By Christopher R. Bryant and Lynn L. Bergeson
On December 27, 2017, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Ninth Circuit) ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise its nearly 17-year-old standard for levels of lead in paint and dust within one year. A Cmty. Voice v. EPA, No. 16-72816. The Ninth Circuit held that “EPA was under a duty stemming from the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 to update lead-based paint and dust-lead hazard standards in light of the obvious need, and a duty under the Administrative Procedure Act to fully respond to petitioners’ rulemaking petition.” The decision stems from a petition filed in June 2016 by environmental and health groups seeking this action. The order came in the form of a writ of mandamus, an unusual court order and extraordinary judicial remedy that requires an official or agency to perform a certain duty, in this case for EPA to issue a proposed rule within 90 days of this decision and to promulgate the final rule within a year of when the proposed rule is issued. The court stated that in doing so, it was mindful of the Agency’s arguments that officials needed more time to deliberate a complex new standard.
While not entirely surprising given the Circuit, the decision relies on a seldom used remedy that rarely succeeds in judicial settings. It reflects the court’s sharp rebuff of the Administration’s apparent decision to delay action on the lead standard. Given the many challenges EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics will face in the New Year, complying with the court’s order will not be easy.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On December 19, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish in the Federal Register a notice extending the comment period for the proposed rule on reporting requirements for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) mercury inventory for 16 days, from December 26, 2017, to January 11, 2018. The notice states that “EPA received requests to extend the comment period and believes it is appropriate to do so … to give stakeholders additional time to assess the impacts of the proposal, review technical documents in the docket, and prepare comments. The 2016 amendments TSCA require EPA to establish periodic mercury reporting requirements for any person that manufactures mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process to assist in the development of an inventory of mercury and other recommended actions. EPA’s proposed rule, issued on October 26, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 49564), specifically requires reporting on the manufacture, import, distribution in commerce, storage, and export of mercury.
More information on this proposed rule is available in our memorandum December 26, 2017, Deadline Approaching for Comments on EPA’s Proposed Reporting Requirements for TSCA Mercury Inventory.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On December 9, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened five dockets to collect information on five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals. EPA requested information on uses, products containing these chemicals, exposed populations, and alternatives to these chemicals. These five chemicals were selected on October 11, 2016, to receive expedited action under Section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which requires EPA to take expedited regulatory action to address risks from certain PBT chemicals. The deadline to submit comments is fast approaching: December 9, 2017. The five chemicals and their corresponding dockets are:
- Decabromodiphenyl ethers (DecaBDE), used as a flame retardant in textiles, plastics and polyurethane foam -- Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0724;
- Hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD), used in the manufacture of rubber compounds and lubricants and as a solvent -- Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0738;
- Pentachlorothio-phenol (PCTP), used as an agent to make rubber more pliable in industrial uses -- Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0739;
- Tris (4-isopropylphenyl) phosphate, used as a flame retardant in consumer products and other industrial uses -- Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0730; and
- 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol, used as a fuel, oil, gasoline or lubricant additive -- Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0734.
In August 2017, EPA provided background information for each of the five PBT chemicals in the form of use documents which provide a preliminary summary of available information collected by EPA on the manufacturing (including importing), processing, distribution in commerce, use, and disposal of each chemical. Amended TSCA gives EPA three years to propose rules to reduce risks and exposures from these PBT chemicals to the extent practicable (until June 22, 2019), and EPA must issue the rules in final within 18 months of when they are proposed.
More information on the PBTs is available on our blog under keyword PBTs.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On November 9, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the agenda and meeting materials for its December 6, 2017, New Chemicals Review Program Implementation meeting. NOTE WELL: This is a critically important meeting for companies that innovate in the chemical space and are now preparing Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) Premanufacture Notifications (PMN) or will in the future. EPA states that this meeting will update and engage with the public on EPA’s progress in implementing changes to the New Chemicals Review Program as a result of the 2016 amendments to TSCA, and will include a discussion of EPA’s draft New Chemicals Decision-Making Framework. The meeting materials include:
- Agenda for Public Meeting. The Agenda includes the following topics: the decision-making framework; TSCA orders and Significant New Use Rules (SNUR) in the context of new chemicals review; the Points to Consider document as well as the pilot results and other questions; the decision guidelines manual; chemical categories; sustainable futures; a discussion of questions submitted in advance; and two public comment periods. Featured speakers are Nancy Beck, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OSCPP) and Jeff Morris, Ph.D., Director of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT).
- New Chemicals Decision-Making Framework: Working Approach to Making Determinations under Section 5 of TSCA. EPA states that this document includes EPA’s general decision framework for new chemicals and a breakdown of how EPA intends to approach each of the five types of new-chemical determinations required.
- Points to Consider When Preparing TSCA New Chemical Notifications (Draft). This draft document, dated November 6, 2017, provides concise information to assist submitters in preparing a PMN, Significant New Use Notice (SNUN), or exemption notice (e.g., Low Volume Exemption or LVE) that (1) meets the requirements of TSCA Section 5 and applicable regulations; and (2) facilitates EPA’s review of Section 5 notices by ensuring that the information received accurately and completely reflects the intended manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, use, and disposal of the new chemical substances subject to the Section 5 notice. EPA states this is a draft published for comment, but does not specify a deadline for submitting comments.
- Overview of Comments Received on the Draft "Points to Consider" Document. This document summarizes 151 comments received on the draft Points to Consider document. It organizes them by topic. The topics addressed are aquatic haz/tox; chemistry; data; engineering; environmental release and disposal information; fate; a general category; human health haz/tox; regulatory; release to water; standard review; uses; risk; exposure; and prenotice meetings. These comments have not been posted in the docket for this meeting.
- New Chemicals Decision Guidelines Manual – Detailed Outline. EPA states that this manual will summarize how EPA reviews new chemical submissions and the policies and decision guidelines used in making decisions under TSCA Section 5. It will provide an overview of both risk assessment and risk management approaches. Further, it is intended to help stakeholders determine what forms of regulation and restrictions on the manufacture, distribution, use, and/or disposal of a new chemical substance may arise from an EPA determination.
More information on the subsequent Approaches for Identifying Potential Candidates for Prioritization for Existing Chemical Risk Evaluations meeting on December 11, 2017, is available in our blog item EPA Schedules Two Meetings to Discuss TSCA Implementation Activities, Requests Comments.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On October 26, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule on reporting requirements for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) mercury inventory. 82 Fed. Reg. 49564. Under TSCA Section 8(b)(10)(B), the mercury inventory, which includes mercury “supply, use, and trade” in the United States, is required to be published every three years. Information on the 2017 mercury inventory report is available in our blog item "EPA Releases Inventory Report of Mercury Supply, Use, and Trade in the U.S."
Through this proposed rule, EPA is on its way to delivering timely on its mandate under TSCA Section 8(b)(10)(D) to promulgate a rule within two years of the enactment of new TSCA (by June 22, 2018) that will require “any person who manufactures [including import] mercury or mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process” to make periodic reports to EPA to assist in the preparation of the mercury inventory.
TSCA Section 8(b)(10)(C) further directs to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and … recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use.” The proposed rule, however, states that “[a]t this time, EPA is not making such identifications or recommendations.”
The proposed rule requests comments on several changes, including:
- On the proposed limited data collection requirements, such as the identification of countries that manufacture, import, or export mercury-added products (i.e., countries of origin and destination), as well as the identification of purchasing or receiving industry sectors via North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes, to inform activities under the Minamata Convention on Mercury;
- On whether to require one-time reporting for exports of the mercury compounds prohibited from export under TSCA Section 12(c)(7);
- On its proposal to apply the proposed reporting requirements to any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury, mercury-added products or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process regardless of the amount of mercury at issue;
- On its proposal that because of the similarities in the intentional addition of mercury to manufacture a product and otherwise intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process, all quantities of mercury used in both activities should be reported without a reporting threshold;
- On what kinds of information would be particularly important to address for small entities if EPA were to develop compliance guides tailored to small entities that will be required to comply with the reporting requirements;
- On whether the proposed reporting requirements should apply to persons who do not manufacture or import mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process, but engage in the supply, use, and trade of mercury in the United States; and
- On its proposal to require mandatory electronic reporting.
EPA also requests comments on the proposed timelines and reporting deadlines; and on the proposed interpretations of activities to be considered as part of supply, use, and trade of mercury in the United States -- as described below.
For those who will need to report, EPA proposes the following reporting periods and deadlines:
- The 2020 reporting year will be from January 1 to December 31, 2018; subsequent recurring reporting years will be from January 1 to December 31 at three-year intervals beginning in 2021;
- All information reported for an applicable reporting year must be submitted on or before the first day of July following the reporting year. The 2020 submission deadline is July 1, 2019; subsequent recurring submission deadlines are from July 1, in three-year intervals, beginning in 2022.
EPA’s proposed interpretations of activities to be considered as part of the supply, use, and trade of mercury in the United States are as follows:
- Import of mercury or a mercury added product with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage for the importer, except where such mercury is generated as a byproduct not used for commercial purposes or an impurity.
- Manufacture (other than import) of mercury or a mercury-added product with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage for the manufacturer, except where such mercury is generated as a byproduct not used for commercial purposes or an impurity. In this context, EPA considers manufacture to be the intentional production of mercury, a mercury compound, or a mercury-added product.
- Otherwise intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process, other than the manufacture of a mercury compound or a mercury-added product, with the purpose of obtaining an immediate or eventual commercial advantage for the user, except where such mercury is generated as a byproduct not used for commercial purposes.
- Distribution in commerce, including domestic sale or transfer, of mercury or a mercury-added product.
- Storage of mercury after manufacture (including import).
- Export of mercury or a mercury-added product, including the determining and controlling the sending of mercury (unless specifically prohibited) or a mercury-added product to a destination out of the customs territory of the United States.
Comments on the proposed rule are due by December 26, 2017.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Kathleen M. Roberts
On October 12, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing the cancellation of the fourth meeting of the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee for Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirements for inorganic byproducts (Reg Neg Committee) scheduled for October 25-26, 2017. 82 Fed. Reg. 47423.
During their September 13-14, 2017, meeting, the members of the Reg Neg Committee concluded that further dialogue within the Committee context would be unproductive, and that the fourth meeting was not necessary. EPA is, however, still providing the public an opportunity to weigh in on the legislative directive to reduce the CDR reporting burden for inorganic substances that are recycled, while maintaining EPA’s access to exposure information needed for risk assessment purposes. The notice states that the Reg Neg Committee docket will remain open until December 11, 2017, to allow for public comment.
The Reg Neg Committee was established to respond to the legislative mandate under Section 8(a)(6)(A) of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which states:
The [EPA] Administrator shall enter into a negotiated rulemaking … to develop and publish … a proposed rule providing for limiting the reporting requirements, under this subsection, for manufacturers of any inorganic byproducts, when such byproducts, whether by the byproduct manufacturer or by any other person, are subsequently recycled, reused, or reprocessed.
During the first set of Reg Neg Committee meetings, EPA stressed its desire to implement the outcome of the Reg Neg Committee work during the next CDR reporting cycle in 2020. To achieve this timeline, the Committee would need to reach a consensus on an approach or approaches by the October 2017 meetings. While several different stakeholder organizations offered proposals for consideration, it became clear to Committee members during the September 14-15, 2017, meeting that those proposals would not have consensus support because they either required considerable further refinement and discussion beyond the October 2017 timeframe; did not provide EPA with appropriate exposure information needed for risk assessment; or did not adequately achieve the mandated goal of limiting reporting requirements.
It is unclear if EPA will be able to complete the myriad of tasks needed to take a proposal received during the public comment period to final implementation before the 2020 CDR reporting cycle, as this would require EPA to complete a thorough analysis of additional proposals, consider potential impacts to the EPA offices, develop a proposed rulemaking, obtain public review and comment on the proposal, issue a final rulemaking, and provide clear and detailed guidance on the new approaches for reporting on recycled inorganic products prior to the 2020 CDR reporting cycle.
More information on the negotiated rulemaking process as related to inorganic byproducts is available on our blog under key phrases negotiated rulemaking and inorganic byproducts.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On September 20, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice in the Federal Register stating that it is extending the compliance date by which submitters of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) submissions containing information claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI) and filed between June 22, 2016, and March 21, 2017, had to submit to EPA the substantiation required by TSCA Section 14(c)(3) for all information claimed as confidential, other than information exempt from substantiation pursuant to TSCA Section 14(c)(2). 82 Fed. Reg. 43964. The new deadline for substantiation of these claims is October 19, 2017. EPA states that this extension is in response to “concerns raised by industry stakeholders regarding the ability for companies to meet the previous September 19, 2017, deadline due to recent severe weather events,” and that it is “providing this additional flexibility for stakeholders because of the impacts of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.” Further, “because EPA published its interpretation that TSCA section 14(c)(3) requires up front substantiation after some companies had already asserted confidentiality claims subject to TSCA section 14(c)(3), the Agency set a future deadline for submission of substantiations pertaining to those submissions.”
More information on the CBI substantiation process is available in our memorandum The September 19th CBI Substantiation Deadline Fast Approaching.
Also on September 20, 2017, EPA announced it was scheduling three webinars to assist the regulated community with reporting under the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) rule. The webinars, scheduled for September 27, 2017, October 25, 2017, and November 29, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (ET), will be identical and will include an overview of reporting requirements, a demo of the electronic reporting application (Central Data Exchange (CDX)), and will provide time for questions and answers. Registration for the webinars is not required. EPA’s TSCA Inventory webpage contains the information on how to access the webinar.
More information on the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) rule is available in our memorandum EPA Issues Final TSCA Framework Rules.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On August 11, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the third Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) framework final rule in the Federal Register, the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Requirements. This final rule is effective as of August 11, 2017 (the date of publication).
As further detailed in the final rulemaking, chemical manufacturers and importers are required to submit notifications for chemicals that were manufactured or imported over the ten year look-back period of June 21, 2006, to June 21, 2016. Pursuant to the rulemaking, the retrospective reporting period for manufacturers begins on August 11, 2017, and ends on February 7, 2018. The submission period for processors also begins on August 11, 2017, but processors have until October 5, 2018, to submit retrospective activity notifications.
More information on the final rule is available in our memorandum EPA Issues Final TSCA Framework Rules.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On August 11, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is scheduled to publish the third Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) framework final rule in the Federal Register, the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Requirements. This final rule is scheduled to become effective on August 11, 2017 (the date of publication).
This rule, signed by EPA on June 22, 2017, establishes, among other requirements:
- A retrospective electronic notification of chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory that were manufactured (including imported) for nonexempt commercial purposes during the ten-year time period ending on June 21, 2016, with provision to also allow notification by processors;
- Procedures for forward-looking electronic notification of chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory that are designated as inactive, if and when the manufacturing or processing of such chemical substances for nonexempt commercial purposes is expected to resume; and
- Procedures regarding the manner in which such retrospective and forward-looking activity notifications must be submitted, the details of the notification requirements, exemptions from such requirements, and procedures for handling claims of confidentiality.
More information on this final rule is available in our memorandum EPA Issues Final TSCA Framework Rules.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Margaret R. Graham
On July 20, 2017, the Trump Administration released its 2017 Unified Regulatory Agenda. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Agency Rule List included many items under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), including six in the final rule stage, ten in the proposed rule stage, and one in the prerule stage. The six items in the final rule stage are:
- RIN 2070-AK20: Procedures for Evaluating Existing Chemical Risks Under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This final rule has been issued in final and published in the Federal Register. The effective date is September 18, 2017. More information on this final rule is available in our memorandum EPA Issues Final TSCA Framework Rules.
- RIN 2070-AK23: Procedures for Prioritization of Chemicals for Risk Evaluation Under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This final rule has been issued in final and published in the Federal Register. The effective date is September 18, 2017. More information on this final rule is available in our memorandum EPA Issues Final TSCA Framework Rules.
- RIN 2070-AK24: TSCA Inventory Notification Active-Inactive Reporting Requirements. This rule has been issued in final but is still awaiting publication in the Federal Register. The expected effective date is the date of publication. More information on this final rule is available in our memorandum EPA Issues Final TSCA Framework Rules.
- RIN 2070-AJ54: The Nanoscale Materials; Chemical Substances When Manufactured, Imported, or Processed as Nanoscale Materials; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements. This final rule has been issued in final and published in the Federal Register. The effective date listed in the Federal Register was May 12, 2017, but the effective date listed in the agenda is TBD. More information on this final rule is available in our memorandum EPA Promulgates Final TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule for Nanoscale Materials.
- RIN 2070-AJ91: Significant New Use Rule for Toluene Diisocyanates (TDI) and Related Compounds. The agenda states that EPA is developing a significant new use rule (SNUR) under Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA for 2,4-toluene diisocyanate, 2,6-toluene diisocyanate, toluene diisocyanate unspecified isomers and related compounds. This rule is still awaiting issuance in final and publication in the Federal Register. It was scheduled to be issued in June 2017.
- RIN 2070-AJ44: Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. The agenda states that this final rule implements the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, which added Title VI to TSCA, and its purpose is to reduce formaldehyde emissions from composite wood products. This rule has been issued in final and published in the Federal Register. Its effective date was delayed per a subsequent Federal Register notice to May 22, 2017, but is listed on the agenda as TBD.
The ten items in the proposed rule stage are:
- RIN 2070-AJ65: Microorganisms: General Exemptions From Reporting Requirements; Revisions of Recipient Organisms Eligible for Tier I and Tier II Exemptions. The agenda states that EPA is developing a revised proposal that will address concerns raised by commenters in response to its preliminary determination that certain strains of Trichoderma reesei and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens will not present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment when used as a recipient microorganism, provided that certain criteria for the introduced genetic material and the physical containment conditions are met. EPA is also considering expanding the earlier proposal to prohibit the inclusion of antibiotic resistance genes in the introduced genetic material in microorganisms qualifying for the TSCA 5(h)(4) exemption. This second proposed rule was scheduled to be issued in June 2017.
- RIN 2070-AJ99: Long-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylate and Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate Chemical Substances; Significant New Use Rule. The agenda states that EPA is re-proposing a significant new use rule (SNUR) under TSCA Section 5(a)(2) for long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemical substances, and for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or its salts following changes under amended TSCA. This second proposed rule is scheduled to be issued in October 2017 and is scheduled to be issued in final in October 2018.
- RIN 2070-AK07: N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) and Methylene Chloride; Rulemaking Under TSCA Section 6(a). The agenda states that EPA is developing a supplemental proposed rulemaking to address the risks from methylene chloride, specifically in commercial furniture refinishing as an industry. This rulemaking is separate and apart from the proposed rule to ban certain uses of NMP and methylene chloride that was issued in January 2017. The issuance of this supplemental proposed rule is TBD.
- RIN 2070-AK11: Trichloroethylene (TCE); Rulemaking Under TSCA Section 6(a); Vapor Degreasing. More information on this rulemaking is available in our blog item EPA Proposes Regulation of TCE Use in Vapor Degreasing under TSCA Section 6(a). The comment period for this proposed rule ended in May 2017. The issuance of the final rule is TBD.
- RIN 2070-AK22: Mercury; Reporting Requirements for the TSCA Mercury Inventory. The agenda states that under amended TSCA, EPA is developing a proposed rule to implement TSCA Section 8(b)(10)(D) which requires EPA to issue a final rule no later than two years after the enactment of the TSCA amendments to establish reporting deadline(s) and information requirements for the purpose of assisting EPA's statutorily-mandated periodic update and publication of the inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the U.S. This proposed rule is scheduled to be issued in October 2017 and is scheduled to be issued in final in June 2018.
- RIN 2070-AK27: Service Fees for the Administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The agenda states that under amended TSCA, EPA is developing a proposed rule to implement TSCA Section 26(b)(1) which authorizes EPA to issue a rule to establish fees to defray the cost of administering TSCA Sections 4, 5, and 6, and collecting, processing, reviewing, and providing access to and protecting from disclosure as appropriate under Section 14 information on chemical substances (including contractor costs incurred by the Agency). More information on this rulemaking is available in our memoranda TSCA Reform: An Analysis of Key Provisions and Fundamental Shifts in the Amended TSCA. The proposed rule is scheduled to be issued in August 2017 and the final rule is scheduled to be issued in June 2018.
- RIN 2070-AK31: TSCA Chemical Data Reporting; Requirements for Inorganic Byproducts. The agenda states that under amended TSCA, EPA is developing a proposed rule to implement TSCA Section 8(a)(6)(A) which requires EPA to enter into a negotiated rulemaking and develop and publish a proposed rule within three years of enactment that addressed chemical data reporting requirements for manufacturers of any inorganic byproducts, when such byproducts, whether by the byproduct manufacturer or by any other person, are subsequently recycled, reused, or reprocessed. The proposed rule is scheduled to be issued in May 2018.
- RIN 2070-AK30: Labeling Relief; Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. On July 11, 2017, EPA issued a direct final rule and a parallel proposed rule that the agenda states “clarify requirements for labeling composite wood products and finished goods made entirely of composite wood products,” in response to stakeholders’ concerns that certain new requirements resulting from the implementation of the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act (via final rule issued on December 12, 2016) may give rise to unintended supply chain disruptions as the compliance deadline established approaches. The direct final rule is scheduled to become effective on August 25, 2017, unless adverse comments are received by July 26, 2017. Comments on the proposed rule were due on July 26, 2017.
- RIN 2070-AK35: Compliance Date Extension; Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. On May 24, 2017, EPA issued a direct final rule and a parallel proposed rule that intended to extend the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products final rule (issued Dec. 12, 2016) compliance dates, and extend the California Air Resources Board Third Party Certifiers transitional period. On July 6, 2017, EPA withdrew the direct final rule and the proposed rule after it received adverse comment. The Federal Register notice withdrawing the final rule and the proposed rule states that EPA will proceed with a final rule based on the proposed rule after considering all public comments, but no further updates were provided.
- RIN 2070-AK36: Voluntary Consensus Standards Update; Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products. The agenda states that EPA intends to issue a direct final rule and a parallel proposed rule to amend the December 2016 final rule on Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products to correctly reference the current voluntary consensus standards as some of them have been updated, superseded or withdrawn. The voluntary consensus standards that were incorporated in the final rule address a variety of topics, including material performance requirements and construction, test methods, and conformity assessments. This proposed rule and direct final rule were scheduled to be issued in June 2017.
The one item in the prerule stage is:
- RIN 2070-AK29: TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements; Standards for Small Manufacturers and Processors. The agenda states that under amended TSCA, EPA is developing an action to implement TSCA Section 8(a)(3)(C) which requires that EPA, after consultation with the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, to review the adequacy of the standards for determining the manufacturers and processors which qualify as small manufacturers and processors for purposes of TSCA Sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(3), and, after providing public notice and an opportunity for comment, make a determination as to whether revision of the standards is warranted. More information on this action and the initial notice issued in December 2016 is available in our blog item EPA Requests Public Comment on Revision of Current Size Standard Definitions Under TSCA. A second notice was scheduled to be issued in June 2017.