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EPA rule will expand chemical reporting requirements

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to increase the type and amount of information on commercial chemicals that it collects from chemical manufacturers.

The new Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule also will require companies to submit the information electronically, and limits companies’ confidentiality claims, EPA said on Aug. 2.

The CDR rule, which falls under the Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory Rule (TSCA), will require more frequent reporting of critical information.

Manufacturers also will be required to submit new and updated information related to chemical exposures, current production volume, manufacturing site-related data, and processing and use-related data for a larger number of chemicals, EPA said.

The improved information will allow EPA to better identify and manage risks associated with chemicals, it said. Companies will have to follow the new reporting requirements in the next data submission period, which will be Feb. 1 to June 30, 2012, according to the federal environmental regulator.

A National Petrochemical & Refiners Association official called the new rule imprudent, and said that it imposes unrealistic requirements on petrochemical manufacturers and others that sell commodity chemicals.

“Requiring them to report use and exposure information of the chemicals when many of their customers are traders and distributors is analogous to requiring the manufacturers of Girl Scout cookies to track who eats every box,” said James Cooper, NPRA’s vice president of petrochemicals.

“This rule will dramatically increase the reporting burden on manufacturers and requires more information than EPA can feasibly use,” Cooper said. “We recommend that EPA use Section 8(a) of TSCA in a more targeted manner, such as the [Preliminary Assessment Information Reporting] rule, which collects exposure information as it is needed, and is what Congress intended when it crafted the statute.”

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