. 31592. The notice states that each scope document includes “the hazards, exposures, conditions of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations the EPA expects to consider in conducting the risk evaluation.” The direct links to the scope documents are available in our blog item EPA Issues Much Anticipated Three Final TSCA Framework Rules, Guidance on Draft Risk Evaluations, and Scoping Documents on Risk Evaluations of First Ten Chemicals under Revised TSCA.
The notice also reiterates that EPA is re-opening existing dockets for the first ten chemicals to “allow for the public to provide additional data or information that could be useful to the Agency in conducting problem formulation, the next step in the process of conducting the risk evaluations for these chemicals.” More information on the reopening of the dockets for public comments, including links to the individual dockets, is available in our blog item EPA Opens Comment Period on Risk Evaluations for First Ten Chemicals under Revised TSCA. As stated in the memo reopening the dockets, but curiously not stated in the published notice (no dates were included), comments are due September 19, 2017.
On June 26, 2017, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) issued a summary and analysis of the three final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) framework rules released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 22, 2017, EPA Issues Final TSCA Framework Rules. The final rules include the prioritization process rule, which establishes EPA’s process and criteria for identifying High-Priority chemicals for risk evaluation and Low-Priority chemicals for which risk evaluation is not warranted at this time; the risk evaluation process rule, which establishes EPA’s process for evaluating High-Priority chemicals to determine whether or not they present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment; and the TSCA Inventory active-inactive rule, which requires industry to report chemicals manufactured, imported, or processed in the U.S. over the past ten years. EPA also published pre-publication notices concerning the scopes of the risk evaluations to be conducted for the first ten chemical substances under new TSCA and a guidance document to assist interested persons in developing and submitting draft risk evaluations.
B&C states that on the whole, the final rules improve upon the proposed rules, adding clarity and specificity where needed, and eliminating provisions and or preamble text that, in our view, enhance the clarity of the rules. Not everyone will be happy, however, as the rules reconsider, revise, and in some instances retreat from positions taken in the proposed rules issued under the Obama Administration. Our analysis identifies these changes.
EPA Issues Much Anticipated Three Final TSCA Framework Rules, Guidance on Draft Risk Evaluations, and Scoping Documents on Risk Evaluations of First Ten Chemicals under Revised TSCA
As required by the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), on June 22, 2017, one year after passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued the three framework rules in final. EPA also released draft guidance to assist in developing and submitting draft risk evaluations. The final rules are:
EPA also released scoping documents of the risk evaluations and supplemental resources on the first ten chemicals under amended TSCA, as it stipulated in its annual report on risk evaluations. Links to the scoping documents for these ten chemicals, as well as strategies for conducting literature searches, are below:
Administrator Scott Pruitt signed them and they were released to the general public shortly thereafter. They are expected to be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) will provide feedback on the final rules in upcoming memoranda on each final rule, as well as a memorandum on the draft guidance on developing risk evaluations. Please look for these memoranda on our website under “Regulatory Developments.”
On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency posted a memo authorizing the opening of comment periods for the public to comment on the risk evaluation process for the first ten chemicals it is evaluating under the revised Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to determine whether they “present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.” Specifically, EPA states it is interested in “information from the public that could be useful to the Agency in conducting problem formulation,” which is the “next step in the process of conducting the required risk evaluations for these chemicals.” Comments are due September 19, 2017.
EPA’s 2017 Annual Report on Risk Evaluations issued in February stated that it expected to issue a scoping document on each of the individual chemicals by June 19, 2017, which must include “the hazard(s), exposure(s), condition(s) of use, and the potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation(s) the Administrator expects to consider in the evaluation.” EPA has not yet issued the scoping documents, but is expected to do so soon. After the scoping documents have been published, EPA stated that it would “continue with the risk evaluation process as described in the statute and the associated Risk Evaluation Rule [to be issued in final on June 22, 2017], with the expectation to complete the risk evaluation in the 3-3.5 year timeframe required by law.”
The list of ten chemicals and their corresponding docket ID numbers are:
Revised TSCA requires that the three framework rules, which include the procedures for evaluating existing chemical risks rule (Risk Evaluation Rule), the procedures to prioritize chemicals for risk evaluation rule, and the requirements for TSCA Inventory notification (active-inactive) rule, be issued in final by June 22, 2017.
More information on these framework rules will be available on our blog after they are issued in final.
On June 13, 2017, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) received a notice from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitting its draft Guidance to Assist Interested Persons in Developing and Submitting Draft Risk Evaluations Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (RIN 2070-ZA18) for review and approval. Under Section 26(l)(5), EPA is required, “[n]ot later than 1 year after the date of enactment … [to] develop guidance to assist interested persons in developing and submitting draft risk evaluations which shall be considered by the Administrator.” While the “framework rules” have been the subject of considerable focus since last June, this guidance is as important, subject to the one year deadline, and likely to provide significant insights into EPA’s thinking on risk evaluations. EPA must publish the final rule in the Federal Register by June 22, 2017.
More information on the final rule on Procedures for Evaluating Existing Chemical Risks under TSCA is available in our memorandum EPA Releases Proposed Chemical Risk Evaluation Process under New TSCA.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a pre-publication version of its direct final rule signed on April 5, 2017, which states that EPA will be promulgating significant new use rules (SNUR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for 37 chemical substances which were the subject of premanufacture notices (PMN). This action will require persons who intend to manufacture or process any of these 37 chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use (SNU) by this rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. This final rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. We note that all of these substances were reviewed under old TSCA, prior to June 22, 2016. The 37 chemical substances are:
EPA Submits Final Rulemaking on Procedures for Evaluating Existing Chemical Risks under TSCA to OMB for Review and Approval
On June 1, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted its final rulemaking on the Procedures for Evaluating Existing Chemical Risks under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.
EPA’s proposed rule describes a process for conducting risk evaluations to determine whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation, under the conditions of use; and identifies the steps of a risk evaluation process including scope, hazard assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and finally a risk determination. This process would be used for the first ten chemical substances to be evaluated from the 2014 update of the TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments, chemical substances designated as High-Priority Substances during the prioritization process, and those chemical substances for which EPA has initiated a risk evaluation in response to manufacturer requests. Comments were due March 20, 2017; 87 comments were filed. Pursuant to new TSCA, EPA must publish the final rule in the Federal Register by June 22, 2017.
More information on the rule as proposed is available in our memorandum EPA Releases Proposed Chemical Risk Evaluation Process under New TSCA.
EPA Issues Notice on the Establishment of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee and Sets Public Meeting Dates
On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish in the Federal Register a notice of public meetings and a notice regarding the establishment of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee (NRC). The NRC’s objective is to “negotiate a proposed rule that would limit chemical data reporting requirements under Section 8(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), [as amended], for manufacturers of any inorganic byproduct chemical substances when such byproduct chemical substances are subsequently recycled, reused, or reprocessed.” The prepublication version is available online.
EPA’s notice lists the stakeholder groups from which EPA plans to invite representatives to participate as members of the Committee -- all of whom have been “identified as having a definable stake in the outcome of the proposed requirements”:
The first meeting will be held on June 8, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT) and on June 9, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EDT). The second Committee meeting will be held on August 16, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EDT) and on August 17, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EDT). Both meetings will be held at EPA’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
More information on the NRC is available on our blog under key phrase negotiated rulemaking.
EPA Submits Final Rulemaking on Procedures to Prioritize Chemicals for Risk Evaluation under TSCA to OMB for Review and Approval
On May 23, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted its final rulemaking on the Procedures for Prioritization of Chemicals for Risk Evaluation Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. In the proposed rule, EPA describes the processes for identifying potential candidates for prioritization, selecting a candidate, screening that candidate against certain criteria, formally initiating the prioritization process, providing opportunities for public comment, and proposing and preparing final priority designations. EPA also incorporates all of the elements required by new TSCA, but also supplements those requirements with additional criteria it expects to consider, some clarifications intended to provide greater transparency, and additional procedural steps to ensure effective implementation. Comments were due March 20, 2017; 70 comments were filed. Pursuant to new TSCA, EPA must publish the final rule in the Federal Register by June 22, 2017.
More information on the rule as proposed is available in our memorandum EPA Proposes Procedures to Prioritize Chemicals for Risk Evaluation under TSCA.
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. and ABA Books Release New TSCA: A Guide to the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act and Its Implementation
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is pleased to announce the publication of New TSCA: A Guide to the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act and Its Implementation, released today by the American Bar Association (ABA). This new book is a comprehensive guide to the substantial revisions to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) occasioned by enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act on June 22, 2016, to produce “new TSCA,” amending and replacing “old TSCA” as of that date. B&C Managing Partner Lynn L. Bergeson and Senior Regulatory and Policy Advisor Charles M. Auer are editors and co-authors, with contributions from B&C’s outstanding TSCA practice group, including Timothy D. Backstrom, Lisa R. Burchi, Lisa M. Campbell, Sheryl L. Dolan, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Margaret R. Graham, Oscar Hernandez, Ph.D., Carla N. Hutton, and Kathleen M. Roberts.
New TSCA: A Guide to the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act and Its Implementation is available for purchase via the ABA online bookstore.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) has announced that it will be hosting regional small business roundtables “to hear firsthand from small businesses facing regulatory burdens [on] … which federal agency regulations should be considered for reform or elimination,” and “which regulations are problematic for your business,” as a result of the recent Executive Orders 13771 and 13777 on regulatory reform.
The first two roundtables in this series will be held on June 7, 2017, and June 8, 2017, in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana, respectively. Several more are expected to be scheduled soon for Boise, Idaho, Phoenix, Arizona, and St. Louis, Missouri, among others.
The Advocacy website states that the purpose of regional regulatory roundtables is to:
Registration for the first two roundtables is available online: Baton Rouge registration; New Orleans registration. Advocacy is also accepting comments regarding regulatory reform via an online form. More information on the Executive Orders and their implementation is available on our blog.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice on May 16, 2017, announcing the availability of and requesting public comment on a draft guidance document entitled “Guidance on EPA’s Section 8(a) Information Gathering Rule on Nanomaterials in Commerce.” 82 Fed. Reg. 22452. The promised guidance provides answers to questions EPA has received from manufacturers (includes importers) and processors of certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale as described in the January 12, 2017, final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a) rule. The final rule requires one-time reporting for existing discrete forms of certain nanoscale materials, and a standing one-time reporting requirement for new discrete forms of certain nanoscale materials. More information regarding the final rule is available in our January 12, 2017, memorandum, “EPA Promulgates Final TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule for Nanoscale Materials.” EPA states that it will accept comments regarding the draft guidance, but not regarding the rule itself, “which has already been finalized.” Comments are due June 15, 2017.
The 14-page draft guidance, in the form of questions and answers, addresses questions within the following categories: what chemicals are reportable; who is required to report; information that is to be reported; when is reporting required; general questions; and confidentiality. While the publication of draft guidance within four months of promulgation of the final rule is an achievement, the draft guidance does not significantly expand upon that which is already known, or make the rule clearer or easier with which to comply. Companies subject to the reporting requirements of the final rule can expect to continue to struggle in sorting out what discrete forms are required to be reported. More information regarding the draft guidance is available in our May 16, 2017, memorandum, “EPA Seeks Comment on Draft Guidance for Nanoscale Materials Reporting Rule.”
EPA Reopens Comment Period on Standards for Small Manufacturers and Processors for TSCA Reporting for Review of SBA Consultation Documents
On May 9, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a notice stating that it was reopening the comment period regarding whether revision to the current size standards for small manufacturers and processors, which are used in connection with reporting regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a), is warranted. 82 Fed. Reg. 21542. EPA is opening the comment period for another 15 days, until May 24, 2017, to provide adequate opportunity for the public to consider the results of EPA’s consultation with the Small Business Administration (SBA). EPA’s initial request for comments was published on December 15, 2016, and comments on its initial notice were due by January 17, 2017.
The reopening of the comment period allows for public review and comment on EPA’s December 7, 2016, consultation request to the SBA on the adequacy of the current standards, as well as the SBA Administrator’s April 5, 2017, feedback on EPA’s consultation request. In the notice, EPA states that it had intended to add SBA’s response to the docket to give the public an opportunity to review the response to inform their comments on EPA’s preliminary determination; EPA is providing that opportunity now.
Facing a government shutdown, late on April 30, 2017, lawmakers reached agreement on a spending bill that funds the federal government through September 2017, which is the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.
President Trump’s budget blueprint sought to slash EPA’s coffers by some 31 percent (and more if certain programs were eliminated from the base). The deal reached by lawmakers, however, would essentially fund EPA at its current levels and retain current staff levels. The bill appropriates $8.058 billion for EPA, paring a little over $80 million -- about one percent -- from EPA’s FY 2016 budget.
Programs targeted for elimination by President Trump remain funded, at least through September, when Congress will face another budget showdown. For example, the bill funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and lead elimination programs.
While EPA’s budget is generally unchanged, the bill does contain several policy riders. It would require EPA to treat air emissions from forest biomass as carbon neutral. EPA also would not be allowed to regulate manure and similar agricultural byproducts as wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and the bill would bar EPA from requiring Clean Water Act (CWA) permits for certain agricultural practices. The legislation also prohibits funding to regulate lead content of ammunition, ammunition components, and fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) or any other law.
Senate Report No. 114-281 on the pending FY 2017 budget deal and an accompanying explanatory statement also address specifically TSCA, the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), and nanomaterials. The specific language is below.