US EPA Releases Final Rule on TSCA User Fees



On October 17, 2018, EPA (the Agency) released its final rule establishing “user fees” for the administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (15 U.S.C. § 2601 et seq.). This rulemaking is one of the four “framework” rules promulgated by EPA as part of the implementation of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA). The rule became effective October 1, 2018.

Section 26(b) of TSCA authorizes EPA to collect fees for certain TSCA activities from chemical manufacturers, importers, and processors and establishes provisions for auditing, fee adjustments and refunds, and considerations for fee allocation and small businesses. The purpose of such fees is to defray a portion of the costs associated with: i) the Agency’s administration of sections 4, 5, and 6; ii) the Agency’s collection, processing, review, and protection of confidential business information (CBI) claims under section 14.

These fees defray both intramural (EPA staff) and extramural costs (i.e., contractor costs). In the rule, EPA established user fees for manufacturers and importers that: i) Submit information to EPA under section 4 (testing); ii) Submit a notice, exemption application, or other information under section 5 (new chemicals); iii) Manufacture or import a chemical subject to a risk evaluation or request a risk evaluation under section 6(b).

The rule allows EPA to collect fees from processors in limited scenarios, such as when a processor submits a significant new use notice (SNUN), when a fee-triggering section 4 activity is tied to a SNUN submission by a processor, or when a processor joins a consortium.

As EPA indicated in the proposed rule, EPA expects to collect approximately $20 million in average annual fees (excluding fees for manufacturer-requested risk evaluation). For manufacturer-initiated risk evaluations, EPA expects to collect $1.3 million annually for chemicals in the TSCA Work Plan, and $3.9 million for chemicals not included in the Work Plan.

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