Current and Future Actions on PBT Rules
PIP (3:1) Compliance Date Extensions
Despite EPA’s extensive outreach conducted during development of the PBT rules finalized in 2021, EPA received numerous comments following the rule’s publication from stakeholders who had not commented on the proposal and did not appear to have previously surveyed their supply chains to determine if one of these PBT chemicals, phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) was being used.
As a result, EPA did not have a full understanding of the impact of the prohibition prior to issuing the January 2021 final rule. As industries continue to identify sources of PIP (3:1) in their supply chains and pursue alternatives, EPA has taken several actions to ensure the continued availability of important industrial equipment and consumer electronics, including cellular telephones and laptop computers.
In March 2022, EPA issued a final rule extending the compliance dates for the prohibitions on processing and distribution and the associated recordkeeping requirement of PIP (3:1) when used in certain articles until October 31, 2024. This action was based on the detailed information provided during the 60-day public comment period for EPA’s October 2021 proposal.
EPA had previously extended certain compliance dates for PIP (3:1) to address the hardships inadvertently created by the original applicable compliance dates in the January 2021 final rule; these extension actions ensure that critical supply chains are not disrupted for key consumer and commercial goods. That prior rulemaking extended certain compliance dates to March 8, 2022; that is now further extended by the current rulemaking to October 31, 2024.
New Rulemaking on PBT Chemicals
In March 2021, EPA announced it was reviewing the January 2021 rules on five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals in light of Executive Orders and other guidance provided by the Biden-Harris Administration and opened a public comment period to collect additional comments or information relevant to any aspect of the final PBT rules. Read the Federal Register notice announcing the public comment period. After further review, in September 2021, EPA announced its intent to initiate a new rulemaking and anticipates proposing new rules for five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals that are the subject of final risk management rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA plans to issue a proposal for new rulemaking on all five PBT chemicals in the Spring of 2023. The current provisions of the final risk management rules remain in effect while EPA is working on this new rulemaking effort.