Section 21 Petitions
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Under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), any person may petition EPA to initiate a proceeding for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule or order under:
- Section 4 -- rules requiring chemical testing;
- Section 6 -- rules imposing regulatory controls on chemicals;
- Section 8 -- rules requiring information;
- Section 5(e) -- orders affecting new chemical substances, or
- Section 6(b) (2) -- orders affecting quality control procedures.
The petition must be filed in EPA's Office of the Administrator, and set forth the facts that are claimed to establish the necessity for the action requested. EPA is required to grant or deny the petition within 90 days from the day the petition is filed with EPA. If EPA grants the petition, EPA must promptly commence an appropriate proceeding. If EPA denies the petition, the reasons for denial must be published in the Federal Register.
- On November 25, 2008, EPA launched a broad effort to gain a greater scientific understanding of the potential health risks of formaldehyde's use in pressed wood products.
In issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR), EPA initiated a process to develop risk assessments on potential adverse health effects of formaldehyde, evaluate the costs and benefits of its possible control technologies, and determine whether EPA action is needed to address any identified risks.
EPA began the effort following its review of a TSCA Section 21 citizens' petition (PDF) (106pp, 4.44MB, about PDF) that requested that EPA adopt nationally a California regulation to control formaldehyde emissions from these wood products.
The agency has been holding public meetings to get additional stakeholder input.
- On March 6, 2008, an individual filed a Section 21 petition requesting that EPA establish regulations prohibiting the use and distribution in commerce of Hevea brasiliensis natural rubber latex adhesives with relatively high levels of protein. EPA denied the petitioner’s request as unsupported.
- December 21, 2007, EPA denied a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and others seeking labeling of ingredients of air fresheners. Later, EPA sent letters to manufacturers of air fresheners asking for ingredient information and received the information. Subsequent litigation was dropped, and currently a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request is pending for confidential business information received by EPA.
Read more information about TSCA Section 21.