ARLINGTON, VA — The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) recently submitted comments in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Proposed Rule on Fees for the Administration of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2020-0493.

NACD reported that it has substantial concerns with EPA’s proposed rule because it proposes to nearly double the cost of risk evaluations unjustifiably and adds three unnecessary new fee categories for EPA activities. Furthermore, NACD states that the proposed rule fails to provide adequate information on and justification for EPA’s proposed cost increases.

When TSCA was first being negotiated, the business community supported industry fees as an effective and fair way to support the EPA’s activities within reasonable limits. It was critical to industry, however, that the fees be properly justified, the agency’s costs be transparent, and the fees be used to match resources with actual needs. NACD stated that it appreciates EPA’s efforts to establish a clear and fair system for administering TSCA user fees, but the proposed rule does not meet this objective. The proposed unjustified and excessive increases will pose significant hurdles for chemical companies, especially small businesses.

“Financial predictability in business is always important; but today, as so many businesses are fighting for their very existence because of COVID-19-related economic challenges, this is even more critical,” said Eric R. Byer, NACD President and CEO. “NACD and our members urge EPA to avoid placing oppressive financial burdens on the chemical industry through new fee categories and increasing fees by significant amounts without justification, as this proposed rule would do.”

NACD is asking for predictability, flexibility and protections for small businesses in whichever fee structure EPA chooses. NACD recommends EPA expand the timeline for manufacturers to exit the market, enhance predictability of payments by providing fee estimates, establish fee caps for small business concerns, and provide an in-depth economic analysis of the agency’s costs to help industry respond to whether the proposed cost increases are appropriate.

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