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EPA’s Well-Stocked Regulatory Agenda Released
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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.