EPA has announced that it is denying a petition to remove acetonitrile from the list of chemicals subject to reporting requirements under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA). EPA reviewed the available data on this chemical and determined that acetonitrile does not meet the deletion criterion of EPCRA section 313(d)(3), specifically due to its potential human health impacts.
As background, Section 313 of EPCRA 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, under section 6607 of the PPA. Congress established an initial list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting 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. EPA may add a chemical to the list if any of the listing criteria in Section 313(d)(2) are met. To remove a chemical from the list, EPCRA requires that EPA demonstrate that none of the listing criteria are met. The EPCRA section 313(d)(2) criteria are:
(A) The chemical is known to cause or can reasonably be anticipated to cause significant adverse acute human health effects at concentration levels that are reasonably likely to exist beyond facility site boundaries as a result of continuous, or frequently recurring, releases.
(B) The chemical is known to cause or can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer or teratogenic effects, or other serious or irreversible chronic health effects.
(C) The chemical is known to cause or can be reasonably anticipated to cause significant adverse effect on the environment, because of its toxicity, persistence in the environment, or tendency to bioaccumulate in the environment