After celebrating the arrival of 2021, and perhaps saying “good riddance” to 2020, please do not forget 2020 so quickly. Your company may have regulatory reporting to be completed by January 29, 2021 for Chemical Data Reporting (less likely) and also by March 1, 2021 for Tier II Reporting (more likely).
First, January 29, 2021 is the deadline for Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) at 40 CFR Part 711. In the vast majority of cases, CDR applies to recyclers because of importing scrap metal. If a recycler does not import scrap metal, then CDR does not apply. If a recycler imports 25,000 lb or more (yes, pounds) of scrap metal to any one U.S. facility during a calendar year, then CDR may apply. The 25,000-lb threshold is calculated for each metallic element, whether alone or in an alloy, except that steel is considered to be a metallic element for CDR purposes. Processing of domestically sourced scrap metal—including shearing, chopping, baling, shredding, and even sweating—does not trigger CDR.
For consuming activities, CDR applies if produced slags or byproducts (i.e., metal oxides) are converted to metal or another chemical substance and also if a mineral is imported for the purpose of alloying. The same annual 25,000-lb threshold per U.S. facility applies.
CDR also provides a tiered exemption for “small manufacturers”, including importers. A partial exemption applies if 2019 annual sales were less than $120 million company-wide but only reportable quantities of 100,000 lb or less at a U.S. facility are exempted. A complete exemption applies if 2019 annual sales were less than $12 million company-wide, regardless of reportable quantities.
Reporting for 2020 covers reportable activities during Calendar Years 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Calendar Year 2019 is the Principal Year for which more information must be reported. CDR information must be reported electronically via EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) system. ISRI has updated CDR guidance on its website, and EPA’s CDR information is posted here.
Second, March 1, 2021 is the reporting deadline for annual Tier II (or Tier 2) reporting for Calendar Year 2020 under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) regulations at 40 CFR Part 370. Tier II reporting is required if your facility is required by OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to prepare or have a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for a hazardous chemical that is present on-site at any time at or above its applicable threshold. If the hazardous chemical is an Extremely Hazardous Substance (EHS) (e.g., sulfuric acid), its threshold is the lower of 500 lb or its Threshold Planning Quantity (TPQ). If it is not an EHS (e.g., diesel fuel), its threshold is 10,000 lb (e.g., 1,410 gallons of diesel). If a threshold is reached or exceeded at your facility during a calendar year (e.g., 2020), you must submit your facility's Tier II report for that year by the following March 1 (e.g., in 2021). In most cases, you submit your Tier II report to your state. You can find your state’s Tier II portal here.
After these early 2021 reporting activities, Tier II reporting will be back in 2022, but CDR is not scheduled to return until 2024, barring any significant changes to the existing CDR regulations. However, if your company imported scrap metal during 2020 (potentially reportable in 2024), or will likely import it in 2021, 2022, or 2023, your company should consider setting up its information system to capture importing transactions to facilitate CDR compliance in 2024 and beyond, if it has not done so already.