On October 26, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published in the Federal Register a proposed rule as required under section 8(b)(10)(D) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), regarding reporting requirements for applicable persons to provide information to assist in the preparation of an “inventory of mercury supply, use, and trade in the United States,” where “mercury” is defined as “elemental mercury” and “a mercury compound.” The requirements would be applicable to any person who manufactures (including imports) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally uses mercury in a manufacturing process. Based on the inventory of information collected, the Agency is directed to “identify any manufacturing processes or products that intentionally add mercury; and . . . recommend actions, including proposed revisions of Federal law or regulations, to achieve further reductions in mercury use.” At this time, EPA is not making such identifications or recommendations.

EPA is proposing that supply, use, and trade of mercury include reporting requirements for activities comparable to established TSCA terms: Manufacture, import, distribution in commerce, storage, and export. The reporting requirements also would apply to otherwise intentional use of mercury in a manufacturing process. Persons who manufacture (including import) mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process, would report amounts of mercury in pounds (lbs.) used in such activities during a designated reporting year. Reporters also would identify specific mercury compounds, mercury-added products, manufacturing processes, and how mercury is used in manufacturing processes, as applicable, from preselected lists. For certain activities, reporters would provide additional, contextual data (e.g., country(ies) of origin/destination for imports/exports and NAICS codes for mercury or mercury-added products distributed in commerce).

The proposed reporting requirements would not apply to persons engaged in the generation, handling, or management of mercury-containing waste, unless that person manufactures or recovers mercury in the management of that waste with the intent to use the recovered mercury or store it for use. In addition, persons engaged in trade (e.g., brokering, selling wholesale, shipping, warehousing, repackaging, or retail sale), but who do not first manufacture mercury or mercury-added products, or otherwise intentionally use mercury in a manufacturing process, are not required to report. Finally, in an effort to avoid reporting that is unnecessary or duplicative, the Agency is proposing certain exemptions for persons who already report for mercury and mercury added products to the TSCA section 8(a) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule and the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC). In addition to topics where EPA notes that we are seeking specific comment, the Agency also encourages comment on all aspects of this proposal.

Comments must be received on or before December 26, 2017.