Preparing for the new IUR

Head off problems in 2005 by reviewing your records and making changes now

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By Lynn Bergeson

Next year is fast approaching and chemical manufacturers should be examining their recordkeeping procedures to adjust to the changes the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory Update Rule (IUR).  The data collection period for the 2006 report is calendar year 2005, so if you have not already reviewed these procedures, now is a good time to do so.

EPA amended the IUR reporting requirements in 2003, effective in the 2006 reporting cycle, which includes 2005 data. Completing IUR Form U will now be more complicated because exposure-related information is required, and because inorganic chemical substances are no longer exempt from reporting. Key changes include:

Reporting thresholds. EPA raised the production volume reporting threshold from 10,000 lbs per year per chemical substance to 25,000 lbs per year per chemical, and to 300,000 lbs or greater per year for the reporting of processing and use information.

 Exposure-related information. Manufacturers of substances over 25,000 lbs must report, in ranges (1) the number of workers “reasonably likely to be exposed” to the chemical at the manufacturing site; (2) the physical form(s) in which the chemical substance is sent off-site; (3) the percentage of total reported production volume associated with each physical form; and (4) the maximum concentration of the chemical substance at the time it leaves the submitter’;s manufacturing site.

Or, if the chemical substance is site-limited, the maximum concentration at the time it is reacted on-site to produce a different chemical substance. “Reasonably likely to be exposed” means an exposure to a chemical substance that, under foreseeable conditions of manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, or use of the chemical, is more likely to occur than to not occur.

Exposure information for chemicals with production volumes greater than 300,000 lbs. Producers of chemical substances with production volumes of 300,000 lbs or greater per year must report exposure-related information concerning the processing and use of each reportable chemical substance at sites that receive the reportable chemical substance from the submitter site directly or indirectly.

Revocation of full exemption for inorganic chemical substances. Inorganic chemical substances are now subject to IUR reporting.  EPA is not, however, requiring the reporting of processing and use information in 2006.

Partial exemption for low current interest chemicals. EPA has partially exempted from processing and use information in 2006 the reporting of certain chemicals identified as of “low interest” and certain chemicals termed “petroleum process streams.”

Full exemption for certain forms of natural gas. EPA has exempted from IUR reporting certain forms of natural gas, identified by Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number under 40 CFR Section 710.46(a)(4).

Production volume ranges may be claimed CBI. EPA is authorizing submitters to claim their production range as confidential business information (CBI), in addition to the existing requirement that submitters report a specific production volume number and the CBI status of that specific number.

Record retention. EPA has extended the record retention period requirement from four years to five years. IUR reporting is very important and EPA continues to focus on these reports for enforcement purposes. Review of the final IUR is therefore essential to ensure that your facility’;s reporting procedures are current.

These reporting obligations are not easy to satisfy and in some cases will take time and effort to address. So, if you have not already thought through how these new requirements will be satisfied, what are you waiting for?

Lynn Bergeson is regulatory editor for Chemical Processing magazine. She is a founding shareholder of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C., a Washington, D.C.-based law firm concentrating on chemical industry issues. Contact her at lbergeson@putman.net. The views expressed herein are solely those of the author. This column is not intended to provide, nor should be construed as, legal advice.

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