Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘IUR’

TSCA CDR News

EPA has released a total of 4 out of 7 planned training modules here for the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR, formerly IUR) rule.

The fourth module tells you how to register for CDX – the online reporting tool – for CDR.  Each individual who will be filing information on a chemical for a company must be registered.  There is one authorizing official who signs the completed form and certification, but there can be multiple support registrants who actually fill in the form.  If  you are already a CDX user, you need to “add a program”: Submissions for Chemical Safety and Pesticide Programs (CSPP)

The fifth module is on the electronic tool and actually using it and will publish in January.

Intriguingly, Module 7 is on Byproduct Chemical Substances.  I can’t wait!
EHS Strategies, Inc. can help you with CDR.

Read Full Post »

EPA TSCA CDR Webinar Announced

“EPA will host a webinar to assist industry with the reporting process for the 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 from 1:30pm to 4:30 PM EST. The webinar is intended for industry stakeholders who will be reporting in response to the CDR requirements. The webinar will include an overview of the 2012 reporting requirements, a discussion of joint reporting, a discussion of considerations related to the reporting of by-products and updated information about registering for electronic reporting and for using the electronic reporting tool. There will be time at the conclusion of the presentation for participants to phone in with questions concerning the rule. Registration is now open for the webinar. As space for the webinar is limited, please register early. Webinar slides will be available on November 15 for early viewing.”

EHS Strategies, Inc. can prepare company-specific training and assist with reporting under the CDR.  Contact us to discuss how we can help you.

Read Full Post »

EPA is determined to get reports from solvent recyclers under the TSCA Chemical Data Reporting rule (formerly IUR).  From their “Q&A Document on Recycling and the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory“:

Question C. 8 We have facilities that recycle spent solvents. The spent solvents are received as a hazardous waste and are often complex mixtures of different types of solvents. These materials are re-distilled to remove water and other contaminants and to separate the various solvents, and are re-sold as solvents. Is the recycling of the solvents a “manufacturing” activity?

A: In this case, the spent solvents are considered to be byproducts of use. However, according to 40 CFR 720.30(g), the manufacture of a byproduct is exempt from reporting when the byproduct is solely used to extract a component chemical substance from the byproduct. The extracted component chemical substances, the various purified solvents this case, are reportable chemical substances.

Contact EHS Strategies, Inc. for help.

 

Read Full Post »

EPA is holding a webinar on how they are going to prioritize chemicals under TSCA Sept 7, 2011, 1:30 – 3:30 pm EST. Register here.   Apparently they heard the message that their picks of chemicals of concern for “action plans” were pretty random.  Will this be a recast of ChAMP?

Get background and blog on the topic with EPA here until Sept 14.  This seems more a focus on data sources than the actual assessment and prioritization process itself, however.  The devil is always in the detail and weighting of factors and just how large a collection of chemicals EPA intends to tackle and how.

Once upon a time, I helped develop a model with the then Chemical Manufacturers Association on how EPA could prioritize chemicals based on a separatory funnel filled with red, yellow and green chemical-application entities (represented by jelly beans in an actual sep funnel).

(c)1996, Chemical Maufacturers Association Product Risk Management Strategy Overview

We argued that EPA should focus on the highest likely risks (worst first) – the red chemical-application/use combinations (red dots).  The factors EPA lists in the background paper are “red,” although it’s not clear they are talking risk as in exposure + toxicity, rather than stand alone criteria: children’s products, PBT, developmental effects, carcinogens.  But key to the concept of the sep funnel was that EPA should titrate (tackle) red dots (high potential risk chemical-applications) only at the rate it could manage through its regulatory processes.  As it screened and addressed chemical risks, it could  titrate out some more chemical-use applications.  Of course, the Jackson EPA is into issuing blacklists of chemicals and publishing industry reported data (the new CDR with difficult CBI claims) to enable NGOs to exert pressure on companies to eliminate chemical use, so EPA can avoid writing regs.

We even went so far as to draft the reporting elements of a “red dot reporting rule” – focused on toxic  chemicals that would likely be highest risks according to exposure filters.  At that time (mid-90’s), we were trying to avoid threatened massive IUR reporting. Fifteen years later, we get the Chemical Data Reporting Rule – without the filters, so we’ll have a lot of yellow and green chemical dots being reported on – with EPA still not sure how it’s going to prioritize chemicals.  Sigh….

Read Full Post »

CDR & Byproducts

TSCA Chemical Data Reporting rule (formerly IUR) Responses to Comments Summary on byproducts are precious. See F.3.e-3 and 4 on recovery and recycle of raw materials. Hope you have continuous closed processes!

And then there’s this one:

“Response F.3.f-1: EPA is aware that there may be situations where a company identifies a way to recycle or otherwise bring into commerce a byproduct chemical substance that is not listed on the TSCA Inventory because it has traditionally been treated as a waste or in such a manner that it has been otherwise exempted from listing on the TSCA Inventory and/or reporting under IUR. Manufacturers in such situations should contact EPA for help in properly identifying the byproduct and to determine whether it should be added to the TSCA Inventory.”  And talk to the Office of Enforcement maybe….
See docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0187-0436 pdf page 86

Write a rule for processor reporting, EPA, and quit enlarging the definition of “manufacture”  beyond recognition.
Contact EHS Strategies, Inc. to figure out what CDR means to your company.

Read Full Post »

EPA’s revision of the Inventory Update Rule, now called the Chemical Data Reporting rule or CDR, has some major and minor differences from the old regime (EPA’s chart) and looks pretty much as proposed last year.  Here are my key observations:

Reprieve:

– The principle reporting year is now 2011, with reports due Feb 1 – June 30, 2012.

– But you will have to report manufacture and import volumes for 2010 as well.  (The next round of CDR in 2016 will pick up all years between the rules and trigger reporting if any year is over the threshold.)

– Regulated chemicals (consent orders, proposed or final SNURs and section 6) are now caught at 2,500 lbs (instead of the proposed any amount).

– Compromised at 100,000 lbs for triggering Part III downstream reporting.  EPA put off requiring it for all reported chemicals to 2016.

– They didn’t go with the massive extensions discussed in the preamble of the proposal.  They kept the new descriptors for users, functions and uses in Part III to line up with Canada.  Different, but not real difficult to work through (probably).

Could be Trouble:

“Known to or reasonably ascertainable” takes over from “reasonably obtainable” with some explanations and examples that are not very enlightening.  But not to fear, this is an “objective” standard according to EPA: it’s simply what the reasonable person similarly situated would do as due diligence.  You don’t have to do “an exhaustive survey of all employees,”  but you may or may not need to go outside the company to get Part III information if you ever had it or if “comparable” companies have that kind of information.  At a minimum, you are probably doing more work than you did for the last IUR.   Good luck!

Byproducts: EPA’s position is that this hasn’t changed since the beginning of the PMN program.  In this age of zero waste programs where everyone is looking for uses for their wastes, there are going to be a lot more companies freaking out than just the electronics, metals, paper and utility industries (who made the mistake of asking EPA).  RCRA regulation is no safe harbor.  Read EPA’s guidance carefully and prepare for further clarifications and possible challenges that are sure to come.

Confidentiality Claims: up front substantiation.  Make sure you know how your customers feel about revealing their uses.  EPA’s intent is to publicly release all information on chemicals they can get (ignoring TSCA authority to only use reporting to support enforcement of the Act).  As I’ve blogged before, companies have been too casual about making claims, but there remains a need to protect legitimate CBI, so do your homework.

– Mandatory Electronic Reporting: to be determined.  Thankfully, there will be more time to test and learn the new CDX.

There are plenty of details to work through and new “clarifications” to come.  At least we’ve got time to figure it out now.

If you need help, contact EHS Strategies, Inc.

Read Full Post »

TSCA IUR Final Rule

Prepublication of final Inventory Update Rule released August 2, 2011.  Except now it’s called the CDR – Chemical Data Reporting rule.

EPA Fact Sheet

Analysis to follow soon.

Read Full Post »

EPA will publish a Federal Register notice announcing the reporting period for the IUR is suspended.  That is, there will be no reporting for IUR this summer because there is insufficient time for EPA to issue the final rule and allow companies time to respond within the window they had previously set (June 1 – Sept 30, 2011).  EPA will be issuing a final rule at some point for manufacture and import during 2010.  Maybe they’ll get it out in time for fall 2011 reporting.  No clue what they will wind up keeping from the August 2010 proposal.

FR notice

Read Full Post »

Submitted the following comment to EPA EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0187-0033 today:

Comment on TSCA Inventory Update Reporting Modifications; Proposed Rule August 13, 2010 EPA-HQ-OPPT-2009-0187

Comments on some of the changes proposed are offered below based on my experience in submitting IURs for large companies since the first IUR.

EPA has proposed numerous amendments to the Inventory Reporting Rule (IUR) for 2011 and provided a very short time frame for comment and response prior to the reporting deadline.  Some of the proposals will be manageable and are reasonable and arguably “necessary for the enforcement of” TSCA.  Several are overreaching and would not appear to offer adequate benefit for the Agency’s estimate of approximately $90 million cost to industry in 2011.  “Nice to know” is not sufficient justification.

1. Technical Contact. The language that currently appears in the proposed rule should be revised as indicated:

711.15(b)(ii) The name of a person who will serve as technical contact for the submitter company, and who will be able to provide answer to questions about the information submitted by the company to EPA, the contact person’s full mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

It is highly unlikely that a site-located individual will have the breadth of information required under the IUR, especially if Part III becomes mandatory for all chemicals.  TSCA compliance oversight is typically a headquarters-based process.  At best, a site technical contact will have direct access to production (but not import) records and on site worker information – which he has reported up to headquarters for creating the site IUR report.  The technical contact should be identified at the discretion of the submitter.

2. Retroactive production reporting for the previous 4 years. EPA cannot reasonably expect that companies can generate such information without extensive effort, especially with regard to imports.  Painstaking calculations are necessary to cull through imported mixtures that may contain reportable chemicals.  Some companies put in place specific recordkeeping practices only effective for the expected IUR reporting year and have done so for the calendar year 2010.  EPA underestimates the extraordinary manual effort that would be needed to collate information for previous years.

In addition, given that state of the economy over the last four years it’s not clear what EPA would learn about “normal” fluctuations in production.  One can but hope that things will be stabilizing for the next reporting period.

This reporting change should only be effective for the next IUR reporting cycle.

3. Change the standard for reporting under Part III from “not readily obtainable to “known to or reasonably ascertainable.” According to EPA guidance in the draft instructions:

“Known to or reasonably ascertainable by means all information in a person’s possession or control, plus all information that a reasonable person similarly situated might be expected to possess, control, or know. [my highlights]

This is information possessed by employees or other agents of the company reporting under the IUR rule, including persons involved in the research, development, manufacturing, or marketing of a chemical substance. This information includes knowledge gained through discussions, symposia, and technical publications. For purposes of IUR, the known to or reasonably ascertainable by standard applies to all the information required by the rule. Examples of types of information that are considered to be in a person’s possession or control, or that a reasonable person similarly situated might be expected to possess, control, or know are:

• Files maintained by the submitter or employees in the submitter’s company;

• Information contained in standard references, such as MSDSs, that contain use information or concentrations of chemicals in mixtures; and

• Information from the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and from Dun & Bradstreet.”

The plain words of the definition says that “all“ information “known” to a company (and to each of its employees and agents) must inform the reporting.  Wouldn’t this include every sales and technical service employee interacting with customers?  The above guidance would imply file searches of a large number of employees would be required. While the “known” standard may make sense for the small number of environmental and health experts and files in a company reporting studies under 8(d), 8(e) or PMN rules, it does not make sense for downstream use information. The standard for reporting should remain “not readily obtainable” for Part III as currently stated in 40 CFR 710.43:

Readily obtainable information means information which is known by management and supervisory employees of the submitter company who are responsible for manufacturing, processing, distributing, technical services, and marketing of the reportable chemical substance. Extensive file searches are not required.

My experience is that managers and supervisors did provide what they knew and were confident estimating based on knowledge downstream users as a result of their oversight and planning responsibilities.  The issue was a lack of specific knowledge and a reluctance to “guess” on a certified report at the level of detail required by EPA.  On the other hand, if EPA is basing it’s assumption that companies know more than they are reporting based on PMN experience, it is mistaken.   For a new chemical specifically being developed for a new or existing market that must justify an investment in development, yes, downstream use is critical.  For a chemical that has been on the market for some time, those downstream uses, which may extend for several different supply chains may or may not be known.

Alternatives EPA may want to consider:

a. Add the underlined phrase to the last sentence of the definition of readily obtainable information:

….Extensive file searches are not required, however management and supervisory employees should briefly survey appropriate staff for whether relevant and representative information is available within the company.

b.  Offer an alternate reporting sections for “best guesses” that allow for open-ended responses, have broader ranges and/or higher level descriptors.  While this would present collation challenges, it would provide better information at less cost that could be used by EPA in evaluating individual chemicals.

At a minimum, EPA must clarify that surveys of downstream customers and literature reviews are not required to be conducted solely for the purpose of IUR reporting.  If such information has been collected and is the possession of the company prior to the effective date of the rule and is timely and retrievable, it should be consulted.

4.  Eliminate the 300,000 lb threshold for Part III for any chemicals >25,000 lbs. While it’s not easy to parse the agency’s economic analysis, it would appear that EPA estimates this requirement will generate additional information on some 8,200 forms covering perhaps 2,000 chemicals for an additional cost of $33 million to industry for 2011.

What is EPA going to do with all this information that makes it “necessary for enforcement of this Act”?  Can EPA honestly say that it cannot select enough priority chemicals to more than overwhelm its ability to conduct risk assessment and management without information on all these chemicals?

EPA should be more selective on the categories of chemicals of concern (due to use in children’s products or molecular structure) for which it reasonably anticipates taking next step action.  Even then, EPA may want to consider more tailored reporting to get relevant data.

$33 million is not a trivial figure.  EPA should have more than “nice to have” as the basis for information collection of this magnitude.

Most definitely EPA should not drop the threshold any further for all chemicals.

5.  Totally eliminate the 25,000 lb. threshold for those chemicals that are: (1) the subject of a rule promulgated under section 5(a)(2), 5(b)(4), or 6 of TSCA; (2) the subject of an order issued under section 5(e) or 5(f) of TSCA; (3) the subject of relief that has been granted under a civil action under section 5 or 7 of TSCA, or (4) the subject to an Enforceable Consent Agreement.

In general, manufacturers and importers of chemicals regulated under these provisions of TSCA should have systems in place to identify activity regarding such chemicals.  Nevertheless, EPA should set a de minimis level, e.g. 2,200 lbs (1 metric tonne) and < 1% concentration as such small quantities will not significantly affect EPA risk assessments.  If  EPA has substantial concerns about any quantity of a chemical then it would be more appropriate to use the full course of a separate section 8(a) reporting rule (or even PAIR) or use subpoenas to acquire detailed information beyond what would be collected under the IUR.  This should be preceded by an “IUR-EZ” identifying that a company has current activity with a simple check-box that the chemical is <1 metric tonne (with imports containing <1% exempt from reporting).

Of course, the impact of this provision will depend on the scope of regulations issued under these sections of TSCA.  At present, the universe of such regulated chemicals is “relatively” small (only ~1,100).  But given discussions that EPA may expand the use of  SNURs and possibly 5(b)(4) to include large categories of chemicals or ones with particularly high production volumes, identifying a chemical specific cutoff based on % total market may be more useful.

6.  Report volume exported. EPA should modify 711.15(b)(3)(iv) to read:

(iv) For the principal reporting year only, the volume used on site and the volume directly exported of each reportable chemical substance domestically manufactured and imported at each site.

This appears to be EPA’s intent from the preamble.  As currently read it implies any export reasonably ascertainable to the company would be reportable (see concerns in #3.

7.  Identify whether a chemical substance is to be recycled, remanufactured, reprocessed, reused, or reworked instead of being disposed of as a waste or included in a waste stream. Once again EPA appears to stray into the “nice to know” category of information collection. No definitions are offered for this requirement that delves into the processing details at a plant that can vary lot to lot and represents a potential for significant new recordkeeping programs to be established.  If EPA wishes to collect information regarding pollution prevention methods employed by companies, I recommend the agency do a focused rule on that subject and not via a casual checkbox.  My guess is that most companies would say “yes” because at least once some amount of chemical would have met one of these activities.

8. Timing of the effective date. EPA is proposing very extensive expansion and changes to the IUR and cannot expect companies to be able to respond in the proposed time frame.

9. Frequency of reporting. A simple annual site volume report may be reasonable, but not the whole of Parts II and III.  Alternatively, with a 5 year reporting schedule, perhaps an open-ended question on whether there have been significant  changes since the last reporting period would suffice.

10. Drop the reporting threshold to 10,000 lbs. It’s not clear what the advantage would be.  Perhaps if EPA is concerned with aggregate quantities it can start on a company basis and require reporting if the total company (parent) production/import exceeds 25,000 lbs (or even higher) report.

11.  Expand reporting elements to be more like PMNs. NO!  Information collection is not free.  EPA must have a basis for collecting information under the present TSCA.

12. Processor reporting. It would be a big mistake to simply expand reporting under IUR to processors. While it would be most useful to collect use and exposure information from processors, the complexities of the marketplace in terms of supply chains, company sophistication and knowledge about chemical composition make such rulemaking a serious undertaking. EPA should work closely with processors, as well as chemical manufacturers and distributors, to design a practical program to collect sufficient information about the smallest set of chemicals and number of companies reasonable. Even 100 chemicals is a large number given the variety and number of companies who would meet the definition of “processor.”  Processors who are not manufacturers have a very limited familiarity with TSCA and would require extensive communication efforts on any new rule.  I strongly recommend piloting any information collection effort on a small number of chemicals and/or uses and consider carefully tailoring information to the concern at hand.[1]


[1] This was the original concept of the 8(a) “Level A” (now PAIR) to be followed by Levels B and C rules to collect the relevant data on selected chemicals on a menu basis. [Note to readers: This was my brainchild when I worked at EPA eons ago.  Probably no one left there who remembers – except maybe Office Director Wendy Cleland-Hamnett]

Read Full Post »