Almost all companies across most industries are subject to a new, one-time reporting requirement imposed by the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
Beginning in the third quarter of 2017, companies will have 180 days to identify and report to the EPA each chemical it has manufactured or imported in the past 10 years. Chemicals not reported will be designated “inactive,” and thus illegal to manufacture or use in the US.
As attorney James G. Votaw from the lawfirm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips writes in an Industry Week post, “all chemical processors and users have an interest in assuring that the chemicals they use are on the ‘active’ list.” Votaw also discusses six things to know about reporting for the TSCA reset.
More than 85,000 chemicals fall under TSCA regulations, but many of these are no longer made or imported into the US. The amendments made to the TSCA last year require the EPA to designate each of the chemicals on the TSCA inventory as either in “active” or “inactive” use by June 19. By the same deadline, the agency must also finalize the scope of its risk evaluations for 10 high-priority chemicals that the agency selected for review late last year.
Here are some of the things Votaw says your company should know about the new reporting requirement. You can read his full list here.
- Each manufacturer and importer has a legal duty to report the chemicals it uses and/or imports, even if its affiliates or other companies have reported the same substance.
- Reporting is not required for pesticides, food, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, R&D materials, impurities, byproducts that are disposed (and not used) and some naturally occurring substances.
- Companies must separately report each chemical making up an imported mixture as well as substances that are made — intentionally or not — through secondary or recovery processes and reused in some way.
Companies can better prepare for the chemical reporting rule by having a strong management system in place, Votaw writes: “All reporting companies will need a system to manage the investigations of the chemical identity of individual products (including documenting source information and extent of the search to meet recordkeeping requirements). Processors should identify with particularity the substances they currently use, then compare their findings to the initial list of active substances prepared by the EPA based on manufacturers’ reports.”