EPA Penalties for Wrong Chemical Data Reporting

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued complaints seeking civil penalties against three companies for alleged violations of chemical reporting and record-keeping requirements. The requirements, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), require companies to submit accurate data about the production and use of chemical substances manufactured or imported during a calendar year.

Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) penalties
These violations in particular involve failure to comply with EPA’s TSCA section 8 Inventory Update Reporting (IUR). The gist of the TSCA section 8 update is related to production volumes of chemicals, adjusted last November 2011. The larger IUR is well-explained here.

Under the TSCA penalty structure as it stands, penalties can be assessed up to $37,500 per day, per violation.

Formerly known simply as the IUR, the rule is now called the “TSCA Chemical Data Reporting Rule.”  Of course, that’s been abbreviated,  now it’s known just as CDR in most circles. As always, have your acronym machete handy when approaching EPA materials. Again, details can be found in section 8 of the larger TSCA.

CDR reporting deadlines and transgressions 
The reporting deadline for the 2006 IUR rule ended in March of 2007 — EPA’s enforcement efforts have led to 43 civil enforcement actions and approximately $2.3 million dollars in civil penalties against companies that failed to report required chemical data information.

By the way: the reporting deadline for the CDR 2012 submission period is August 13, 2012.

The three most recent cases where EPA is complaining of a trangression are against Chemtura Corporation, Bethlehem Apparatus Company, and Haldor Topsoe, Inc., and resulted in penalties totaling $362,113.

The Chemtura Corporation – $55,901. The company corrected the violations, paid the penalty and a final order was issued by the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) on June 25, 2012.

Bethlehem Apparatus Company – $103,433. The company corrected the violations and paid the penalty.

Haldor Topsoe, Inc. – $202,779. The company paid on July 2, 2012.

It will be interesting to see if enforcement continues, and whether it trends towards higher fines or not.  Chemical data reporting is poised to become the next great challenge (and, arguably, competitive advantage) for American companies — which is why technology market watchers paid such attention to software for chemical ingredient disclosure earlier this year.

More information about TSCA reporting requirements and penalties is online, at the EPA website.