The time frame is closing for chemical manufacturers and importers to make their filing via EPA’s Central Data Exchange (CDX) for the TSCA Inventory active/inactive status. Chemical manufacturers and importers have until Wednesday, February 7 to comply with a key requirement mandated under the new Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) “inventory reset” rule.

Under the reset rule, companies must provide “retrospective notice” to EPA if they manufactured, imported, or processed chemical substances on the TSCA Inventory for nonexempt commercial purposes during a 10-year “lookback period” between June 21, 2006 and June 21, 2016. The reporting clock began running with the publication of the final rule on August 11, 2017, meaning chemical manufacturers and importers have 180 days – until February 7, 2018, to submit electronic notice to EPA, and chemical processors have 420 days – until October 5, 2018, to submit supplemental reports to EPA.

There are several key exemptions to the reporting requirement. Chemicals reported under the 2012 or 2016 Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) cycles are exempt from the retrospective notice requirement, unless certain Confidential Business Information (CBI) issues are relevant. Substances added to the TSCA Inventory since June 21, 2016 are also exempt. In addition, a manufacturer does not have to submit a retrospective notice if it obtains a CDX receipt from another company that notified on the same substance. However, even if a chemical was reported for the CDR or by another manufacturer, a company that wants to maintain a CBI claim for the chemical identity must still submit to make the CBI claim. The goal of the inventory reset rule is for EPA to be able to designate every substance in the TSCA Inventory as either “active” or “inactive” in commerce. If EPA receives notice from a manufacturer or importer during this 180-day period, it will designate a chemical as “active” on the Inventory.

The initial “retrospective reporting” period applies to manufacturers and importers, but processors also need to monitor to ensure the substances they are processing are designated as “active.” If a processor is currently processing a substance that EPA deemed “inactive,” it may file a supplemental report in an “extended submission period” to ensure that the substance is re-designated as “active.” This provision allows processors time to review the interim “active” and “inactive” designations EPA will make based on CDR and manufacturers’ submissions and to correct any gaps.

EPA publishes a running draft list of "active" substances that have been reported under the inventory reset rule and, in March, will publish a complete draft inventory with substances that are reported as “active” by February 7.