Increasing Transparency in TSCA
May 9, 2014 – Recognizing the power of transparency, EPA issued an ANPR seeking public comment on the types of chemical information that could be reported and disclosed under TSCA and the approaches to obtaining this information for chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing activities. The comment period closes 90 on August 18, 2014. Use www.regulations.gov to submit your comments to docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2011-1019. Read the press release. Learn more.
In 2009, EPA committed to strengthen EPA's current chemical management program. Part of that commitment was to increase access to and transparency in TSCA-related chemical information held by EPA and companies.
Read about the series of actions EPA has been taking to fulfill that commitment:
- Chemical Data Access Tool
- 2012 CDR Chemical Manufacturing (including Import), Processing and Use Information Released
- Chemicals, Facilities Added to Envirofacts Database
- TSCA Inventory Free on Web for First Time
- Ensuring CBI Claims Are Necessary, Consistent with the Requirements of TSCA
- Tightening CBI Policy
- Reviews of CBI for eligibility for confidential status
- CBI Declassification Challenge
- Other CBI resources
- Progress in Declassifying CBI
- Read Instructions to Declassify CBI.
- Read More about CBI
Increasing Access to Chemical Information
ChemView, released in July 2013, brings together information EPA has received or developed about chemicals regulated under the TSCA. Its purpose is to raise awareness and inform choices on safer chemical ingredients by creating one-stop access health and safety data on chemicals.
ChemView does not contain any Confidential Business Information (CBI). When fully ChemView will contain data for thousands of chemicals regulated under TSCA. In the months ahead, EPA will be continually adding chemicals, data, functionality, and links.Read more about ChemView.
Chemical Data Access Tool Also Available to Find Health and Safety Data Submitted to EPA
You can also use the Chemical Data Access Tool (CDAT) to find health and safety data that has been submitted to the Agency, under authorities in sections 4, 5, and 8 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The tool is also available on Data.gov
CDAT enables you to search the following databases:
CDR - This database includes non-confidential information on the manufacture (including import), process and use of chemicals reported under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule.
eDoc - The eDoc database includes a broad range of health and safety information reported by industry under TSCA Sections 4,5, 8(d), and 8(e).
TSCATS - The TSCA Test Submissions (TSCATS) database is an online index to unpublished, nonconfidential studies covering chemical testing results and adverse effects of chemicals on health and ecological systems.
HPVIS - The High Production Volume Information System (HPVIS) is a database that provides access to health and environmental effects information obtained through the High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge.
Declassified CBI - This database includes health and safety studies and other information submitted to EPA in which chemical identities have been declassified, as part of EPA's effort to increase transparency in TSCA.
In some instances the search tool makes this information accessible for the first time. It provides results based on data that currently is in a searchable format. The amount of searchable data will increase over time as additional information either is reported to the Agency electronically or is scanned from historically submitted documents. If you do not receive results for a particular chemical, it does not mean EPA does not have information on that chemical; the results may not be in the repository yet.
2012 Chemical Data Reporting Manufacturing (including Import), Processing, and Use Information Released
On February 11, 2013, EPA released the non-confidential 2012 Chemical Data Reporting information on chemical production and use in the U.S.
New IUR/CDR Rule Improves Reporting of Exposure Information
In August 2011, EPA issued the final Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) Rule previously referred to as the Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) Modifications Rule. The purpose of this program is to collect quality screening-level, exposure-related information on chemical substances and to make that information available for use by EPA and, to the extent possible, to the public. The new CDR rule enhanced the information to be reported and increased the frequency of reporting from every 5 years to every 4 years. The CDR data constitute the most comprehensive source of basic screening-level, exposure-related information on chemicals available to EPA.
Processing and use information reported in 2012 will help EPA, other agencies, and the general public to readily screen and prioritize chemicals for the purpose of identifying potential human health and environmental effects. This information will also provide the American people with greater access to a wide range of information on those chemicals to which their children and families are exposed every day. The requirement for improved data will enhance the Agency's ability to more effectively identify and address potential chemical risks.
Chemicals, Facilities Added to Envirofacts Database
On May 17, 2010, EPA added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under TSCA to EPA's public Envirofacts database. The Envirofacts database is EPA's single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land, and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, and the map location of the facility. It links to other EPA information on the facility, such as EPA's inspection and compliance reports that are available through the Enforcement Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. EPA is also adding historic facility information for another 2,500 facilities.
TSCA Inventory Free on Web for First Time
On March 15, 2010, EPA announced that for the first time it was providing free access to the TSCA Chemical Substance Inventory. This inventory contains a consolidated EPA list of thousands of industrial chemicals, and is part of a series of ongoing steps the Agency is taking to empower the public with important information.
Tightening Confidential Business Information (CBI) Policy
Ensuring CBI Claims Are Necessary, Consistent with the Requirements of TSCA
As part of EPA's ongoing effort to increase the public's access to chemical information, the Agency also has:
- Tightened its policy on the information that can be claimed as confidential business information
- Been reviewing past claims to treat as CBI the identity of chemicals in health and safety studies submitted to EPA. The Agency has been declassifying those that are not legally appropriate for CBI.
As of April 2013, progress reviewing CBI included:
- Increasing the number of publicly available health and safety studies. EPA is releasing health and safety submissions in which the chemical identity had formerly been confidential but has recently been declassified. Find the declassified documents for these cases by searching the Chemical Data Access Tool (CDAT).
- Completing more than 15,700 cases. These reviews include both existing and new cases. Completed reviews include cases in which the chemical identity has been declassified, cases in which the CBI claims were allowed, and cases where there was no health and safety study. The most significant contributing factors to date for declassifications and reviews were: TSCA CBI Voluntary Challenge; internal review of data generated from older IT systems and the release of CBI claims for chemical identity by submitters at time of a TSCA section 5 Notice of Commencement of Manufacture.
- Reducing the universe of existing TSCA cases to 7,675 from 22,483. To address the remaining cases left to be reviewed, EPA is placing a major emphasis on the TSCA CBI Voluntary Challenge, extending the focus on cases under TSCA section 8(e). In addition, greater attention will be placed on comparing other types of TSCA cases, for example, filings under Chemical Data Reporting, for relevance to CBI claims for chemical identity in cases containing health and safety studies.
Under TSCA, companies may claim that information they submit to EPA should be treated as “confidential business information” (CBI) and not be disclosed to the public. Under Section 8(e) of TSCA, companies that manufacture, process, or distribute chemicals are required to immediately provide notice to EPA if they learn that a chemical presents a substantial risk of injury to health or the environment. Section 8(e) reports are made available on EPA’s website, but when a chemical has been claimed confidential by a company, the chemical name is removed on the public report.
Tightening CBI Policy
EPA tightened its CBI policies, first on January 21, 2010, when the Agency said it planned to reject CBI claims for chemicals submitted to EPA with studies that show a substantial risk to people's health and the environment and that have been previously disclosed on the TSCA Chemical Inventory. In a follow-up policy change issued May 27, 2010, EPA said it planned to generally deny confidentiality claims for and the identity of chemicals in health and safety studies filed under the TSCA, except in specified circumstances Where EPA determines that the information is not eligible for confidential treatment, the Agency is taking various actions in order to make that information available to the public. For example, EPA may notify companies that information is not eligible for CBI, and in those instances where the company will not voluntarily relinquish the claims, EPA may initiate administrative action under Section 14 of TSCA. In some instances, the information submitters proactively released the confidential claims in the associated studies. In other instances, the claims were released as a result of EPA action.
Reviews of CBI for eligibility for confidential status
Where EPA determines that the information is not eligible for confidential treatment under the law, the agency notifies companies of the determination and EPA makes the information public on the 31st day after receiving the determination unless the company challenges the disclosure in federal court.
CBI Declassification Challenge
In 2010, EPA challenged industry to voluntarily declassify unwarranted CBI claims. The declassified health and safety studies include some declassified by the Agency and others that have been voluntarily declassified in response to EPA's challenge. EPA is committed to posting new declassified materials under TSCA on the Agency web site on a regular basis. Read about progress in declassifying CBI.