Exploring the 2014 EPA Regulatory Agenda

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December 12, 2013 - James Lee

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on 26 November 2013 published the 2014 regulatory agenda of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which lists EPA’s rulemaking priorities for the upcoming months. The agenda reflected EPA’s six priorities previously announced:

  • Making a visible difference in communities across the country
  • Addressing climate change and improving air quality
  • Making action on toxics and chemical safety
  • Protecting water
  • Launching a new era of state, tribal and local partnership
  • Working toward a sustainable future.

The agency’s plans include: changes in toxic release inventory (TRI), water quality standards, air quality regulations, fracking regulations, nanomaterial SNUR, CBI resubstantiation under TSCA, new SNURs, aligning SNURs with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standards (HCS), TSCA 8(d) reporting for certain chemicals, formaldehyde emissions standards for composite wood, TSCA electronic reporting, and food-related chemicals’ exemption for the TSCA CDR reporting. Most of the agenda are repeats from the last 2013 regulatory agenda, such as the nanomaterial SNUR, CBI resubstantiation under TSCA, and SNURs alignment with HCS.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA plans to publish proposed new source performance standards for carbon dioxide emissions from existing and modified power plants in 2014. According to the agenda, the agency also intends to finalize the renewable fuel standard regulation by early 2014. In the area of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), EPA intends to exclude 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol (AMP), benzotrifluoride, and 1,1,2,2-Tetrafluoro-1-(2,2,2-trifluoroethoxy) ethane (HFE-347pc-f) from its definition. EPA also plans to finalize listing of n-propyl bromide as a substitute for ozone-depleting substances.

The agenda also contains a number of proposed rulemakings related to fracking. Notably, EPA plans to issue TSCA 8(a) and 8(d) rules to obtain data on chemical substances and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing.

Planned additions to TRI according to the agenda are six phthalates and nonylphenol. Proposed nanomaterial SNURs are previously announced categorical SNUR under TSCA 5(a) and 26(c) in addition to a new reporting scheme under TSCA 8(a). No specifics are mentioned in alignment of SNURs with HazCom 2012 (2070-AJ94) except EPA’s plan to amend SNUR’s hazard communication program and worker protection requirements in order to align with the revised HCS adopting GHS. Planned proposed SNURs are for toluene diisocyanates (TDI), certain nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates, and long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances. SNURs in the final rulemaking stage are: benzidine-based dyes; di-n-pentyl phthalate (DnPP); alkanes, C12-13, chloro; and HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) used in textiles.

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