Between February 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012, all sources covered by US EPA’s new Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule must submit their initial CDR data. This rule, which was finalized in August 2011, applies to a wide array of chemical manufacturers and importers, as well as certain processors and users of chemical substances including:

  • Organic and inorganic chemical manufacturers and importers;
  • Petrochemical manufacturers, petroleum refineries;
  • Paint and coatings manufacturers;
  • Pigment and dye manufacturers;
  • Alkalies and chlorine manufacturers;
  • Ink manufacturers;
  • Fertilizer manufacturers;
  • Paper and cardboard manufacturers;
  •  Iron and steel mills;
  •  Nonferrous metals smelters;
  •  Foundries;
  • Electronic component and semiconductor manufacturers;
  • Printed-circuit manufacturers;
  • Utilities and electric power generators and
  • Other users, manufacturers, importers and processors of chemical substances.

WHAT MUST BE REPORTED UNDER THE NEW CDR RULE?

The new CDR rule makes a number of changes to the data reporting that was required under US EPA’s old Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule. Some of the more significant provisions of the new CDR are:

Production Volume Information

For the current 2012 reporting period, a manufacturer (including importer) of chemical substances must report production volume data (which includes the amount domestically manufactured plus imported volumes) for each chemical substance where 25,000 lbs. or more of the chemical was manufactured or imported at any single site during 2011. In other words, production volume data must be provided for each chemical at each site where the chemical is manufactured at or above the 25,000 lbs. threshold. On the other hand, if a company does not manufacture 25,000 lbs. of the chemical at any single site it is not required to provide data on the chemical.

During the 2012 reporting period, production volume must be reported for both 2010 and 2011. US EPA is requiring data for both 2010 and 2011 because there was a delay in finalizing the new CDR. For the next reporting period (i.e., 2016) and beyond, reporting will be required if the production volume of a chemical substance meets or exceeds 25,000 lbs. in any single calendar year since the last principal reporting year (i.e., since 2011). This is in contrast to the old IUR, which required reporting only if the production volume met or exceeded the threshold in the year immediately prior to the reporting period. Moreover, in future reporting periods (i.e., 2016 and beyond), production volume must be reported for each year since the last principal reporting year (i.e., since 2011). This is also in contrast to the old IUR, which required data only for the year immediately before the reporting period.

Processing and Use Information

The new CDR substantially changes the threshold for reporting process and use information on chemicals. For the current 2012 reporting period, the new CDR requires a manufacturer or importer to report processing and use information for any chemical substance it manufactured (including imported) in the amount of 100,000 lbs. or more at a site during 2011. This is a significant decrease from the 300,000 lbs. threshold in the old IUR rule. In subsequent reporting periods, the reporting threshold for processing and use information will be lowered even further to 25,000 lbs., the same threshold as for reporting production volume information.

Under the CDR, processing and use information now must be reported if it is ‘‘known to or reasonably ascertainable by’’ the reporting entity. This broader new requirement replaces the ‘‘readily obtainable” reporting standard that had been included in the most recent version of the IUR rule. And the new CDR requires different processing and use information to be provided depending on whether industrial, consumer or commercial processes and uses are involved.

For industrial processes and uses, the information that must be submitted includes:

  • The type of industrial processing or use operation(s) at each site that receives a reportable chemical substance;
  • The applicable industrial sector code for each processing and use operation;
  • The manner in which the chemical substance is used;
  • The estimated percentage of the total production volume of the chemical substance(s) associated with each combination of industrial processing and use operation;
  • Industrial sector and industrial function;
  • The number of sites at which each reportable chemical substance is processed or used; and
  •  An estimate of the number of workers reasonably likely to be exposed to the chemical substances.

For consumer and commercial uses of chemical substances, the rule requires that the data for consumer and commercial uses be separated, with the use being identified as either consumer or commercial. Under the old IUR, commercial and consumer data would be reported in the aggregate.

Within each consumer and commercial product category, entities submitting data must determine whether any amount of each reportable chemical substance manufactured (or imported) by the entity is present in or on any consumer products intended for use by children age 14 or under, regardless of the concentration of the chemical substance in or on the product. Entities submitting data also must estimate the percentage of the submitter’s site’s total production volume of the reportable chemical substance associated with each consumer and commercial product category. When a chemical substance is used in a commercial product, the CDR rule requires that the number of commercial workers reasonably likely to be exposed to the subject chemical substance be reported.

Other Technical Data

In addition to the basic production volume information, the new CDR requires manufacturers (including importers) to report more detailed data than ever before on the chemical substances they manufacture or import, as well as report the data in different ways, including:

  • More detailed information on the name and address of the parent company;
  • The name of a technical contact for the data being reported;
  • The current Chemical Abstracts (CA) Index Name used to list the chemical substance on the TSCA Inventory, as part of the chemical identity;
  • The volume of a manufactured (including imported) chemical substance used at the reporting site;
  • Whether an imported chemical substance is physically present at the reporting site; and
  • The volume of each chemical directly exported and not domestically processed or used.

Reporting for Chemicals Subject to TSCA Rules or Orders

For the present 2012 reporting period, the new CDR does not change the reporting requirements for specific chemical substances that are the subject of particular rules and/or orders under the TSCA. As under the old IUR, data on these chemical substances must be submitted under the CDR if they are manufactured or imported in volumes of 25,000 lbs. or more at any single site. This is the same reporting threshold as previously existed. For the 2016 reporting period and beyond, however, the CDR lowers the reporting threshold for these chemicals to 2,500 lbs.

Reporting Byproducts

The definition of “manufacture” in the CDR rule includes the “extraction, for commercial purposes, of a component chemical substance from a previously existing chemical substance or complex combination of substances.” Under this rule, byproducts of the manufacture, processing, use or disposal of another chemical substance or mixture for a commercial purpose are considered both “manufactured” and “manufactured for a commercial purpose” and are subject to CDR reporting.

Manufacturers (and importers) must report whether a chemical substance, such as a byproduct, is to be recycled, remanufactured, reprocessed or reused. Companies must indicate whether the chemical substance, which otherwise would be disposed of as a waste, is being removed from the waste stream and has a “commercial purpose.” Information about whether a manufactured chemical substance, such as a byproduct, is to be recycled, remanufactured, reprocessed or reused must be reported in addition to any required information associated with any chemical substances manufactured from the byproduct.

Confidential Business Information Claims

The new CDR rule also makes some significant changes with regard to the submissions of data claimed to be confidential. Under the CDR, a reporting entity must provide upfront substantiation for any data claimed as Confidential Business Information (CBI) under TSCA, including chemical identity, company and site information, and processing and use data. US EPA will disallow confidentiality claims if it does not believe that the CBI claim has been adequately substantiated. Each CBI claim also must be asserted and substantiated individually, and US EPA will disallow generalized CBI claims. Moreover, the agency will disallow CBI claims for processing and use data if the data is simply identified as not ‘‘known to or reasonably ascertainable’’ without further substantiation.

Electronic Reporting Now Required

In a major shift in the reporting procedure, the new CDR requires that all data now must be reported to US EPA electronically. The CDR requires companies to use US EPA’s web-based reporting tool (e-CDRweb) to submit CDR reports through the Internet to US EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX). Paper submissions are no longer accepted.

Shorter Time Between Reporting Periods

Finally, in addition to changing the number of years for which data must be reported, the new CDR also decreases the time between reporting periods. Subsequent to 2012, reporting under the CDR will occur every four years, instead of every five years as was the case under the old IUR. The next CDR reporting will occur in 2016, and the reporting period will begin on June 1 and end September 30 of that year and each reporting period thereafter.

More information about the new CDR, including additional technical reporting requirements and changes made by the new rule, can be found at 76 Federal Register 50816-50879 (August 16, 2011) and on US EPA’s website.