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Increasing Transparency in TSCA

Announcements

September 9, 2013 -- EPA launched ChemView, a Web search tool, opening the way to much improved one-stop access to chemical information that has been developed by or submitted to EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Read more and visit ChemView.

In 2009, EPA committed to strengthen EPA's current chemical management program. Part of that commitment was to increase access to and transparency in TSCA-related chemical information held by EPA and companies.

Read about the series of actions EPA has been taking to fulfill that commitment:

Increasing Access to Chemical Information

ChemView

ChemView, released in July 2013, brings together information EPA has received or developed about chemicals regulated under the TSCA. Its purpose is to raise awareness and inform choices on safer chemical ingredients by creating one-stop access health and safety data on chemicals.

ChemView does not contain any Confidential Business Information (CBI). When fully ChemView will contain data for thousands of chemicals regulated under TSCA. In the months ahead, EPA will be continually adding chemicals, data, functionality, and links.

Read more about ChemView.

Go to ChemView

Read the Users Guide (30 pp., 1.5 mb.) About PDF)

Chemical Data Access Tool Also Available to Find Health and Safety Data Submitted to EPA

You can also use the Chemical Data Access Tool (CDAT) to find health and safety data that has been submitted to the Agency, under authorities in sections 4, 5, and 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The tool is also available on Data.gov

CDAT enables you to search the following databases:

CDR - This database includes non-confidential information on the manufacture (including import), process and use of chemicals reported under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule.

eDoc - The eDoc database includes a broad range of health and safety information reported by industry under TSCA Sections 4,5, 8(d), and 8(e).

TSCATS - The TSCA Test Submissions (TSCATS) database is an online index to unpublished, nonconfidential studies covering chemical testing results and adverse effects of chemicals on health and ecological systems.

HPVIS - The High Production Volume Information System (HPVIS) is a database that provides access to health and environmental effects information obtained through the High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge.

Declassified CBI - This database includes health and safety studies and other information submitted to EPA in which chemical identities have been declassified, as part of EPA's effort to increase transparency in TSCA.

In some instances the search tool makes this information accessible for the first time. It provides results based on data that currently is in a searchable format. The amount of searchable data will increase over time as additional information either is reported to the Agency electronically or is scanned from historically submitted documents. If you do not receive results for a particular chemical, it does not mean EPA does not have information on that chemical; the results may not be in the repository yet.

2012 Chemical Data Reporting Manufacturing (including Import), Processing, and Use Information Released

On February 11, 2013, EPA released the non-confidential 2012 Chemical Data Reporting information on chemical production and use in the U.S.

New IUR/CDR Rule Improves Reporting of Exposure Information

In August 2011, EPA issued the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule previously referred to as the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) Modifications Rule. The purpose of this program is to collect quality screening-level, exposure-related information on chemical substances and to make that information available for use by EPA and, to the extent possible, to the public. The new CDR rule enhanced the information to be reported and increased the frequency of reporting from every 5 years to every 4 years. The CDR data constitute the most comprehensive source of basic screening-level, exposure-related information on chemicals available to EPA.

Processing and use information reported in 2012 will help EPA, other agencies, and the general public to readily screen and prioritize chemicals for the purpose of identifying potential human health and environmental effects. This information will also provide the American people with greater access to a wide range of information on those chemicals to which their children and families are exposed every day. The requirement for improved data will enhance the Agency's ability to more effectively identify and address potential chemical risks.

Chemicals, Facilities Added to Envirofacts Database

On May 17, 2010, EPA added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under TSCA to EPA's public Envirofacts database. The Envirofacts database is EPA's single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land, and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, and the map location of the facility. It links to other EPA information on the facility, such as EPA's inspection and compliance reports that are available through the Enforcement Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. EPA is also adding historic facility information for another 2,500 facilities.

TSCA Inventory Free on Web for First Time

On March 15, 2010, EPA announced that for the first time it was providing free access to the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory. This inventory contains a consolidated EPA list of thousands of industrial chemicals, and is part of a series of ongoing steps the Agency is taking to empower the public with important information.

Tightening Confidential Business Information (CBI) Policy

Ensuring CBI Claims Are Necessary, Consistent with the Requirements of TSCA

As part of EPA's ongoing effort to increase the public's access to chemical information, the Agency also has:

As of April 2013, progress reviewing CBI included:

Background

Under TSCA, companies may claim that information they submit to EPA should be treated as “confidential business information” (CBI) and not be disclosed to the public. Under Section 8(e) of TSCA, companies that manufacture, process, or distribute chemicals are required to immediately provide notice to EPA if they learn that a chemical presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment. Section 8(e) reports are made available on EPA’s website, but when a chemical has been claimed confidential by a company, the chemical name is removed on the public report.

Tightening CBI Policy

EPA tightened its CBI policies, first on January 21, 2010, when the Agency said it planned to reject CBI claims for chemicals submitted to EPA with studies that show a substantial risk to people's health and the environment and that have been previously disclosed on the TSCA Chemical Inventory. In a follow-up policy change issued May 27, 2010, EPA said it planned to generally deny confidentiality claims for and the identity of chemicals in health and safety studies filed under the TSCA, except in specified circumstances Where EPA determines that the information is not eligible for confidential treatment, the Agency is taking various actions in order to make that information available to the public. For example, EPA may notify companies that information is not eligible for CBI, and in those instances where the company will not voluntarily relinquish the claims, EPA may initiate administrative action under Section 14 of TSCA. In some instances, the information submitters proactively released the confidential claims in the associated studies. In other instances, the claims were released as a result of EPA action.

Reviews of CBI for eligibility for confidential status

Where EPA determines that the information is not eligible for confidential treatment under the law, the agency notifies companies of the determination and EPA makes the information public on the 31st day after receiving the determination unless the company challenges the disclosure in federal court.

CBI Declassification Challenge

In 2010, EPA challenged industry to voluntarily declassify unwarranted CBI claims. The declassified health and safety studies include some declassified by the Agency and others that have been voluntarily declassified in response to EPA's challenge. EPA is committed to posting new declassified materials under TSCA on the Agency web site on a regular basis. Read about progress in declassifying CBI.

Other CBI resources:

See the Chemical Data Access Tool to find the declassified and newly available health and safety studies under a new "declassified" tab.

Read Instructions to Declassify CBI.

Read more about CBI as it relates to TSCA Section 8 (e).

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