Chemical Data Requests May be at Odds with Law
As a result of Congress overhauling the nation’s primary chemical law, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking manufacturers for more toxicity information. This increases the number of required toxicity tests that use animals from 21 (in 2015 under the original law) to 331 in 2017 after Congressional revision. There also is a significant upsurge in testing required or requested by the EPA’s new chemicals program since Congress amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in 2016. The number of animal-based tests the agency’s new chemical program seeks, combined with its “failure” to explain why those animal tests are needed, may violate TSCA amendments.
New Educational Primer on Chemical Regulations in the US and Canada
The US EPA, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Health Canada released an educational primer on US and Canadian regulations of chemical substances. The primer compiles easy-to-use information for stakeholders potentially regulated under similar US and Canadian requirements – Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) in the US and Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions in Canada. Information in this document will assist the regulated community to determine how to comply and engage supply chains to help facilitate compliance for meeting SNUR and SNAc requirements. Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/yd8grwap.
Register for the E-Manifest
The EPA’s e-Manifest has officially launched, and companies need to register for the system. All receiving facilities were required to have an EPA ID number effective June 30, 2018, regardless of whether they will be using paper or e-Manifests. The receiving facilities are the parties responsible for payment of the user fees, and the EPA ID number will be the means for tracking billing. Generators also will need an EPA ID number if they want to sign electronic manifests or correct manifests post-receipt. Transporters that do not already have an EPA ID number will need one if they want to sign electronic manifests. Facilities can obtain an EPA ID number from their states, except for facilities in Iowa, Alaska and New York, which must request one from the US EPA Regional Office. Companies can register site managers under the RCRAInfo system for states that have opted in at https://tinyurl.com/y6vu4624 and/or My RCRAid under the RCRAInfo system at https://www.epa.gov/enviro/rcrainfo-overview.
New Web Page Provides Safety Information on Workplace Chemicals
OSHA’s new Occupational Chemical Database compiles information from several government agencies and organizations into one online resource. The web page includes chemical identification and physical properties, permissible exposure limits (PELs) and sampling information. Chemicals can be searched by name or identification number, or grouped by PEL, carcinogenic level or whether they pose an immediate threat when inhaled. Learn more at https://www.osha.gov/chemicaldata/.
States Plan Adoption of OSHA’s Electronic Recordkeeping Rule
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule, “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” includes a mandate that all State Plans adopt substantially identical requirements to the final E-Recordkeeping Rule within six months after its publication. The E-Recordkeeping Rule requires large employers, and smaller employers that operate in “high hazard industries,” to proactively submit electronic injury and illness data to OSHA through a special web portal – the Injury Tracking Application (ITA). However, because the State Plan states each have their own legislative or rulemaking processes, they instantly adopt a new federal OSHA rule. Learn more at https://www.osha.gov/injuryreporting/.
SGP Offers the SGP Impact Tracker
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership’s new SGP Impact Tracker is a cloud-based tool that allows facilities to track sustainability metrics, upload SGP certification requirements and access valuable sustainability resources. SGP Printers will be able to monitor progress and compare themselves to the SGP community aggregate. SGP will be able to more accurately determine the impact of the program on the industry as a whole.
New Green Power Equivalency Calculator
The updated Green Power Partnership’s Equivalency Calculator helps those who use green power translate that use from kilowatt-hours (kWh) to more familiar examples. After entering annual green power use in the calculator, it will show the equivalencies of green power use – the number of American homes’ electricity use for one year, miles driven by electric car, wind turbines installed and football fields covered with solar panels. Learn more at https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-equivalency-calculator.
Doreen M. Monteleone, Ph.D.
Director of Sustainability & EHS Initiatives
RadTech International North America
News From the West Coast
RadTech Test Method Update
In 1993, RadTech developed ASTM- D5403-93 for non-thin film energy-curable materials – test methods to measure volatile organic compound (VOC) content that can be acceptable to regulators. The method was incorporated into the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 24 – the principal regulatory test method. However, D5403-93 is only applicable to non-thin films, which left energy-curable thin films in a regulatory gray area. In 2011, RadTech obtained ASTM approval for a thin-film method (ASTM D7767-11). The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) accepted the method in its Graphic Arts rule (Rule 1130). Last year, the agency amended its Adhesives Rule (Rule 1168), during which time test method discussions for thin-film, energy-curable materials resurfaced.
The SCAQMD is not in the process of developing a guidance document to clarify which test method is used for compliance verification of products regulated by Rule 1168. According to the rule, the purpose of the Guidance Document is “to determine which test method will be used when two or more applicable test methods can be used to demonstrate compliance with the rule. The selected test method will be based on product type, chemistry and VOC content.” For now, the district considers either ASTM D7767 or formulation data acceptable to verify the VOC content of UV adhesives, but staff has indicated a “possible future method development” may address thin film energy-curable materials.
Nanoreporting Requirements from EPA
Last year, EPA established reporting and recordkeeping requirements for certain chemical substances when they are manufactured or processed at the nanoscale. A reportable chemical substance is defined as “a solid at 25°C and standard atmospheric pressure, that is manufactured or processed in a form where any particles, including aggregates and agglomerates, are in the size range of 1–100 nm in at least one dimension and that is intentionally manufactured or processed to exhibit unique and novel properties because of its size.” The rule requires persons who manufacture, process or intend to manufacture/process these chemical substances to electronically report to EPA certain facts, including the specific chemical identity; production volume; methods of manufacture and processing; exposure and release information; and existing information concerning environmental and health effects. The rule applies to companies that have manufactured or processed a nanoscale material between Aug. 14, 2014, and Aug. 14, 2017. The due date for the report to EPA was set as August 14, 2018.
Fees for Architectural Coatings
Recent amendments to SCAQMD Rule 314 – Fees for Architectural Coatings – include fee increases. Rule 314 requires manufacturers to file an application to obtain a “Manufacturer ID Number,” which costs $203.87. Manufacturers also have to pay a fee of $0.041 for each gallon of paint sold in the South Coast Basin. Additionally, the “Annual Emissions Fee” increased by $10 to $291.31 per ton of VOC emissions. Rule 314 also states that if district staff must manually enter the data into the database, then the architectural coatings manufacturer shall pay (at the time of submittal) a nonrefundable fee of $333.94 for the first two hours of district time. The architectural coatings manufacturer shall be assessed additional fees at the rate of $166.98 per hour for any additional time beyond the first two hours. The rule does contain an exemption for low-VOC materials with five or fewer grams of VOC per liter of material.
CARB’s Statewide Technology Clearinghouse
California passed a law (AB 617 – Garcia) that will require additional focus on providing financial incentives to businesses to convert to lower emitting processes, such as UV/EB. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is the state agency tasked with implementation of the legislation. CARB plans to establish a statewide “Technology Clearinghouse” (database) of best available control technology (BACT), best available control technology for toxics (T-BACT) and best available retrofit control technology (BARCT) for stationary sources. The agency intends to have the database in place by September 2018.
Director of Regional Environmental Affairs
RadTech International North America