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EPA Releases Updated 2016 CDR Rule Data
On May 29, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released updated data collected during the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) period. EPA notes that the updated 2016 CDR data now include information that was previously classified as confidential business information (CBI), such as aggregate production volumes and site-specific production volumes. EPA published an initial release of the 2016 CDR data in May 2017. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act) amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) were signed into law during the 2016 CDR submission period and changed CDR CBI reporting requirements. EPA states that as a result, it conducted “a thorough substantiation and verification process with companies that submitted 2016 CDR data.” According to EPA, this process allowed it to determine which claims met the new legal standard and ensure that valid CBI claims remained protected.
On March 17, 2020, EPA announced the availability of a final rule amending the CDR rule. 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 asserting 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. More information is available in our March 19, 2020, memorandum, “EPA Releases Final Amendments to CDR Rule, Extends Reporting Period.”
Our May 13, 2020, blog item, “New Reporting Procedure for Co-Manufacturers under TSCA CDR Rule May Catch Certain Manufacturers Off Guard,” notes that EPA has changed the way that toll manufacturing must be reported. In this cycle, EPA will not accept reporting from only the contracting manufacturer in situations where a company contracts with another company (i.e., a toll manufacturer) for the production of chemicals. In 2020, EPA has stated in multiple fora that for the 2020 reporting period, EPA will only accept manufacturing details from the actual producers, even if manufacturing was contracted by another company. This change may come as a surprise, especially to producing companies that heretofore may not have reported under the CDR rule and instead relied on the contracting company to do so.