EPA’s Plan to Revise Regulations under TSCA (August 2016)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a proposed rule to update regulations governing significant new use rules (SNURs), premanufacture notice (PMNs) reporting and the Hazard Communication Program. These changes directly apply to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), a law that regulates new and existing chemicals.

Over the years, modifications have been made to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communications Standard (HCS), the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard and the requirements to protect workers from chemical risk under the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The proposed revisions for TSCA standards will have them more closely resemble those outlined in the updated versions of these documents.

The projected changes, including a “minor” change to the reporting requirements for premanufacture notices (PMN) and other TSCA section 5 notices, are also being made based on learnings from EPA’s extensive experience in governing Significant New Use Rules (SNURs), as well as public opinion. According to the US Federal Register, some of the concerns addressed include “considering a hierarchy of controls before using personal protective equipment to control exposures; clarifying what use other than as described in the premanufacture notice referenced in subpart E of this part for the substance means under 40 CFR 721.80(j); [and] allowing for removal in wastewater treatment when computing estimated surface water concentrations according to 40 CFR 721.91.” The revisions seek to address potential effects to public health and the environment, while also minimizing costs.

Those interested in providing feedback on the proposed rule, must submit their comments by September 26, 2016. Comments can be submitted electronically or by mail.