Section 21 Petitions Filed with EPA Since September 2007
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- PCBs - Navy SINKEX
- Lead in Shot and Bullets
- Lead in Fishing Tackle
- Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Chemicals and Mixtures
- Lead for Shot, Bullets, and Fishing Sinkers
- Cadmium in Consumer Products, Especially Toy Metal Jewelry
- Natural Rubber in Tires
- Lead Dust Hazard Standard and Definition of Lead-based Paint
- Lead Wheel Weights
- Natural Rubber Latex Adhesives
- Air Fresheners
PCBs - Navy SINKEX
July 12, 2012 -- On April 11, 2012, EPA received a request from the Basel Action Network, the Sierra Club, and the Center for Biological Diversity (51 p., 673 kb.) About PDF)asking that EPA take certain actions to protect human health and the marine environment from PCBs that leach from ships sunk through the U.S. Navy's sinking exercises (SINKEX) program. The petitioners requested that EPA amend the existing general permit issued to the Navy under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) or, in the alternative, enact rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In requesting actions under TSCA, the petitioners have invoked the citizen petition provisions of section 21 of TSCA. In a letter dated July 10, 2012, EPA denied the request for actions under TSCA because the petitioners did not demonstrate that the TSCA rules they requested are necessary. Among other things, EPA determined that TSCA is not the appropriate vehicle for the regulation of PCBs on ships used in Navy’s SINKEX program, because the Administrator in 1999 determined under section 9(b) of TSCA that such regulation should be under the MPRSA, not TSCA. See the Agency’s response to the requests for action under TSCA (2 p., 4.2 mb.) About PDF) and the Federal Register Notice (17 p., 1.03 mb.) About PDF). EPA will respond separately to the petitioners’ request for revisions to the general permit for the transport of target vessels under SINKEX issued by EPA under the MPRSA.
Lead in Shot and Bullets
April 9, 2012 -- On March 13, 2012, EPA received a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity and a number of other groups requesting that EPA take action to regulate bullets and shot containing lead for use in hunting and shooting sports. In August 2010, EPA denied a similar request on lead bullets and shot after concluding that the Agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under TSCA. On April 9, 2012 EPA notified the petitioners that the March 2012 submission provides no new information that would lead EPA to consider the 2012 submission to be a new petition under Section 21, nor does it include information not previously considered by EPA that would warrant reconsideration of EPA’s conclusion that it does not have authority under TSCA to regulate shot and bullets. See the Agency's response.
Lead in Fishing Tackle
February 14, 2012 -- On November 17, 2011, EPA received a petition (PDF) (42 p., 298 kb.) About PDF) under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), from the Center for Biological Diversity, the Loon Lake Loon Association, and Project Gutpile, requesting that EPA “evaluate the unreasonable risk of injury to the environment from fishing tackle containing lead (including fishing weights, sinkers, lures, jigs, and/or other tackle) of various sizes and uses that are ingested by wildlife, resulting in lead exposure.” The petition also requests that EPA “initiate a proceeding for the issuance of a rulemaking under Section 6 of TSCA to adequately protect against such risks.” Read EPA's letter acknowledging receipt of the petition (PDF) (1 p., 227 kb.) About PDF). On February 14, 2012, EPA notified the petitioners that Agency denied the petition. After careful consideration, EPA found that the petition did not demonstrate federal action is necessary, based in part on the fact that in many of the places where lead exposure among birds may be a problem, states have taken action to regulate the use of fishing tackle containing lead or initiated programs to reduce its use. See the Agency’s response (PDF) (21 pp., 307 kb.) About PDF) and the Federal Register Notice.
Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Chemicals and Mixtures
Nov. 23, 2011 -- EPA received a petition from Earthjustice and 114 other groups on Aug. 4, 2011, requesting that EPA issue TSCA Section 4 and 8 rules requiring toxicity testing and reporting of health and safety studies on oil and gas exploration and production chemicals. Read the petition (PDF) (30 pp. 10.6 mb, About PDF) and EPA's acknowledgement (PDF) (1 pp. 386 kb, About PDF). On Nov. 2, EPA notified the petitioners that the Agency is continuing its review of the petition’s requests related to health and safety reporting and intends to conclude that review by no later than Nov. 23, 2011. EPA informed the petitioners that the Agency is not granting the request to require toxicity testing because the petition does not satisfy the required TSCA statutory requirements for additional testing. The Agency's response can be found here (PDF) (2 pp. 548 kb, About PDF). On Nov 23, 2011, EPA notified the petitioners that the Agency is partially granting the TSCA Sect. 8(a) and 8(d) requests and will initiate a dialogue process to seek public input on the design and scope of TSCA reporting requirements. See the Agency's response (PDF). (2 pp., 939 kb.) About PDF).
Lead for Shot, Bullets, and Fishing Sinkers
November 4, 2010 -- EPA has denied the portion of a petition (PDF) requesting a ban on lead in fishing sinkers because the petitioners have not demonstrated that the requested rule is necessary to protect against an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, in light of state regulations and other on-going state and localized activities designed to address the risk concerns identified in the petition. Read the press release.
On August 3, 2010, the American Bird Conservancy, the Association of Avian Veterinarians, and a number of other groups submitted a petition (PDF) (2 pp. 92 kb, About PDF) and attachment (PDF) (100 pp. 901 kb, About PDF) to EPA under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) asking EPA to "prohibit the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of lead for shot, bullets, and fishing sinkers." Read EPA's letter acknowledging receipt of the petition (PDF). (1 p. 189 kb, About PDF). On August 27, 2010, EPA denied the portion of the petition (PDF) relating to lead in ammunition because the Agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under TSCA. Read the Federal Register notice.
Cadmium in Consumer Products, Especially Toy Metal Jewelry
January 3, 2013 -- A notice withdrawing the immediate final health and safety data reporting rule was published in the Federal Register on December 28, 2012.
On December 14, 2012, EPA informed the regulated community that the Agency is withdrawing the immediate final health and safety data reporting rule for cadmium due to questions and concerns raised about the scope and extent of the rule that indicate that there is significant confusion and uncertainty within certain industrial sectors concerning the rule. EPA will be considering the questions and concerns raised in response to the immediate final and next steps with regard to this rule. EPA will also continue to work with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to reduce exposure to cadmium in consumer products generally, and especially those consumer products used by or around children, such as children's metal jewelry.
Prior to this, on December 3, 2012, EPA issued an immediate final rule requiring manufacturers and importers of cadmium or cadmium compounds that have been, or are reasonably likely to be, incorporated into consumer products to report unpublished health and safety data to the Agency. Read the rule. The rule was in response to a citizens' petition received in August 2010. On August 30, 2010, EPA granted a petition (4 pp., 407 kb, About PDF) to use its authority under TSCA section 8(d) to require producers, importers, and processors of cadmium and cadmium compounds that are reasonably likely to be incorporated into consumer products to provide EPA with lists and/or copies of ongoing and completed unpublished health and safety studies relevant to a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) determination on whether a potential hazard exists and whether a product may be a banned hazardous substance. Petitioners are the Empire State Consumer Project, the Sierra Club, the Center for Environmental Health, and Rochesterians Against the Misuse of Pesticides. They also requested that, working with the CPSC, EPA use its authority under TSCA section 6 to adopt a rule setting limits on cadmium and cadmium compounds in toy metal jewelry. Read the petition (PDF) (4 pp., 407 kb, About PDF) and EPA’s response (PDF) (2 pp. 554 kb, About PDF).
Natural Rubber in Tires
On November 19, 2009, EPA received a citizen’s petition that asked it to “establish regulations prohibiting the use and distribution in commerce of Hevea brasiliensis baled natural-rubber for the manufacture of tires. The petition said rubber fails to satisfy The American Society for Testing Materials method ASTM D1076-06 (Category 5),” because: "Implementation of an EPA regulation that guides tire manufacturers to use Hevea brasiliensis baled natural-rubber that satisfies ASTM D1076-06 (Category 5) may affect the incidence of Hevea brasiliensis natural-rubber allergies and allergy induced autism." Read the petition (PDF) (8 pp, 147K). EPA denied the petitioner’s request on February 16, 2010, as described in a Federal Register notice published on February 22, 2010, (75 FR 7586), for a variety of reasons, including that ASTM D1076-06 (Category 5) did not exist, that it had not been established that natural rubber antigens caused autism, that other federal agencies had evaluated the health risks from Hevea natural rubber latex without prohibiting its use, and that the requirements for a issuing a regulation had not been met. Read EPA’s response (PDF) (16 p., 7 mb.) About PDF).
Lead Dust Hazard Standard and Definition of Lead-based Paint
On August 10, 2009, EPA received a petition requesting the Agency to lower lead dust hazard standards and modify the definition of lead-based paint in its regulations promulgated under sections 401 and 403 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Specifically, petitioners are requesting that EPA:
Lower dust lead hazard standards at 40 CFR 745.65(b), 40 CFR 745.227(e)(8)(viii), and 40 CFR 745.227(h)(3)(i) from 40 micrograms of lead per square foot of surface area (µg/ft2) to 10 µg/ft2 or less for floors and from 250 µg/ft2 to 100 µg /ft2 or less for window sills.
Modify the definition of lead-based paint in 40 CFR 745.103 and 745.223 for previously applied paint or other surface coatings in housing, child-occupied facilities, public building and commercial buildings to reduce the lead levels from 0.5 percent by weight (5,000 parts per million (ppm)) to 0.06 percent by weight (600 ppm) with a corresponding reduction in the 1.0 milligram per square centimeter standard.
The petition was filed by the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Alliance for Healthy Homes, the Sierra Club and others. Read the petition (PDF) (8 pp, 127K). Read the Federal Register Notice on EPA's receipt of the petition (PDF) (3 pp, 56K).
On October 22, 2009, EPA responded to the petition, and agreed to revisit the current lead dust hazards standard and to work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to modify the definition of lead-based paint in its regulations. Read the Agency's response (PDF) (2 pp, 482K).
Lead Wheel Weights
The Sierra Club, the Ecology Center and others filed the petition on May 29, 2009.
On August 26, 2009, EPA announced that it will grant a petition to initiate regulatory action to address lead hazards associated with the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of lead wheel balancing weights ("wheel weights").
Read EPA's response to the petitioners (PDF) (1 pp, 297K). Read the petition (PDF) (4 pp, 278K). The petition incorporates by reference a similar 2005 petition by the Ecology Center, which was denied.
On March 24, 2008, EPA received a petition from numerous organizations and individuals asking EPA to regulate formaldehyde in pressed wood products. In response to the review of the petition (PDF) (106 pp, 4.4MB). EPA has launched a broad effort to gain a greater scientific understanding of the potential health risks of formaldehyde's use in pressed wood products.
Read the petition and the decision in the June 27, 2008, Federal Register (73 FR 36504). Exhibits to the petition and decision can be viewed in the docket (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2008-0267) at http://www.regulations.gov.
Natural Rubber Latex Adhesives
On March 6, 2008, an individual filed a petition with EPA requesting that the Agency "establish regulations prohibiting the use and distribution in commerce of Hevea brasiliensis natural rubber latex adhesives with a total protein content greater than 200 micrograms per [gram] dry weight of latex based on the American Society for Testing Materials method ASTM D1076-06 (Category 4)" in order to reduce "the incidence and prevalence of latex allergy and allergy-induced autism in neonates." EPA denied the petitioner's request in June 2008 as unsupported and unnecessary.
Read the petition (PDF) (8 pp, 147K) and the decision in the June 9, 2008, Federal Register. Exhibits can be viewed in the docket (EPA-OPPT-2008-0273) at http://www.regulations.gov.
On September 20, 2007, the Sierra Club, the National Center for Healthy Housing, the Alliance for Healthy Homes, and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition with EPA requesting that EPA:
- Require manufacturers to submit to EPA allegations of adverse reactions related to air freshener products recorded by manufacturers and processors pursuant to TSCA Section 8(c) and 40 CFR Part 717;
- Adopt a rule pursuant to TSCA Section 8(d) to require submittal of health and safety studies related to air fresheners;
- Adopt a rule pursuant to TSCA Section 4 to require manufacturers to conduct acute and chronic studies to evaluate the impact of air fresheners on human health; and
- Adopt a rule pursuant to TSCA Section 6 to require that air fresheners be labeled to identify their ingredients.
On December 18, 2007, in letters to the petitioners (PDF) (4 pp, 1.8MB), EPA dismissed the petitioners' first request under TSCA section 8(c) because it did not involve a proceeding for a rule, and denied the petitioners' other three requests as unsupported and unnecessary.
Additional Action Related to Air Fresheners
EPA sent letters to seven companies that produce air fresheners (PDF) (14 pp, 9.9MB) asking them to voluntarily submit certain production and ingredient information to EPA by March 31, 2008. On March 24, 2008, EPA granted the companies a 45 day extension (PDF) (2 pp, 78K) until May 15, 2008. The following responses (PDF) (72 pp, 16.8MB), submitted by the manufacturers to EPA, are available to the public.Read more information about TSCA section 21.