ACA Submits Comments to EPA on Draft Guidance for Nanoreporting
June 20, 2017 •
On June 15, ACA submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the agency’s draft guidance for Reporting of Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials. EPA’s draft guidance, released May 12, pertains to the agency’s final rule for Chemical Substances When Manufactured or Processed as Nanoscale Materials TSCA Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, which was published on Jan. 12, 2017. Last month, the agency pushed back the effective date of its final rule from May 12, 2017 to Aug. 14, 2017. EPA says the postponement will give it time to finalize guidance on the rule.
In its comments on the agency’s draft guidance, ACA seeks clarification from EPA on the concept of ‘unique and novel’ properties versus ‘enhanced’ properties, as well as the element of intent, and mixtures. ACA’s comments also underscore issues related to due diligence and information gathering for reporting purposes.
The final nano-reporting rule requires a one-time reporting and recordkeeping of existing exposure and health and safety information on nanoscale chemical substances in commerce. Companies that manufacture (including import) or process certain chemical substances already in commerce as nanoscale materials must notify EPA of certain information, including specific chemical identity; production volume; methods of manufacture; processing, use, exposure, and release information; and available health and safety data, to file nanomaterial reports by Aug. 14, 2018. There is also a standing one-time reporting requirement for persons who intend to – after Aug. 14, 2017– initiate manufacture or processing of a reportable chemical substance. This rule is expected to impact business development.
The principle concern for the paint and coatings industry is that the use of emulsion polymers, additives, and the milling of pigments could result in nanoscale materials and potentially trigger reporting under the final rule. Milling processes have been conducted for decades in the industry, and there is minimal opportunity for exposure to nanoscale materials after the film cures. Given low exposure and low risk of these applications, ACA believes that EPA should exempt these substances from the reporting requirements. Existing federal information and regulatory programs for these substances provide adequate safety standards. the reporting requirement alone could cost the industry up to $1.5 million.
ACA has submitted letters and comments to the Department of Commerce, Small Business Administration, and EPA, asking for rule reconsideration under regulatory reform efforts. By EPA’s own estimate, over half of the companies faced with this reporting burden are small businesses. Processors that have never had to submit these types of reports under TSCA comprise another significant segment of the companies affected by the rule.
ACA is developing its own guidance for members on the final rule.