EPA Announces Effort to Streamline TSCA Review of Chemicals Used in Electric Vehicle, Semi-conductor, and Clean Energy Sectors

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will provide more efficient review of certain materials used in Electric Vehicle, Semi-conductor, and Clean Energy Sectors. EPA implements the New Chemicals Program pursuant to its authority under Section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Under this Program, EPA assesses “new” chemical substances (i.e., those that are not on the TSCA inventory), and identifies conditions to be placed on their use before they are entered into commerce. Anyone who intends to manufacture or import a new chemical substance for a non-exempt commercial purpose must notify EPA at least ninety days before initiating the activity – known as a “pre-manufacture notice.” EPA regulations require that the pre-manufacture notice include information on the chemical identity, structure and formula; production volume, intended use, disposal practices, human exposure, and more. Manufacture or import of the new chemical substance cannot begin until the EPA review period expires.

On October 5, 2022, EPA announced plans to develop and utilize a more efficient New Chemicals Program review process for mixed metal oxides (MMOs), including new and modified cathode active materials (CAMs). The announcement hints that the impetus behind the plans is aligning the Program with EPA’s October 2021 Climate Adaptation Action Plan, noting that these substances are “a key component in lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, which are a growing and important industry. New MMOs can also be used for semi-conductors, and renewable energy generation and storage, such as solar cells and wind power turbines.”

EPA indicates it will provide additional information on this effort through outreach and training for interested stakeholders.

See EPA’s full announcement here.

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