Proposed Revisions to TSCA Fees Rule
On December 21, 2020, EPA released proposed revisions to the Fees for the Administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Rule. EPA is extending the public comment period on these proposed updates to give stakeholders more time to review and comment. The current comment period was set to close on February 25, 2021, and EPA is extending the comment period an additional 30 days. Comments should be submitted to 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.
The proposed changes to the original 2018 TSCA Fees Rule include:
- 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 use chemicals solely for research and development purposes, companies that produce a chemical in de minimus amounts, 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, rather than estimates, to update the fee calculations.
- Ensuring fees are fairly and appropriately shared across companies by proposing a production-volume based fee allocation and that export-only manufacturers pay fees 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.
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. This proposal includes revisions to address these issues. In March 2020, EPA also issued a “No Action Assurance” for three categories of manufacturers subject to TSCA fee requirements for the twenty ongoing EPA-initiated risk evaluations.