SOCMA Responds to Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) Final Rule

August 3, 2011

SOCMA appreciates EPA’s efforts to enhance the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) rule, now named more broadly as the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. Our organization believes that the use of IUR rules has been an effective information gathering tool in the past and is on course to being improved this go around.  We have consistently advocated for a prioritization scheme like that under ChAMP. We trust this CDR rule will help guide that process.

When the proposed IUR rule was published last August there were many changes in it, most of which appear in this final rule pre-publication.  SOCMA’s main concerns at the time were with the scope and timing of the rule. While the scope of this rule is still broad and some concerns remain, EPA has addressed several of our members’ major concerns with adjusting to the new requirements.  We are pleased to see that EPA has changed the timing of the reporting year and submission period and plans to phase-in certain requirements over time as we called for.  The agency has also eliminated retroactive reporting.

In comments SOCMA urged the agency to move the principal reporting year to 2011 with the submission period to occur in 2012, which they did.  We also suggested that as a reporting trigger for processing and use information the agency keep the 300,000 lb trigger or use the 100,000 lb one if compelled, consistent with one of the triggers for the small business exemption. The reporting threshold for processing and use information is now 100,000lbs, but will eventually be 25,000 lb as the 300,000 lb trigger gets phased out over time.  SOCMA supported maintaining the ‘readily obtainable’ reporting standard in lieu of ‘known to or reasonably ascertainable by’, although this standard was changed in this final rule. SOCMA is pleased to see the small business exemption intact in the final rule.  The use of electronic reporting could potentially facilitate the utility of the information being provided. We look forward to better understanding the electronic tool via EPA’s outreach.

We believe these changes will move us in the direction of enhanced implementation of TSCA, particularly as it pertains to existing chemicals.  Despite improvements, the challenge of gathering exposure information from downstream users will remain.