Summary:  Effective September 15, 2011, the EPA has amended regulations that govern how, what, when and where companies report information required by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) concerning chemicals they manufacture or import.  This rule, formerly known as the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule and now renamed the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, requires certain manufacturers (which, by regulation, includes importers) of chemicals listed on the TSCA Chemical Substances Inventory to report information about the manufacturing, importation, processing and use of those chemical substances.  Companies were last required to submit information to EPA under the IUR rule in 2006.

Purpose of new rule: According to information provided by the EPA on the new CDR rule, “the purpose of this program is to collect quality screening-level, exposure-related information on chemical substances and to make that information available for use by EPA and, to the extent possible, due to data confidentiality claims, to the public. The CDR data are used to support risk screening, assessment, priority setting and management activities and constitute the most comprehensive source of basic screening-level, exposure-related information on chemicals available to EPA.”

Who must report: Companies may be affected by this regulation if they manufacture (including as a byproduct) or import for commercial purposes 25,000 pounds or more of a chemical substance listed on the TSCA Chemical Substances Inventory at any single site owned or controlled by that company during calendar year 2011. 

What must be reported: Affected companies will be required to report certain manufacturing-related information:

  • The production volume of that chemical substance manufactured in calendar year 2010;
  • The production volume of that chemical substance manufactured in calendar year 2011;
  • Whether an imported chemical substance is physically at the reporting site;
  • The volume of the chemical substance directly exported and not domestically processed or used; and
  • Whether or not a manufactured chemical substance, including a byproduct, is being recycled, remanufactured, reprocessed or reused.

EPA has also lowered the threshold at which companies must report certain use-related and processing information for chemical substances.  Previously, companies manufacturing 300,000 pounds of a chemical substance were required to report this information.  The CDR rule now sets that threshold at 100,000 pounds and requires the submission of all information “known to or reasonably ascertainable by” the company, rather than using the previous “readily obtainable” standard.  The processing and use-related information that may be required includes:

  • An estimate of the number of workers reasonably likely to be exposed to each reportable chemical substance;
  • Consumer- and commercial-related use activities for each reportable chemical substance, using new consumer and commercial product codes; and
  • Industrial processing and use information for each reportable chemical substance using new ‘Industrial Sector’ codes rather than NAICS codes.

Exemptions: Certain chemical substances are exempt from the CDR rule’s reporting requirements, including naturally occurring substances, microorganisms, polymers, certain forms of natural gas, and water.  Other chemicals are partially exempt from certain reporting requirements. 

Confidentiality: Companies may claim certain data required by the CDR rule should be treated as confidential business information and thus not be available for public scrutiny.  Under the CDR rule such submissions will now require detailed upfront written substantiation of such claims.

How to report:  All CDR submissions will now be made through a dedicated EPA website with the reporting period for calendar year 2011 activities open from February 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012.  Paper submissions will no longer be accepted. 

Reporting cycle:  CDR data will now be collected every four years instead of on the previous five-year cycle.  For the next reporting period in 2016, the CDR rule provides that:

  • The reporting threshold will be 25,000 pounds manufactured in any calendar year since 2011;
  • Each calendar year’s production will need to be reported; and
  • The threshold for reporting processing and use-related information will be lowered to 25,000 pounds.