In late December, EPA designated the next 20 substances to undergo TSCA risk evaluations. This prioritization action triggered the three and a half years timeframe in which EPA must complete the TSCA risk evaluations of these substances. It also began the TSCA process for assigning responsibility for fees to help defray the cost of each risk evaluation of the 20 substances.
Who is responsible for paying the fees?
A $1.35 million fee for each EPA-initiated risk evaluation will be divided among companies that have manufactured or imported the chemical in any volume in the past five years, including companies that have imported articles containing those chemicals. As of today, EPA has not identified any exemptions or exclusions from these fees for byproducts, impurities, or other small amounts. However, EPA may exclude one or more of these categories in the scoping documents issued on each of the risk evaluations due in June 2020.
EPA released its preliminary lists of manufacturers and importers of these 20 substances, on Monday, January 27, 2020, and companies now have until March 27, 2020, to self-identify as a manufacturer or importer of these substances, regardless of whether or not they were included in the preliminary lists.
Failure to self-identify or falsely certifying that a company is not a manufacturer or importer could lead to TSCA-sanctioned penalty fees beginning from the date the final list is published, with each day of non-compliance constituting a separate violation after the March 27 reporting deadline.
EPA is providing a 60-day comment period for manufacturers (including importers) and the public to submit comments, correct errors, self-identify, or “certify-out” as a responsible party for fees because it is no longer a manufacturer or importer according to EPA’s rule, described more fully below.
Self-Identification Reporting to EPA
All reporting to EPA required under the fees rule must be done through the EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) by March 27, 2020. The self-identification reports must contain the following information:
Companies included on the preliminary lists also have an opportunity to certify through CDX that they are not responsible for the fee if:
Manufacturers and importers may also certify whether they meet the definition of a “small business concern” as defined in the fees rule and qualify for a reduced fee.
Final List of Responsible Parties
EPA anticipates publishing the final list of manufacturers and importers responsible for these fees concurrent with the publication of the final scope document for each risk evaluation in June 2020.
Payment of Fees
Responsible parties for fees will be invoiced by EPA and the payment will be due within 120 days following the publication of the final scope of a TSCA risk evaluation. Any consortia formed for a high priority substance must notify EPA of their formation within 60 days of the publication of the final scope of the risk evaluation.
Information and cost sharing
In an effort to share costs and promote efficiency, stakeholders can form consortia to collaborate on developing comments, generating relevant data/information and meeting with EPA to discuss the draft TSCA risk evaluation. ACC’s Center for Chemical Safety can serve as the scientific, technical and advocacy hub for providing information and building consortia to help stakeholders navigate the TSCA risk evaluation processes.
The Center also offers a broad range of specialty developed tools that are available to consortia. ACC manages a broad range of current TSCA consortia and is uniquely positioned to share lessons learned from these efforts that enhance overall consortia efforts.
ACC and its member companies will continue to support and meet the requirements of the law in order to help ensure TSCA implementation enhances public, industry, and government confidence in TSCA’s federal chemical regulatory system.
We are confident that once fully implemented, TSCA will represent a leading chemical regulation in the world. Successful implementation of the law, in accordance with the statute and congressional intent, is essential to ensuring protections for human health and the environment, while enabling our industry to continue to innovate, create jobs and grow the economy.
For more information about the 20 high priority substances, risk evaluation process, and fee requirements, we encourage you to visit EPA’s TSCA website: https://www.epa.gov/chemicals-under-tsca.