Regulatory News – Insider – January 12, 2023

Ashley Howe Insider

EPA May Require Additional Permit Review, According to Recent Guidance 

The Biden Administration will review Clean Air Act permit applications for potential impacts to “environmental justice” communities, according to December 22 guidance for EPA regional offices. Composite manufacturers that have air emission permits issued by states under the CAA should use EPA’s EJScreen online tool to determine if plant emissions could impact disadvantaged communities and consider if an application for new, modified or renewed permits might trigger lengthy EJ reviews by a state permitting authority or EPA regional office. ACMA members can contact John Schweitzer for more information. 

TSCA and Styrene: When? 

The 2016 amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act require EPA to evaluate the health and environmental risks potentially associated with exposure to styrene and then require controls to prevent workplace, fenceline and consumer exposures at levels at which the agency has determined there is an unreasonable risk of adverse human health or environmental impact. (See “Methylene Chloride Expected to be Model for EPA Regulation of Styrene” here.) ACMA expects these TSCA risk management standards to have significant impacts on composites manufacturing operations and is working to educate EPA on the many positive contributions of the composites industry and our limited ability to reduce emissions and exposures. 

The question is, when will EPA’s TSCA program begin work on styrene? ACMA’s TSCA counsel Bergeson and Campbell expects EPA to complete its risk evaluation for one or more of the substances already undergoing review by the TSCA program in 2023, at which time additional substances would be considered for initiation of risk evaluation. (“EPA is planning to complete risk evaluations for formaldehyde and certain chlorinated solvents in 2023. If so, [EPA] will be required to initiate…risk evaluation of additional chemicals.” See the B&C newsletter).  

Legislation introduced in the Senate last year identified styrene as one of two substances the bill’s sponsors thought should be a priority for TSCA evaluation. (See “Bill Would Move Styrene to Front of the line for EPA” here.) 

EPA is expected to signal the initiation of its assessment of styrene under the TSCA program by issuing a Federal Register notice calling on composites manufacturers and other “processors” to provide the agency with information on their use of styrene and available data on workplace and fenceline exposures. (See “EPA Test Orders Could Require Expensive Workplace Testing” here.) 

ACMA members can contact John Schweitzer for more information about the regulation of the industry under TSCA.