EPA has denied a petition to remove ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE) from the category Certain Glycol Ethers under the list of chemicals subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990. EPA reviewed the available data EGBE and determined that EGBE does not meet the deletion criterion of EPCRA section 313(d)(3). Specifically, EPA denied the petition because EPA’s review of the petition and available information resulted in the conclusion that EGBE meets the listing criterion of EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(B) due to its potential to cause serious or irreversible chronic health effects in humans, specifically, liver toxicity and concerns for hematological effects. EPA denied the petition on September 24, 2015.

 

Section 313 of EPCRA, 42 U.S.C. 11023, requires certain facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use listed toxic chemicals in amounts above reporting threshold levels to report their environmental releases and other waste management quantities of such chemicals annually. These facilities must also report pollution prevention and recycling data for such chemicals, pursuant to section 6607 of the PPA, 42 U.S.C. 13106. Congress established an initial list of toxic chemicals that comprised more than 300 chemicals and 20 chemical categories. EPCRA section 313(d) authorizes EPA to add or delete chemicals from the list and sets criteria for these actions. EPCRA section 313(d)(2) states that EPA may add a chemical to the list if any of the listing criteria in Section 313(d)(2) are met. Therefore, to add a chemical, EPA must demonstrate that at least one criterion is met, but need not determine whether any other criterion is met. EPCRA section 313(d)(3) states that a chemical may be deleted if the Administrator determines there is not sufficient evidence to establish any of the criteria described in EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(A)-(C).

 

On January 23, 2015, EPA received a petition from American Chemistry Council (ACC) Ethylene Glycol Ethers Panel requesting EPA to delete EGBE (Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CASRN) 111-76-2) from the list of chemicals subject to reporting under EPCRA section 313 and PPA section 6607 (Reference (Ref. 1)). EGBE is not individually listed under EPCRA section 313 but rather is reportable under the Certain Glycol Ethers category. ACC contended that the available scientific data show that EGBE has low potential hazard to human health and the environment and, therefore, under EPA’s policy for listing decisions under EPCRA section 313, potential exposures should be considered.

 

While EPA acknowledged that there is evidence to indicate that humans are less sensitive than rodents to the hematological effects associated with acute or short-term exposure to EGBE, it contended that little is known of the long-term or repeated exposure responses in humans to EGBE.

 

A detailed explanation of the determination can be read at http://1.usa.gov/1iB6B0T.