How to Keep Toxic Substance Inventories EPA Compliant
Included in the 2016 amendments to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is a one-time reporting requirement for industry, designed to bring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) list of chemicals in commerce—referred to as the “TSCA Inventory”—up to date. The EPA wants to remove any chemicals from the TSCA Inventory that are no longer made or imported into the U.S., says this story in IndustryWeek Magazine.
Shortening the current list of more than 85,000 chemicals will help the EPA to meet its principal new obligation under the TSCA amendments—to prioritize and review the safety of all remaining chemicals currently in commerce under their circumstances of use, and to impose risk management controls (anything from warnings to complete bans) where it finds unreasonable risks. The new chemical testing and risk evaluation process will proceed chemical-by-chemical over a long period of time, and many companies may not be affected for several years. But the chemical reporting obligation (TSCA Inventory Reset) will affect nearly every company, including many companies often exempt from other kinds of EPA reporting.
Beginning in the third quarter of 2017, companies of all sizes and in nearly all industries will have 180 days to investigate, identify and report to the EPA each chemical substance that it has manufactured or imported in the past ten years, regardless of the amount. Chemicals not reported as being made or imported during the look-back period will be designated “inactive” and it will be illegal thereafter to manufacture, import, process or use those chemicals in the U.S. unless they are first ‘reactivated’ by notice to the EPA (with a potential penalty of $37,500/day). Accordingly, all chemical processors and users have an interest in assuring that the chemicals they use are on the “active” list.
The EPA has proposed to give processors an additional six-month window to review the initial list and report any additional chemicals they use that may have been overlooked by suppliers. The EPA’s proposed reporting rules were issued on January 13, 2017. Final rules are expected by June 22.