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EPA Meets Important Milestone: Proposes Fees Rule, the Final of Four Framework Rules for EPA Chemical Safety Evaluations Under TSCA

02/08/2018
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (February 8, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) met an important milestone and proposed a fees rule under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act.

“EPA has moved swiftly to implement the amended TSCA requirements. Our proposed TSCA fees rule ensures we have sufficient resources to review chemicals for safety with the highest scientific standards,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, the proposed fees on certain chemical manufacturers, including importers and processors, would provide a sustainable source of funding to defray resources that are available for implementation of new responsibilities under the amended law. 

These fees to be collected from certain chemical manufacturers and importers, including processors, would go toward developing risk evaluations for existing chemicals; collecting and reviewing toxicity and exposure data and other information; reviewing Confidential Business Information (CBI); and, making determinations in a timely and transparent manner with respect to the safety of new chemicals before they enter the marketplace.

EPA has finalized three important rules under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act and is now taking action to move the fourth to completion. EPA is working diligently to implement the new law, the first major update to an environmental statute in 20 years, and get the most modern and safe chemicals to market quickly in order to provide regulatory certainty for manufacturers and confidence for American consumers.

The fees rule is the final of four framework rules under the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, incorporating input received at an August 11, 2016 public meeting. Under the proposed rule, affected businesses would begin incurring fees on October 1, 2018 and small businesses would receive a substantial 80 percent discount on their fees for new chemical submissions.

The 60-day comment period will open upon the forthcoming publication of the proposed fees rule in the Federal Register. A prepublication version of the proposed rule is available at: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/frank-r-lautenberg-chemical-safety-21st-century-act-5

Background

On June 22, 2017 – the one-year anniversary of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act – EPA met milestones for three framework TSCA rules: the Prioritization Process Rule, Risk Evaluation Process Rule, and Inventory Rule.

In addition to finalizing framework TSCA rules so the Agency can properly implement the law within the timeframes set by Congress, EPA has effectively addressed and eliminated the backlog. The current caseload is back at the baseline level.

  • The Prioritization Process Rule establishes a framework and criteria for identifying high-priority chemicals for EPA risk evaluations.
     
  • The Risk Evaluation Process Rule establishes a framework for evaluating high priority chemicals to determine whether or not they present an unreasonable risk to health and/or the environment. The rule ensures transparency and confidence in the risk evaluation process while retaining flexibility to allow for new scientific approaches as they are developed.
     
  • The Inventory Rule requires industry reporting of chemicals manufactured, imported, or processed in the U.S. over the past 10 years to identify which chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory are active in U.S. commerce. This will inform the chemicals EPA prioritizes for risk evaluations.

For more information on TSCA implementation, visit: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/frank-r-lautenberg-chemical-safety-21st-century-act-5