TSCA Update: New Chemical Reporting for 2012

Last week the US Environmental Protection Agency held a training session to further explain the amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), scheduled for 3 hours this afternoon.  For those who couldn’t make it, here’s the distilled version:

For starters, there is a section 8(a) Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule change in name, to the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule.  The new name is more precise, we appreciate that.   “Inventory” is a softer word than “chemical” but it has also far too broad an implication in the industrial world.

EPA is promulgating several amendments to the IUR / CDR rule, taking into consideration comments received on the proposed rule.  The amendments were proposed in the Federal Register issue of August 13, 2010.

In short, the way Production Volumes are reported will change:


Who is affected? Businesses are affected by this action if they manufacture (including manufacture as a byproduct or import) for commercial purposes chemical substances listed on the TSCA Inventory and produced in volumes of 25,000 lb or more during the principal reporting year (i.e., calendar year 2011).

Potentially affected entities likely include but are not limited to:

  1. Chemical substance manufacturers and importers (North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 325 and 324110; e.g., chemical substance manufacturing and processing and petroleum refineries)
  2. Chemical substance users and processors who may manufacture a byproduct chemical substance (NAICS codes 22, 322, 331, and 3344; e.g., utilities, paper manufacturing, primary metal manufacturing, and semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing)

In short:  manufacturers — including importers — of TSCA Inventory-listed chemical substances with a 2011 production volume of 25,000 lb or greater at a site, unless otherwise exempted.

The 2012 submission period is Feb. 1 to June 30, 2012. You need to know:

  • Reporting is site-specific
  • Reporting standard is “known to or reasonably ascertainable by” for all data
  • CBI – upfront substantiation required for:
    • Site and chemical identity claims
    • Processing and use information claims [new requirement]

Manufacturing-related data includes:

  1. Chemical identity
    1. CAS RN and chemical name
    2. Accession number and generic chemical name for CBI substances
  2. Production volume (PV)
  3. Number of workers that are reasonably likely to be exposed (in ranges)
  4. Maximum concentration
  5. Indication of whether a manufactured chemical substance is being recycled, remanufactured, reprocessed or reused
  6. Physical form and percent production volume in the form
  7. Processing and use-related data are required for production volumes of 100,000 lb. or more, at a site, unless otherwise exempted

Online web based software can help with the new reporting requirements.  EPA has offered up a web based portal of similar nature.

*chart courtesy EPA CDR training info


EPA’s New GHG Reporting Program: e-GGRT

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new tool to allow 28 industrial sectors to submit their 2010 greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution data electronically.

Grabbing ahold of industry’s GHG data is a bit like grabbing a tiger by the tail.

Tiger by the tail. The electronic GHG Reporting Tool is known as e-GGRT for short, a gritty, growly and staccato moniker for a function that is precisely that. Reporting GHG data is a nuts and bolts effort, slightly predatory, that can only be done one data piece by one data piece.

A user can hope for speed and a usable interface, but one thing we’ve noticed in our years of environmental data consolidating — from relatively simple MSDS data fields to more complicated supplier material disclosure data — is that bulk uploads are great but one by one is inevitable. Meaning: data has to be culled. Do it at the start, do it later which is more difficult as time creates data dependencies, but evenutally data must be culled. (This is the type of project companies rightly outsource.)

EPA says that it put the e-GGRT through its paces before making yesterday’s announcement. More than 1,000 stakeholders, including industry associations, states and NGOs tested the electronic GHG Reporting Tool (e-GGRT) — testing for clarity and user-friendliness.   Apparently it passed.

It’s e-GGRRRREAT? The EPA expects to receive 2010 greenhouse gas data from approximately 7,000 large industrial greenhouse gas emitters, including power plants, petroleum refineries and landfills. The agency plans to publish non-confidential greenhouse gas data collected through the tool by the end of 2011.

If you missed the August 1, 2011, deadline, go ahead and register or have your agency register anyway; EPA is likely to be lenient.  They want a queue of data more than they want a queue of wrists to slap.

On August 19 (2011) EPA Head Lisa P. Jackson signed a final action related to certain data elements reported under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. EPA says it needs to further examine the likely business impact from the disclosure of these data elements before they are reported and potentially subject to public availability. This action defers the deadline for reporting these data elements while EPA addresses issues related to reporting and public availability of these data elements. In fact, EPA is deferring the reporting deadline for some of these inputs until March 31, 2013, and for others until March 31, 2015. This action does not affect the reporting deadline for other data elements under the rule or for suppliers of greenhouse gases.

To compare EPA’s e-GGRT tool with a commercial Greenhouse Gas reporting tool, Google search for emissions regulator tools. Here’s one example of a commercial tool.

On the EPA Confidential Business Information (CBI) page. Also, EPA & Air policy is online.