By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on November 9, 2022, that it awarded $7,770,044 in research grant funding to 11 institutions to develop and evaluate innovative methods and approaches to inform its understanding of the human health risks that may result from exposure to chemical mixtures in the environment. EPA states that toxicology studies have traditionally focused on the effects of single chemicals on human health. Chemicals in the environment are often present as mixtures in the air, water, soil, food, and products in commerce, however, and these chemical mixtures include per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), disinfection byproducts (DBP), and other well-characterized mixtures. According to EPA, there is a need to assess the toxicity of chemical mixtures to understand how their combined effects on human health and the environment differ from what is known about individual chemicals. Due to their lower cost and higher throughput, new approach methods (NAM) and use of alternative animal models have emerged as potential approaches to advance the risk assessment of mixtures.
To help address this research need, the institutions receiving these grants will conduct research focused on the development, improvement, evaluation, and integration of predictive toxicology methods to evaluate environmental chemical mixtures. The grantees and their project titles include:
- Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia -- High-Throughput Lung Damage and Inflammation Assessment of Polyaromatic Hydrocarbon Mixtures;
- Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina -- Developing an Integrated Framework for Evaluating Toxicity of Real-life Chemical Mixtures;
- Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana -- Protein Binding Affinity as the Driver for Studying PFAS Mixture Toxicity;
- The Research Foundation of CUNY, New York, New York -- Innovative Approach to Assess the Effect of Metal Mixtures from Infant Meconium Associated with Adverse Infant Outcomes by Identifying Methylation Loci in Mothers and Infants;
- Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas -- A Tiered Hybrid Experimental-Computational Strategy for Rapid Risk Assessment of Complex Environmental Mixtures Using Novel Analytical and Toxicological Methods;
- University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York -- Assessment of Neurotoxicity of Mixtures of PFAS and Other Neuroactive Organic Pollutants through Integrated in Silico, in Vitro Cellular, and in Vivo Models;
- University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., Athens, Georgia -- Development of a Quantitative Adverse Outcome Pathway Network to Assess Neurodevelopmental Toxicity of PFAS Mixture in C. Elegans;
- University of Houston, Houston, Texas -- Oral Toxicity Assessment of PAH Mixtures Using an in Vitro 3D Cell Culture Bioreactor Mimicking the in Vivo Intestinal Tract Environment;
- University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts -- Whole Animal New Approach Methodologies for Predicting Developmental Effects of Air Pollutant Mixtures;
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina -- Wildfire Smoke Mixtures Toxicity Testing; and
- Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan -- Assessment of Underlying Molecular Mechanisms Promoting Adipogenic Outcomes in Complex Mixtures.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a webinar on October 13, 2022, on its web-based Interspecies Correlation Estimation (Web-ICE) tool. According to EPA, protecting the diversity of species from the adverse effects of chemicals is a significant environmental challenge. EPA acknowledges that information on the effects of chemicals on species is either very limited or lacking entirely, making management and mitigation of environmental contaminants difficult. EPA developed the Web-ICE tool to allow toxicity extrapolation from standard test organisms to diverse taxa, including endangered species. The publicly-accessible application allows risk assessors and environmental managers from all sectors to estimate chemical toxicity to a diversity of fresh and saltwater invertebrates and fish, birds and mammals, and aquatic plants (algae) that may have limited toxicity data. The training webinar will provide an overview of Web-ICE, including a brief overview of ICE models, demonstration of its application with example case studies, and a tutorial on using the Internet application. Registration is open.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On August 25, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that registration was open for the 2022 Conference on the State of the Science on Development and Use of New Approach Methods (NAM) for Chemical Safety Testing. EPA notes that there will be limited availability in person at EPA headquarters in Washington, DC, on October 12-13, 2022, and a virtual option will also be available. Conference topics include:
- Variability and Relevance of Traditional Toxicity Tests;
- Evolution of Validation and Scientific Confidence Frameworks to Incorporate 21st Century Science; and
- Breakout groups discussing Variability of Traditional Toxicity Tests, Relevance of Traditional Toxicity Tests, and Feedback on EPA Scientific Confidence Framework.
EPA asks that attendees register for the NAMs conference before October 7, 2022.
On October 18, 2022, EPA will provide training on the Computational Toxicology (CompTox) Chemicals Dashboard, which is part of a suite of databases and web applications developed by EPA to support the development of innovative methods to evaluate chemicals for potential health risks. The computational toxicology tools and data in the Dashboard help prioritize chemicals based on potential health risks. Specifically targeted for decision-makers, the training will provide:
- An overview of the Dashboard content and function;
- Application-oriented use-case demonstrations in the areas of general use, hazard/bioactivity, exposure/absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME)-in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE), and chemistry; and
- Opportunities for participatory learning and engagement.
The training will offer information about the latest release of the Dashboard and how it can be used to gather actionable information about chemical properties and risks through case examples, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises. Registration is now open (attendees must register for the training portions individually):
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on August 22, 2022, that as part of its commitment to re-evaluate policies and practices under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) New Chemicals Program to ensure they adhere to statutory requirements and the Biden Administration’s executive orders and directives, it has updated its policy to discontinue the use of exposure modeling thresholds when assessing the health and environmental risks of new chemicals under TSCA. According to EPA, due in part to the automation of modeling, it has become less burdensome to complete these calculations. Furthermore, according to EPA, removing the thresholds supports President Biden’s Executive Order 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government,” which calls on federal agencies to advance equity, including by reviewing and revising as needed government policies and programs impacting underserved communities.
The New Chemicals Program will implement this change by making minimal changes to the coding in the New Chemical Review application to remove the thresholds and will update standard operating procedures and training materials for exposure and human health risk assessors. EPA states that it will implement this policy change “as soon as feasible.” According to EPA, despite the resource challenges it is currently facing in the TSCA program, it anticipates that the change “will have minimal impact on the amount of time it takes to complete new chemical reviews and that the benefits gained from a more comprehensive accounting of all potential air and water releases will help ensure any needed protections are in place before a new chemical can come to market.”
More information and a detailed commentary that discusses thresholds of toxicological concern (TTC) are available in our August 22, 2022, memorandum.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On July 28, 2022, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced that the following revised Technical Reports on the Toxicity Studies are available on the NTP website:
- Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonates (Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid, Perfluorohexane Sulfonate Potassium Salt, and Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid) Administered by Gavage to Sprague Dawley (Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD) Rats (Revised TOX-96); and
- Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylates (Perfluorohexanoic Acid, Perfluorooctanoic Acid, Perfluorononanoic Acid, and Perfluorodecanoic Acid) Administered by Gavage to Sprague Dawley (Hsd:Sprague Dawley SD) Rats (Revised TOX-97).
According to NTP, transcription errors were identified in these reports, and an audit was conducted. NTP revised and republished the reports with an appendix that identifies the corrections. NTP notes that the final tables are available in the Chemical Effects in Biological Systems (CEBS) database.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report on July 28, 2022, entitled Persistent Chemicals: Technologies for PFAS Assessment, Detection, and Treatment. GAO was asked to conduct a technology assessment on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) assessment, detection, and treatment. The report examines the technologies for more efficient assessments of the adverse health effects of PFAS and alternative substances; the benefits and challenges of current and emerging technologies for PFAS detection and treatment; and policy options that could help enhance benefits and mitigate challenges associated with these technologies. GAO assessed relevant technologies; surveyed PFAS subject matter experts; interviewed stakeholder groups, including government, non-governmental organizations (NGO), industry, and academia; and reviewed key reports. GAO identified three challenges associated with PFAS assessment, detection, and treatment technologies:
- PFAS chemical structures are diverse and difficult to analyze for health risks, and machine learning requires extensive training data that may not be available;
- Researchers lack analytical standards for many PFAS, limiting the development of effective detection methods; and
- The effectiveness and availability of disposal and destruction options for PFAS are uncertain because of a lack of data, monitoring, and guidance.
GAO developed the following three policy options that could help mitigate these challenges:
- Promote research: Policymakers could support development of technologies and methods to more efficiently research PFAS health risks. This policy option could help address the challenge of limited information on the large number and diversity of PFAS, as well as a lack of standardized data sets for machine learning;
- Expand method development: Policymakers could collaborate to improve access to standard reference samples of PFAS and increase the pace of method and reference sample development for PFAS detection. This policy option could help address the challenges of a lack of validated methods in media other than water, lack of analytical standards, and cost, which all affect researchers’ ability to develop new detection technologies; and
- Support full-scale treatment: Policymakers could encourage the development and evaluation of full-scale technologies and methods to dispose of or destroy PFAS. This policy option could help address the challenges of cost and efficiency of disposal and destruction technologies and a lack of guidance from regulators.
GAO notes that these policy options involve possible actions by policymakers, which may include Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, academia, and industry.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on July 21, 2022, that the meeting minutes and final report (final report) are now available for the April 19-21, 2022, Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) virtual meeting regarding EPA’s proposed Draft Systematic Review Protocol Supporting TSCA Risk Evaluations for Chemical Substances Version 1.0 (Draft Protocol). As reported in our December 21, 2021, memorandum, EPA released the Draft Protocol for public comment on December 20, 2021. 86 Fed. Reg. 71891. According to EPA’s December 20, 2021, press release, the Draft Protocol will strengthen EPA’s approach to reviewing and selecting the scientific studies that are used to inform Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical risk evaluations and ensure that EPA has the best tools under TSCA to protect human health and the environment. EPA intends to issue its response to the SACC’s recommendations along with any revisions to the approach in 2023.
Charge Question 1: TSCA Systematic Review Protocol Document (Chapters 1-7)
The final report states that the SACC raised some substantive comments that require edits or explanation from EPA. According to the SACC, the Draft Protocol “is closer to a framework to carry out systematic review and other evaluation processes for TSCA risk evaluation.” Multiple SACC members recommended specifying systematic review and non-systematic review processes (e.g., risk assessment) within the Draft Protocol. To increase transparency, the Draft Protocol needs to: (1) start with the problem formulation; (2) describe how Populations, Exposures, Comparators, and Outcomes (PECO) or Receptors, Exposure, Setting or Scenario, and Outcomes (RESO) statements are developed and refined through the process; (3) describe the process of systematic review, evidence synthesis, and integration; and (4) clearly link the steps of the systematic review back to the larger risk evaluation process.
Charge Question 2: Strategies for Literature Search and Screening (Chapter 4)
According to the final report, overall, the SACC found the methods for searching and screening well described in Chapter 4. The general process for searching the peer-reviewed literature was considered robust, but the SACC noted concerns that methods for searching gray literature were neither robust nor complete. The method for searching gray literature does not currently find relevant information from states, non-governmental organizations (NGO), or community groups. The SACC recommends EPA identify authoritative reviews from government agencies and begin with these as a starting point to make more efficient use of time and resources.
Charge Question 3: Method to Assess the Quality of Evidence (Chapter 5)
The final report states that in general, the SACC noted that the Draft Protocol is an improved approach compared with the 2018 method. There was greater transparency and clarity in the data evaluation methods, as EPA’s process for evaluating the data across various evidence streams was well described and explained. The SACC made several recommendations to include more detail regarding the role of certain evidence types, such as biochemical and cellular-level outcomes, and to describe how supplemental data sources will be reviewed, evaluated, and incorporated into the systematic review or what criteria will be used to make the determination to consider/incorporate these data. In addition, EPA should re-evaluate the domain “accessibility” and identify whether an alternative term or phrase would be more appropriate to capture the elements under consideration. The SACC stated that EPA should be specific about the types of quality and validity issues it is considering and maintain appropriate categorizations of each instead of referring to them collectively under a blanket term.
Charge Question 4: Approaches for Integrating Evidence in Exposure and Hazard (Chapter 7)
According to the final report, SACC agreed this is a difficult and multi-faceted task and generally found that several aspects of the chapter were helpful, such as the hierarchies of data and the documentation on integration. As written, the Draft Protocol presents a complicated and potentially inefficient method for integrating data within the various disciplines, however. The final report states that many SACC members were concerned that criteria used to judge quality may exclude useful data that are not of high quality but nevertheless may have specific value for other downstream applications (e.g., corroboration of results or to assist with coherence of a data stream). In addition, the evidence integration process inappropriately introduces criteria for data selection that should be specified earlier in the process.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
On July 13, 2022, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) requested input from all interested parties to identify data gaps in research and development (R&D) regarding several aspects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 87 Fed. Reg. 41749. This information will be used to inform a strategic plan for federal coordination of PFAS R&D and, in compliance with Section 332 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA), the interagency strategy team on PFAS will also develop an implementation plan for federal agencies.
For purposes of the RFI, the term PFAS has the definition provided in NDAA Section 332(g)(1): “(A) man-made chemicals of which all of the carbon atoms are fully fluorinated carbon atoms; and (B) man-made chemicals containing a mix of fully fluorinated carbon atoms, partially fluorinated carbon atoms, and nonfluorinated carbon atoms.” The RFI states that examples of products that use PFAS include food contact materials (e.g., packaging, cookware), stain- and water-repellant fabrics and carpets, and firefighting foams. PFAS may be present in water, soil, air, food, and other materials. According to the RFI, “[r]esearch has shown that PFAS are highly stable chemicals that accumulate in people, animals, and the environment over time, and in several cases, have been shown to cause adverse health effects.”
The RFI states that respondents may provide information for one or as many research goals below as they choose:
- The removal of PFAS from the environment, in part or in total;
- The safe destruction or degradation of PFAS;
- The development and deployment of safer and more environmentally friendly alternative substances that are functionally similar to those made with PFAS;
- The understanding of sources of environmental PFAS contamination and pathways to exposure for the public; and/or
- The understanding of the toxicity of PFAS to humans and animals.
OSTP states that it is interested in responses to the following questions:
- Should the federal government consider identifying priority PFAS when developing a strategic plan for PFAS R&D? If so, what criteria should be used to identify priority PFAS for R&D (e.g., tonnage used per year; releases to the environment per year; toxicology or other human or environmental health concerns; or national security or critical infrastructure uses)?
- Are there criteria that could be applied across the five research goals identified above, or should specific criteria be developed for each individual research goal?
- Based on the definition of PFAS in the RFI, what are the scientific, technological, and human challenges that must be addressed to understand and to reduce significantly the environmental and human impacts of PFAS and to identify cost-effective:
- Alternatives to PFAS that are designed to be safer and more environmentally friendly;
- Methods for removal of PFAS from the environment; and
- Methods to destroy or degrade PFAS safely?
- Are there specific chemistries and/or intended uses that PFAS provide for which there are no known alternatives at this time?
- What are alternatives to the definition of PFAS provided in this RFI? What are the implications of these alternative definitions on possible remediation strategies?
- What should be the R&D priorities for accelerating progress, improving efficiency, and reducing the cost of: analytical methods, detection limits, and non-targeted detection?
- What studies would yield the most useful information and address the current gaps in understanding PFAS health effects in humans (e.g., in vitro, animal toxicological, and epidemiological studies)? Which health effects should be prioritized? What additional impacts beyond health should be prioritized? Social scientific approaches are welcome in addressing this question and any others, as appropriate.
- One challenge across all research goals is PFAS mixtures and formulations. Currently, more information is needed to understand the identity, composition, occurrence, source, or effects on human health and the environment for mixtures of PFAS found in environmental media. Additionally, more information is needed to understand the best way to remediate or destroy media contaminated with multiple PFAS. What should be the R&D priorities for accelerating progress in these areas?
- What goals, priorities, and performance metrics would be valuable in measuring the success of national, federally-funded PFAS R&D initiatives relating to:
- The removal of PFAS from the environment;
- Safely destroying or degrading PFAS;
- Developing safer and more environmentally friendly alternatives to PFAS; and
- Mitigating negative human effects of PFAS, whether related to health or additional domains?
Responses are due August 29, 2022.
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
The 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “to reduce and replace” vertebrate animals to the extent practicable, scientifically justified, and consistent with TSCA policies. EPA is also required to “develop a strategic plan to promote the development and implementation of alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine, or replace vertebrate animal testing and provide information of equivalent or better scientific quality and relevance for assessing risks of injury to health or the environment of chemical substances or mixtures.”
These are tall orders, and EPA has worked hard to fulfill Congress’s expectations. This webinar will:
- Highlight examples of EPA’s use of non-vertebrate testing strategies, commonly referred to as “new approach methodologies” or NAMs, in its evaluation of new and existing chemical substances under TSCA Sections 5 and 6, respectively;
- Provide examples of successful collaborations between EPA and external partners to advance the understanding and use of NAMs for informing regulatory scientific questions;
- Provide perspectives from former EPA scientists and non-governmental organization scientists on the types of data needs required to advance the acceptance and use of NAMs over existing vertebrate alternatives; and
- Provide a proposed roadmap for engaging EPA scientists on the types of questions EPA scientists will likely ask when considering proposals for utilizing NAMs as part of regulatory filings.
Register now to join Lynn L. Bergeson, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., James W. Cox, M.S., and Kristie Sullivan, MPH, as Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) presents “TSCA New Approach Methodologies.”
Lynn L. Bergeson, Managing Partner, B&C, has earned an international reputation for her deep and expansive understanding of how regulatory programs pertain to industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, and other emerging transformative technologies. She counsels corporations, trade associations, and business consortia on a wide range of issues pertaining to chemical hazard, exposure and risk assessment, risk communication, minimizing legal liability, and evolving regulatory and policy matters.
Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry, B&C, is a 17-year veteran of EPA and is one of the most widely recognized experts in the field of green chemistry, having served as senior staff scientist in EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and leader of EPA’s Green Chemistry Program. He has participated in thousands of TSCA substance reviews at EPA, as well as pre-notice and post-review meetings with submitters to resolve complex or difficult cases, and he draws upon this invaluable experience to assist B&C clients as they develop and commercialize novel chemistries.
James W. Cox, M.S., Senior Scientist, B&C, developed risk assessments and advised on hazard characterization processes under TSCA while working as Acting Lead Biologist in EPA’s OPPT New Chemicals Division. While at EPA, he helped develop a framework to complete risk assessments for novel petroleum alternatives and evaluated the hazard and risks to human health from exposure to industrial chemicals, biological agents, and nanomaterials.
Kristie Sullivan, MPH is the Vice President of Research Policy with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nationwide organization of physicians and laypersons that promotes preventive medicine and ethics in research. As Vice President of Research Policy, Ms. Sullivan directs PCRM’s efforts to promote human-relevant alternatives to the use of animals in medical research, education, and the testing of drugs, chemicals, and other products through scientific scholarship and outreach to companies, federal agencies, legislators, and others. Ms. Sullivan has 15 years’ experience in legislative, policy, science, and training activities related to the implementation of New Approach Methodologies, including by engaging with EPA, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the regulated industry.
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) spring 2022 Unified Agenda, published on June 21, 2022, includes the following rulemakings under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) or the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).
Proposed Rule Stage
- Tiered Data Reporting to Inform Prioritization, Risk Evaluation, and Risk Management under TSCA (2070-AK62): EPA is developing a rulemaking under TSCA Sections 8(a) and (d) to establish reporting requirements based upon a chemical’s status in the Risk Evaluation/Risk Management (RE/RM) Lifecycle and update the reporting requirements under the 40 C.F.R. Part 711 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) regulation. Specifically, EPA is seeking occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure information. EPA is developing this rule to obtain information about potential hazards and exposure pathways related to certain chemicals, particularly occupational, environmental, and consumer exposure information. According to the Unified Agenda item, EPA needs this information to inform prioritization, risk evaluation, and risk management of chemical substances under TSCA Section 6. EPA intends to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in May 2023 and a final rule in September 2024. More information on EPA’s July 27, 2021, webinar on development of the proposed rule is available in our July 29, 2021, memorandum.
- Revisions to the TSCA Fees Rule (2070-AK64): In January 2021, EPA proposed updates and adjustments to the 2018 TSCA fees rule. EPA proposed modifications to the TSCA fees and fee categories for fiscal years (FY) 2022, 2023, and 2024 and explained the methodology by which the proposed TSCA fees were determined. EPA proposed to add three new fee categories: A Bona Fide Intent to Manufacture or Import Notice, a Notice of Commencement of Manufacture or Import, and an additional fee associated with test orders. In addition, EPA proposed exemptions for entities subject to certain fee-triggering activities, including an exemption for research and development (R&D) activities; an exemption for entities manufacturing less than 2,500 pounds of a chemical subject to an EPA-initiated risk evaluation fee; an exemption for manufacturers of chemical substances produced as a non-isolated intermediate; and exemptions for manufacturers of a chemical substance subject to an EPA-initiated risk evaluation if the chemical substance is imported in an article, produced as a byproduct, or produced or imported as an impurity. EPA updated its cost estimates for administering TSCA, relevant information management activities, and individual fee calculation methodologies. EPA proposed a volume-based fee allocation for EPA-initiated risk evaluation fees in any scenario where a consortium is not formed and is proposing to require export-only manufacturers to pay fees for EPA-initiated risk evaluations. EPA also proposed various changes to the timing of certain activities required throughout the fee payment process. In light of public comments, EPA states that it has decided to issue a supplemental NPRM in October 2022 and seek additional public comment on changes to the January 2021 proposal. More information on the proposed rule is available in our December 30, 2020, memorandum.
- New Chemicals Procedural Regulations to Reflect the 2016 Amendments to TSCA (2070-AK65): On June 22, 2016, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg Act) was signed into law, amending TSCA and impacting how EPA reviews and makes determinations on new chemical notices under TSCA Section 5. EPA states that as a result of these increased responsibilities, it has become more challenging to complete reviews within 90 days. This rulemaking seeks to revise the new chemicals procedural regulations in 40 C.F.R. Part 720 to improve the efficiency of EPA’s review process and to align its processes and procedures with the new statutory requirements. This rulemaking seeks to increase the quality of information initially submitted in new chemicals notices and improve EPA’s processes to reduce unnecessary rework in the risk assessment and, ultimately, the length of time that new chemicals are under review. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in February 2023.
- Confidential Business Information (CBI) Claims under TSCA (2070-AK68): EPA is considering proposing new and amended rules concerning the assertion and maintenance of claims of CBI under TSCA. Amendments to TSCA in 2016 included several new provisions concerning the assertion and EPA review and treatment of confidentiality claims. EPA states that it is considering procedures for submitting and supporting such claims in TSCA submissions, including substantiation requirements, exemptions, electronic reporting enhancements, and maintenance or withdrawal of confidentiality claims. EPA is also considering whether the proposed rule should also elaborate on EPA’s procedures for reviewing and communicating with TSCA submitters about confidentiality claims. EPA expects the proposed rule to include new provisions, as well as revisions to existing rules on asserting confidentiality claims to conform to the 2016 amendments to TSCA. As reported in our May 17 and May 18, 2022, memoranda, EPA issued a proposed rule on May 12, 2022. EPA intends to issue a final rule in May 2023.
- Chemical-Specific Rulemakings under TSCA Section 6(a): TSCA Section 6 requires EPA to address unreasonable risks of injury to health or the environment that the Administrator has determined are presented by a chemical substance under the conditions of use. Following risk evaluations for the following chemicals carried out under the authority of TSCA Section 6, EPA initiated rulemakings to address unreasonable risks of injury to health identified in the final risk evaluations:
- Methylene Chloride (2070-AK70): EPA’s risk evaluation for methylene chloride, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0437, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0742. EPA intends to issue an NPRM in February 2023 and a final rule in August 2024. More information on EPA’s draft revision to its risk determination for methylene chloride will be available in a forthcoming memorandum;
- 1-Bromopropane (2070-AK73): EPA’s risk evaluation for 1-bromopropane, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0235, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0741. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in May 2023 and a final rule in August 2024;
- Carbon Tetrachloride (2070-AK82): EPA’s risk evaluation, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0499, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0733. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in April 2023 and a final rule in August 2024;
- Trichloroethylene (TCE) (2070-AK83): EPA’s risk evaluation for TCE, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0500, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0737. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in March 2023 and a final rule in August 2024. More information on EPA’s draft revision to its risk determination for TCE will be available in a forthcoming memorandum;
- Perchloroethylene (PCE) (2070-AK84): EPA’s risk evaluation for PCE, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0502, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0732. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in February 2023 and a final rule in August 2024. More information on EPA’s draft revision to its risk determination for PCE will be available in a forthcoming memorandum;
- N-Methylpyrrolidone (NMP) (2070-AK85): EPA’s risk evaluation for NMP, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0236, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0743. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in May 2023 and a final rule in August 2024. More information on EPA’s draft revision to its risk determination for NMP will be available in a forthcoming memorandum; and
- Asbestos (Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos) (2070-AK86): EPA’s risk evaluation for chrysotile asbestos, describing the conditions of use and presenting EPA’s determinations of unreasonable risk, is in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0501, with additional information in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736. More information on EPA’s proposed rule to prohibit ongoing uses of chrysotile asbestos is available in our April 7, 2022, memorandum. EPA intends to publish a final rule in November 2023.
- Procedures for Chemical Risk Evaluation under TSCA (2070-AK90): As required under TSCA Section 6(b)(4), EPA published a final rule on July 20, 2017, that established a process for conducting risk evaluations to determine whether a chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation, under the conditions of use. This process incorporates the science requirements of the amended statute, including best available science and weight of the scientific evidence. The final rule established the steps of a risk evaluation process, including: scope, hazard assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and risk determination. EPA states that it is now considering revisions to that final rule and will solicit public comment through an NPRM. EPA intends to publish the NPRM in September 2022. More information on EPA’s 2017 rule is available in our June 26, 2017, memorandum.
- Asbestos; Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements under TSCA (2070-AK99): This rulemaking, under the authority of TSCA Section 8(a), would require certain persons that manufactured (including imported) or processed asbestos and asbestos-containing articles (including as an impurity) to report certain exposure-related information, including quantities of asbestos and asbestos-containing articles manufactured (including imported) or processed, types of asbestos used, and employee data. Reported information would be used by EPA and other federal agencies in considering the regulation of asbestos. EPA notes that this rulemaking is the result of a settlement agreement stemming from litigation pursuant to TSCA Section 21. See Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization v. EPA, No. 19-CV-00871; State of California et al. v. EPA, No. 19-CV-03807. More information on EPA’s proposed reporting and recordkeeping requirements is available in our May 6, 2022, memorandum. EPA intends to publish a final rule in November 2022.
- Other Chemical Substances Undergoing TSCA Section 6 Risk Evaluation; Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) for Certain Non-Ongoing Uses (2070-AL05): EPA is developing TSCA Section 5(a)(2) SNURs on conditions of use identified as not currently ongoing in the final scope documents for the high-priority substances undergoing TSCA Section 6 risk evaluations. EPA states that it will use the SNURs to require notice to EPA before chemical substances and mixtures are used in new ways that might create concerns. Persons subject to a SNUR who intend to manufacture (including import) or process the chemical substance for the significant new use must notify EPA at least 90 days prior to initiating activities via a significant new use notice (SNUN). EPA intends to publish an NPRM in December 2022 and a final rule in May 2024.
- The Unified Agenda includes the following chemical-specific SNURs for certain non-ongoing uses:
- Phthalates; SNUR for Certain Non-Ongoing Uses (2070-AL06): EPA intends to publish an NPRM in November 2022 and a final rule in May 2024;
- Flame Retardants; SNUR for Certain Non-Ongoing Uses (2070-AL07): EPA intends to publish an NPRM in December 2022 and a final rule in November 2023; and
- Certain Solvents; SNUR for Certain Non-Ongoing Uses (2070-AL08): EPA intends to publish an NPRM in December 2022 and a final rule in May 2024.
- Inactive Inventory Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) SNUR (2070-AL10): EPA is developing a SNUR under TSCA Section 5(a)(2) for certain uses of Inactive Inventory PFAS. Persons subject to the Inactive Inventory PFAS SNUR would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing manufacture or processing for any use that EPA has determined is a significant new use. The required notifications would initiate EPA’s evaluation of the intended use within the applicable review period. Manufacture and processing for the significant new use would be unable to commence until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in association with that determination. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in September 2022 and a final rule in June 2023.
- TRI; Response to Petition to Add Diisononyl Phthalate (DINP) to the TRI List of Toxic Chemicals (2025-AA17): According to EPA, this action arises from a petition received by EPA to add DINP to the list of toxic chemicals reportable under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). In response to the petition, EPA initiated a rulemaking on September 5, 2000, proposing to add DINP to the TRI list. On June 14, 2005, EPA issued a notice of data availability seeking comments on EPA’s revised hazard assessment for DINP in further support of EPA’s proposal to add DINP to the TRI list. EPA states that the addition of DINP to the TRI list would make it subject to all the reporting requirements under the Toxic Chemical Release Reporting Rule. EPA intends to publish a supplemental NPRM in July 2022 and a final rule in May 2023;
- Changes to Reporting Requirements for PFAS; Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting (2070-AK97): EPA is developing a proposal to add PFAS subject to reporting under EPCRA Section 313 and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) to the list of Lower Thresholds for Chemicals of Special Concern (Chemicals of Special Concern). EPA states that the addition of the PFAS to the Chemicals of Special Concern list will eliminate the use of the de minimis exemption, eliminate the option to use Form A, and limit the use of range reporting. In addition, EPA is proposing to eliminate the use of the de minimis exemption under the Supplier Notification Requirements for facilities that manufacture or process all chemicals included on the Chemicals of Special Concern list. According to EPA, Chemicals of Special Concern may be found in products below de minimis levels; this is especially true for PFAS that are used at low concentrations in many products. Because of the widespread use of PFAS and their (or their degradants) persistence in the environment, however, even concentrations below de minimis levels can contribute significantly to environmental loading. The elimination of the de minimis exemption for supplier notification purposes will help facilities to identify potential sources of PFAS and other Chemicals of Special Concern. EPA believes that the elimination of the de minimis exemption under the Supplier Notification Requirements for PFAS and other Chemicals of Special Concern will result in a more complete picture of the releases and waste management quantities for these chemicals. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in September 2022 and a final rule in November 2023.
- Addition of Certain PFAS to the TRI (2070-AL03): EPA is developing a rulemaking to add certain PFAS to the list of chemicals reportable under EPCRA Section 313. EPA states that the addition of these PFAS is in direct response to a statutory mandate under Section 7321(d) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (NDAA). Under Section 7321(d), EPA was required to evaluate whether certain specific PFAS meet the EPCRA Section 313 listing criteria by December 2021 and is required to add any PFAS that EPA determines meet the listing criteria by December 2023. EPA intends to publish an NPRM in February 2023 and a final rule in November 2023.
- Community Right-to-Know; Adopting 2022 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Codes for TRI Reporting (2070-AL09): EPA is developing a proposed rule to incorporate the revised 2022 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes for TRI reporting purposes. According to EPA, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) updates the NAICS codes every five years. OMB approved the 2022 NAICS codes on December 21, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 72277), with an effective date of January 1, 2022. EPA currently uses 2017 NAICS codes, and with this proposed rule would implement the 2022 codes for TRI Reporting Year 2022. Facilities reporting to the TRI would be required to use 2022 NAICS codes on reports that are due to EPA by July 1, 2023. This rule also proposed to update the C.F.R. to clarify the scope of facilities required to report to the TRI. According to EPA, the actual data required by a TRI form would not change as a result of this rulemaking, nor would the rule affect the universe of TRI reporting facilities that are required to submit reports to EPA under EPCRA Section 313. EPA intended to publish an NPRM in June 2022 and a final rule in November 2022.
Final Rule Stage
- Significant New Uses of Chemical Substances; Updates to the Hazard Communication Program and Regulatory Framework; Minor Amendments to Reporting Requirements for Premanufacture Notices (PMN) (2070-AJ94): In 2016, EPA proposed changes to the existing regulations governing significant new uses of chemical substances under TSCA (40 C.F.R. Part 721, specifically “Protection in the Workplace” (40 C.F.R. Section 721.63) and “Hazard Communication Program” (40 C.F.R. Section 721.72)) to align these regulations with revisions to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communications Standard (HCS) (29 C.F.R. Section 1910.1200), which are proposed to be cross referenced, and with changes to the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) respirator certification requirements pertaining to respiratory protection of workers from exposure to chemicals. EPA also proposed changes to the significant new uses of chemical substance regulations based on issues that have been identified by EPA and issues raised by public commenters for SNURs previously proposed and issued under these regulations. Additionally, EPA proposed a minor change to reporting requirements for PMNs and other TSCA Section 5 notices. EPA states that it expects these changes to have minimal impacts on the costs and burdens of complying, while updating the significant new use reporting requirements to assist in addressing any potential effects to human health and the environment. EPA is reviewing the comments received and is planning to issue a final rule. EPA intends to issue a final rule in October 2022. More information on the proposed rule is available in our July 29, 2016, memorandum.
- Reporting and Recordkeeping for PFAS under TSCA Section 8(a)(7) (2070-AK67): EPA published a proposed rule on June 28, 2021, addressing reporting and recordkeeping requirements for PFAS under TSCA Section 8(a)(7). In accordance with obligations under TSCA Section 8(a), as amended by NDAA Section 7351, persons that manufacture (including import) or have manufactured these chemical substances in any year since January 1, 2011, would be subject to the reporting and recordkeeping requirements. In addition to fulfilling statutory obligations under TSCA, EPA states that it expects that the proposed rule would enable it to characterize better the sources and quantities of manufactured PFAS in the United States. EPA intends to publish a final rule in December 2022. More information on EPA’s proposed rule is available in our June 11, 2021, memorandum.
- TRI; Response to Petition from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) to Add 25 Chemicals (2070-AK26): The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) submitted a petition under EPCRA Section 313(e)(1) to add 25 chemicals to the EPCRA Section 313 list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under the TRI. Three of the 25 chemicals were added to the EPCRA Section 313 list through actions unrelated to the petition. EPA states that it evaluated the remaining 22 chemicals to determine if they met the listing criteria of EPCRA Section 313(d)(2). EPA proposed the addition of 12 of the 22 chemicals that were determined to meet the EPCRA Section 313(d)(2) criteria and for which reports were expected to be filed. EPA is reviewing the comments received and is planning to issue a final rule. EPA intends to issue a final rule in November 2022.
- Parent Company Definition for TRI Reporting (2070-AK42): In 2021, EPA proposed to codify the definition of “parent company” for purposes of reporting to the TRI. Although the existing regulation requires facilities reporting to the TRI to identify their parent company in annual reporting forms, no codified definition of this data element exists. Among the facilities reporting to the TRI are those with complicated corporate ownership structures. As such, effort is required each year by reporting facilities and EPA to clarify how the parent company data element should be represented on the form. According to EPA, a codified definition of parent company would allow EPA to address various corporate ownership scenarios explicitly and reduce the reporting burden caused by regulatory uncertainty. EPA states that the proposed rule would clarify existing regulations to reporting facilities and add a foreign parent company data element, if applicable, while improving EPA’s data quality. EPA is reviewing the comments received and is determining next steps. EPA intends to publish a final rule in October 2022.
- NDAA Mandated Addition of Certain PFAS to the TRI for Reporting Year 2022 (2070-AL04): According to EPA, NDAA Section 7321 provides a framework for PFAS to be added automatically to the TRI list on January 1 of the year following certain EPA actions. In December 2021, EPA announced the statutory addition of the PFAS chemicals covered by the NDAA to the list of chemical substances subject to reporting for the TRI. This regulatory action amends the EPCRA regulations in 40 C.F.R. Part 372 to reflect this statutory addition. EPA intended to publish a final rule in June 2022.