Are You Ready? EPA’s Concurrent Data Calls for TSCA

Published On: June 11, 2024

Many companies are already familiar with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) having been required to provide in depth information to the EPA in 2016 and in 2020 on the quantities manufactured or imported of certain chemicals along with their industrial processing and use, consumer and commercial applications, potential exposure levels, and known health risks . The Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, under section 8(a) of TSCA, requires manufacturers (including importers) to provide EPA with information on the production and use of chemicals in commerce which appear on the  TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory (TSCA Inventory) list. Since the CDR rule mandates an update every four years, the reporting period for 2024 began on June 1, 2024 and must be completed by September 30, 2024. For the 2024 submission period, the need to report is based on meeting an annual production threshold, generally 25,000 lbs. or more, in any of the calendar years 2020-2023.

Now, a concurrent data call enters the picture. This one covers a group of man-made chemicals known as Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also referred to as perfluorinated chemicals or PFCs. One common characteristic of concern of PFAS is that many break down very slowly and can build up in humans, animals, and the environment over time. That’s why one sound bite used to describe them is the “forever chemicals”.

Despite the thousands of industrial PFAS applications and PFAS-containing consumer products that exist, the quantities manufactured and imported, the exposure risks, the long-term consequences to health and the environment, and the need to regulate certain uses are not well understood or documented. Consequently, one main reason PFAS is on the forefront of environmental calendars is that the latest rule entitled “The National Defense Authorization Act of 2020, Section 7351 requires the EPA/TSCA to call for data on PFAS. The stated purpose of the data call is that this data will enable EPA to “better characterize the sources and quantities” of manufactured and imported PFAS in the United States by creating “a more comprehensive database of previously manufactured PFAS to improve the Agency’s understanding of PFAS in commerce.” EPA plans to use this information to support actions to address PFAS exposure and contamination, including PFAS activities and programs under other environmental statutes (e.g., RCRA, CWA, SDWA, and CERCLA). The data EPA collects on PFAS “may allow EPA to more efficiently determine whether additional risk assessment and management measures (potentially banning certain uses) are needed”.

Based on the structural definitions of PFAS in the Rule, EPA estimates that at least 1,462 PFAS are known to have been made or imported in the United States between January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2022 and will be subject to this data call. More companies will need to report PFAS data than were involved in the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) due to:

  • PFAS reporting has no quantity thresholds; CDR was generally 25,000 lbs/yr or more
  • Any business who produced PFAS domestically or imported PFAS between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2022 must report (includes articles, mixtures, and PFAS byproduct); CDR has a small business exemption
  • PFAS only has limited chemical exemptions (persons who have only processed, distributed in commerce, used, and/or disposed of PFAS are not required to report under this rule, unless they also have manufactured (including imported) PFAS for a commercial purposes); CDR exempted entire categories of chemicals like polymers.

The PFAS reporting deadline is May 8, 2025. Small Manufacturers who have only imported PFAS-containing articles have until November 10, 2025 to report. So, for both the CDR update and the PFAS data call, the “clock is ticking” and complying with the rather extensive reporting details are definitely not an overnight effort.

For more details on PFAS reporting, register for our upcoming webinar on July 18.

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