EPA Implements Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements for PFAS under TSCA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a significant step by finalizing reporting and recordkeeping requirements for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In alignment with its obligations under TSCA, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, EPA has mandated that any entity involved in the manufacture (including import) or past manufacturing (including importation) of PFAS or PFAS-containing articles since January 1, 2011, must electronically report comprehensive information regarding PFAS usage, production volumes, disposal methods, exposures, and associated hazards.

Improving PFAS Data Characterization in the United States

Implementing this rule empowers the EPA to gain a more thorough understanding of the sources and quantities of PFAS produced in the United States. The EPA aims to use the rule to improve its ability to oversee PFAS-related activities in the country, leading to better regulatory measures.

Reporting Deadlines for Entities

Entities, regardless of their size, that have engaged in PFAS manufacturing (including imports) since 2011, will have 18 months from the effective date of this rule to submit PFAS data to the EPA. This provision ensures that all entities involved in PFAS-related activities comply with reporting requirements within a reasonable timeframe.<

Extended Reporting Period for Small Manufacturers

Small manufacturers, as defined at 40 CFR 704.3, whose reporting obligations solely stem from the importation of PFAS-containing articles, will benefit from an extended reporting period. They will have 24 months from the effective date of this rule to report PFAS data to the EPA, recognizing the unique circumstances of small entities.

SBAR Panel Engagement and Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

In April 2022, the EPA convened a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel for this rulemaking. Comprising representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the EPA, the SBAR Panel engaged with small businesses and trade associations, who served as Small Entity Representatives (SERs). These SERs gave the panel invaluable advice and recommendations, shaping the rule’s development.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA)

In November 2022 the EPA released an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) related to this rule, inviting public input. The IRFA extensively examined the potential impact of the proposed rule on small entities, considering the type and number of such entities, estimated burdens, associated costs, and possible regulatory flexibility alternatives. The feedback and insights gathered during the SBAR panel discussions were considered in the IRFA, including examining regulatory flexibility alternatives outlined in section 7 of the IRFA. SERs’ input also played a crucial role in describing the universe of small entities and estimating potential burdens and costs, along with underlying assumptions outlined in the IRFA.

EPA’s finalization of the PFAS Reporting and Recordkeeping Rule is a significant stride towards safeguarding the environment, public health, and informed regulatory decision-making regarding PFAS, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing effort to address PFAS-related challenges.

Reference: https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/tsca-section-8a7-reporting-and-recordkeeping

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