At NAHB ’s urging, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on March 25 made a significant announcement affecting how our members will be impacted by implementation of the Toxic Substance Control ACT (TSCA) Fees Rule. As NAHBNow reported last week the broad definition of the term “manufacturer” under the rule had the potential to impose a regulatory burden on certain NAHB members.
Currently, manufacturers subject to the requirements of the TSCA Fees Rule would include importers of articles containing a chemical undergoing risk evaluation. This means that retailers, distributors or wholesalers of potentially covered products who import items such as composite wood flooring or cabinets would be required to self-identify under the regulation.
However, after NAHB and other stakeholders reached out to EPA, the agency swiftly responded to address our concerns. EPA announced it intends to propose exemptions to the TSCA Fees rule and the proposed exemptions will cover three categories of manufacturers subject to EPA-initiated Risk Evaluation fees and associated requirements:
1) importers of articles containing one of the twenty high-priority substances;
2) producers of one of the twenty high-priority substances as a byproduct; and
3) producers or importers of one of the twenty high-priority substances as an impurity.
While EPA intends to issue the proposed amendments to the current fees rule later this year, tit does not anticipate finalizing the amendments until 2021. In acknowledgement of the need to bridge the gap between the current self-identification action and finalization of the planned regulatory change, EPA also announced a “No Action Assurance” under its enforcement discretion.
This means that the agency will not pursue enforcement action against entities in the three categories proposed for exemption for failure to self-identify under the TSCA Fee Rule. EPA does not expect entities that fall into one of these three categories take any further action if they were both not identified on a preliminary list and have not yet self-identified.
EPA has published additional information on its website for action related to the TSCA Fees Rule implementation including a FAQ to on both the proposed amendments and No Action Assurance.
For more information on implementation of the TSCA Fees Rule, contact Tamra Spielvogel at 800-368-5242 x8327.