EPA’s revision of the Inventory Update Rule, now called the Chemical Data Reporting rule or CDR, has some major and minor differences from the old regime (EPA's chart) and looks pretty much as proposed last year.  Here are my key observations:


- The principle reporting year is now 2011, with reports due Feb 1 - June 30, 2012.

- But you will have to report manufacture and import volumes for 2010 as well.  (The next round of CDR in 2016 will pick up all years between the rules and trigger reporting if any year is over the threshold.)

- Regulated chemicals (consent orders, proposed or final SNURs and section 6) are now caught at 2,500 lbs (instead of the proposed any amount).

- Compromised at 100,000 lbs for triggering Part III downstream reporting.  EPA put off requiring it for all reported chemicals to 2016.

- They didn't go with the massive extensions discussed in the preamble of the proposal.  They kept the new descriptors for users, functions and uses in Part III to line up with Canada.  Different, but not real difficult to work through (probably).

Could be Trouble:

- "Known to or reasonably ascertainable" takes over from "reasonably obtainable" with some explanations and examples that are not very enlightening.  But not to fear, this is an "objective" standard according to EPA: it's simply what the reasonable person similarly situated would do as due diligence.  You don't have to do "an exhaustive survey of all employees,"  but you may or may not need to go outside the company to get Part III information if you ever had it or if "comparable" companies have that kind of information.  At a minimum, you are probably doing more work than you did for the last IUR.   Good luck!

- Byproducts: EPA's position is that this hasn't changed since the beginning of the PMN program.  In this age of zero waste programs where everyone is looking for uses for their wastes, there are going to be a lot more companies freaking out than just the electronics, metals, paper and utility industries (who made the mistake of asking EPA).  RCRA regulation is no safe harbor.  Read EPA's guidance carefully and prepare for further clarifications and possible challenges that are sure to come.

- Confidentiality Claims: up front substantiation.  Make sure you know how your customers feel about revealing their uses.  EPA's intent is to publicly release all information on chemicals they can get (ignoring TSCA authority to only use reporting to support enforcement of the Act).  As I've blogged before, companies have been too casual about making claims, but there remains a need to protect legitimate CBI, so do your homework.

- Mandatory Electronic Reporting: to be determined.  Thankfully, there will be more time to test and learn the new CDX.

There are plenty of details to work through and new "clarifications" to come.  At least we've got time to figure it out now.

If you need help, contact EHS Strategies, Inc.

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