Update Aims to Recover 25% of Authorized Costs, Strengthen Implementation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently announced the finalization of amendments to the 2018 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Fees Rule. These amendments are designed to modernize how the Agency recovers costs associated with implementing the law, ensuring collected fees contribute to 25% of authorized costs as directed by Congress. The EPA expects these changes to enhance its ability to effectively implement TSCA, streamline chemical reviews, and ensure the necessary health and safety protections are in place.

Strengthening TSCA Implementation

The 2016 amendments to TSCA significantly expanded the EPA's authority and responsibilities in safeguarding people and the environment from toxic chemicals. However, the 2018 TSCA Fees Rule fell short, collecting less than half of the authorized costs, leading to implementation challenges due to insufficient resources.

Addressing Previous Challenges

In its October 2022 report to Congress on TSCA's implementation capacity, the EPA acknowledged early failures to adequately assess resource needs and establish fees that accurately reflected the updated costs of TSCA work. The recent amendments aim to rectify these challenges and ensure a sustainable and efficient program for chemical safety.

Impact of Amendments

Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Michal Freedhoff, highlighted the significance of the final rule, emphasizing that it will provide EPA with more resources. This, in turn, will enable the agency to conduct reviews of chemicals more efficiently, leading to faster and better protections for communities against hazardous chemicals and supporting American innovation in new chemistries.

Fee-Triggering Events

Under TSCA sections 4, 5, and 6, there are eight different fee-triggering events:

1. Test Rules under TSCA section 4
2. Enforceable Consent Agreements under TSCA section 4
3. Test Orders under TSCA section 4
4. New Chemical Notices under TSCA section 5
5. New Chemical Exemption Applications under TSCA Section 5
6. EPA-Initiated Risk Evaluations under TSCA section 6
7. Manufacturer-Requested Risk Evaluations for Chemicals on the TSCA Work Plan
8. Manufacturer-Requested Risk Evaluations for Chemicals NOT on the TSCA Work Plan

Fee Calculation

EPA calculates fees by estimating the total annual costs of relevant activities under TSCA Sections 4, 5, and 6, excluding the costs of manufacturer-requested risk evaluations. The full cost amount to be defrayed by fees, 25% of the annual costs, is then allocated across the fee-triggering events. Small businesses receive an approximately 80% discount following TSCA Section 26(b)(4)(A).

(Ref: Lexology Article)

Updated Fee Amounts

For the updated fee amounts under the final rule, stakeholders are advised to refer to the EPA TSCA Fees Table website. This resource provides detailed information on fee amounts for different fee-triggering events, facilitating compliance and transparency in the regulatory process.
The finalized amendments to the TSCA Fees Rule mark a significant step towards improving EPA's capacity to implement TSCA effectively. These updates are expected to support a more sustainable and efficient program for chemical safety while ensuring necessary protections for public health and the environment.


Reach out to our regulation experts on chemical and product regulatory compliances