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Regulatory News

By Doreen M. Monteleone, Ph.D., director of sustainability & EHS initiatives

RadTech International North America

TSCA Reset

The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, requires the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to designate chemical substances on the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory as either “active” or “inactive” in US commerce. To accomplish that, EPA finalized a rule requiring industry reporting of chemicals manufactured (including imported) or processed in the United States over the past 10 years, ending June 21, 2016. This reporting will be used to identify which chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory are active in US commerce and will help inform the prioritization of chemicals for risk evaluation. Additionally, active and inactive designations for each chemical substance will be included as part of the agency’s regular publications of the TSCA Inventory.

Once the EPA creates a public list of the “active” TSCA listed chemicals, processors/users can evaluate their raw materials to ensure they were nominated to the “active” inventory. Processors may nominate additional chemistries by October 5, 2018. All TSCA-listed chemicals, including polymers, are subject to re-nomination unless they meet the following exemption criteria:

  • The EPA received a notice of commencement of manufacture or import (NOC) during the 10-year “look back” period.
  • The chemical was reported during the 2012 or 2016 chemical data reporting (CDR), non-confidentially.
  • The chemical was re-nominated by another company, and documentation is provided.

Chemicals not currently on TSCA, including those manufactured under a qualifying exemption, are not subject to reporting. Learn more at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/08/11/2017-15736/tsca-inventory-notification-active-inactive-requirements.

United Nations Publishes GHS v.7

The United Nations has published the seventh revision of its Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). It has revised the criteria for categorization of flammable gases; made a range of changes intended to clarify the definitions of some health hazard classes; added guidance to safety data sheets (SDSs); revised and rationalized precautionary statements; and added an example of how fold-out labels can be used with small packages. To determine how this might impact your operation, go to http://www.unece.org/trans/danger/publi/ghs/ghs_rev07/07files_e0.html.

EPA Ozone Standard Timing Extension Withdrawn

On June 28, the US Environmental Protection Agency published a notice in the Federal Register (82 FR 29246) announcing a one-year extension for promulgation of initial area designations for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. On August 2, EPA announced in the Federal Register (82 FR 37318) that it was withdrawing the one-year extension and now intends to reassess whether there are areas with underlying technical issues, whether there are state designation recommendations that the EPA intends to modify, and whether — for any area — there is insufficient information to promulgate the designation. The agency believes this reevaluation will help ensure that more Americans are living and working in areas that meet national air quality standards. The EPA believes there may be areas of the United States for which designations could be promulgated in the next few months. As a result, the agency decided to withdraw the previously announced one-year extension.

Status of Hazardous Waste Manifest

The US Environmental Protection Agency is on schedule to launch the hazardous waste electronic manifest (e-Manifest) system in June 2018. Manifest users who intend to track their hazardous waste shipments electronically or access manifest data from the e-Manifest system as soon as it becomes available will be required to register with the EPA before system launch. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/hwgenerators/hazardous-waste-electronic-manifest-system-e-manifest.




News From the West Coast

By Rita Loof, director of regional environmental affairs

RadTech International North America

New Requirements for Adhesives

On October 6, 2017, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) board adopted changes to Rule 1168 (Adhesives). The rule applies to any “person who sells, stores, supplies, offers for sale or manufactures for sale” any adhesives, adhesive bonding primers, adhesive primers, caulks, sealants or sealant primers. The rule defines an adhesive as “any substance that is used to bond one surface to another surface by attachment.” The rule applies to raw material suppliers, formulators, distributors, private labelers and essentially every link in the supply chain. The proposal includes extensive new labeling and record-keeping requirements for products manufactured after January 1, 2019, such as:

  • Each container shall display the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of the regulated product as recommended for application.
  • VOC content shall be displayed as grams of VOC per liter of regulated product, excluding water and exempt compounds, or grams of VOC per liter of material for low-solids products.
  • Each container or an associated product data sheet shall display a statement of the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding thinning, reducing, or mixing with any other VOC-containing material, if applicable. Mixing recommendations shall specify a ratio that results in a compliant, as applied, product. Each container shall display the date or a date code of manufacture of the contents.
  • A Quantity and Emission Report (QER) shall be submitted (at first every three years and eventually every five years) until the year 2040. The report shall include the following information: (i) product manufacturer (as listed on the label); (ii) product name and code; (iii) applicable Rule 1168 category; (iv) VOC content less water and exempt solvents as determined by calculation based on product formulation or laboratory analysis; (v) VOC content of material as determined by calculation based on product formulation or laboratory analysis; (vi) total volume sold for use within the district, reported in gallons of container size; (vii) volume of regulated product with a VOC content higher than the applicable limit in Rule 1168 sold under the sell-through provisions of this rule; and (viii) annual quantity of each product, including products sold through “big box” retailers with distribution centers located within or outside the district.

RadTech argued that the overly prescriptive administrative requirements would create burdensome conditions that would impact all levels of the supply chain by requiring them to report the same information to the district. Other industry groups, such as the American Coatings Association, also submitted comments objecting to the rule.

The issue of test methods for UV/EB materials also was raised by staff, who claimed that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 24 could be used for energy-curable materials, ignoring the well-established EPA policy that it is “Not applicable to UV radiation-cured coatings …” A commitment was obtained that formulation data would be used for thin film materials and that no enforcement action would be taken until staff works with industry to review ASTM D7767. The association was successful in getting the district to remove a decades-old policy of “Multiple Test Methods,” which allowed the agency to arbitrarily choose a method without notifying the end user and potentially assessing fines based on the results of the test. ASTM D7767 also was added to the definition section as a method that “may” be used. Board member Joe Lyou also made an amendment to commit staff to complete the document by October 2018.

New Monitoring and Reporting in California

California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law AB 617 and AB 398. The new laws require additional air pollution monitoring programs and extend the state’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program to 2030. The most recent cap-and-trade auction generated $935 million for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the agency tasked with implementing the program.

CARB is now required to develop a uniform statewide system of annual reporting of emissions of criteria air pollutants and toxic air contaminants for use by certain categories of stationary sources. Additional requirements include:

  • expedited pollution-control retrofit of large stationary sources,
  • increased penalties for air pollution violations,
  • enhanced air pollution monitoring,
  • CARB adoption of a statewide emissions reduction strategy targeting “pollution burdened” communities, and
  • ARB and air districts to implement community emissions reduction programs.