• Reporting Under EPA’s CDR Rule Begins Today
  • February 6, 2012 | Author: Angela Levin
  • Law Firm: Troutman Sanders LLP - Atlanta Office
  • Increased regulation of chemicals is on the way in the form of EPA’s Chemical Data Reporting Rule (CDR Rule) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This rule applies not only to chemical manufacturers, but also requires reporting by companies that use imported chemicals and those that sell or recycle their byproducts.

    Previously known as the Inventory Update Rule (IUR), EPA promulgated updates to the IUR last summer and recast it as the CDR Rule. In addition to renaming the rule, EPA has made a number of changes that increase the reporting burden on companies and has, for the first time, addressed toll manufacturing. Industries that are potentially required to report include traditional chemical manufacturers, electric utilities, paper manufacturers, metal manufacturers, and semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturers. Failure to provide the required report or submitting an incorrect report can carry substantial consequences, as EPA’s policy is to impose civil penalties on a per site, per chemical basis.

    Under the CDR Rule, EPA has increased the frequency of reporting, lowered various reporting thresholds, added numerous categories of information that companies must provide and the number of years for which the information must be supplied, and increased the standard companies must use to collect information about the processing and use of their products. In addition, EPA arguably has expanded the rule’s applicability by indicating that both toll manufacturers and companies contracting for toll manufacture are jointly responsible for filing the report.

    Finally, for companies that generate byproducts, e.g., coal combustion residuals, EPA has indicated that these companies need to report their byproduct production data if those byproducts are sold or otherwise used for any commercial purpose. Although certain exemptions apply depending on the final disposition of the byproducts, the majority of electric utilities and other industries that generate byproducts may need to report some portion of their byproduct manufacturing under the CDR Rule. Notably, EPA acknowledges that many byproduct manufacturers may be uncertain of their reporting obligation, especially those manufacturers who manage their byproducts by sending them off-site to a recycler.

    Although EPA has promised to provide training to assist manufacturers of byproducts with their reporting obligations, EPA has yet to publish any guidance on this issue, despite the submittal period beginning today.