EPA Seeks To Adjust TSCA Fees To Cover Cost Of Program

Nov. 21, 2022
Proposal will ensure EPA recovers 25% of the costs of TSCA implementation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a supplemental proposed rule modifying and adjusting certain aspects of the fees rule established under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA is publishing these changes to ensure that collected fees provide the Agency with 25% of authorized TSCA costs consistent with direction in the FY 2022 appropriations bill to consider the “full” implementation costs of the law. Updating TSCA fees reportedly will strengthen EPA’s ability to successfully implement TSCA in a way that’s both protective and sustainable and significantly improve on-time performance and quality.

“For the last six years, we’ve lacked the needed resources to build a sustainable chemical safety program that’s grounded in science, protects communities from dangerous chemicals, and supports innovation,” says Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff in a press release from the EPA. “With today’s action, we’re continuing to adjust TSCA fees to account for the full costs of running the program the way that Congress intended – in both the 2016 law and in the FY 2022 appropriations bill.”

When Congress reauthorized TSCA in 2016, it provided EPA with new authority and responsibility, yet the budget for the program has remained essentially flat over the past six years. While Congress provided the Agency with new authority to collect fees to offset up to 25% of authorized TSCA implementation costs, the first TSCA fees rule was not finalized until late 2018, and thus fees were not collected until FY 2019. The 2018 fees rule excluded all costs for the first 10 risk evaluations, which reportedly are the highest-cost activities for TSCA implementation. The costs baseline chosen for the 2018 rule was what the Agency spent on implementing TSCA before it was amended in 2016, not what it would cost the Agency to implement it in the manner envisioned and directed by Congress. EPA also did not conduct a comprehensive budget analysis designed to estimate the actual costs of implementing the 2016 law until the spring of 2021. Even with the artificially low baseline used to calculate the fees, EPA still only collected about half of the 25% target in fees since the 2018 rule was finalized.

EPA will accept public comments on the supplemental proposed rule until January 17, 2023 via docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-0493 at www.regulations.gov

Sponsored Recommendations

Keys to Improving Safety in Chemical Processes (PDF)

Many facilities handle dangerous processes and products on a daily basis. Keeping everything under control demands well-trained people working with the best equipment.

Comprehensive Compressed Air Assessments: The 5-Step Process

A comprehensive compressed air audit will identify energy savings in an air system. This paper defines the 5 steps necessary for an effective air audit.

Get Hands-On Training in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment

Enhance the training experience and increase retention by training hands-on in Emerson's Interactive Plant Environment. Build skills here so you have them where and when it matters...

Managing and Reducing Methane Emission in Upstream Oil & Gas

Measurement Instrumentation for reducing emissions, improving efficiency and ensuring safety.