Sunday, November 16, 2008

TSCA Compliance - Factors Which Complicate Compliance with Inventory Update Rule (IUR)

Every five years, companies that either manufacture or import chemicals or mixtures of chemicals on the “TSCA List” must report their activities. The latest reporting year was 2005; therefore, reporting will not be required again until 2010.

The reporting requirement, referred to as the “Inventory Update Rule”, or IUR, is only one of several requirements in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) enacted in 1985. The IUR requirements are the most broadly applicable of all the TSCA requirements.

Historically, compliance with TSCA and the IUR requirements has been a continuing challenge for facilities. Compliance audits will commonly identify findings related to TSCA, and TSCA is one the most prevalent areas for enforcement action, fines & penalties.

It is somewhat speculation to project why on-going TSCA compliance tends to be more difficult; however, there are some factors which may be an influence UIR compliance:

IUR reporting is required infrequently. IUR reporting has been required every five years. Without some type of “institutionalized” compliance system, staff changes, etc. can result in loss of the institutional knowledge on reporting requirements.

There is no State equivalent to TSCA. Many facilities rely on State or local agencies for compliance updates and information. Because TSCA is not delegated to States, as are many other programs, it tends to become less visible.

Importers of chemicals are equivalent to manufacturers of chemicals. Companies that manufacture chemicals tend to be well versed in TSCA compliance. However, companies that import chemicals have the same reporting requirements. Since suppliers can change, companies can become importers, and potentially subject to IUR, very easily.

Effect of centralized/decentralized purchasing. For companies that utilize a centralized purchasing system for multiple sites, the centralized purchasing site becomes the “reporting site”. Even if the amount of TSCA chemicals shipped to individual sites are all well below the reporting threshold, the total amount imported by the central purchasing site becomes the basis for determining if an IUR report is required.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
Caltha LLP Website

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