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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened a public consultation on five final rules released to regulate five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemicals under Section 6(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

The final rules relate to:

  • 2,4,6-Tris(tert-butyl)phenol
  • Decabromodiphenyl ether
  • Phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)
  • Pentachlorothiophenol
  • Hexachlorobutadiene

Published in January 2021, the final rules were to be implemented in phases, beginning on March 8, 2021. The EPA then announced a 60-day public consultation on March 16, 2021, complementing a news release of March 8, 2021 – ‘Seeking public comment on protecting human health and the environment from PBT chemicals’.

The EPA is seeking comments on:

  • Whether there are further exposure reductions that could be achieved, including exposures potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations, and the environment
  • Implementation issues relating to these final rules
  • Whether to consider additional or alternative measures or approaches

The EPA is particularly interested in comments relating to the compliance date for:

  • Prohibitions on processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) for use in articles
  • PIP (3:1)-containing articles as it could impact articles used in a variety of electronics (e.g., cell phones, robotics to manufacture semiconductors, equipment to transport COVID-19 vaccines at the correct temperature, etc.)

To ensure there is no disruption, the EPA has published a temporary ‘No Action Assurance’ that suspends enforcement for 180-days.

Stakeholders have until to May 17, 2021 to submit comments to the EPA.

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