The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (15 U.S.C. §2601 et seq.) authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promulgate and enforce rules on chemical substances in commerce. Section 8 (a) of the law requires the EPA to collect basic exposure-related information on the types, quantities and uses of chemical substances produced domestically and imported into the United States.
Called the Chemical Data Reporting Rule (CDR) [40 CFR Part 711], this information is collected every four years from manufacturers producing or importing more than 25,000 pounds of chemicals; however, a small number of chemicals subject to certain TSCA actions will have a reporting threshold of 2,500 pounds.
According to the EPA, the data collected from the CDR is the most comprehensive source of basic screening-level, exposure-related information on chemicals available to EPA, and it is used by the agency to support chemical screening, assessing risks, setting priorities, and management activities. To ensure that any decisions based on the inventory are valid and appropriate, the information submited under CDR must be as accurate and complete as possible.
The database will open for industry submittals (2016 CDR Form U) on June 1, 2016 and then close September 30, 2016. All submittals must be made electronically. The submittal must include chemical information for 2012 through 2015.
What are the changes since the last reporting period (2012)?
Slight changes in the reporting requirements occur in every four-year cycle. For 2016, the EPA points out the following changes:
- A site meeting the reporting threshold during any one calendar year (from 2012-2015) triggers reporting requirements for all four years.
- Reporting is generally necessary for substances whose manufactured volume was 25,000 lb or more at a single site during a calendar year (2012 – 2015); however, the threshold drops to 2,500 lbs. for chemical substances that are the subjects of certain TSCA actions, such as significant new uses, as well as testing for suspected risks and health impacts. (The EPA has prepared a CDR Fact Sheet with additional information on the pertinent chemical substances: Help with Chemical Data Reporting: How to Search for Chemicals Subject to Certain TSCA Actions.)
What do you need to consider when completing your reports?
The CDR is just one element in a complex web of chemical compliance requirements; consideration must be given to confidential business information, chemical nomenclature, and company-specific policies and practices. Great care needs to be taken when submitting data to ensure that the stories being told about a company’s chemical importing, manufacturing, and processing practices are consistent.
The submittal of information under one program such as CDR may trigger reporting and record-keeping requirements under a different state or federal program. Other regulatory programs require the submission of chemical data, such as chemical inventory data (Tier II reports) and information on releases (Toxic Release Inventory) under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).
This only comes around every four years, and proper preparation is key. Set your company up for success in this CDR period--take the time and care needed today to ensure an accurate submittal and a consistent story.
For more information on how Antea Group’s team of chemical compliance specialists can assist with all aspects of this exercise in data collection and agency interaction, read more on our CDR service page and chemical industry page.