On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the issuance of the final Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The rule will increase the amount and kind of information required to be reported by chemical manufacturers, including increasing the range of chemicals to which the reporting requirements apply, as well as increase the frequency of the required reporting (from every 5 years to every 4 years). EPA also states that the revised rule will decrease manufacturers’ ability to assert confidentiality claims.
One of the more interesting aspects of the rule, however, is the new requirement that the information be submitted electronically. Manufacturers affected by the rule will be required to use an EPA-provided, web-based reporting tool to submit reports through the Internet. Paper submissions will no longer be accepted. This will allow the public to more easily access the information – creating more transparency. Additionally, similar to the way electronic processing of prescriptions has allowed pharmacists to predict a potentially dangerous drug interaction, this new requirement will improve data quality and EPA’s ability to use the information to identify and manage potential risks associated with the chemicals.
EPA states that the new rule will meet its goals of: (1) tailoring the information to better meet its overall information needs; (2) increasing its ability to effectively provide public access to such information; (3) obtaining new and updated information relating to potential exposures of the chemicals listed on the TSCA inventory; and (4) improving the usefulness of the information reported.
Chemical manufacturers will be required to start following the new reporting requirements in the next submission period, which will be February 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. The rule will be located at 40 CFR part 711.