The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on August 16, 2011, the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule, previously referred to as the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) Modifications Rule. 76 Fed. Reg. 50816. The rule authorizes EPA to collect and disclose information on the manufacturing, processing, and use of commercial chemical substances and mixtures listed on the TSCA Inventory. The CDR Rule also sets the upcoming submission period from February 1, 2012, to June 30, 2012, and will include submission of chemical production information from 2010 and chemical production, processing, and use information from 2011.
The rule is significant for three reasons.
First, the rule’s impact is enormous. Thousands of businesses are affected and include, among others, chemical substance manufacturers and importers, chemical substance users and processors that may manufacture a byproduct chemical substance, utilities, paper manufacturing, primary metal manufacturing, and semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing.
Second, this is not your grandmother’s rule. EPA is requiring electronic reporting of CDR information, making the compilation, analysis, and release of these data more efficient, more immediate, and definitely more difficult. Chemical detractors, competitors, and the plaintiffs’ bar will have more rapid and easier access to comprehensive chemical production and use information.
Third, failed reporting consequences are harsh. CDR/IUR reporting infractions have been a target rich enforcement area for EPA for years. Omitted chemicals and/or facilities are subject to steep fines that rack up quickly. Criminal sanctions apply to submitters making “knowing and willful” false confidentiality claims.
Smart businesses see this rule for what it is -- a TSCA compliance obligation and an invitation to competitive and reputational disaster if mishandled. Read the rule, understand EPA’s objectives, and start now to prepare for the June 30, 2012, deadline. More information is available here and here.