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EPA Publishes Proposed Rule to Add Nonylphenol to TRI List of Chemicals

On June 20, 2013, EPA announced that it is proposing to add a nonylphenol category to the TRI list of reportable chemicals. The Agency’s proposal is part of its ongoing efforts to examine the scope of TRI chemical coverage and provide communities with more complete information on toxic chemical releases.

Nonylphenol is highly toxic to aquatic organisms and has been found in natural waters. Because of nonylphenol’s toxicity, chemical properties, and widespread use to make other chemicals, concerns have been raised over the potential risks to aquatic organisms from exposure to nonylphenol.

Read the proposed rule (PDF) (11 pp, 331 K About PDF)

Comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until August 19, 2013. You can submit your comments by one of the following methods:

  1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  2. Email: oei.docket@epa.gov
  3. Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460
  4. Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Centers normal hours of operation”

Please identify comments by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–TRI–2012–0110; FRL–9819–1

What is the basis for adding a nonylphenol category?

EPA reviewed the available ecological toxicity data for nonylphenol from EPA’s 2005 Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria – Nonylphenol (PDF) (96 pp, 291 K, About PDF). EPA’s technical evaluation of that data concluded that nonylphenol can reasonably be anticipated to cause, because of its toxicity, significant adverse effects in aquatic organisms and therefore meets the TRI listing criteria.

Why is EPA proposing the addition of nonylphenol now?

As part of EPA’s efforts to enhance the existing chemicals program under the Toxic Substances Control Act, on August 18, 2010, EPA issued an Action Plan for Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (PDF) (13 pp, 127 K, About PDF). The plan outlined the courses of action the Agency is considering pursuing in the near term to address its concerns for these chemicals. One of the steps identified in the plan is to add nonylphenol to the EPCRA Section 313 (TRI) chemical list.

Why is nonylphenol being added as a category instead of as an individual chemical?

Nonylphenol is being proposed for addition as a TRI chemical category because there is no single Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CASRN) that adequately captures what is referred to by industry as nonylphenol.

How will the nonylphenol category be defined?

EPA is proposing to define the nonylphenol category using the chemical structure and text below:

nonylphenol category chemical structure

Where C9H19 = Branched or linear alkyl chain

How many facilities are expected to be affected by this proposed rule and what are they required to do?

EPA estimates that 70 facilities will be affected by this proposed rule. These facilities are expected to submit a total of 57 TRI reporting Form Rs containing release and waste management data for nonylphenol. The other 13 facilities are expected to submit the shorter TRI reporting Form A.

Who should I contact for further information?

You can contact Daniel R. Bushman (bushman.daniel@epa.gov) at 202-566-0743. By mail: Environmental Analysis Division, Office of Information Analysis and Access (MC #2842T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460.

 

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