EPA, OSHA to undertake numerous rulemakings important to the specialty chemical industry.

Twice annually, the federal government releases a Unified Agenda, which includes a listing of all regulations under development or review across all federal agencies. This regulatory plan is an excellent summary of the Administration’s regulatory priorities and provides additional information about the most significant regulatory activities planned for the coming months. Below is a list of the priorities announced in the most recent Regulatory Agenda:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 

Rule Overview and Industry Impact Anticipated Rulemaking 
Updates to RCRA Hazardous Waste Permitting Standards This action seeks to make various updates and clarifications to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) subtitle C hazardous waste standards.   This rulemaking will increase the requirements to obtain permits for this category of hazardous waste and will impose stricter standards of disposal. Draft Rule: February 2024 
Tiered Data Reporting Rule 
This rule will establish reporting requirements based upon a chemical’s status in the Risk Evaluation/Risk Management lifecycle and update the reporting requirements under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule.   This rule will limit the amount of data collected for lower priority chemicals, while focusing data collection on those chemicals in the Evaluation/Risk Management stage.  Draft Rule: July 2024 
Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)  This proposed rule may limit or expand eligibility for certain exemptions to the HFC phasedown rule and will establish criteria to review eligibility for additional exemptions. Draft Rule: February 2024 
Procedures for Risk Evaluations under TSCA This rule established the steps of a risk evaluation process including scope, hazard assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and risk determination. Final Rule: April 2024 
Addition of PFAS under Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) EPA has proposed to add PFAS chemistries to the Toxic Release Inventory Reporting.  Final Rule: November 2024 
Risk Management Plan (RMP) Rule  EPA is updating the RMP rule. SOCMA has raised concerns with the proposed rule with the agency and the administration. This version of the RMP rule will likely impose stringent third-party audits on your facility, large disclosures of information to the surrounding community, and imposing Safter Technology Alternative Assessments (STAAs) on your manufacturing process.  Final Rule: December 2023  Note: The final rule is currently at the White House for review.  
TSCA Fees Rule As mandated by the 2016 TSCA updates, EPA is reviewing and adjusting fees related to TSCA. EPA is proposing increased fees related to pre-manufacture notices (PMNs) and low-volume exemptions (LVEs). EPA is also exploring narrowing exemptions and partial refunds.  Final Rule: February 2024  
Methylene Chloride Risk Management Rule  The proposed rule would prohibit the use of methylene chloride in certain manufacturing processes, including its use in cold cleaning and as a processing aid, and would impose strict worker protection requirements.  Final Rule: February 2024  

Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA): 

Rule Overview and Industry Impact Anticipated Rulemaking  
Lock Out/Tag Out Rule Update OSHA is proposing to update the Lock Out/Tag Out rule to mirror advancements in safety technology.  Proposed Rule: TBD 
Worker Walk Around Designation Process  OSHA is proposing to change the qualifications for third-party employees that workers can designate as representative during an OSHA inspection.   Final Rule: TBD  
Update to Hazard Communication Standard OSHA’s final version of the Hazard Communication Standard is currently at the White House. Some negative provisions include concentration ranges that could compromise Confidential Business Information (CBI) and modifications to classification requirements which would be difficult to comply with. Positive changes to the rule are beneficial updates to small package labeling and flexibility for labeling of bulk shipments and chemicals released for distribution.   November 2023 (still awaiting final rule)  Note: The final rule is currently at the White House for review.  
Improved Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses This rule will require companies in certain designated industries (Appendix B, Subpart E) to submit their 300, 301, and 300A logs to OSHA electronically once a year.     Final Rule Effective January 1, 2024  

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): 

Rule Overview and Industry ImpactAnticipated Rulemaking  
Climate Change Disclosure Rule This rule would require publicly traded companies to file disclosures of greenhouse gas emissions and certain climate-related financial metrics in their audited financial statements. This regulation will require additional filings to the SEC.   Final Rule: April, 2024 

Categorized in: , , , , ,