IPC and Other Industry Associations Praise the Direction of U.S. EPA’s Proposed TSCA Fees Rule

IPC and two other electronics associations are praising the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed  "Fees Rule" under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The original rule, published in 2018, provides the EPA with a source of funds to fulfill its obligations under TSCA, including the completion of risk evaluations of high-priority chemical substances. However, since then, IPC and others have been advocating for common-sense reforms to the rule. 

In comments filed with the agency on March 26, IPC, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) said they support the agency’s recent proposal to narrow the rule’s applicability to exclude:

  • Importers of articles containing a chemical substance
  • Companies that produce a chemical substance as a byproduct
  • Companies that manufacture or import as an impurity
  • Companies that use chemicals solely for research and development purposes
  • Companies that produce a chemical in de minimus amounts; and
  • Companies that manufacture a chemical that is produced as a non-isolated intermediate

The proposed rule demonstrates that the EPA is responding to the lessons learned during the implementation of the 2018 fees rule. IPC appreciates EPA’s recognition of the implementation challenges that the electronics industry faced in attempting to comply with the 2018 rule. EPA’s issuance of the “No Action Assurance” in March 2020, in combination with this rulemaking process to update the rule, has provided relief and clarity to the industry. The EPA is expected to finalize the updated fees rule by October 2021, and the new rule will be effective in years 2022 through 2024.

The final rule is important to the electronics industry because, under TSCA, the EPA will have between 20 and 30 risk evaluations occurring in any given year, and even if the current list of such substances does not apply to your company, future lists may apply and you may be obligated to pay at that time.

IPC will continue to monitor this rulemaking process.  Please let me know if you have questions.

Previous blog piece covering this issue: If Your Company Manufactures or Imports Chemicals in the U.S., We Need Your Input