TSCA audit consultants

New TSCA Fees Rule

On September 27, 2018, EPA finalized a fees rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Certain chemical manufacturers, including importers, and processors will be required to pay fees under eight fee categories related to specific TSCA-regulated activities:

  • TSCA Section 4 activities – test orders, test rules and enforceable consent agreements;
  • TSCA Section 5 activities – notices and exemptions; and
  • TSCA Section 6 activities – EPA-initiated risk evaluations, manufacturer-requested risk evaluations for chemicals on the TSCA Work Plan, and manufacturer-requested risk evaluations for chemicals not on the TSCA Work Plan.

Under the final rule, affected businesses will begin incurring fees on October 1, 2018. All fee payments will be required to be paid through EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) application, using Pay.gov for processing. Companies must have accounts in both CDX and Pay.gov to make required payments.

EPA has developed a frequently asked questions page to help companies understand responsibilities under the TSCA fees rule.

Need help determining TSCA fee applicability or navigating EPA’s electronic payment system? A VBA expert can help. Please contact us for assistance.

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Points to Consider When Preparing TSCA New Chemical Notifications

EPA has issued an evolving draft document that provides chemical manufacturers, including importers, a summary of key points to consider when preparing Toxic Substances and Control Act (TSCA) new chemical notifications. The purpose of the Points to Consider When Preparing TSCA New Chemical Notifications document is for EPA to provide information to assist submitters in preparing a Premanufacture Notice (PMN), Significant New Use Notice (SNUN), or exemption notice (e.g., Low Volume Exemption or LVE) submitted under Section 5 of TSCA.

EPA states that following the guidance in this document may (1) help the notifications meet the requirements of TSCA Section 5 and applicable regulations and (2) facilitate EPA’s review of notifications, and that following the guidance will help ensure that the information received accurately and completely reflects the intended manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, use, and disposal of the new chemical substances subject to the Section 5 notice. EPA will continue to update the document based on public comment and changing TSCA regulations.

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How to Protect Your Employees from Chemical Hazards While Remaining Compliant

Employers want to protect employees and are required to comply with applicable regulations and standards designed to ensure employee protection from hazardous exposure to chemicals. It can be overwhelming trying to understand for every chemical what you are required to do and best management practices for safely handling chemicals.

To help employers out, OSHA has developed a database tool. The database is an online online resource you can use to:

  • Look up chemicals by identification and physical properties
  • Find exposure limits
  • See comprehensive sampling information from multiple government agencies and organizations in one location
  • And find
    • Relevant OSHA regulations and exposure limits applicable to each substance
    • References to other potentially applicable health and safety regulations

The database allows searching by chemical name or CAS number, viewing all chemicals by alphabetical or CAS number order, or viewing all chemicals that are classified in a specific group such as carcinogens. For each chemical, the database includes chemical information, physical properties, allowed monitoring methods, exposure limits under various regulatory bodies and standards, and additional resources or literature references. This database can be a valuable tool in assisting employers with all components of chemical safety programs.

From hazard communication to exposure assessments and choosing required personal protective equipment and respiratory protection, it is important that an employer identify and understand all potential employee exposures to chemicals, how to protect employees and how to comply with applicable regulations. If you aren’t sure where holes in facility or employee compliance might currently exist, please reach out to one of our experts who can help!

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Recent EHS Compliance News

Agencies are constantly releasing new and amended regulations and guidance and it can be a lot to keep up with. We have put together a list of recent updates that got the attention of our experts, which includes updates from OSHA, EPA, NFPA and more:

Recent Notable EHS Updates

Recent regulatory news updates by Agency:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Updates

Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI) Requirement Updates – Are Your Records and PPE Requirements Compliant?

OSHA has published numerous bulletins under the Temporary Worker Initiative (TWI). The bulletins are meant to address specific regulatory challenges associated with employment of temporary workers, such as injury and illness recordkeeping requirements and PPE requirements.


New and Revised Fact Sheets for Respirable Crystalline Silica Standard

[HS1] OSHA has issued new and revised Fact Sheets meant to help employers comply with the requirements of the respirable crystalline silica standard.


Reporting Now Required in State Plan States for Workplace Injuries

OSHA has corrected an error contained within the 2016 Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses regulation. The correction indicates that facilities that meet the applicability requirements for reporting and are located in State Plan states must report even if that state has not yet adopted the rule. The first reporting deadline for covered facilities was July 1, 2018.


Beryllium Exposure Rule Now Being Enforced

OSHA began enforcement of the final rule on occupational exposure to beryllium in general, construction and shipyard industries on May 11, 2018. Enforcement was previously set to begin on March 12, 2018.


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Updates

Mercury Reporting Now Required for Manufacturers & Importers

EPA has published a final rule that requires reporting by persons who manufacture (including import) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process. The rule supports future, triennial publications of the mercury inventory.


New Emissions Standards, Applicability Determination Criteria & Other EPA Updates Announced

EPA has posted numerous updates to the Applicability Determination Index (ADI) including applicability determinations, alternative monitoring decisions, and regulatory interpretations that EPA has made with regard to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), the Emission Guidelines and Federal Plan Requirements for existing sources, and/or the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Program.


13 Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) added to Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Requirements

EPA has finalized a rule that adds a category of 13 specific nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) to the list of EPCRA Section 313 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting chemicals. The final rule is effective for the 2019 TRI reporting year with the first forms due July 1, 2020.


New Emissions Factors for Natural Gas Industrial Flares

EPA has reviewed and updated existing emission factors for flares at natural gas production sites, published in Section 13.5 of AP-42, Compilation of Air Pollutant Emission Factors. As part of the update, EPA developed six new total hydrocarbon emission factors for enclosed ground flares, clarified the heating value basis for the emission factors, and clarified that emission factors represent the emissions at the exit of a flare.


Cross-Walk Comparison Tool Released for EPCRA Tier II Reporting

EPA recognizes that some facilities may not have received updated SDSs with the new GHS physical and health hazards by the March 1, 2018 EPCRA Tier II reporting deadline, so has developed a cross-walk for reporting these hazards to assist facilities with correlating the old and new hazard classifications.


“Active” Substance Classifications Updated with Newest Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Release

The April 2018 update to the public version of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory has been published by EPA. This update includes a field designating which chemical substances have been reported as “active” up to February 7, 2018. EPA has also published an additional list of substances reported as active through submission of the Notice of Activity Form A from February 8 through March 30, 2018.

These two updates will assist processors in determining which of the substances they process have not yet been reported as “active” so that they may file voluntary submissions of a Notice of Activity Form A by October 5, 2018.


National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Updates

NFPA Releases 70E Standard Video Series

NFPA has posted a video series that highlights key changes in the 2018 version of NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace.


NFPA CodeFinder™

NFPA has launched the new online CodeFinder™ tool. NFPA states that the tool helps identify the codes and reference standards in effect in the U.S. and around the world. Select any location within the map to view active codes or search for a specific code or standard within the filter panel.

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How to report chemicals with MSDS sheets

Submitting a Tier II Inventory with Old MSDS Sheets

OSHA’s updated hazard communication standard requires manufacturers to update Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to include newly defined hazards. The updated hazard communication standard and required changes to SDSs align with the major 2016 regulatory update to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).  Manufacturers were required to provide updated SDSs to hazardous chemical users by June 2015, but many manufacturers are still working toward this compliance requirement. This makes it difficult for users of hazardous chemicals to comply with the modified hazard reporting categories included in the EPCRA Tier II inventory report.

To help facilities accurately complete the new hazard category information on EPCRA Tier II inventory forms, the EPA has developed a “crosswalk” in coordination with OSHA to assist facilities in comparing the hazards included on old MSDSs with the hazards required to be included on the new SDSs and reported in the EPCRA Tier II inventory report.

Want Professional Guidance? VBA is Here to Help

Regulatory reporting can be challenging under normal circumstances, and can become even harder after a regulatory update or through reporting transitions. VBA is here to help. We are extremely experienced in assisting clients through challenging transitions, including EPA and OSHA updates.

Contacts us at [email protected].

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