On June 22, 2016, the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (the Amendment), which amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), was signed into law. Under this amendment, EPA was authorized, amongst other things, to evaluate its existing inventory of chemical substances on specific timelines. The proposed rule – the Inventory Rule –will require manufacturers to notify EPA of chemicals manufactured and processed in the past 10 years. EPA will use this information to update the TSCA inventory of chemical substances, and to determine which chemicals are active and still being manufactured and processed and which chemicals are “inactive” in commerce. The purpose of the update to the TSCA inventory is to better position the agency to set priorities for risk evaluations.

The EPA notification requirement is triggered by EPA’s publication of the final rule, which the TSCA amendments provide must be completed by June 2017 (the Inventory Rule). Pursuant to the Amendment and under the proposed Inventory Rule, domestic manufacturers and chemical importers will have 180 days after the final Inventory Rule is published to tell the EPA which chemical substances they have made or imported in the prior 10 years. The Amendment also contemplates notification by U.S. companies that process chemical substances, and who would have up to one year after the Inventory Rule is published to do so.

Recently, several companies and associations asked the EPA to give importers of chemical mixtures more time, up to one year, to complete the required notification. However, allowing this additional time is not considered under the Amendment, and it is not clear whether the agency has the authority to provide the additional time.

Companies that manufacture and import chemical substances should be aware that this inventory rule is coming and plan accordingly. As a best practice, proactively reaching out to your supply chains in order to create a current, accurate inventory will expedite and ease compliance with the Inventory Rule.