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ENVIRONMENTAL LAW UPDATE | First Reporting Deadline Under New EPA Chemical Reporting Rule is February 7, 2018

By: Nathan D. Dupes

01/30/18

February 7, 2018 marks the first deadline under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) TSCA Inventory Notification Rule (40 CFR 710.23 et seq.).

Any company that uses chemical substances in its operations should be aware of and may need to comply with this rule.

EPA created the rule under the authority of the Toxic Substances Control Act (“TSCA”), the nation’s comprehensive chemical regulatory statute. One of the key features of TSCA is the Inventory, a list maintained by EPA of chemicals in U.S. commerce. TSCA was recently amended to require EPA to designate each chemical on the Inventory as either active or inactive in U.S. commerce. This requirement will allow EPA to prioritize for risk evaluations those chemicals that are actively used in commerce.

In order to assist EPA in making active/inactive designations, the Inventory Notification Rule establishes two stages of reporting. In the first stage, any person who manufactured or imported a chemical on the Inventory (unless already designated as active) at any time between June 21, 2006 and June 21, 2016 (the “lookback period”) must report to the EPA by February 7, 2018, subject to some caveats and potential exemptions. The second stage of reporting is not triggered until after EPA makes the final active/inactive designations.

Although the first stage reporting requirement is easy to articulate, there are many nuances to consider. How do you determine if you are a “manufacturer” as opposed to a “processor”? How are chemical mixtures handled under the rule? What if the chemical identity of a substance you use is kept confidential by your supplier? If you use a chemical solely for research and development purposes, is reporting required?

Bodman can help clients answer these kinds of questions and comply with the Inventory Notification Rule.