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EPA Adds Nonylphenol Category to EPCRA List of Chemicals

On September 30, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a final rule adding a nonylphenol category to the list of chemicals subject to reporting under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986. This means that certain facilities that manufacture, process or otherwise use nonylphenols must report their releases and other waste management quantities of these chemicals above specified thresholds. Although EPA originally proposed to add this category by identifying chemical structure rather than individual affected Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Numbers (CASRNs), in the final rule EPA abandoned the structure identification approach and adopted the nonylphenol category by identifying the specific CASRNs affected.  The nonylphenols within scope of the listing are:

  • 4-Nonylphenol (CASRN 104-40-5)
  • Isononylphenol (CASRN 11066-49-2)
  • Nonylphenol (CASRN 25154-52-3)
  • 4-Isononylphenol (CASRN 26543-97-5)
  • 4-Nonylphenol, branched (CASRN 84852-15-3)
  • Nonylphenol, branched (CASRN 90481-04-2)

Nonylphenols are used in the manufacture of industrial products like lubricants, as well as consumer detergents and personal care products. This category of chemicals has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny over the last few years, with EPA issuing a Significant New Use Rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act, Maine identifying it as a Priority Chemical under its Safer Chemicals in Children’s Products regulation and the European Chemicals Agency considering it for identification on the REACH authorization list. This category of chemicals also is identified as a Candidate Chemical group under California’s Safer Consumer Products Regulations. Although much of the regulatory scrutiny has focused on the persistence, bioaccumulation and endocrine disruptor potential of this class of chemicals, EPA based its EPCRA listing on acute and chronic aquatic toxicity.

Ann Grimaldi

About Ann Grimaldi

Ms. Grimaldi maintains a diverse environmental law practice focusing on chemical and product regulation and litigation defense. Her practice areas include Proposition 65, California's Safer Consumer Products Regulations, California's Rigid Plastic Packaging Container Act and the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. Ms. Grimaldi graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law magna cum laude and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Bacteriology from University of California, Davis. Prior to attending law school, she worked as a research assistant in laboratories at the University of California, San Francisco Cancer Research Institute and at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

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