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EPA Seeks Participants for Small Business Review Panel on Carbon Tetrachloride and TCE Risk Management Rulemaking
By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on November 30, 2020, that it is inviting small businesses, governments, and not-for-profits to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SER) to provide advice and recommendations to two Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panels. One Panel will focus on EPA’s development of a proposed rule to address unreasonable risks identified in EPA’s recently completed Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluation for carbon tetrachloride. As reported in our November 4, 2020, memorandum, EPA reviewed 15 conditions of use, “all of which are associated with industrial and commercial work and primarily involve the manufacturing of other chemicals.” EPA found unreasonable risks to workers and occupational non-users (ONU) for 13 of the 15 conditions of use. EPA found no unreasonable risks to the environment. According to EPA, there are no consumer uses of this chemical. The second Panel will focus on a risk management rulemaking for trichloroethylene (TCE). As reported in our November 24, 2020, memorandum, of the 54 conditions of use that EPA reviewed, EPA found that 52 present an unreasonable risk to workers, ONUs, consumers, and bystanders. EPA determined that distribution in commerce and consumer use of TCE in pepper spray do not present an unreasonable risk. EPA also found no unreasonable risks to the environment. EPA is now moving to the risk management step in the TSCA process by working to draft regulations to protect public health from the unreasonable risks identified in the final risk evaluations.
According to EPA, the Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to establish an SBAR Panel for rules that may have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The SBAR Panels will include federal representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and EPA. The SBAR Panels will select SERs to provide comments on behalf of their company, community, or organization and advise the Panels on the potential impacts of the proposed rule on small entities. EPA states that it is seeking self-nominations directly from the small entities that may be subject to the rules’ requirements. EPA notes that other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, may also serve as SERs. Self-nominations may be submitted online and must be received by December 14, 2020.
EPA states that in addition to engaging with small businesses, it “is executing a robust outreach effort on risk management that includes formal consultations with state and local governments, tribes, and environmental justice communities.” EPA notes that there will also be an open public comment period on any draft risk management regulations.