TSCA Section 8(a)(7): A Guide to the PFAS Reporting Rule Under TSCA
The United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently finalized a new per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) reporting rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The rule, TSCA Section 8(a)(7), will provide the largest-ever database of PFAS manufactured and used in the U.S., and help protect public health and the environment. Let’s explore the new rule's implications, scope, and compliance process.
Understanding the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
TSCA is a key piece of legislation that grants the EPA the authority to set use restrictions and reporting, record-keeping, and testing requirements for certain chemical substances and/or mixtures that may pose an unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. Explore these frequently asked questions about TSCA to learn more.
What is the new TSCA reporting rule for PFAS?
TSCA Section 8(a)(7) is a new PFAS reporting rule that requires certain companies to report on their use of PFAS in products from any year since 2011. This includes how the substances were used in a product, production volumes, disposal methods, exposures, and hazards. It also streamlines TSCA reporting requirements and lessens the compliance burden for companies that made or used small quantities of PFAS for research and development purposes or importers of articles containing PFAS.
More than 1,400 PFAS known to have been made or used in the U.S. since 2011 are subject to the final rule. According to the EPA’s official press release, the new rule allows the EPA to better research and regulate PFAS by understanding who uses the substances and how they are used. The rule will also produce actionable data that can be used to better protect people from the adverse effects of these harmful "forever chemicals."
Which companies are impacted by the new PFAS rule?
The new rule impacts manufacturers and importers of PFAS and PFAS-containing articles (from any year since 2011). This scope covers a broad spectrum of industries, given the widespread use of PFAS in products ranging from non-stick cookware to firefighting foam. The EPA specifically mentions construction and manufacturing companies, retail and wholesale traders, and waste management services; however, this is not an exclusive list.
Understanding the broader context of PFAS regulations
The EPA's decision to implement TSCA Section 8(a)(7) is not an isolated event but instead part of a broader strategy to gain comprehensive insights into the use and impact of PFAS. According to a detailed analysis from Inside Energy & Environment, the new rule signifies the EPA's commitment to gauge the magnitude of PFAS production and recognize potential health risks and pathways for exposure.
Particularly noteworthy for manufacturers and importers is the EPA's keen interest in substances that have been phased out but may still be present in the environment or imported articles. Therefore, businesses should focus on present manufacturing processes and past activities, ensuring full spectrum compliance.
How to comply with the new TSCA PFAS reporting rule
To comply with TSCA Section 8(a)(7), legal entities must electronically report information on PFAS uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards. This includes both manufactured and imported products and materials. The compliance process is as follows:
- Select the Chemical Safety and Pesticide Programs (CSPP) section
- Then, access the Chemical Information Submission System (CISS)
- Use the CISS to enter the required information
Companies must use the EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) portal for electronic reporting. This process only requires a simple registration.
The portal for reporting PFAS data will open on November 12, 2024, and data must be submitted by May 8, 2025. Small manufacturers (as defined by the regulation) have an extended data submission period and must submit data by November 10, 2025.
TSCA Section 8(a)(7) is a significant step forward in the U.S.'s commitment to understanding and mitigating the risks associated with PFAS. Companies are responsible for complying and proactively reducing these chemicals' environmental and health impacts. For further insights into other global PFAS regulations and compliance, check out our guide to PFAS compliance in 2023.
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