Thursday, February 2, 2012

EPA Will Not Change Chemical Data Reporting Deadline Despite House Request

EPA has decided that it will would not change the reporting deadline for the new Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule despite a letter from Republican Representative Fred Upton, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  The CDR requires chemical manufacturers to provide data during the period from February 1 to June 30, 2012.  The letter from Upton, along with fellow Republican John Shimkus, argued that the reporting rule - which had been delayed by nearly a year already - was overly burdensome to industry.  In their January 30, 2012 response, acting EPA toxics chief Jim Jones noted that “the EPA provided a five month reporting period for this first round of reporting to provide additional time for companies to review and understand changes in the reporting requirements, gather the necessary information, and file through the agency's electronic reporting system.”

Jones also noted that, “we believe that the current five month window for companies to report, along with their ability to engage the agency directly on any questions or issues they may have, provides an adequate opportunity for reporting by June 30, 2012.”

The final CDR was published on August 15, 2011, thus giving substantial time for industry to understand their obligations and prepare for the submission.  EPA also recently provided guidance for submitting byproduct data, a key concern expressed in the Upton/Shimkus letter.  Overall, EPA believes that it has provided substantial lead time and guidance for industry to comply and that the additional delays requested by the Republican members of the House are both unwarranted and would reduce the availability of vital, and Congressionally-mandated, health and safety information from the public.

More information on Chemical Data Reporting can be found on EPA's web site.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Japan Allows 1-week to Register New Chemicals - Don't Miss It

Japan has announced that it will accept applications for manufacture or import of new chemicals meeting their small quantity criteria, but these applications must be filed during a single one-week period from February 28th to March 7th, 2012.  This is in accordance with Japan's Chemical Substance Examination and Manufacturing Control law.  For readers of Japanese, more information is available on the Environmental agency website.
The announcement was made by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare; and the Ministry of the Environment. The application requirement applies to annual quantities of 1 to 10 metric tonnes and for only chemicals that are new to Japan (existing chemicals in Japan are not included in the requirement).  
This annual event has been occurring for the last 8 years, with the number of applications growing from only about 100 in 2004 up to over 1000 by 2010.

Monday, January 30, 2012

ECHA Says "Only Representatives" Can Apply for Chemical Authorization

According to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA):

"In December 2011, the European Commission services informed ECHA that, in their view, an Only Representative (OR) of a non-EU manufacturer can also apply for authorisation. Following this, ECHA updated the webforms to allow ORs to send their applications while developing long term functionalities in REACH-IT. The relevant Data Submission Manual Part 22 - How to Prepare and Submit an Application for Authorisation using IUCLID 5 is also being updated and will be published once the new version of IUCLID is released, which is currently expected to be during summer 2012."

Previously it was assumed that only a European registrant could apply for authorization under REACH.  Authorization is the process by which companies can apply to keep certain uses of their Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) that have been targeted for banning on the market for a limited period of time while alternatives are developed.

More information on applying for authorization can be found on the ECHA site.