More companies need to make 313 reports come next year.
On Nov. 26, 2010, EPA issued a final rule adding 16 chemicals to the list of chemicals subject to reporting under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990.
EPCRA Section 313 requires facilities that manufacture, process or otherwise use listed chemicals in amounts above reporting threshold levels to annually report their environmental releases and other waste management quantities of such chemicals. EPA believes that the act of publicly reporting the chemicals released each year into the environment incentivizes facility owners and operators to diminish those releases to avert public scrutiny and shame that can be associated with the routine releases of large quantities of chemicals.
Due in part to EPCRA's success, the agency has endeavored to add to the list of chemicals for which reporting is required under Section 313. Section 313(d) and authorizes EPA to add or delete from the list of chemicals,. Earlier in 2010, the agency proposed to add 16 chemicals that had been classified as 'reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen' by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in its 11th Report on Carcinogens. EPA has determined that these 16 chemicals meet the EPCRA Section 313(d)(2)(B) criteria.
By adding to the Section 313 list, the agency is continuing to telegraph its commitment to the right-to-know regs. Administrator Jackson is keenly committed to transparency and enhanced domestic chemical management.
Other impacts are anticipated. Whenever the Section 313 list expands, so also do any reporting requirements inspired by the incorporation by reference to the EPRCA Section 313 list. Accordingly, state and/or local reporting obligations may also be implicated by the expansion of the Section 313 list.
EPA's continuing attention to EPCRA reporting requirements is also an expression of Administrator Jackson's commitment to enhanced chemical management. Administrator Jackson's list of priorities announced when she took office in 2009 included a clear focus on chemical management and EPA has been true to its word. The number of chemical initiatives that have issued over the past 18 months has been impressive.
Chemical stakeholders – manufacturers, processors, distributors, and consumer product manufacturers whose products include chemicals – are well advised to stay engaged in these rulemaking initiatives and evolving chemical management policy initiatives. These initiatives are likely to have a lasting impact on the profiling and management of chemicals for many years to come.