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EPA Issues 3 New Notices Taking Action Under Amended Toxic Substances Control Act

Proposed Ban on Certain Uses of Trichloroethylene

EPA is issuing a proposed rule under section 6(a) of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to prohibit the manufacture, import, processing, and distribution in commerce and to prohibit commercial use of trichloroethylene (TCE) for aerosol degreasing and for spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities. EPA is also proposing to require manufacturers, processors, and distributors, other than retailers, to provide downstream notice of these prohibitions throughout the supply chain, and to maintain certain limited records.  Section 26(l)(4) of TSCA authorizes EPA to issue risk management rules under section 6(a) of TSCA that are consistent with the scope of a risk assessment completed on a Work Plan Chemical before the date of enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. EPA published the risk assessment for TCE on June 25, 2014, in which the Agency determined that the above uses result in significant non-cancer risks (under acute and chronic exposure scenarios) and cancer risks.  Comments on the proposed rule will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  A pre-publication copy of the Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking is available here.

Comments Requested on Definition of Small Manufacturer and Processor  

Section 8(a)(3)(C) of TSCA requires EPA, after consultation with the Small Business Administration, to review the adequacy of the standards for defining “small manufacturers and processors” that are subject to certain reporting exemptions under TSCA.  EPA has preliminarily determined that an increase in the current size limit is indeed warranted.  Through this Federal Register notice, EPA is requesting comments by January 17, 2017 to determine whether a revision is warranted. If EPA determines that a revision is warranted, such revision would occur by subsequent rulemaking, which would involve a further opportunity for public notice and comment.

Negotiated Rulemaking Committee Announced to Develop CDR Inorganic Byproducts Requirements

As required by section 8(a)(6) of TSCA, EPA has announced plans for establishing a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee to develop a regulation limiting TSCA section 8(a) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) requirements for inorganic byproducts that are recycled, reused, or reprocessed. EPA anticipates selecting 10 to 25 members and is soliciting comments, due January 17, 2017, regarding procedures for establishing the committee and the issues the committee should address. Once the procedures for establishing the Committee are determined, EPA will publish another Federal Register notice seeking members to serve on the Committee.

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About this Author

 Thomas C. Berger, Keller Heckman, Environmental Protection lawyer, Product Liability Management Attorney

Tom Berger joined Keller and Heckman in 1993. Mr. Berger is a partner in Keller and Heckman's Washington DC office and heads Keller and Heckman's Indianapolis satellite office.

Mr. Berger has extensive experience in representing foreign and domestic companies, large and small, in a broad range of areas, including counseling, advocacy, and rulemaking in environmental law, occupational safety and health law, contracts, EPA enforcement proceedings, and chemical and product liability management. Mr. Berger assists clients in bringing new products to...

Adrienne M. Timmel, Keller Heckman, Pre-Market Chemical Approval Lawyer, Products Safety Attorney

Adrienne Timmel practices in all areas of environmental law and also advises clients on product safety and energy performance matters. In particular, Ms. Timmel assists clients in obtaining pre-market approval of chemicals and pesticides in the U.S. and international markets. She has helped clients navigate and comply with the Federal fuels regulations and Federal energy efficiency regulations for residential appliances and commercial equipment.  Her work has also included counseling clients in the development of biofuels and engaging in settlement negotiations with the...