The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final rule that amends the regulations governing new uses of chemical substances, hazard communication, regulatory framework, and reporting in order to ensure that workers “have access to clear and consistent information about the risks they may face from toxic substances.”
Published on July 5, the rule goes into effect on Sept. 6. The new rule is intended to implement policies and regulations that better align the new chemicals program with the amended Toxic Substances Control Act.”
What to know
The new rule from the EPA will:
- Align EPA regulations for toxic substance labels with the OSHA rules for Safety Data Sheets and other materials to ensure hazard and precautionary statements are in consistent use during the hazard communication process.
- Strengthen the EPA’s requirements on training for workers that will educate them on the risks and effective uses of personal protective equipment.
- Establish a framework to allow the EPA more ease in issuing Significant New Use Rules, which will require manufacturers to notify the agency on if and when they intend to use a substance without considering and implementing the engineering controls when feasible. After receiving a notice, the EPA will then review the new use case to determine the potential for risk to human health and the environment, as well as make sure the right provisions are in place before they begin.
“EPA expects these changes to have minimal impact on the costs and burdens of compliance, while updating the significant new use reporting requirements to assist in addressing any potential risks to human health and the environment,” the agency stated.
The EPA has also weighed comments received during a 2016 comment period and decided that amendments related to Significant New Use Rules will only apply to those issued after the rule is finalized. The other amendments will be finalized as proposed.
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