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Number of companies, toxic chemicals reported to EPA increased in 2016

EPA releases initial data under Chemical Data Reporting rule

Posted June 6, 2017

EPA’s Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule, issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) requires manufacturers to submit information on the chemicals they manufacture domestically or import into the country. The CDR reporting cycle occurs every four years.

EPA uses the data submitted to assess the potential human health and environmental effects of the chemicals. CDR information (except for legitimate confidential business information) is made available to the public on EPA’s CDR database.

Data released in stages

EPA recently began releasing CDR data from the 2016 data collection. The agency says that it plans to release the 2016 CDR data in stages. The initial 2016 data, which includes national production volume, other manufacturing information, and processing and use information, was published at the end of May 2017. EPA will release additional data “late in 2017,” after making an effort to confirm the legitimacy of confidential business information as required by the TSCA Reform Act.

Data results for the 2016 reporting year

The initial release of the 2016 CDR data includes information on:

  • 8,707 chemicals,
  • 4,917 sites, and
  • 2,247 companies.

Between the 2012 and 2016 reporting periods, the data show that the total number of companies and sites submitting data increased by more than 10 percent, along with the number of chemicals reported. However, EPA cautions that totals of CDR production volumes reported for 2016 may underestimate the actual total amount manufactured and imported into the United States. This is because CDR reporting thresholds are relatively high; a substantial number of sites may manufacture or import chemicals in quantities that fall below the 25,000 pounds-per-year threshold.

Reporting criteria changed between 2012 and 2016

Note that EPA changed a few requirements for the 2016 submission period from the 2012 submission, which included:

  • Volume timeframe — Reporting is now triggered based on the volumes for any calendar year since the last principle reporting year. For 2016, reporting was triggered based on the production volume for 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015. In contrast, reporting for 2012 was triggered based only on the production volume for 2011.
  • New threshold — A new lower reporting threshold of 2,500 pounds or more became effective for chemical substances subject to certain TSCA actions. (The reporting threshold of 25,000 pounds for chemical substances not subject to these actions remains the same as it was for the 2012 CDR.)
  • Required information — Processing and use information is now required for all reported chemical substances, unless the chemical substance is one of the listed partially exempted chemical substances. For the 2012 CDR, processing and use information was required only for chemical substances with a production volume of 100,000 pounds or greater.
  • Volume of prior years — Manufacturers (including importers) were required to report annual production volume for years prior to the principal reporting year. For the 2016 CDR, the prior years included 2012, 2013, and 2014. In contrast, for the 2012 CDR, the prior years only included 2010.

The next CDR reporting cycle occurs in 2020. For more information, visit EPA's website.

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