Chemicals, Enforcement and Inspection

EPA Seeks Comments for Guidance on CDR Exemption Petitions

Manufacturers and importers of chemical substances listed on the EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory are advised the EPA has published notice seeking comments for guidance on some of the processes applicable to TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) regulations. 

The comments sought apply specifically to “[p]etitions for full exemption of byproduct substances that are recycled or otherwise used within site-limited, physically enclosed systems and [p]etitions for partial exemption of chemicals for which the CDR processing and use information has been determined to be of ‘low current interest’ by the Agency,” according to the notice published in the Federal Register dated August 23, 2021. “This guidance is designed to elucidate the process and requirements of CDR-specific petitions and is consistent with both existing regulations and guidance. The CDR regulations require manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemical substances included on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory) to report data on the manufacturing, processing, and use of the chemical substances.”

The EPA uses CDR data to “screen and assess potential exposures to and risks of reported chemicals to human health and the environment.”

“Low current interest” chemicals are partially exempt from CDR requirements in that manufacturers of these chemicals are not required to report information on the processing and use of these chemicals; they are only required to report information on the manufacture and import of these types of chemicals.

Also, “certain chemicals, when produced as byproducts, may be fully exempted from reporting depending on how they are manufactured, processed, or used.”

There are currently two separate petition processes for “making amendments to the list of partially exempt chemical substances (40 CFR 711.6(b)(2)(iv)) or the list of processes and certain related byproduct substances (40 CFR 711.10(d)(1)(i)) that are fully exempted when they are recycled or otherwise used within site-limited, physically enclosed systems.”

The primary goal of the new guidance the EPA expects to provide “is to help the regulated community comply with the CDR rule requirements in relation to its applicable petition processes. This guidance identifies and clarifies examples of the types of information submitters can provide to the Agency in support of petitions for full or partial exemption from CDR rule requirements. This guidance is expected to make the requirements and process of submitting a CDR-specific petition more comprehensible, enabling petitioners to determine if a petition is appropriate and to better provide a petition containing the information needed for EPA to reach a determination. Ultimately, this guidance will help both parties to better meet regulatory deadlines associated with petition submission and response.”

This action applies to chemical manufacturing and processing and petroleum refineries, utilities, paper manufacturing, primary metal manufacturing, and semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing. It includes any industries that manufacture or import chemicals on the TSCA Inventory and chemical users and processors that may manufacture a byproduct chemical substance on the inventory.

Comments to be taken into consideration by the EPA in creating this guidance will be accepted until December 21, 2021.