EPA Modifies Toxic Substances Control Act’s Fees Rule

In November of 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a supplemental proposed rule to modify and adjust certain aspects of the fees rule established within the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). These modifications are being made to ensure that collected fees provide the agency with the funding they need to promote chemical safety as the TSCA originally intended.

The Goal

The proposed rule’s goal is to ensure that collected fees provide EPA with 25% of authorized TSCA costs – this strengthens the agency’s ability to successfully implement TSCA in a way that is both “protective and sustainable and significantly improves on-time performance and quality.”

Michal Freedhoff, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, says the agency has been lacking the resources to build a sustainable chemical safety program grounded in science. “We’re continuing to adjust TSCA fees,” Freedhoff said, “to account for the full costs of running the program the way Congress intended – in both the 2016 law and the 2022 appropriations bill.”

The Background

Congress reauthorized the Toxic Substances Control Act in 2016, which provided EPA with a lot more responsibility and authority. However, the budget for the program has remained essentially flat over the years since its implementation. EPA didn’t conduct a comprehensive budget analysis to determine the actual costs of implementing the 2016 law until 2021. This analysis forms the basis for the modifications and adjustments proposed in 2022.

Other Proposed Changes

The EPA is also proposing other changes to go along with the modified rule, including:

  • Providing a timeframe for a partial refund of fees for new chemical submissions withdrawn from the review process
  • Narrowing some fee exemptions contained in the January 2021 proposal
  • Modifying the self-identification and reporting requirements for EPA-initiated risk evaluation and test fee rules
  • Expanding fee requirements to companies required to submit information for test orders
  • Extending the timeframe for test order and test rule payments

To read the supplemental proposed rule and learn more about TSCA fees, click here.

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