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.

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The Internal Revenue Service announced on June 24, 2022, that it has posted frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the Superfund chemical excise tax. The FAQs detail what the Superfund chemical excise tax is, how the tax is computed, and who may be liable for the tax. The Superfund chemical taxes will be reported on Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, and Form 6627, Environmental Taxes. The excise taxes were reinstated beginning on July 1, 2022, under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The IRS notes that there are two separate Superfund chemical excise taxes: a tax on the sale or use of “taxable chemicals” and a tax on the sale or use of imported “taxable substances.” Specifically, the reinstated taxes impose an excise tax on the sale or use of a taxable chemical by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the taxable chemical. They also impose an excise tax on the sale or use of a taxable substance by the importer of the taxable substance. The IRS states that the FAQs provide general information. According to the IRS, at the time of publication of these FAQs, 151 substances are listed as taxable substances. The IRS states “[t]hat number will likely change as substances are added to or removed from the list of taxable substances.” The FAQs added June 24, 2022, include:

Q1.      What are the Superfund chemical excise taxes?

Q2.      When do the Superfund chemical excise taxes go into effect?

Q3.      What is a taxable chemical?

Q4.      What is a taxable substance?

Q5.      How are substances added to or removed from the list of taxable substances?

Q6.      How do I calculate the section 4661 tax?

Q7.      I am an importer of taxable substances. How do I calculate the section 4671 tax?

Q8.      What happens if an importer does not calculate the section 4671 tax?

Q9.      Will the IRS prescribe tax rates for taxable substances?

Q10.    Who is responsible for reporting and paying Superfund chemical excise taxes?

Q11.    How are the Superfund chemical excise taxes reported?

Q12.    When is the first return due?

Q13.    Are semimonthly deposits required?

Q14.    Under what circumstances is registration required?

Q15.    Is there a way to check the status of an application for Activity Letter G registration?

More information on the Superfund excise tax on certain chemical substances is available in our May 19, 2022, memorandum.

Tags: IRS, Superfund, tax

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On June 22, 2022, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works will hold a hearing on “Toxic Substances Control Act Amendments Implementation.” This coincides with the sixth anniversary of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act) that amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The only witness scheduled is Michal Freedhoff, Ph.D., Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).


 

B&C, the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), and the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health will present “TSCA Reform – Six Years Later” on June 29, 2022. This complimentary virtual conference marks the sixth TSCA Annual Conference, reflecting on the accomplishments and challenges since the implementation of the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments and where TSCA stands today. Speakers will dive into a host of topics, including the interface of science and policy under TSCA, new chemicals, risk evaluation and management, the regulation of articles, and more. Register here.

Full Agenda (subject to change):

9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Overview of Virtual Forum

 
9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Morning Keynote Discussion

Michal Ilana Freedhoff, Ph.D., Assistant Administrator, Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
10:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Panel 1: The Interface of Science and Policy under TSCA
 
This panel will examine key issues at the interface of science and policy under TSCA, including the continuing role of animal studies in supporting risk evaluations, the potential use of New Approach Methodologies (NAM) to inform safety determinations for new and existing chemicals, scientific integrity and the TSCA program, methodologies for systematic review, and more. 
 
Moderated by James J. Jones, President, J. Jones Environmental
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Panel 2: New Chemical Review
 
The TSCA New Chemicals Program was strengthened in the 2016 Lautenberg Amendments and what the law requires has been vigorously debated. This panel will discuss opportunities for transparency, processes to guide new chemical review, new approaches to assess chemical risks, protection of workers, use of Significant New Use Rules (SNUR) and Section 5(e) orders, and more.
 
Moderated by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Partner, Baker Botts L.L.P.
1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Panel 3: Risk Evaluation and Management
 
With the “first 10” evaluations completed, this panel will look back at the lessons learned and areas for improvement; discuss EPA efforts to enhance these evaluations through risk determinations for fenceline communities, revised worker protection assumptions, and the “whole chemical approach”; examine the asbestos risk management proposal and other emerging risk management approaches; evaluate the impact of resource constraints on meeting statutory deadlines; discuss the role of environmental justice considerations; and more.
 
Moderated by Robert M. Sussman, Principal, Sussman & Associates
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Panel 4: TSCA Regulation of Articles

TSCA requirements can apply to “articles,” a manufactured good or finished product.  This panel will discuss the potential role of articles as contributors to health and environmental concerns, EPA’s push to remove traditional exemptions of articles and resulting compliance and implementation challenges, potential new rules for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and asbestos requiring reporting on articles, and the application of SNURs and risk management rules to articles, and more.
 
Moderated by Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell P.C.
5:00 p.m. – 5:10 p.m. Concluding Remarks and Adjournment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join B&C, ELI, the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, leading experts, and distinguished keynote speakers for a robust exploration of the issues and regulations surrounding TSCA. Full program and registration available online.
 
Materials from the 2021 conference are available at https://www.lawbc.com/news/recording-of-tsca-reform-five-years-later-conference-and-other-resources-av


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On June 6, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winners of the 2022 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. EPA states that green chemistry “is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the generation and use of hazardous substances.” According to EPA, the winners “have developed new and innovative green chemistry technologies that provide solutions to significant environmental challenges and spur innovation and economic development.” In support of the Biden Administration’s commitment to tackle the climate crisis, EPA added a new award category recognizing technology that reduces or eliminates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The 2022 winners include:

  • Professor Song Lin of Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, for developing a new, more efficient process to create large and complicated molecules that are widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. EPA states that the new technology avoids using hazardous materials and has the potential to reduce both energy use and wasteful byproducts.
     
  • Merck, Rahway, New Jersey, for developing a greener way to make LAGEVRIO™ (molnupiravir), an antiviral treatment for COVID-19. According to EPA, Merck significantly improved the manufacturing process for this antiviral drug in a short time, producing ingredients more efficiently and greatly reducing solvent waste and energy use.
     
  • Amgen, Thousand Oaks, California, for an improved manufacturing process for LUMAKRAS™ (sotorasib), a novel drug for the treatment of certain non-small cell lung cancers. EPA states that Amgen’s innovation decreased manufacturing time, lowered the amount of solvent waste generated, and established a recycling process for a high-value waste stream.
     
  • Provivi, Santa Monica, California, for creating ProviviFAW®, a biological pheromone-based product that controls the fall armyworm, a destructive pest of corn. The product’s pheromone active ingredients are produced through innovative green chemistry using renewable plant oils. According to EPA, ProviviFAW™ can reduce the need for conventional pesticides, which can be harmful to beneficial insects, such as pollinators.
     
  • Professor Mark Mascal of the University of California, Davis, California, in partnership with Origin Materials, for a technology that reduces GHG emissions by producing chemicals for making polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic from biomass derived from sugar fructose rather than petroleum. EPA states that this novel chemistry could have significant climate impacts by replacing fossil-based products with carbon-neutral, biobased products, especially when the technology is scaled to an entire industry.

EPA recognized the winners during the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference. EPA states that since 1996, EPA and the American Chemical Society, which co-sponsor the awards, have received more than 1,800 nominations and presented awards to 133 technologies that decrease hazardous chemicals and resources, reduce costs, protect public health, and spur economic growth. According to EPA, winning technologies are responsible for reducing the use or generation of nearly one billion pounds of hazardous chemicals, saving over 20 billion gallons of water, and eliminating nearly eight billion pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents released to the air.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published the draft fiscal year (FY) 2023-2024 National Program Guidances (NPG) for public comment. The NPGs set forth the strategies and actions EPA and its state and Tribal partners intend to undertake to protect human health and the environment. The draft FY 2023-2024 NPGs include an NPG for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). Work in this NPG directly supports Goal 7, “Ensure Safety of Chemicals for People and the Environment,” in EPA’s FY 2022 - 2026 EPA Strategic Plan. OCSPP’s draft NPG also integrates the Strategic Plan’s goal to tackle climate change, advance environmental justice and civil rights, and consider the health of children and other vulnerable populations in implementing its programs. OCSPP’s program priorities include:

  • Pesticide Cooperative Agreements with States and Tribes;
  • Pollinator Protection Efforts;
  • Revised Pesticide Worker Protection Standard Rule;
  • Revised Certification of Pesticide Applicators Rule;
  • Region-Specific Pesticide Priorities on Those Areas of Greatest Need Nationally;
  • Toxics Release Inventory (TRI);
  • Lead Risk Reduction; and
  • Pollution Prevention (P2).

For each priority, the draft NPG includes a description, strategy, activities, and measures. The draft NPG also includes sections on implementing Tribal work; flexibility and grant planning; federal civil rights responsibilities, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and FY 2023-2024 National Program Measures. Comments on the draft NPGs are due July 14, 2022.

Tags: NPG, OCSPP, P2, TRI

 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint with the Environmental Appeals Board on March 15, 2022, pursuant to Section 16(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). According to the complaint, as the result of an EPA inspection of the Vorbeck Materials facility on June 20, 2019, and its follow-up actions, EPA alleges that Vorbeck has violated TSCA Section 12(b) and the Notice of Export rule requirements at 40 C.F.R. Part 707, Subpart D, thereby violating TSCA Section 15(3)(B). EPA notes that TSCA Section 12(b), and the regulations set forth at 40 C.F.R. Section 707.60, require any person who exports or intends to export a chemical substance or mixture for which a rule has been proposed or promulgated under TSCA Sections 5 or 6 to notify EPA of such exportation to a particular country. According to EPA, Vorbeck exported a carbon nanomaterial substance that is subject to a TSCA Section 5(e) consent order on one occasion to one country without prior notification to EPA as required by TSCA Section 12(b) and 40 C.F.R. Section 707.60, and as specified in 40 C.F.R. Sections 707.65 and 707.67. The complaint states that Vorbeck has claimed the identity of the carbon nanomaterial as TSCA confidential business information (CBI). Vorbeck has subsequently submitted a TSCA Section 12(b) export notification for the carbon nanomaterial.
 
Based upon the facts alleged in the complaint, and upon the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations alleged, as well as Vorbeck’s ability to pay, effect on ability to continue to do business, any history of prior such violations of TSCA, the degree of culpability, and such other matters as justice may require, EPA proposed a penalty of $8,277 for the alleged violations. According to the April 19, 2022, final order of the Environmental Appeals Board, EPA received full payment of the penalty ($8,277), and the case is resolved.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On May 23, 2022, the Vinyl Institute, Inc. (VI) filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), seeking review of EPA’s March 2022 test order for 1,1,2-trichloroethane issued under Section 4(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). As reported in our March 25, 2022, blog item, EPA announced on March 24, 2022, that it issued a second round of test orders under TSCA Section 4 to obtain additional data on eight of the next 20 chemicals undergoing risk evaluation. The VI seeks judicial review of the test order under federal law, including but not limited to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), TSCA, and EPA’s regulations promulgated thereunder. The VI seeks a determination that, inter alia, the test order violates these authorities; is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with the law; is in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right; is without observance of procedure required by law; is unsupported by substantial evidence; and is otherwise contrary to law. The VI asks that the court hold unlawful, vacate, enjoin, set aside, and remand the test order.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
On May 27, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested nominations for technical experts to serve as special government employees (SGE) to participate in the review of the New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program with the Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC), a federal advisory committee to EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD). 87 Fed. Reg. 32161. BOSC will be evaluating ORD’s draft Strategic Research Action Plans Fiscal Years 2023-2026 in fall 2022. According to EPA, the fall 2022 meeting will provide a more in-depth evaluation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) New Chemicals Collaborative Research Program and associated research plan. EPA states that it will provide an additional draft document that summarizes technical details of the research plan. ORD, in partnership with the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP), proposes to develop and implement a multi-year collaborative research program focused on approaches for performing risk assessments on new chemical substances under TSCA.

EPA will consider nominees from industry, business, public and private research institutes or organizations, academia, government (federal, state, local, and Tribal), non-governmental organizations, and other relevant interest areas. EPA notes that it values and welcomes diversity. EPA encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, race, disability, or ethnicity.

EPA invites nominations of individuals to serve as SGEs with expertise or extensive experience in the following scientific disciplines and topic areas as they relate to human health and the environment:

  • Using data to develop predictive models and use of predictive models in data-poor environments:
    • Read across and analogue selection;
    • Chemical structures and cheminformatics; and
    • Quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR);
  • Development, implementation, and validation of new approach methods (NAM). Relevant expertise may include:
    • Veterinary pathology or comparative physiology for perspective on relevance of laboratory animals for predicting human outcomes; and
    • Reference data curation to support validation;
  • Computational modeling, bioinformatics, and/or statistics;
  • Toxicokinetics, physiologically based pharmacokinetic models (PBPK), and in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE);
  • Systems biology;
  • Human health and ecological risk assessment;
  • Exposure modeling and/or assessment, including near-field and far-field sources;
  • Knowledge of TSCA; and
  • Environmental fate of chemicals.

Nominations are due June 30, 2022. More information on EPA’s Draft Document on “Modernizing the Process and Bringing Innovative Science to Evaluate New Chemicals Under TSCA” is available in our March 14, 2022, memorandum.


 

Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) May 18, 2022, webinar “Domestic Chemical Regulation and Achieving Circularity” is now available for on-demand viewing. During this one-hour webinar, Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, B&C, moderated a timely and fascinating review of the state of sustainable chemical regulation in the United States with Kate Sellers, Technical Fellow, ERM; Mathy Stanislaus, Vice Provost, Executive Director, The Environmental Collaboratory, Drexel University; and Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, B&C.
 
A circular economy requires new thinking about what products we make, from which materials we make them, and where products go at the end of their useful lives. An important but often overlooked aspect of new product development is an understanding of the consequences of the product’s chemical composition and the end-of-life implications of the decisions made at the front end of the process. During the webinar, Ms. Sellers outlined barriers and enablers to the circular economy, including practical challenges like supply chain limitations and industry frameworks; Dr. Engler highlighted how the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulates discarded substances used as feedstocks by others and articles that may contain contaminants that could affect how an article is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under TSCA; and Mr. Stanislaus reviewed policy issues, including waste management hierarchy, circular economy hierarchy, and other mechanisms that incentivize sustainability.
 
We encourage you to view the webinar, listen to the All Things Chemical® episodes “Trends in Product Sustainability and Circularity — A Conversation with Kate Sellers” and “How Can Battery Production Be Greener? — A Conversation with Mathy Stanislaus,” read ERM’s report Circularity: From Theory to Practice, and subscribe to B&C’s informative blogs and newsletters.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on May 24, 2022, that it is extending the public comment period for the April 12, 2022, proposed rule that would prohibit ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos to give stakeholders more time to review the proposed regulation and prepare comments. EPA is extending the comment period an additional 30 days, from June 13, 2022, to July 13, 2022.
 
As reported in our April 7, 2022, memorandum, the proposed rule would ban chrysotile asbestos, the only known form of asbestos that is currently imported into the United States and is found in products like asbestos diaphragms used by the chlor-alkali industry, sheet gaskets, brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes/linings, other vehicle friction products, and other gaskets also imported into the United States. EPA also proposed targeted disposal and recordkeeping requirements in line with industry standards, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements, and the Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP). The proposed disposal and recordkeeping requirements would take effect 180 days after the effective date of the final rule.


 
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