May 12, 2022

New EPA Rule Would Require More Comprehensive Reporting on Asbestos

A proposed rule announced by EPA last week would include reporting and recordkeeping requirements for asbestos under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The agency is proposing a one-time reporting obligation under which asbestos manufacturers and processors would be required to report certain use and exposure information on asbestos, including asbestos that is a component of a mixture, from the last four years. EPA would seek exposure-related information such as quantities of asbestos or asbestos-containing articles that were manufactured or processed, types of uses, and employee data. The agency says the data collected through this proposed rule would be used to inform future EPA actions involving asbestos, including its ongoing risk evaluation of “legacy uses” of asbestos.

The proposed rule would require the reporting of employee data such as the number of workers associated with the activity, whether personal protective equipment was used, and any workplace exposure measurement assessment data. If PPE was used, EPA would seek information about the type of equipment used. According to the Federal Register notice announcing the agency’s proposal, EPA considered collecting additional employee exposure information such as eight-hour time-weighted average exposures, related statistical data, levels of detection and non-detectable measurements, and descriptions of sampling and analysis. The agency decided not to include reporting on these data elements in the proposed rule based on “the anticipated burden for reporters in contrast to the usefulness of the data that the agency could collect.”

EPA is accepting public comment on the proposed rule until July 5. More information about the proposal and the comment period can be found in the Federal Register.

EPA’s proposed rule on reporting and recordkeeping requirements for asbestos comes about a month after the agency proposed a new rule that would ban the manufacture, importation, processing, distribution in commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos, the only known form of asbestos currently imported into the United States. Additional information on EPA’s activities involving asbestos can be found in the agency’s press release.