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By Pat Rizzuto
The EPA will release new chemical control rules within the next month, clearing part of the logjam of company requests to register new chemicals, an agency official told Bloomberg BNA July 12.
The Environmental Protection Agency also is working to post in its ChemView database consent orders it has negotiated with chemical makers. These will date from the June 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act, according to a chemicals official who asked not to be identified because the official is not authorized to speak publicly.
The consent orders will be stripped of any proprietary, confidential information, but they’ll offer chemical makers and other groups insight into the types of data the agency is seeking as it reviews new chemicals and sets restrictions to prevent risky uses.
The EPA July 10 released its first package of 29 significant new use rules, or SNURs, since the TSCA overhaul.
Any company wanting to make or process the chemicals without these restrictions or protections would first have to notify the EPA, which would have 90 days to review the company’s intended use of the chemical and determine whether it would pose an unreasonable risk.
The original manufacturer of each of the new chemicals already agreed to the restrictions through consent orders it negotiated with the agency.
The EPA also is waiting to hear from several dozen chemical manufacturers about the near-final consent orders it has negotiated with them, the agency official said. Some companies quickly sign the negotiated agreements while others take months, the official added.
For months the EPA has been working to clear a backlog of company requests to make new chemicals, called pre-manufacture notices. The backlog peaked at about 600 notices at the end of 2016 following the overhaul Congress made to TSCA, Jeffery Morris, director of EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, previously told Bloomberg BNA.
The agency has pledged to eliminate that backlog by the end of July.
As of July 3, the EPA had made 922 new chemical determinations since TSCA was amended. That volume is comparable to the roughly 1,000 new chemicals the agency reviews annually.
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The EPA's ChemView database is available at https://java.epa.gov/chemview; consent orders are posted under the tab EPA Action.
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