- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
On Aug. 15, 2012,Tte EPA issued a proposed rule to amend the significant new use rule (SNUR) for perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) chemical substances (available at 40 C.F.R. § 721.9582) to add seven PFAS chemical substances that have completed the new chemical review process under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), but have not yet commenced production or import, and to designate (for all listed PFAS chemical substances) processing as a significant new use. EPA is also proposing a SNUR for long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemical substances that would designate manufacturing, importing, or processing for use as part of carpet or for treating carpet (e.g., for use in the carpet aftercare market) as a significant new use. The term LCPFAC refers to the long-chain category of perfluorinated carboxylate chemical substances with perfluorinated carbon chain lengths equal to or greater than seven carbons. The category of LCPFAC chemical substances also includes the salts and precursors of these perfluorinated carboxylates.
Significantly, EPA also is proposing that the article exemption set forth at 40 C.F.R. § 721.45(f) not apply to the import of LCPFAC chemical substances as a part of carpets. Persons subject to the SNUR thus would not be exempt from significant new use reporting if they import LCPFAC chemical substances as part of carpets. One important distinction is that EPA is proposing to keep the article exemption in effect for persons who process chemical substances as part of an article because, with respect to carpets, existing stocks may still contain LCPFAC substances and thus such uses would be “existing” and could not be subject to a SNUR.
The proposed rule, to be issued under TSCA Section 5(a)(2) authority, would require persons to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing any activity designated as a significant new use. The notification would provide the agency with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to prohibit or limit that activity before it occurs. Comments are due Oct. 15, 2012. More information is available online.