Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Reform Efforts

The Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA), TSCA reform legislation, was introduced in May 2013 by Sens. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and David Vitter (R-LA). Given the significant bipartisan support for the CSIA, it is the first real likelihood of TSCA reform moving forward. In April 2014, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy released a discussion draft of TSCA reform legislation – the Chemicals in Commerce Act. The House draft contains legislative language that clarifies an exemption for byproducts sent for recycling, which IPC lobbied for.

A summary of the February 2014 CICA can be found here.

A summary of the changes based on the April 2014 CICA can be found here.

TSCA Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule

On August 16, 2011 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule (formerly the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule). The CDR rule requires manufacturers (including importers) of certain chemical substances listed on the TSCA Inventory of Chemical Substances to report information about the manufacturing (including import), processing, and use of those chemical substances.

Only chemicals listed on the TSCA Inventory are subject to CDR reporting. According to EPA, if a chemical is not on the TSCA Inventory prior to the beginning of the reporting cycle then there are no reporting obligations for that chemical. The beginning of the 2012 reporting cycle was February 1, 2012.

The reporting period ends August 13, 2012.

Byproducts Reporting

On August 16, 2011 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule (formerly the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule). The CDR rule requires manufacturers of chemicals to report information about the manufacturing (including import), processing, and use of those chemical substances.

The final CDR rule explicitly states that byproducts sent for recycling are new chemicals subject to TSCA CDR reporting because they are a feedstock to the recycler and therefore subject to TSCA reporting. This applies to several byproducts produced during the manufacture of printed boards, including copper hydroxide (WWT sludge), copper sulfate (spent baths), cupric chloride (spent etchant), and tetraamine copper dichloride (spent ammoniacal etchant).

On October 8, 2014 Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH) sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting an analysis of reporting data pertaining to byproducts sent for recycling collected during the 2012 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) reporting cycle.  Johnson's letter stated that, "an analysis of such CDR data is a necessary first step in realizing EPA's own commitment to reassess the need for CDR information in future reporting cycles and also whether further legislative changes may be needed to ensure that the benefits to EPA of this data collection justify the cost to industry. "

The letter from Congressman Johnson followed February 4, 2014 testimony by Dr. Brent Grazman, Vice President, Viasystems Group, Inc. regarding the TSCA requirement that byproducts sent for recycling be reported to EPA as new chemicals.  Dr. Grazman testified that  EPA's reporting requirements for byproducts sent for recycling are burdensome and unnecessary, and serve to discourage recycling. 
IPC submitted extensive comments expressing our dissatisfaction with EPA's interpretation that byproducts sent for recycling are new chemicals and the overly burdensome reporting requirements proposed. At the request of IPC and other industry stakeholders, EPA participated in a workshop to clarify reporting obligations for manufacturers that send byproducts for recycling. A summary of the workshop and important information regarding byproduct reporting obligations can be found in an IPC Outlook article.

Reporting Requirements

Reporting Requirements for the 2012 Submission Period Include:

Reporting Requirements Beginning with the 2016 Submission Period:
In addition to  reporting the manufacturing (or importing) volume of a chemical at a single site, manufacturing data and processing and use data, and identifying consumer and commercial categories associated with the reportable chemical, beginning in 2016, a manufacturer will be required to report the manufacturing (or import) volume of a chemical on the TSCA Inventory for each calendar year since the last principal reporting year. In this case, manufacturers will need to report the chemical's volume for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. If, during any calendar year, the volume of chemical manufactured (or imported) is 25,000 pounds or more, manufacturers (and importers) are required to report manufacturing and processing and use information on the chemical.

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