Certain Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers: Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) and Test Rule

Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-1039
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA is developing a final Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) under section 5(a)(2) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), as well as a test rule under section 4 of TSCA, for certain polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs). Under a SNUR, persons who intend to engage in any significant new use would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that new use. The required notification would enable EPA to evaluate the significant new use of these chemical substances and, if necessary, appropriately address risks to human health or the environment by limiting or prohibiting those uses before they occur. On April 2, 2012, EPA proposed to designate processing for any use as a significant new use of tetraBDE, pentaBDE, hexaBDE, heptaBDE, octaBDE, and nonaBDE. EPA also proposed that manufacturing, importing, or processing of these six PBDEs for any use as part of an article be designated as a significant new use. In addition, EPA proposed to designate manufacturing, importing and processing (including as part of an article), of a seventh PBDE, decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) for any use, as a significant new use. Finally, EPA proposed to require that anyone who manufactures, imports, or processes c-pentaBDE, c-octaBDE, or c-decaBDE after December 31, 2013, conduct testing to obtain and subsequently submit to EPA specific data on health effects, environmental effects, and chemical fate. PBDEs are a family of chemicals with a common structure of a brominated diphenyl ether molecule which may have anywhere from four to 10 bromine atoms attached. PBDEs have been widely used as flame retardants in a number of applications: c-pentaBDE was used primarily as an additive flame retardant in flexible polyurethane foams; c-octaBDE was used in a crylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plastic which was used as casing for certain electric and electronic devices used in both offices and homes. Domestic manufacture of c-pentaBDE and c-octaBDE ceased in 2004 when the Great Lakes Chemical Corporation (now Chemtura Corporation) voluntarily phased out their production. In December 2009, the two U.S. producers of decaBDE, Albemarle Corporation and Chemtura Corporation, and the largest U.S. importer, ICL Industrial Products, Inc., announced commitments to phase out manufacture and importation of decaBDE for most uses in the United States by December 31, 2012, and to end manufacture and import for all uses by the end of 2013.

RIN: 2070-AJ08
Impacts and Effects: None
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 721,40 CFR 790 to 799
Priority: Other Significant
UA and Regulatory Plan Information open glossary dialog  
Publication Period: Spring 2015
Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule
Major Rule: No
Legal Authorities: 15 U.S.C. 2601 et seq Toxic Substances Control Act
Legal Deadlines: None
Government Levels Affected: Federal
Federalism Implications: No
Unfunded Mandates: No
Requires Regulatory Flexibility Analysis: No
Small Entities Affected: No
International Impacts: No
Energy Effects: No
Included in Regulatory Plan: No
ActionDateFR Citation
NPRM06/25/199156 FR 29140
Second NPRM04/02/201277 FR 19862
NPRM Comment Period Extended05/24/201277 FR 30972
Final Rule03/00/2016
Docket Details open glossary dialog  
Related RINs: None
Related Dockets: None
Short Title: PBDE SNUR Test Rule
Type: Rulemaking
Location: HQ-OPPT

Primary Documents

View All  (2)
Comment Period Closed
Jul 31, 2012 11:59 PM ET
Proposed Rule
Posted: 05/24/2012
ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-1039-0097
Comment Period Closed
Jun 01, 2012 11:59 PM ET
Proposed Rule
Posted: 04/02/2012
ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-1039-0001

Supporting Documents

View All  (110)
Comments Not Accepted
Supporting & Related Material
Posted: 08/08/2014
ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-1039-0156
Comments Not Accepted
Supporting & Related Material
Posted: 07/30/2014
ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-1039-0155
Comments Not Accepted
Supporting & Related Material
Posted: 07/30/2014
ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-1039-0154


View All  (45)

Comments Received*
Regulatory Timeline
Pre Rule
Current Stage
Proposed Rule
Current Stage
Final Rule
Current Stage
Agency Contact
Catherine Roman
202 564-8172
202 564-4765 (Fax)
Washington, DC 20460
Kirsten Hesla
202 564-2984
202 564-4775 (Fax)
Washington, DC 20460
*This count refers to the total comment/submissions received on this docket, as of 11:59 PM yesterday. Note: Agencies review all submissions, however some agencies may choose to redact, or withhold, certain submissions (or portions thereof) such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign. This can result in discrepancies between this count and those displayed when conducting searches on the Public Submission document type. For specific information about an agency’s public submission policy, refer to its website or the Federal Register document.