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Advance Import Notice Requirement to be Expanded for Chemicals Used in Carpets

Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

LCPFAC Substances. The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to amend a significant new use rule for long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate chemical substances by designating as a significant new use manufacturing (including importing) or processing of (a) an identified subset of LCPFAC chemical substances for any use that will not be ongoing after Dec. 31, 2015, and (b) all other LCPFAC chemical substances for which there are currently no ongoing uses. For this SNUR, the EPA is also proposing to make inapplicable the exemption for persons who import LCPFAC chemical substances as part of articles.

LCPFAC chemicals were once used for soil and stain resistance in carpets, but in 2006 the eight major U.S. companies producing these chemicals committed to a voluntary program under which they pledged to reduce global emissions and product content of LCPFAC chemicals by the end of 2015. As part of this phaseout the industry stopped using LCPFAC chemicals on carpets and aftercare treatment products. However, the EPA issued in September 2013 a SNUR on these chemicals due to concerns that they could still be imported in carpets.

PFAS Substances. The EPA is also proposing to amend a SNUR for perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances to make inapplicable the exemption for persons who import PFAS chemical substances as part of carpets.

Notification Requirements. Persons subject to these amended SNURs would be required to notify the EPA at least 90 days before commencing such manufacture or processing. The required notifications would provide the EPA with the opportunity to evaluate the intended use and, if necessary, to protect against potential unreasonable risks from that activity before it occurs.

Comments on these proposals are due no later than March 23.

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