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Cadmium Association Seeks More Time To Weigh In on Final Data-Collection Rule

Monday, December 10, 2012

The International Cadmium Association asked the Environmental Protection Agency Dec. 6 to withdraw or stay a final data-collection rule for cadmium and cadmium compounds or to extend the deadline for companies to seek exclusions for some compounds covered by the regulation.

The association sent a letter to Wendy Cleland-Hamnett, director of EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, asking the agency to withdraw or stay the final data-collection rule EPA published Dec. 3 (77 Fed. Reg. 71,561).

Barring either option, the association asked OPPT to extend the deadline by which parties can object to the inclusion of cadmium or its compounds in the final rule.

If the agency declines all three requests, the cadmium association asked EPA to “assure that adequate program personnel and legal counsel will be available during the holidays to evaluate the many requests for withdrawal that will be submitted, and to draft ... additional notices that will be needed to provide proper relief.”

The agency provided only 16 days between the Dec. 3 publication of the final rule--which triggered a Dec. 17 deadline to request exclusions--and Jan. 2, 2013, the effective date of the rule, the association said.

Scope of Data Request

The rule requires manufacturers and importers of cadmium or cadmium compounds--including those used as part of a finished good--to provide unpublished health and safety data to EPA if the metal or final product in which it was used is going to be or was “reasonably likely to be incorporated into consumer products.” The rule was first released online Nov. 20 (36 CRR 1255, 11/26/12).

An attorney predicted the rule's broad scope would raise objections such as those voiced in the cadmium association's letter. Such objections include the association's concern that affected parties did not have an opportunity to offer their suggestions because the final rule was published without notice and without the prior opportunity to comment (36 CRR 1256, 11/26/12).

The regulation's reporting requirements “may extend to virtually every company that imports or assembles electronic components,” the association wrote.

It is not reasonable to assume companies could file their exclusion requests for cadmium or cadmium compounds by Dec. 17 and for EPA to consider and resolve all serious questions before the regulation's effective date, the association said.

By Pat Rizzuto  


EPA's final rule and the docket to which parties can submit exclusion requests is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-12-03/pdf/2012-28840.pdf.

The International Cadmium Association's letter is available at http://op.bna.com/env.nsf/r?Open=aada-92rpp6.

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