Small Entities and Rulemaking
Potential SBAR Panel: PCB Use Authorizations Update Rule
Top Three Questions
- What is a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel?
- What is a Small Entity Representative (SER)?
- Who is eligible to be a SER?
What is the Implication of the Rulemaking on Small Entities?
Section 6(e) of TSCA banned the manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, and use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), except when the Administrator determined such uses were "totally enclosed" or would otherwise pose no unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. On May 31, 1979, EPA promulgated the first of several regulations (at 40 CFR part 761) that established authorizations for certain ongoing uses of PCBs (44 FR 31514). EPA has initiated this rulemaking to revise or end the authorized uses of PCBs if the conditions under which they were authorized more than 30 years ago have changed. On April 7, 2010 EPA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) entitled "Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs); Reassessment of Use Authorizations" (75 FR 17645), requesting comment on topics such as the cost of conversion to non-PCB-containing equipment, disposal costs, use of substitutes, and in particular the potential impact that a rule-making might have on disparate communities and small business owners. EPA received comments from electric utilities, natural gas companies, state and local governments, paper companies, recycling companies, non-profit and environmental organizations, and citizens. Based on this input, the Agency decided to focus this rule-making on existing liquid-filled PCB use authorizations, PCBs in fluorescent light ballasts, PCBs in natural gas pipelines, and clarifying regulatory language.
Entities potentially regulated by this rulemaking include: those using PCB transformers such as electric utilities; firms involved with pipeline transfer of natural gas or natural gas distribution; and entities that own or operate building have PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts in use.
What is a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel?
EPA expects to conduct a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel for the development of a proposed rulemaking to revise or end the PCB Use Authorizations currently provided in 40 CFR part 761.
The Regulatory Flexibility Act as amended by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (RFA/SBREFA) requires EPA to convene an SBAR Panel for a proposed rule unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The Panel process offers an opportunity for small businesses, small governments, and small not-for-profit organizations (collectively referred to as small entities) to provide advice and recommendations to ensure that EPA carefully considers small entity concerns. The Panel itself is comprised of federal employees from EPA, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Advocacy in the Small Business Administration (SBA). Small Entity Representatives (SERs) provide advice and recommendations to the Panel. Typically, EPA prefers that SERs be owner-operators of small businesses, small organization officials, or small government officials. Other representatives, such as trade associations that exclusively or at least primarily represent potentially regulated small entities, also may serve as SERs. These other representatives are evaluated on a case by case basis.
Information about what constitutes a "small business" is available at the SBA’s web page on size standards. A "small government" is defined as a jurisdiction serving a population of 50,000 residents or fewer. A “small organization” is defined as any “not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.”
How Can I Learn More?
While the opportunity to participate on this Panel has passed, you will have the chance to submit comments concerning this rulemaking during the standard public comment period commencing after publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.
Monthly updates about the rulemaking are available on the rule's profile page on EPA’s Reg DaRRT. From this page, you can determine when the NPRM will publish and, thus, when you will have an opportunity to comment on the rulemaking.
Semiannual updates about the development status of the rulemaking are available on: