EPA Announces Effort to Help Bring Climate-Friendly New Chemicals to Market to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new effort under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to streamline the review of new chemicals that could be used to displace current, higher greenhouse gas emitting transportation fuels.
Through this effort, the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention’s (OCSPP) New Chemicals Division (NCD) has implemented a robust, consistent, and efficient process to assess the risk and apply mitigation measures, as appropriate, for substitutes to petroleum-based fuels and fuel additives that use biobased or waste-derived sources to produce biofuels. This effort supports the goals under EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, which has Congressional mandates to replace or reduce quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heat oil, or jet fuel with biofuels that are projected to have lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. This effort also supports EPA’s 2021 Climate Adaptation Action Plan which describes steps the agency will take to address the impacts of climate change on communities across the country, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s actions to confront the climate crisis.
“Tackling our nation’s climate crisis is a comprehensive and collaborative effort across all of EPA,” said Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “Using sound science to streamline the review of more environmentally friendly chemical substitutes will help advance the Agency’s climate goals and protect human health and the environment.”
EPA has received over 30 biofuel premanufacture notices (PMNs) that collectively describe plans for close to 800 million gallons per year of production of advanced biofuels, that could contribute to annual volume mandates under the RFS program and help support the goals of energy security through increasing domestic production within the U.S.
Today’s announcement includes:
New Chemicals Division Integrated Approach to Biofuels
Under this effort, NCD formed a dedicated team to collaborate on the review of premanufacture notices (PMNs) for biobased or waste-derived feedstocks used to make transportation fuel substitutes with the goals to use the best available science while creating a consistent and efficient review process. NCD has developed a standardized process for the way biofuel PMNs are reviewed. For example, the same dedicated team will be conducting reviews for all biofuels PMNs, which will help ensure the assessments and determinations are consistent and aligned with requirements. Further, NCD will generate one report for biofuels PMNs that combines the six different risk assessments typically conducted for PMNs, which will help provide a clearer summary explanation of how EPA conducted its assessment and made its determination.
For risk management actions, NCD will apply appropriate mitigation measures to address any potential for unreasonable risk identified in an efficient and consistent manner within TSCA consent orders and significant new use rules (SNURs).
Outreach and Training
OCSPP is launching outreach and training for interested stakeholders in the biofuels sector to review TSCA requirements, outline the streamlined approaches for risk assessments and risk management actions, and provide information on how to navigate the new chemicals PMN process.
OCSPP is holding a kick-off meeting on February 9, 2022, to provide an overview of this initiative and answer questions from stakeholders. Register for the meeting.
Other planned outreach and training related to this biofuels initiative includes webinars on:
- TSCA requirements and the PMN process;
- the TSCA Inventory, nomenclature, and Bona Fide process;
- new chemicals risk assessments, including applications of the tools, models, and databases; and
- new chemicals risk management actions, including TSCA section 5 orders and SNURs.
Additional outreach and training sessions, including training opportunities applicable to all new chemical submitters, may be added based on stakeholder interest and feedback.
Learn more information about the TSCA new chemicals program’s integrated approach for biofuel PMNs.