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.
The Acta Group (Acta®) announced today the launch of CDR Cross-Check™, an ingenious yet simple tool developed and offered by Acta to assist companies in preparing for the 2020 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CDR Cross-Check utilizes the most recent CDR listing information publicly available provided by EPA (currently, 2016 lists) to identify whether all or some of a company’s inventory of chemical substances are subject to CDR under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and, if so, at what reporting threshold. CDR Cross-Check will make CDR reporting easier.
CDR Cross-Check will identify whether chemicals are listed on the TSCA Inventory and, if so,
whether they are listed as active or inactive;
whether they were subject to specific TSCA regulatory actions in 2016;
whether they are exempt; and
what the 2020 reporting thresholds would be based on the 2016 data.
Sample CDR Cross-Check™ Report:
(Click image to enlarge.)
A CDR Cross-Check report prepared at this time will be extremely useful as a preliminary check in preparation for the 2020 CDR reporting. It will confirm regulatory statuses from the 2016 reporting cycle, so for those chemicals, users will know what the reporting threshold will be for 2020 and can determine now whether reporting is needed. It will also give users time to address potential issues well before the 2020 reports are due.
To access CDR Cross-Check, a customer will upload the list of chemicals to be evaluated by the CDR Cross-Check tool and pay the appropriate fee based on the number of chemicals to be evaluated. Fees are $3.00 (USD) per chemical for the first 750 chemicals plus $2.00 (USD) per chemical for additional chemicals over 750. The minimum fee is $400 (USD).
Acta anticipates that additional chemicals will be added to the regulatory lists in June 2020 that may result in lower reporting thresholds. The CDR Cross-Check will be updated at that time to include the new lists. Customers that have already used the CDR Cross-Check prior to the 2020 updates will receive a 50% discount for an updated list.
The Acta Group is a global scientific and regulatory consulting firm that assists companies with strategic commercialization planning and complex product registration and compliance matters in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Acta is the consulting affiliate of Washington, D.C., law firm Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the draft risk evaluation of asbestos on March 30, 2020. EPA reviewed a suite of potential asbestos exposures and made the following initial determinations on risk:
EPA did not find risk to the environment. For all the conditions of use included in the draft risk evaluation, EPA has preliminarily found no unreasonable risks to the environment under any of the conditions of use.
EPA’s draft risk evaluation preliminarily found unreasonable risk to workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and bystanders. EPA found that workers, occupational non-users, consumers, and bystanders could be adversely affected by asbestos under certain conditions of use.
EPA states that these initial determinations are based on a draft risk evaluation of the reasonably available information and are not final determinations on whether asbestos presents unreasonable risks under the conditions of use. EPA will use feedback received from the public comment and peer review processes to inform the final risk determinations.
On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the 2020 Mercury Inventory Report on the supply, use, and trade of mercury in the United States. The report presents aggregated data submitted on imported mercury, mercury manufactured in the United States, imported mercury-added products, mercury-added products made in the United States, and mercury used in manufacturing processes. The inventory report also provides a broad view of U.S. mercury stored, sold, and exported, as well as industry sectors and countries involved in the supply, use, and trade of mercury. According to EPA, highlights of the report include:
No indication of imports or exports of elemental mercury into or out of the United States during the reporting year;
Continuation of the overall steady decline in the use of mercury in products, indicative of the growing presence and use of effective alternatives;
A decrease in the amount of mercury used in switches and relays manufactured in or imported into the United States -- data submitted also fill a significant information gap;
Only a single mercury-based manufacturing process identified as ongoing in the United States; and
Information relevant for U.S. implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
EPA notes that the 2020 Mercury Inventory Report is the first inventory published under the 2018 rule requiring reporting from persons who manufacture (including import) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process. According to EPA, this means that the data presented in the 2020 report come directly from the companies that are using, manufacturing, or importing mercury, providing EPA and the public with more reliable and complete information on the supply, use, and trade of mercury in the United States. EPA states that the initial 2017 inventory, on the other hand, was limited to publicly available data. In addition, the 2020 report incorporates data from contextual reporting requirements, resulting “in more extensive information on the industries that purchase mercury-added products, countries of origin and destination for imports and exports, and the specific ways that mercury is used in certain manufacturing processes.” More information will be available in a forthcoming memorandum that will be posted on our website.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice on March 23, 2020, announcing that the EPA Safer Choice program is accepting submissions for its 2020 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards. 85 Fed. Reg. 16334. EPA states that it developed the Partner of the Year Awards to recognize the leadership contributions of Safer Choice partners and stakeholders who, over the past year, have shown achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals, furthering outstanding or innovative source reduction. All Safer Choice stakeholders and program participants in good standing are eligible for recognition. Interested parties who would like to be considered for this award should submit to EPA information about their accomplishments and contributions during 2019. EPA notes that there is no form associated with this year’s application. EPA will recognize award winners at a Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards ceremony that is being planned for fall 2020. Submissions are due May 31, 2020.
Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), sat down with Dr. Richard Engler, Director of Chemistry at B&C, to bring everyone up to date on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) implementation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) fee rule and how it applies to entities obligated to pay a portion of the $1,350,000 per chemical fee for preparing an EPA-initiated risk evaluation, the legal and regulatory significance of the supplemental rulemaking on long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemicals and the precedent it sets for eliminating the article exemption for imported articles containing these substances, and the significance of the recently updated TSCA Chemical Inventory with regard to the fast-approaching Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) cycle. As always, Rich is a font of information on these topics, and he does a great job of contextualizing this information for busy business people working in the chemical space.
ALL MATERIALS IN THIS PODCAST ARE PROVIDED SOLELY FOR INFORMATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES. THE MATERIALS ARE NOT INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE OR THE PROVISION OF LEGAL SERVICES. ALL LEGAL QUESTIONS SHOULD BE ANSWERED DIRECTLY BY A LICENSED ATTORNEY PRACTICING IN THE APPLICABLE AREA OF LAW.
On March 17, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of a final rule amending the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. According to EPA, the amendments are intended to reduce the burden for certain CDR reporters, improve the quality of CDR data collected, and align reporting requirements with the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act’s (Lautenberg Act) amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA states that some of the key revisions include:
Simplifying reporting, including allowing manufacturers to use certain processing and use data codes already in use by many chemical manufacturers as part of international codes developed through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD);
Updating requirements for making confidentiality claims to align with the requirements in amended TSCA; and
Adding reporting exemptions for specific types of byproducts manufactured in certain equipment.
Additionally, EPA is extending the reporting period for CDR data submitters from September 30, 2020, to November 30, 2020, to provide additional time for the regulated community to familiarize themselves with the amendments and to allow time for reporters to familiarize themselves with an updated public version of the reporting tool. The reporting period will still begin on June 1, 2020. EPA will host a webinar on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, to discuss the revised reporting requirements, provide an overview of the 2020 CDR submission period, and to give an introduction to the updated e-CDRweb reporting tool. EPA has posted pre-publication versions of the final rules amending the CDR rule and extending the reporting period. More information will be available in a forthcoming memorandum that will be posted on our website.
On March 5, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is seeking grant applications through the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program from states, federally recognized tribes, universities, local governments, and other groups to support innovative solutions for source reduction or pollution prevention (P2) through research, education, training, or certain other methods. EPA notes that as it highlights chemical safety during the month of March, “these grants support that goal by providing information, training, and tools to improve public health and the surrounding environment, reduce pollutants, and decrease resource use (e.g., water and energy).” EPA anticipates awarding individual grants in the range of $20,000 - $200,000 for a two-year funding period (or between $10,000 - $100,000 per year), though award amounts may vary based on EPA region. EPA anticipates awarding 20 grants in total. EPA states that grant applications should focus on at least one of the following P2 priority areas, also referred to as National Emphasis Areas (NEA) that support several of the EPA’s Smart Sectors. Through these grants, technical assistance and projects should encourage businesses to identify, develop, and adopt P2 practices and reduce waste in the following sectors:
Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Processing (NEA #1);
Chemical Manufacturing, Processing, and Formulation (NEA #2);
Automotive Manufacturing and Maintenance (NEA #3);
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing and Maintenance (NEA #4); and
Metal Manufacturing and Fabrication (NEA #5).
Proposals are due by April 30, 2020. Additional information is available on www.grants.gov, under Funding Opportunity Announcement EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-002.
On March 2, 2020, at ChemCon The Americas 2020 in Philadelphia, Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), and Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator, EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, sat down with Tjeerd Bokhout to discuss the implementation of Lautenberg and what can be expected through 2020. Ms. Dunn started off the discussion, noting that EPA is “getting our sea legs under us; we spent the first two or three years after enactment, really through 2019, setting up the bones of the program, the regulations, the structure, the fees rule, and now we’ve begun the deep process of looking at each chemical [for risk evaluation].” The conversation continued with discussion regarding how chemicals are selected for evaluation, surprises EPA encountered while making low-priority determinations, and what can be expected through the remainder of 2020. Ms. Dunn and Ms. Bergeson agreed that as more chemicals go through this review process, the quantity and type of information needed will standardize, leading to more predictability for all stakeholders. Now that a system is evolving, EPA plans to identify data gaps early to provide time to strategize how to acquire as much information as is required to evaluate properly a chemical on schedule and with minimal additional costs.
A full video of this informative interview, drawing back the curtain on both EPA and industry’s experience with the implementation of TSCA and details on what to prepare for in the near future, is available to stream now.
As reported in our October 1, 2019, blog item, on September 25, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted a proposed significant new use rule (SNUR) on long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) chemical substances to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. According to OMB’s website, OMB completed its review on February 14, 2020. EPA has not yet publicly released the proposed rule.
According to the item on the rulemaking in EPA’s fall 2019 Unified Agenda, EPA is developing a supplemental proposal to its 2015 proposed LCPFAC SNUR amendments. EPA states that the supplemental proposal would make inapplicable the exemption for persons who import a subset of LCPFAC chemical substances as part of certain articles. According to EPA, this supplemental proposal is necessary to be responsive to the article consideration provision in Section 5(a)(5) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that was added with the 2016 amendments to TSCA. Under the provision, articles can be subject to notification requirements as a significant new use provided that EPA makes an affirmative finding in a rule that the reasonable potential for exposure to a chemical from an article or category of articles justifies notification. Insofar as this new provision has not been used previously for chemical substances with a history of prior import in articles, EPA’s approach to and its arguments in making this required affirmative finding will be important for all stakeholders to consider carefully.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Pollution Prevention (P2) Grant Program has announced the availability of funds to provide technical assistance (e.g., information, training, tools) to businesses to encourage the development and implementation of source reduction practices. EPA states that source reduction practices can help businesses save money by reducing resource use, expenditures, waste, and liability costs, while at the same time reducing their environmental footprint and helping to protect human health and the environment. Applications for fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021 are due March 31, 2020.
EPA states that it anticipates awarding approximately $9.38 million in total federal pollution prevention grant funding over a two-year funding cycle ($4.69 million in FY 2020 funds and approximately $4.69 million in FY 2021 funds). According to EPA, P2 grants are expected to be awarded in each EPA region and will be funded in the form of grants or cooperative agreements. EPA provides the following “quick facts” for P2 grants:
Eligibility: State governments, colleges, and universities (recognized as instrumentalities of the state), federally recognized tribes, and intertribal consortia;
Match requirement: 50 percent match; for tribal governments that place P2 grant activities into a performance partnership grant (PPG) agreement, the match for the tribe is reduced to five percent;
Review of applications: Along with other requirements that are noted in the Request for Applications (RFA), applications must address one of the following statutory/regulatory criteria to merit further review:
Provide technical assistance and/or training to businesses/facilities about source reduction techniques to help them adopt and implement source reduction approaches and to increase the development, adoption, and market penetration of greener products and sustainable manufacturing practices; and
Identify, develop, document, and share P2 best management practices and innovations so this information may inform future technical assistance and these P2 approaches and outcomes may be replicated by others;
Range of awards: Individual grant awards may potentially be in the range of $40,000-$500,000 for the two-year funding period (between $20,000 and $250,000 incrementally funded per year). Some EPA regions may have lower award caps, however; and
Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) is a Washington, D.C. law firm focusing on conventional, biobased, and nanoscale industrial, agricultural, and specialty chemical product approval and regulation, product defense, and associated business issues.