Filing a Biotechnology Submission under TSCA
On this page:
- Learn how to file a biotechnology submission with EPA
- EPA’s review process
- Related information
On other pages:
- TSCA biotechnology program overview
- TSCA biotechnology regulations
- TSCA biotechnology notifications status
Section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires the submission of certain information to EPA if a person wishes to:
- Commercialize an intergeneric microorganism; or
- Introduce such microorganisms into the environment for research purposes.
Persons who wish to commercialize an intergeneric microorganism must submit a Microbial Commercial Activity Notice (MCAN) to EPA at least 90 days prior to commercialization. Persons who wish to introduce an intergeneric microorganism into the environment for commercial research and development purposes must submit a TSCA Experimental Release Application (TERA) to the Agency at least 60 days prior to initiation of the field test.
Learn How to File a Biotechnology Submission with EPA
Note: There is no required format for biotech submissions in the e-PMN software. In the “Forms” screen of the e-PMN program, choose to create a new form and then select "Biotechnology." You will be required to enter contact information regarding the submitting company and the technical contact. View the sample header sheet, entitled “EPA Biotech Form.” There are five biotechnology submission choices:
- Tier I and Tier II exemptions; and
- Biotechnology Test Market Exemption Applications (TMEAs).
After selecting a submission type, you can enter the submission information in a cover letter and as attachments.
In order to qualify for a Tier I exemption, the regulations at 40 CFR 725.424 specify that the manufacturer must certify that they meet all of the physical containment and control technologies enumerated in 40 CFR 725.422 for "any facility in which the microorganism is to be used." It is unlikely that off-site transportation of live genetically modified microorganisms could be accomplished under the physical containment and control restrictions required to qualify for the Tier I exemption. Anyone intending to ship such a microorganism off-site will likely need to submit either a Tier II exemption notice or an MCAN.
Here are further resources on preparing a biotech submission under TSCA:
- Read the TSCA biotechnology regulation (PDF). (49 pp, 431 K, About PDF)
- Read further TSCA biotechnology regulatory and policy-related resources.
- Learn how to electronically submit the biotechnology submission.
EPA's Review Process
Upon receipt of the submission, EPA scientists review the information provided to determine whether the intended activity may present an unreasonable risk to health or the environment. Decisions on what action to take for each submission are based upon these reviews.