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ISRI Represents Recycling Industry in Comments to EPA

Last year, the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) was amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA).

Signed into law June 22, 2016, after several years of bipartisan effort, the LCSA made major changes to TSCA for the first time in 40 years. The LCSA gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more authority to evaluate and regulate chemicals, offers the regulated community significant opportunities to participate in the development of TSCA regulations, and commits EPA to carry out certain TSCA activities by certain deadlines. The vast majority of LCSA provisions do not apply to the recycling industry with one major exception: Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) under TSCA Section 8, “Reporting and retention of information.” Regarding Section 8, EPA is required within 180 days of LCSA enactment (by December 19, 2016) to review the adequacy of small manufacturer and processor standards, in consultation with the Small Business Administration (SBA), and after public notice and input to determine whether revision of the standards is warranted. Also, not later than 3 years after LCSA enactment (by June 22, 2019) in a negotiated rulemaking process, EPA is required to develop and publish a proposed rule to limit the reporting requirements for inorganic byproducts (e.g., metal oxides) that are subsequently recycled, reused, or reprocessed in another chemical substances (e.g., metal). The resulting final rule must be published within another half year (by December 22, 2019). Both of these CDR provisions provide opportunities for ISRI to reduce or eliminate reporting by consumer and recycler members, especially if importation of scrap metal can be addressed by one or both.

As required by the LCSA, EPA issued Federal Register notices December 15, 2016, on “Chemical Data Reporting: Requirements for Inorganic Byproduct Chemical Substances” and “TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements: Standards for Small Manufacturers and Processors.” In comments on the CDR notice[DW1] [MC2] , ISRI identified its direct and indirect stakes in the outcome of the negotiated rulemaking for inorganic byproducts and offered to participate in the Negotiated Rulemaking Committee that will advise EPA on developing a proposed rule to limit reporting of inorganic byproducts. ISRI noted its previous comments against the reportability of imported scrap metal and argued that neither inorganic byproducts nor imported scrap metal should be reportable because EPA does not learn anything important from the reporting of either. In comments on the Small Manufacturer notice [DW3] , ISRI agreed with EPA’s preliminary determination, based on decades-old monetary thresholds, that revision of the small manufacturer and processor standards is warranted. ISRI added that both monetary and mass (i.e., manufactured or imported quantity) thresholds in the existing CDR-applicable definition of small manufacturer or importer should be substantially increased above the current thresholds. ISRI expects that EPA will act on both issues because of the LCSA deadlines and will keep members informed about developments on both. For more information about CDR, please contact David Wagger, Chief Scientist / Director of Environmental Management at (202) 662-8533.

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