September 26, 2019

EPA Extends Comment Period for Proposed PBT Rule

In response to a request from three environmental organizations, EPA has extended the comment period for its proposed rule concerning five substances classified as persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals, or PBT, under the Toxic Substances Control Act. PBT chemicals build up in the environment over time and can have potential risks for exposed populations, according to EPA. Comments are now due by Oct. 28, 2019.

The proposed rule would restrict or prohibit manufacture, import, processing, and distribution for many uses of the chemicals decabromodiphenyl ether; phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1), also known as tris(4-isopropylphenyl) phosphate; 2,4,6-tris(tert-butyl)phenol; and pentachlorothiophenol. Recordkeeping requirements would apply to these substances under the proposed rule, as would downstream notification requirements for phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1).

For the fifth chemical, hexachlorobutadiene, EPA is proposing no regulatory action.

An extension of the comment period was requested by Earthjustice, an organization of lawyers who practice environmental law; the Environmental Defense Fund; and Safe Chemicals, Healthy Families. In a letter to EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dunn, the groups cite multiple overlapping comment periods for agency proposals as one reason for their request for an extension.

Supporting documents for EPA’s proposed rule and information on how to submit comments are available in the docket on Additional information about the proposal is available on the EPA website.