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EPA Releases SNURS Affecting Multi-Walled and Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes

In the Federal Register for Friday 09/17/2010, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), acting under the authority granted to it under section 5(a)(2) of the TSCA, issued as a final rule Significant New Use Rules (SNURS) affecting two chemical substances identified as generic multi-walled and single-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs and SWCNTs respectively). These SNURs are applicable to manufacturers, importers, and processors, who will be required to notify EPA at least 90 days in advance if they intend to use these substances "for a use that is designated as a significant new use by this final rule. . . . EPA believes that this action is necessary because these chemical substances may be hazardous to human health and the environment".

This final rule is the culmination of a process that has taken over a year. EPA had issued a direct final rule in the Federal Register issue of 06/24/2009. This direct final rule affected several chemical substances, including the MWCNTs and the SWCNTs, that had been the subject of various consent decrees issued by EPA. The language of the final rule affecting the MWCNTs read as follows:

Sec.  721.10155  Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (generic).

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new uses subject to reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified generically as multi- walled carbon nanotubes (PMN P-08-177) is subject to reporting under this section for the significant new uses described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.     (2) The significant new uses are:     (i) Protection in the workplace. Requirements as specified in Sec.  …

New Article: Examples of Recent EPA Regulation of Nanoscale Materials Under the Toxic Substances Control Act

Nanotechnology Law & Business just published our new article on the EPA’s recent treatment of nanoscale materials under the Toxic Substances Control Act.  An abstract for the article is below and you can find a copy of the article itself here.

Abstract: This article provides a summary of recent (2008-2009) regulatory efforts by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act concerning nanoscale materials. These efforts include entering into two consent orders with a manufacturer of carbon nanotubes; issuing four significant new use rules for two siloxane-based nanoparticles and two carbon nanotubes (and then withdrawing the latter two); intimating that new testing and data collection rules will be implemented for certain nanoscale materials; and proposing and/or requiring acute toxicity rat inhalation testing regimes in certain instances. The authors explain these developments in detail and then provide some initial strategic and legal considerations for businesses attempting to navigate this emerging regulatory thicket.

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