The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final rule establishing the process for TSCA “Inventory Reset” under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on August 11, 2017. The final rule was effective as of the same day. The TSCA Inventory Reset process concerns chemical substances that are listed on the TSCA Inventory; it does not apply to every chemical substance in commerce, as many such substances are exempt from Inventory listing requirements. The Reset process is designed to identify which of the listed chemical substances are and are not actively in commerce. Inventory Reset is required by the Lautenberg amendments to TSCA.
Substances identified as “in commerce” will be placed on the “Active Inventory.” Substances not currently in commerce will be placed on the “Inactive Inventory.” Companies will not be able to lawfully manufacture, import, or process any chemical substance on the “Inactive Inventory” without first notifying the substance to EPA. The Active and Inactive Inventories will be created through “retrospective” reporting. Retrospective reporting requires companies to notify EPA regarding the non-exempt chemicals they manufactured or imported during the ten years prior to Lautenberg’s enactment (June 21, 2006 and June 21, 2016). Manufacturer/importer reporting began the day the final rule was published. Companies have 180 days to submit notifications. In addition, a subsequent 180-day reporting period, beginning April 9, 2018, is designated for reporting by processors. Companies may report substances that they processed during the ten-year look back period.
After retrospective reporting closes, EPA will formally establish the Active and Inactive Inventories. Once these Inventories are published, forward-looking reporting will be required before a company can lawfully manufacture, import, or process any chemical substance on the “Inactive Inventory.” In addition, EPA has designated the period between retrospective and forward-looking reporting as the “Transition Period.” The forward-looking reporting requirements are optional, but recommended, during this period.
Considerable effort to coordinate with the companies that manufacture and supply one’s raw materials will be required to ensure that these products remain available for use in the company’s commercial activities.