On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a petition from the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) to add 'biodiesel' as a chemical category for partial reporting exemption at 40 C.F.R. Section 711.6(b)(2)(iv) under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule and will be proceeding with a direct final rule to be published later in January. The approved biodiesel category on the partial reporting exemption list will include the following chemicals:
- Fatty acids, C14-18 and Cl6-18-unsatd., Me esters (Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number (CASRN) 67762-26-9);
- Fatty acids, Cl6-18 and C-18-unsatd., Me esters (CASRN 67762-38-3);
- Fatty acids, canola oil, Me esters (CASRN 129828-16-6);
- Fatty acids, com oil, Me esters (CASRN 515152-40-6);
- Fatty acids, tallow, Me esters (CASRN 61788-61-2); and
- Soybean oil, Me ester (CASRN 67784-80-9).
As a result of EPA's decision to grant the petition, manufacturers and importers of these chemicals will not have to compile and report the processing and use information under Part III of the CDR Form U for the upcoming 2016 CDR reporting cycle, or future CDR reporting cycles. By EPA's estimate, this equates to a savings of more than 80 hours and $5,500 per report. More importantly, this action results in equitable regulatory reporting burdens of chemical substances of comparable release and exposure potential, and avoids EPA providing regulatory relief to one subset of diesel products over another.
BRAG's Executive Director Kathleen M. Roberts stated: 'I am pleased that BRAG's quick and decisive actions in identifying the diminished CDR reporting obligations that the rules allow proved successful. Knowing the TSCA regulatory landscape was key to our success. We will continue to identify other opportunities to leverage favorable regulatory outcomes that our clear understanding of the rules makes possible.'
As with all the chemicals currently afforded partial exemption status, the biodiesel chemicals would no longer be eligible for the partial reporting exemption if they were to become the subject of a Section 4, 5(a)(2), 5(b)(4), or 6 rule (proposed or final), an enforceable consent agreement, a Section 5(e) order, or relief granted under a civil action under Section 5 or 7.