Monday, February 26, 2018

EPA Publishes TSCA Fee NPRM

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Monday edition of the Federal Register (83 FR 8212-8235) proposing user fees for the administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act. In accordance with 15 USC 2625(b) the rule proposes to establish fees to defray some of the Agency costs related to activities under TSCA sections 2604, 2605, 2606 and 2613 and establish a definition of ‘small business concern’ to be used for establishing lower fees as directed by Congress.

Agency TSCA Costs

Since under the revised 15 USC 2625(b)(4)(F) the EPA is required to set fees so as to defray the costs of administering the TSCA program, it must first establish those costs. The preamble discusses how the Agency came up with their annual program cost estimate of $80.2 million. Details are provided for how the cost estimates were made for §2604, §2605, §2606, and §2613.

It is interesting to note that the EPA is not considering in this NPRM to assess greater fees for submissions containing CBI claims.

Setting Fees

While the EPA is required to collect fees to defray not more than 25 percent of the costs to the Administrator for the administration of these four sections, the Administrator does have some leeway in establishing the specific fees for each section to reach that goal. In this NPRM the Agency is proposing to set specific fee levels for each of the covered activities with the aggregate amount collected reaching the total allowed 25%.

The table below shows the fees established by the revised 40 CFR 700.45 proposed in this NPRM.

Activity (40 CFR §)
Small Business
All Others
Premanufacturing Notice (§720)
Significant New Use (§721)
Exemption Application (§723.50 and §725)
Instant photographic film article exemption notice (§723.175)
Microbial commercial activity notice (§725)
Test rule
Test order
Enforceable Consent Agreement
EPA-initiated chemical risk evaluation
Manufacturer-requested risk evaluation of a Work Plan Chemical
Manufacturer-requested risk evaluation of a Non-Work Plan Chemical

Small Business Definition

In this NPRM the EPA is also proposing to update the definition of a ‘small business concern’ found at 40 CFR 700.43. They are adjusting the annual sales figure limit in the definition by applying an inflation correction to the current sales figure and using a three-year sales average instead of the latest sales figure. The new definition sets that average sales figure at $91 million.

Public Comment

The EPA is soliciting public comments on this NPRM. Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0401). Comments should be submitted before April 27th, 2018.

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