Environmental managers should be planning and budgeting for 2016 to be a year requiring submittal of reports to EPA for the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) program under the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This reporting requirement is now on a 4 year reporting cycle, and is the continuation of the old Inventory Update Rule (IUR) requirements under a new name. The purpose of the rule is to ensure that EPA is able to maintain a complete inventory of all chemical substances in commerce in the U.S., how those substances are used, and who is exposed to those substances so that they can make better decisions on what substances merit additional study for health or ecosystem risks.

Reporting is required for any entity that introduced a substance into commerce in the U.S. in 2012-2015 by either manufacturing it (through a chemical change) or importing it. In most cases, the threshold for this activity triggering the reporting requirement is 25,000 pounds in any year, but for some substances EPA has selected for additional scrutiny, lower thresholds may apply. Once reporting is triggered for a given substance, all reports must include information on manufacturing or import volumes in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. This reporting cycle will be more complex and in-depth than previous reporting cycles as a result of the August 16, 2011 amendments (76 FR 50816). These amendments significantly expanded the scope of information required in each report, in many cases requiring the manufacturer or importer of the substances to provide data on the "downstream" users and uses of the substance. This is information that many reporters may not have ready access to and will need to expend additional effort in conjunction with their accounting and marketing departments to gather, potentially even requiring outreach to customers in order to gather information on the end use of these products. Furthermore, EPA no longer accepts paper reports. Company officials will need to submit notarized registration forms to EPA to obtain a CDX account. This is necessary not only for electronically signing the final report, but also to electronically start the report. A third party such as a consultant cannot start the report on behalf of the company; they can only draft the report once the company initiates the report in the system. Regulated entities should plan on at least a month to get a CDX account established and ready for use before the reporting period begins.

Given that this is a less-than-annual reporting requirement with a significantly expanded reporting burden as a result of regulatory changes, the regulated community should budget for additional effort and expenses next year, and start making plans now for successfully gathering and reporting the required data during EPA's reporting window of June 1 through September 30, 2016. Trinity's Atlanta office has TSCA reporting expertise and can assist if needed.

For additional information on 2016 CDR reporting, click here.