Article

Recent EPA Actions under the TSCA

Posted on: January 8, 2014

By John J. Kowalski, CHMM

Among the most recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) are the following:

  • promulgating and amending Significant New Use Rules (SNURs);
  • extending the review periods for certain TSCA Section 5 notices as a result of the government shutdown;
  • announcing the receipt of test data submitted pursuant to test rules issued by the Agency under TSCA Section 4; and
  • amending reporting regulations to require electronic reporting of certain information submitted to the Agency under TSCA Sections 4, 5, 8(a), and 8(d).

On October 22, 2013, EPA published a final rule that amended a SNUR for Perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) chemical substances to add PFAS chemical substances that have completed the TSCA new chemical review process, but have not yet commenced production or import, and to designate processing (for all listed PFAS chemical substances) as a significant new use.  In this final rule, EPA also finalized a SNUR for Long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemical substances that designates manufacturing, importing, and processing for use as part of carpets or for treating carpet (for example, for use in the carpet aftercare market) as a significant new use, except for use of two chemical substances as surfactants in carpet cleaning products.  For this SNUR, EPA also made an exemption inapplicable to persons who import or process the LCPFAC chemical substances as part of an article.  Persons subject to these SNURs will be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing any significant new use.  According to EPA, the required notifications will provide the Agency with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs.

On October 28, 2013, EPA published a notice announcing that, as a result of the government shutdown, the review periods would be extended for all Premanufacture Notices (PMNs), Significant New Use Notices (SNUNs), Microbial Commercial Activity Notices (MCANs) and exemption notices submitted to the Agency under TSCA Section 5, that were received by EPA on or before October 1, 2013 and for which the review period had not expired as of October 1, 2013.  The notice also announced that the review period for any TSCA Section 5 notice submitted during the government shutdown, which ran from October 1 through October 16, 2013, did not begin until operations resumed on October 17, 2013.

On November 1, 2013, EPA finalized an amendment to the SNUR for the chemical substance identified as 1-Propene, 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-, which was the subject of PMN P-07-601.  This action amended the SNUR to allow the manufacture and processing for certain uses without requiring a SNUN.  EPA finalized this amendment based upon its review of newly-submitted exposure and toxicity data.

On November 6, 2013, EPA published a notice announcing the receipt of test data on 21 chemicals.  These data were submitted pursuant to three test rules issued by the Agency under TSCA Section 4.  According to EPA, the purpose of this notice was to alert the public about test data received between June 29, 2011 and July 31, 2013.

On November 19, 2013, EPA published a notice announcing the receipt of test data on 1-Propanesulfonic acid, 2-hydroxy-3-(2-propen-1-yloxy)-, sodium salt (1:1).  These data were submitted pursuant to a test rule issued by the Agency under the TSCA.  According to EPA, the purpose of this notice was to alert the public about test data received between August 1, 2013 and October 31, 2013.

On December 4, 2013, EPA published a final rule to require electronic reporting of certain information submitted to the Agency under TSCA Sections 4, 5, 8(a), and 8(d).  More specifically, the final rule, which is effective March 4, 2014, requires electronic submission of data and other information for:

  • Section 4 test rules;
  • Section 5 Notices of Commencement of Manufacture or Import (NOCs) and support documents relating to Section 5 Notices sent to EPA before April 6, 2010;
  • Section 8(a) Preliminary Assessment Information Rule (PAIR) submissions; and
  • Section 8(d) Health and Safety studies.

References

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonates and Long-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylate Chemical Substances; Final Significant New Use Rule”  Federal Register 78 (22 October 2013):  62443-62451.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Extension of Review Periods under the Toxic Substances Control Act; Certain Chemicals and Microorganisms; Premanufacture, Significant New Use, and Exemption Notices; Delay in Processing Due to Lack of Authorized Funding”  Federal Register 78 (28 October 2013):  64210-64211.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Modification of Significant New Uses of 1-Propene, 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-”  Federal Register 78 (1 November 2013):  65570-65573.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical Testing; Receipt of Test Data”  Federal Register 78 (6 November 2013):  66700-66704.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Toxic Substances Control Act Chemical Testing; Receipt of Test Data”  Federal Register 78 (19 November 2013):  69414-69414.

Environmental Protection Agency.  “Electronic Reporting Under the Toxic Substances Control Act”  Federal Register 78 (4 December 2013):  72818-72830.


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