A meeting was held January 19, 2012, with EPA trying to explain how CDR applies to byproducts:
Some good news: EPA is backing off of recycling as manufacture requiring reporting. As long as all you are doing is separating out (e.g., distilling) a raw material or product (refining) you don’t have to report. Refining and processing a chemical product further to remove impurities is not reportable. Only if you extract or create a substance by chemical reaction do you have a reporting responsibility. Bottom line: A chemical has to have been manufactured by you; a change in CAS# has to have occurred. Solvent recyclers are off the hook!
Muddled further is the situation with impurities that are created by your chemical reactions and how your chemical products, co-products and byproducts are described by CAS#. Are they mixtures of known discrete chemicals or UVCB? It sounded like EPA was saying that it doesn’t matter if a substance is an impurity – if produced by chemical reaction, the only way to avoid CDR reporting as a manufacturer is to meet one of the exemptions: <25,000 lbs, polymers, burned as fuel, TSCA exempt use, disposed. Another CDR exemption is if the chemical isn’t on the TSCA Inventory. Of course, if the byproduct is not otherwise exempt and it’s not on the TSCA Inventory – because everyone considered it to be a non-reportable impurity – you may have a PMN violation.
EPA seemed to be trying to avoid problems it had created in its earlier guidance by considering products and byproducts as mixtures, where the unwanted byproduct components get used in exempt ways or disposed and so don’t require reporting.
The webinar and materials will be posted shortly.
Congressmen Shimkus and Upton are asking EPA to extend CDR some more since there is still confusion. This webinar only confirmed that. http://www.bna.com/upton-asks-epa-n12884907277/
EHS Strategies, Inc. will be tracking this issue and can assist you.