Now Is the Time for Companies to Prepare for EPA’s Final Rules to Restrict Certain PBT Chemicals
With bans on the manufacturing, processing, distribution, and sale of certain chemicals scheduled to take effect in the coming months, companies should start preparing now for these prohibitions either to ensure that their products do not contain these chemicals or to design a smooth transition plan for those that do. Specifically, this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must issue its final rules addressing five chemicals that qualify as being persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) under section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The following five chemicals are subject to EPA’s final rules: decabromodiphenyl ethers (DecaBDE); phenol, isopropylated, phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)); 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP); pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP); and hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD). We have previously written about EPA’s proposed PBT rulemaking here and here.
With limited exceptions, EPA has proposed to ban or significantly restrict the manufacturing, processing, distributing, and sale of four of these five chemicals—including products and parts containing these chemicals—effective merely 60 days after publication of the final rules in the Federal Register. Therefore, companies whose product lines need more than 2 months to go through the chain of distribution and off the store shelves to their end-user consumers will need to start preparing for these upcoming prohibitions and restrictions now.
Wiley’s extensive experience on TSCA and product regulations can help your company comply with these new rules. Please let us know how we can assist you assess, prepare, and plan for these rules whether you manufacture or import these chemicals or if you incorporate them downstream in products that are currently in distribution.
 Given the number of times EPA has changed direction on the first 10 risk evaluation chemicals, we would not be surprised to see a final rule that includes some regulation of HCBD, even though EPA initially proposed not to issue any restrictions on the chemical substance.