By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published its 2020 Annual Plan for Chemical Risk Evaluations under TSCA (Annual Plan). Section 26(n) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires EPA to publish an annual plan at the beginning of each calendar year that identifies the chemical substances for which EPA expects to initiate or complete risk evaluations that year and the resources necessary for their completion, describes the status of each risk evaluation that has been initiated but not yet completed, and includes an updated schedule for completion of risk evaluations, if appropriate. The Annual Plan states that in fiscal year (FY) 2020, EPA intends to complete final risk evaluations for the first ten chemicals. As reported in our April 7 and April 20, 2020, blog items, EPA has published the draft scope documents for the risk evaluations to be conducted for the 20 high-priority substances designated in December 2019. According to the Annual Plan, EPA expects to issue final draft scope documents in June 2020. In accordance with statutory timelines, EPA states that it will publish final risk evaluations within three years of initiation, with a possible six-month extension. In May 2019, EPA received manufacturer requests to conduct risk evaluations of diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP) and diisononyl phthalate (DINP). EPA expects to release draft scope documents in the third quarter of FY 2020, complying with statutory timelines. In March 2020, EPA received a facially complete manufacturer request to conduct a risk evaluation on octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4). EPA expects to ask for public comment on this request and make a final determination as to whether to grant this request within FY 2020. EPA notes that it may receive additional requests in FY 2020 and will conduct the process to review these requests as directed in the Risk Evaluation Process Rule. TSCA requires EPA to review fees and consider updating the fees rule every three years to ensure fees are adequate to defray 25 percent of the costs for implementing TSCA Sections 4, 5, 6, and 14, and to consult with stakeholders again if fees change. In 2020, EPA expects to begin this process to review fees and propose certain exemptions to the current rule’s self-identification requirements associated with EPA-initiated risk evaluations for manufacturers that import the chemical substance in an article, produce the chemical substance as a byproduct, and produce or import the chemical substance as an impurity.