Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) – amended in 2016 by the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) – is the primary U.S. federal law addressing the production, importation, use, and disposal of chemicals that pose risks to human health and the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to require and enforce compliance with this law.

TSCA is relevant to IPC members because they may produce, import, or use regulated chemicals to manufacture electrical and electronic equipment. IPCs advocacy team is actively monitoring TSCA regulatory activities and engaging directly with the EPA in risk evaluations, risk management, fees management, and chemical data reporting.

Industry data and information is needed to develop realistic risk evaluations

The EPA is developing new risk evaluations for certain “high-priority” chemicals, and the several of them – flame retardants, phthalates, solvents, and formaldehyde – are relevant to electronics manufacturing.

Here’s more information from IPC about the risk evaluations for 20 High Priority Substances and manufacturer-requested substances.

And, here’s more information from the EPA about the risk evaluation of existing chemicals under TSCA including new requirements for additional data on environmental and workplace risks.

Input from the electronics industry is critical to the risk evaluation process. If you would like to be more engaged with the risk evaluation process, please contact IPC.

Industry expertise is needed to develop practical risk management actions

The EPA is developing risk management actions to address unreasonable risks to human health or the environment identified in the risk evaluations. There are several actions the EPA can take to address unreasonable risks including prohibition of the manufacture, processing or distribution of the regulated chemical or the product containing the regulated chemical. TSCA requires that the EPA publish a final rule no later than two years after the publication date of a final risk evaluation.

Here’s more information from IPC about the risk management for 15 chemicals – including five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals -- several of which are relevant to electronics manufacturing.

And, here’s more information from the EPA about the risk management of existing chemicals under TSCA.

There are several opportunities for the electronics industry to engage with the EPA to provide input on practical risk management. If you would like to be more engaged with the risk management process, please contact IPC.

Some companies may need to pay fees to the EPA for the administration of TSCA

Manufacturers and importers of TSCA High Priority Substances and importers of articles containing these substances may be obligated to pay fees to defray the EPA’s costs for administration of TSCA. Many companies may be unaware of these potential fee obligations, especially importers of articles that contain these substances by design or as byproducts or impurities. The EPA aims to update the original “Fees Rule,” published in 2018, by the end of 2021.

Here’s more information from IPC about the proposed rule.

And, here’s more information from the EPA about the recent history of the “Fees Rule.”

Some companies may have requirements under the updated Chemical Data Reporting rule

The Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, under TSCA, requires manufacturers (including importers) that meet certain production volume thresholds to report to the EPA every four years. The CDR submission deadline for 2020 ended on January 29, 2021.

The EPA worked with the electronics industry to create an updated fact sheet to provide information related to byproducts reporting by companies manufacturing printed circuit boards and may be subject to CDR requirements.