US EPA Releases Final Amendments on CDR Rule, Extends Reporting Period
On March 17, 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of a final rule amending the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. The amendments are intended to reduce the burden for certain CDR reporters, improve the quality of CDR data collected and align reporting requirements with the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act’s (Lautenberg Act) amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Additionally, EPA is extending the reporting period for CDR data submitters from Sept. 30, 2020, to Nov. 30, 2020, to provide additional time for the regulated community members to familiarize themselves with the amendments and for reporters to familiarize themselves with an updated public version of the reporting tool. For more information, see https://www.epa.gov/chemical-data-reporting.
TSCA’s 20 High-Priority Substances Requirement Update
In late January 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a US Federal Register notice identifying the preliminary list of manufacturers, including importers, of the 20 high-priority substances for which fees will be charged. Two months later, a proposed rule was developed to allow for exemptions. The three categories of exemptions are as follows: (1) importers of articles containing one of the 20 high-priority substances, (2) domestic producers of one of the 20 high-priority substances as a byproduct and (3) domestic producers or importers of one of the 20 high-priority substances as an impurity. These manufacturers (importers) will not need to self-identify and will not be subject to the risk evaluation fees.
In addition, since the rule isn’t final, and won’t be until 2021, EPA also issued a “no action assurance” memo, promising that the agency will exercise its enforcement discretion for those three categories. This essentially means that, even though the law hasn’t been formally changed, EPA will not pursue any companies that didn’t self-identify because they fall into one of those three categories.
To summarize, if any of the 20 high-priority substances is present in products imported into the US, either as part of an article or as an impurity, then no action is required for self-identification, and importing companies will not be subject to the fees rule. US manufacturers also may be absolved from self-identification if they manufacture one of the 20 high-priority substances as a by-product.
SGP Takes Steps to Deal with COVID-19 Impact While Community Continues to Grow
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) is taking additional steps to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For printers that are required to have a certification or recertification audit before June 1, 2020, SGP is working with its teams to find an alternative, remote method for the auditing system. Each facility will be considered on a case-by-case basis to find the best solutions and will be contacted by the SGP lead auditor.
In the first quarter of 2020, the SGP community increased by two new SGP Brand Leaders, a new SGP Patron and a new certified SGP Printer. SGP Brand Leader Brandkey Graphics works with its clients to improve workflow. InnerWorkings, another SGP Brand Leader, works with numerous top brands to maximize messaging. Neenah, Inc., joined the SGP Community as a silver level SGP Patron. Neenah offers premium paper products with responsible fiber sourcing. The newest SGP Certified Printer is Hub Labels of Hagerstown, Maryland. Hub, a flexographic printer and manufacturer of pressure-sensitive labels, is the second facility in Maryland to become certified. To learn more about becoming part of the SGP Community, visit www.sgppartnership.org.
Doreen M. Monteleone, Ph.D.
Director of Sustainability & EHS Initiatives
RadTech International North America
News From the West Coast
More Stringent Regulations for Solvent Systems
Add-on control devices traditionally have been the standard set by regulators in volatile organic compound (VOC) emission reductions from conventional solvent operations. The devices also are considered best available control technology (BACT). The devices typically use natural gas as the combustion fuel. No specific regulations were related to these combustion devices until 2006, when California enacted legislation to reduce climate change. According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), natural gas combustion generates greenhouse gases (GHGs). The state law requires the reduction of GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (approximately a 30% reduction) and an 80 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2050. Facilities that emit GHGs are subject to the regulation. Facilities can stay under certain thresholds to avoid applicability, but any GHG emissions – including those from add-on controls – enter into the equation.
Additionally, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has recently announced that – for the first time – it will require add-on control devices to comply with the BACT regulation. Businesses must use BACT for new sources, relocated sources and modifications to existing sources that may result in an emission increase of any nonattainment air contaminant, any ozone-depleting compound (ODC) or ammonia. While add-on controls are listed as BACT for many processes, the emissions from the controls themselves now will be subject to employing BACT.
SCAQMD is proposing the following requirements for add-on controls that use natural gas:
- Regenerative thermal oxidizers at major polluting facilities (those that emit or have potential to emit 10 tons per year or more of any pollutant) will need to meet a nitrogen oxide (NOx) limit of 30 parts per million (on a dry basis @ 3% O2).
- Recuperative thermal oxidizers at major polluting facilities will be subject to an NOx limit of 30 parts per million (ppm) and a carbon monoxide (CO) limit of 250 ppm (on a dry basis @ 3% O2).
- Regenerative thermal oxidizers at minor source facilities will be subject to a 30 ppm NOx limit and a CO limit of 400 ppm (on a dry basis @ 3% O2). Cost-effectiveness will be evaluated for minor sources.
The proposal was presented in late February 2020, and a period of 30 days originally was allowed for public comments. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is unclear when the proposal will be finalized.
CARB Proposes New Category for Photovoltaic Coatings
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) plans to amend its “Architectural Coatings Suggested Control Measure.” The agency proposes the addition of a new category for photovoltaic coatings. This category would sunset on January 1, 2024, and there would be no exemption for “small containers.” Photovoltaic coatings would be subject to a VOC limit of 600 grams per liter, and there would be notification and reporting requirements. CARB will leave it up to each local air district to impose any coating volume limits. CARB staff has recognized the benefits of photovoltaic coatings by indicating that “applying the coating to existing uncoated solar panels increases electricity generation. Increased electricity generation leads to avoided criteria pollutants and GHG emissions” and that the panels remain cleaner longer.
PCBTF in Califorinia
In early 2020, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) presented a draft document summarizing the carcinogenicity and derivation of a proposed cancer inhalation unit risk factor for p-chloro-α,α,α-trifluorotoluene, also known as pchlorobenzotrifluoride (PCBTF). OEHHA is required to develop guidelines for conducting health risk assessments under the Air Toxics Hot Spots Program (California Health and Safety Code Section 44360 (b)(2)). The values proposed are as follows:
Unit Risk Factor 8.6 × 10-6 (μg/m3)-1
Inhalation Slope Factor 3.0 × 10-2 (mg/kg-day)-1
More detailed information can be found at the following link:
BPA Safe for Eyewear Products
California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recently issued a “Safe Use Determination for Exposures to Bisphenol A from Certain Polycarbonate Eyewear Products Manufactured, Distributed or Sold by The Vision Council Member Companies” related to exposures to BPA from certain polycarbonate prescription glasses and sunglasses, over-the-counter (OTC) reading glasses and nonprescription sunglasses as well as safety glasses. Such glasses have acetonitrile extractable concentrations of BPA in the temple, nose pad, frame and lens at or below 25 micrograms per gram (μg/g), 68 μg/g, 120 μg/g and 302 μg/g, respectively. Thus, exposures to BPA from use of such eyewear products, under the conditions described in OEHHA’s assessment, would not require a Proposition 65 warning. Additional documents can be found at: https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/proposition-65-safe-use-determinations-suds.
Director of Regional Environmental Affairs
RadTech International North America