EPA Proposal Increases Flexibility, Reduces Burden under TSCA Fees Program
WASHINGTON (December 21, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment proposed updates to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Fees Rule. TSCA requires that EPA collect fees from chemical manufacturers and processors to help fund implementation to ensure that public health and the environment continue to be protected. Prior to this proposal, the agency engaged in an open and transparent dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders. These discussions helped inform a proposal that reflects real-world situations, narrows the broad scope of current requirements, significantly reduces the burden on American businesses, and increases the flexibility for surrounding TSCA fees requirements.
- Narrowing the scope of the rule by exempting importers of articles containing a chemical substance, companies that produce a chemical as a byproduct or manufacture or import as an impurity, companies that produce a chemical in de minimus amounts, companies that use chemicals solely for research and development purposes, and companies that manufacture a chemical that is produced as a non-isolated intermediate from fees.
- Using cost data gathered over the last two years, instead of estimates, to update the fee calculations.
- Ensuring fees are fairly and appropriately shared across companies by proposing a production-volume based fee allocation and including export-only manufacturers for EPA-initiated risk evaluations.
- Allowing for corrections to be made to the list of manufacturers subject to fees for EPA-initiated risk evaluations after the final list is published, ensuring the accuracy of the list.
- Increasing flexibility for companies by extending the amount of time to form consortium to share in fee payments.
- Ensuring EPA can fully collect fees and enabling companies to better prepare for paying fees by allowing payments in installments for EPA-initiated and manufacturer-requested risk evaluations.
Additionally, EPA’s proposal adds new fee categories associated with new chemicals activities.
EPA will accept public comments on the proposal for 45 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-0493 on www.regulations.gov. EPA will use these comments to inform the final rule which the agency plans to issue in 2021.
Learn more about the proposed revisions to the TSCA Fees Rule https://www.epa.gov/tsca-fees
The 2016 amendments to TSCA provided EPA with expanded authority to collect fees from chemical manufacturers, importers, and in some cases, processors, to help defray the costs associated with overall TSCA implementation efforts. TSCA further required EPA to establish a fee structure by rule. EPA finalized the TSCA Fees Rule in October 2018. TSCA also directs EPA to review and, if necessary, adjust fees every three years.
In March 2020, the agency announced its plan to initiate a new rulemaking process to update the fees rule to resolve implementation issues raised by stakeholders. Today’s proposal includes revisions to address these issues.