EPA Issues Final Rule Granting Partial CDR Exemptions For Biodiesel Products
On March 29, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule exempting manufacturers of six biodiesel chemicals from reporting processing and use information under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Section 8(a). 81 Fed. Reg. 17392. In 2014, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®), managed by Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.’s (B&C®) affiliate, B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C. (BCCM) filed a regulatory petition to exempt the chemicals, requesting the same exemption that EPA currently provides to manufacturers of petroleum-based versions of the chemicals. The rule was originally issued as a direct final rule in February 2015 before being withdrawn due to the submission of a single comment EPA considered adverse. The final rule is consistent with the direct final rule issued in July of 2015 and applies to manufacturers of:
- Fatty acids, C14-18 and C16-18 unsaturated, methyl esters (CASRN 67762-26-9);
- Fatty acids, C16-18 and C-18 unsaturated, methyl esters (CASRN 67762-38-3);
- Fatty acids, canola oil, methyl esters (CASRN 129828-16-6);
- Fatty acids, corn oil, methyl esters (CASRN 515152-40-6);
- Fatty acids, tallow, methyl esters (CASRN 61788-61-2); and
- Soybean oil, methyl esters (CASRN 67784-80-9).
As with all the chemicals currently afforded partial exemption status, the biodiesel chemicals would no longer be eligible for the partial reporting exemption if they were to become the subject of a TSCA Section 4, 5(a)(2), 5(b)(4), or 6 rule (proposed or final), an enforceable consent agreement, a Section 5(e) order, or relief granted under a civil action under Section 5 or 7. Because EPA completed the rulemaking process in time for the CDR reporting cycle starting in June 2016, manufacturers of these chemical substances can avail themselves of the exemption and save about two weeks of time that would otherwise have been spent preparing processing and use data for Form U. The rule was immediately effective.