US EPA issues proposed rule extending compliance deadline on restriction of PIP(3:1), to October 2024

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a draft pre-publication text proposing to amend the regulations applicable to phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) promulgated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Specifically, EPA is proposing to extend the compliance date applicable to the processing and distribution in commerce of certain PIP (3:1)- containing articles, and the PIP (3:1) used to make those articles until October 31, 2024, along with the associated recordkeeping requirements for manufacturers, processors, and distributors of PIP (3:1)-containing articles.

The draft is available here.

The articles covered by this proposed rule include a wide range of key consumer and commercial goods such as cellular telephones, laptop computers, and other electronic and electrical devices and industrial and commercial equipment used in various sectors including transportation, construction, agriculture, forestry, mining, life sciences, and semiconductor production. This proposed rule follows a recently issued final rule that provided a necessary short-term extension of the compliance date applicable to the processing and distribution in commerce of certain PIP (3:1)-containing articles, and the PIP (3:1) used to make those articles, from March 8, 2021, to March 8, 2022, along with the associated recordkeeping.

The document is pending publication in the Federal Register. EPA requests comments, and will post a deadline of 60 days following publication in the Federal Register of the proposed rule.

Finally, EPA is announcing its intention to commence a new rulemaking effort on PIP (3:1) and four other persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals that have been regulated under TSCA section 6(h). EPA is anticipating issuing a proposal to this end in 2023. EPA is reviewing the provisions of these rules, evaluating the other applicable provisions of amended TSCA, and determining how the Executive Orders and other Administration priorities could be addressed, along with the new information that has been provided by stakeholders in response to a March 2021 notification and request for comments.

As part of the separate rulemaking on all five PBT chemicals planned for 2023, EPA intends to reevaluate the current rules for PIP (3:1) and the other PBTs, as well as provide a description of the specific kinds of information the Agency will require to support any additional extensions to the compliance dates.

EPA will expect industry commenters to provide documentation of the specific uses of PIP (3:1) in articles throughout their supply chains, documentation of concrete steps taken to identify, test, and qualify substitutes for those uses, documentation of specific certifications that would require updating and an estimate of the time that would be required. Without this more specific information from suppliers, EPA will be unlikely to extend the compliance dates again.

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