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Chemical Data Reporting Open from June 1 to September 30, 2016

You need to read this if your company imported scrap metal within the past four years or are considering importing scrap metal in the future. Why? Because there are federal regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that generally require a “manufacturer” to report its activity to the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if it “manufactured” at any U.S. facility a threshold amount or more of any chemical substance listed in the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory. These regulations, Chemical Data Reporting (CDR), are codified in Part 711 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR §711).

Because the CDR definition of “manufacture” includes “import,” recyclers with U.S. facilities that imported at least 25,000 pounds of scrap metal annually during 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015 may have a reporting obligation this year (2016). The reporting window is June 1 to September 30, 2016. CDR has a 4-year cycle, with subsequent reporting in 2020 for any reportable activity in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 and so on in the future. Ongoing recordkeeping of annual importing activity is highly recommended and makes CDR compliance easier. “Manufacture” for CDR does not include physical processing of a chemical substance (e.g., shredding scrap metal or “sweating” aluminum from steel), but does include chemical processing (e.g., converting iron oxide to iron metal).

If any of your facilities imported at least 25,000 pounds of scrap metal during any of these four years, you should determine if this CDR threshold has been triggered for any metal at any facility. Because imports of scrap metal may contain varying amounts of individual metals (e.g., aluminum, copper, steel), you may estimate their relative amounts using information “known to or reasonably ascertainable by” you. Such information may include: customarily known in the business (e.g., ISRI Specifications); marketing data; information from symposia or conferences; and information in standard reference sources and safety data sheets.

However, the following are exemptions from CDR requirements:

  • To be exempt from CDR as a “small business,” your company must have annual company-wide (including parent company) sales below one of the following thresholds:
    • $4 million, regardless of the quantity imported or otherwise manufactured; or
    • $40 million, so long as no more than 100,000 lbs of any single chemical substance (e.g., aluminum) was imported or manufactured at a facility.
  • Certain organic chemical substances (e.g., gasoline, polymers, natural gas, naturally occurring (not processed) substances such as ores and minerals) are exempt from reporting.
  • Substances imported for disposal are not counted for determining CDR applicability.
  • Imported “articles” (e.g., finished or semi-finished products) are not subject to CDR.

If CDR applies to your company, you must use EPA’s free e-CDRweb reporting tool to complete and submit a Form U from June 1 through September 30, 2016 for each reporting facility. To access the e-CDRweb reporting tool, you must first register with EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) at http://cdx.epa.gov. Form U has three parts to complete: Part I (Company & Site Identification Information), Part II (Manufacturing Information), and Part III (Processing and Use Information). Part III must be completed only for 2015 (i.e., the principal reporting year for 2016). The precise informational elements of Form U can be viewed here; however, completing electronic Form U requires selecting an appropriate number range or description from a drop-down menu for many informational elements, especially in Part III. In some cases, “other” may be the most-appropriate answer.

EPA’s CDR website (www.epa.gov/CDR) provides instructions, guidance, and announcements of webinars on registering with CDX and completing Form U. EPA is hosting a webinar June 1, 2016 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. ET about CDR requirements and how to use the 2016 eCDRweb reporting tool to complete the electronic CDR Form U.

If you have any questions about Chemical Data Reporting, please contact David Wagger, ISRI’s chief scientist and director of environmental management at (202) 662-8533.

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