Chemicals, Regulatory Developments

EPA Amends SNURs

On July 5, 2022, the EPA issued amendments to its Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The amendments become effective September 2, 2022.

Impacted industries include chemical manufacturers, producers of petroleum and coal products, and wholesale merchants of nondurable goods.

The summary of the rule states the amendments were necessary to be in line with revisions made to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communications Standard (HCS) and changes to the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) respirator certification requirements for the respiratory protection of workers from exposure to chemicals.

The changes include procedural changes to the general provisions in subpart A that apply to all SNURs and a minor change to reporting requirements for TSCA Section 5 notices. The EPA classifies the financial impacts of these amendments as minor.

Of note to impacted industry, the main changes to the regulations include:

  1. Updating the generic SNUR regulations to align with OSHA/NIOSH regulations to ensure worker safety.
  2. Moving to a hierarchy-of-controls-based model to protect workers from exposure to SNUR chemicals. This requires persons subject to a SNUR to implement appropriate engineering and administrative controls before using personal protective equipment (PPE).
  3. Updating the SNUR regulations to be consistent with OSHA’s HCS and cross-referencing the HCS to ensure any amendments to it will automatically be incorporated without action by the EPA.
  4. Changing how the EPA cites SNURs when the use described in the premanufacture notice (PMN) is confidential.
  5. Establishing new discharge computation requirements for chemicals into surface water when assessing SNUR water release requirement compliance.
  6. Modifying the procedure by which a manufacturer or processor shows that it has a bona fide intent to manufacture or process a chemical as it pertains to confidential significant new uses.
  7. Requiring the submission of any safety data sheet already developed, even draft versions, as part of any PMN or significant new use notification.

For more information, review TSCA Section 5.