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On March 30, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew a Direct Final Rule for Partial Exemption of Certain Chemical Substances from Reporting Additional Chemical Data. The direct final rule, issued in January 2015, would have exempted manufacturers of six biobased diesel chemicals from reporting processing and use information for the compounds under the Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule. It resulted from a regulatory petition filed by the Biobased and Renewable Advocacy Group (BRAG®). The EPA decision to withdraw the rule was in response to a single comment posted during the short comment period.

Kathleen Roberts, BRAG's Executive Director, stated: "Albeit disappointing, the response is not unexpected given the strict procedures associated with direct final rules. EPA has stated it plans to proceed with a proposed rulemaking to list the chemicals soon and we will urge them to move as quickly as possible. Our hope is EPA can complete the rulemaking process in time for the next reporting CDR cycle, which starts in June 2016."

Until the new rule is completed, manufacturers of the six affected biobased diesel chemicals should be prepared to submit processing and use information under the CDR in 2016.



On October 21, 2014, the Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) submitted two petitions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting that biodiesel fuel manufacturers be granted the same Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) exemptions that petroleum-based diesel manufacturers already receive.

The Bloomberg BNA Daily Environment Report covered the petitions in an October 22, 2014, feature story that stated "[t]he Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG) filed the petitions in an attempt to be exempted through either of two mechanisms allowed under Toxic Substances Control Act rules. Petroleum-derived diesel already is exempt from certain Chemical Data Reporting (CDR) rule requirements, BRAG wrote in both petitions. That means the EPA's current rule provides regulatory relief to petroleum-derived diesel but not to the biobased chemicals that are used in conjunction with or as replacements for the petroleum-based compounds, BRAG's petitions say. If the EPA rejects the petitions, biodiesel manufacturers will be subject to certain Chemical Data Reporting Rule requirements while manufacturers of the petroleum-derived versions of these fuels are not, Kathleen Roberts, BRAG's executive director, told Bloomberg BNA. That means biodiesel producers would have to spend a significant amount of time and money gathering information and providing it to the EPA, she said. The chemicals both types of manufacturers make are very similar, serve the same purpose and are managed in equivalent ways, BRAG's petitions said."

Copies of the two petitions submitted by BRAG are available on the BRAG website:

* Section 21 Petition for Section 8(a) Partial Exemption in Chemical Data Reporting for Biodiesel Products

* Petition for Partial Exemption of Biodiesel Products