On August 11, 2017, the Office of the Federal Register published the third of EPA’s three rules implementing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the TSCA Inventory Notification (Active-Inactive) Requirements, 82 FR 4255 (Active/Inactive Rule). We reported on the two previously published rules as well as a pre-publication version of the Active/Inactive Rule here. As a reminder, the Active/Inactive Rule requires manufacturers and processers to submit notifications to EPA with regard to chemicals that have been manufactured or processed between June 21, 2006 and June 21, 2016. The Active/Inactive Rule also sets forth the logistics for submitting the notifications, potential exceptions from the notification requirements, and procedures for handling confidential business information (CBI).
Publication in the Federal Register starts the clock on stakeholders’ need to comply with important 180-day and 420-day reporting deadlines. In particular, manufacturers must make retrospective reports no later than February 7, 2018. After manufacturer’s reports are made, EPA will include the active designations on a draft Inventory to be published “as soon as is practicable following the close of the 180-day submission period for manufacturers.” Processors will then have 420 days following Federal Register publication, no later than October 5, 2018, to make retrospective reports.
The same day that the Active/Inactive Rule was published, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Natural Resources Defense Council, and other environmental groups filed suit in two different circuits (the Second and Fourth Circuits) challenging EPA’s final Prioritization Rule and Risk Evaluation Rule, while Earthjustice filed similar challenges in the Ninth Circuit on Thursday, August 10. According to various statements released in conjunction with filing the challenges, the environmental groups have expressed concern that EPA has inappropriately strayed from its mandate under TSCA, as reformed, by seeking to narrow the scope of its review of chemicals to certain types of exposure or uses.
The cases are Environmental Defense Fund v. EPA, case numbers 17-2464 and 17-2403, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Alliance of Nurses for Health Environments et al. v. EPA, case numbers 17-1926 and 17-1927, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; and Safer Chemicals Health Families et al. v. EPA, case numbers 17-72259 and 17-72260, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.