On Sept. 28, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a pre-published version of their Final Rule, TSCA Section 8(a)(7) Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements for Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances. This rule requires any chemical manufacturer, or importer, of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), in any year since Jan. 1, 2011, to submit to EPA information on these substances regarding chemical identities, production volumes, industrial uses, commercial and consumer uses, worker exposures, disposal and any existing information related to potential environmental and health effects. The scope of this rule applies to PFAS found in chemical mixtures, complex articles, or its bulk form.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large family of synthetic organofluorine compounds, which contain thousands of unique chemical entities. For many industries, including the non-road sector, PFAS chemistries are selected to provide high thermal and chemical stability, a resistance to heat, pressure, chemical and friction stressors, as well as very low surface tensions, making them repellent to both water and oil. Due to these highly advantageous properties, PFAS can be found in a variety of different applications including:
- Seals, Gaskets, O-rings
- Hydraulic fluid
- Fire retardants
- Electronics and electrical equipment
- Alternative power technologies
- Paints and coatings
This rulemaking followed the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 on Dec. 19, 2019. This law amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a)(7), directing the EPA to promulgate a rule which requires chemical manufactures and importers of PFAS to report relevant manufacturing and importation data to EPA by Jan. 1, 2023. The intent of this effort is for EPA to create a more comprehensive centralized database on the manufacture, importation and use of PFAS in the United States, as well as to support the EPA’s ongoing PFAS Strategic Roadmap.
Under the Final Rule, any company, individual or entity which manufactured or imported PFAS in the U.S. market for commercial purposes since Jan. 1, 2011, will be required to electronically submit this data to the EPA for any year that they did so. According to EPA:
[The] reporting standard requires reporting entities to evaluate their current level of knowledge of their manufactured products (including imports), as well as evaluate whether there is additional information that a reasonable person, similarly situated, would be expected to know, possess or control. This standard carries with it an exercise of due diligence, and the information gathering activities that may be necessary for manufacturers to achieve this reporting standard may vary from case-to-case.
Regulated stakeholders will need to report any information they may have through the EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) system 18 months following the publication of the final rule in the federal register (24 months for small entities). Currently, the EPA has only released the pre-published final rule, meaning the effective date for compliance is still undetermined. Final publication in the Federal Register is expected soon.
AEM’s Substances Compliance Council (SCC) have monitored, reviewed, commented on, and engaged with EPA regarding this rule for over two years. This committee is highly engaged on North American and European chemical management regulations. If you, or your company, are interested in learning more, or wish to participate on the SCC, please contact AEM's Jason Malcore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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