US EPA’s rule to “reset” the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory of chemical substances was formally published in the Federal Register on August 11, 2017. This means that the clock is now running on the 180-day deadline for chemical manufacturers and importers to submit to US EPA the chemical substance notifications required by the rule. The deadline for the submissions is now set as February 7, 2018.

The Inventory Reset Rule requires every chemical manufacturer and importer to notify US EPA of each chemical substance it manufactured or imported for a non-exempt commercial purpose in the US during the 10-year period ending June 21, 2016 (the “lookback period”). Manufacturers and importers must provide this notification to US EPA within 180 days from August 11, 2017, the date on which the rule was in the Federal Register – i.e., by February 7, 2018. Each chemical substance for which US EPA receives such a notification will be designated as “active” on the TSCA Inventory.

The rule also gives chemical processors the option to report to US EPA any chemical substance they processed during the same lookback period, but they must do so within 420 days from the rule’s Federal Register publication date – i.e., by October 5, 2018. Processors have this extended submission period so that they can review a “draft” version of the revised Inventory that US EPA will issue approximately 60 days after the close of the 180-day reporting period for manufacturers and importers. Processors thus will have roughly 180 days after US EPA issues the draft revised Inventory to identify any chemical substances that manufacturers have failed to designate as “active” and submit notices to US EPA for the substances they processed during the lookback period, in order to keep such substances from being designated as inactive.

Any chemical substance not reported to US EPA by a manufacturer, importer or processor by the applicable deadline will be designated as “inactive” on the Inventory. Once the Inventory “reset” is finalized, no one may manufacture, import or process an inactive substance without giving US EPA prior notice not more than 90 days before the anticipated date of manufacturing, importing or processing.