Continuing the review of Lautenberg’s Safe Chemicals Act (SCA), here's how it appears to treat new uses of existing chemicals:

New uses of chemicals are ones that have not been reported by the company manufacturing or processing the chemical to EPA under the new version of an inventory - the current activity declarations described in earlier an blog - or in a new chemical notice described here.  There are two kinds of new use reports, depending on whether there is a safety standard.

There is No Safety Standard

This will be most existing chemicals until EPA gets around to it in their priority-setting effort.  [I'll blog another time.]  Processors must report when:

1. the use is "new" (i.e., the use is not ongoing when the SCA gets passed and gets reported by no one)

2. you want to use "significantly increased volumes" above what you reported before [no definition of what that volume is. You get to resubmit even if it's before the 3 yeat update.] OR

3. the use is new for your company.

There 's some convoluted double negatives in §5((a)(2)(A).  I think it reads that if you processed the chemical before the SCA passes but the use was reported by someone else and you resume making or processing it in less than significant volumes, you don't have to report either for the initial inventory or for this new use notice.  Which makes no sense.

If There IS a Safety Standard

If there is a safety standard and the manufacturer or processor meets the conditions for the standard, no separate notice is required.  Although the company is still covered by the "current activity" reporting requirement every 3 years.

A company has to do the new chemical notice if the use, volume or other conditions of the safety standard will not be met: the current activity information, a minimum data set (with appropriate reimbursement to those who generated it and any updates the company may have) and a declaration that will continue to meet the "reasonable certainty of no harm" safety standard if the use is allowed.  Burden of proof is on the submitter.  EPA will decide if it wants to change the safety standard to encompass the new use.  EPA can also make the default findings as for new chemicals:

If the chemical substance, or a metabolite or degradation product of the chemical substance” is expected to

- be made at < 1 million lbs or released to environment < 100,000 lbs

- present no potential for a long list of toxic endpoints including “other toxicological properties of concern” 

- not be persistent and bioaccumulative

- not be found in humans above natural levels [not clear if EPA is supposed to look at aggregate and cumulative amounts for ALL uses of the chemical] AND

- not be found in food, drinking water, ambient or indoor air, residential soil, or house dust above natural levels. [again all uses?]

Those last two may prevent use of these default findings for new uses of existing chemicals.

In addition to safety standards that are created for new chemicals - for which uses will likely be very narrowly defined - the SCA mandates a priority-setting process to develop standards for existing chemicals at a pace of 300 chemicals/yr.


These requirements open up reporting on a whole new community that has not focused very hard on TSCA - businesses making products out of chemicals, i.e., processors. See next post.

Update 8/2/10  I'm dropping SCA review and going to focus on the House Bill HR 5820.

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