[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 112 (Monday, June 11, 2018)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 26922-26933]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-12513]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 721

[EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0159; FRL-9978-76]
RIN 2070-AK45


Asbestos; Significant New Use Rule

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA is 
proposing a significant new use rule (SNUR) for asbestos as defined 
under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act. The proposed 
significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an article) is 
manufacturing (including importing) or processing for certain uses 
identified by EPA as no longer ongoing. The Agency has found no 
information indicating that the following uses are ongoing, and 
therefore, the following uses are subject to this proposed SNUR: 
Adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc chutes; 
beater-add gaskets; extruded sealant tape and other tape; filler for 
acetylene cylinders; high-grade electrical paper; millboard; missile 
liner; pipeline wrap; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; separators in 
fuel cells and batteries; vinyl-asbestos floor tile; and any other 
building material (other than cement). Persons subject to the SNUR 
would be required to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing any 
manufacturing (including importing) or processing of asbestos 
(including as part of an article) for a significant new use. The 
required notification initiates EPA's evaluation of the conditions of 
use associated with the intended use within the applicable review 
period. Manufacturing (including importing) and processing (including 
as part of an article) for the significant new use may not commence 
until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate 
determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in 
association with that determination.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 10, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification 
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0159, by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit 
electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted 
by statute.
     Mail: Document Control Office (7407M), Office of Pollution 
Prevention and Toxics (OPPT), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001.
     Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand 
delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the 
instructions at http://www.epa.gov/dockets/contacts.html. Additional 
instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more 
information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    For technical information contact: Robert Courtnage, National 
Program Chemicals Division (Mail Code 7404T), Office of Pollution 
Prevention and Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: 
(202) 566-1081; email address: courtnage.robert@epa.gov.
    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 
422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 
554-1404; email address: TSCA-Hotline@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this action if you manufacture 
(including import), process, or distribute in commerce asbestos as 
defined by TSCA Title II, Section 202 (15 U.S.C. 2642) (including as 
part of an article). The following list of North American Industrial 
Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, 
but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this 
document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

     Construction (NAICS code 23)
     Manufacturing (NAICS codes 31-33)
     Wholesale Trade (NAICS code 42)

[[Page 26923]]

     Transportation (NAICS code 48)

    This action may also affect certain entities through pre-existing 
import certification and export notification rules under TSCA (15 
U.S.C.2601 et seq.). Persons who import or process any chemical 
substance governed by a final SNUR are subject to the TSCA section 13 
(15 U.S.C. 2612) import certification requirements and the 
corresponding regulations at 19 CFR 12.118 through 12.127 (see also 19 
CFR 127.28). Those persons must certify that the shipment of the 
chemical substance complies with all applicable rules and orders under 
TSCA, including any SNUR requirements. The EPA policy in support of 
import certification appears at 40 CFR part 707, subpart B.
    In addition, asbestos, as defined in this proposed rule, is already 
subject to TSCA section 6(a) (40 CFR part 763, subparts G and I) rules 
that trigger the export notification provisions of TSCA section 12(b) 
(15 U.S.C. 2611(b); see also 40 CFR 721.20). Any person who exports or 
intends to export asbestos must comply with the export notification 
requirements in 40 CFR part 707, subpart D; however, although EPA is 
proposing to make inapplicable the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) for 
persons who import or process any asbestos as part of an article in a 
category listed in Table 2, the Agency is not proposing to require 
export notification for articles containing asbestos.
    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this 
action to a particular entity, consult the technical information 
contact listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

B. What is the Agency's authority for taking this action?

    Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(2)) authorizes EPA to 
determine that a use of a chemical substance is a ``significant new 
use.'' EPA must make this determination by rule after considering all 
relevant factors, including those listed in TSCA section 5(a)(2) (see 
Unit IV). Once EPA determines that a use of a chemical substance is a 
significant new use, TSCA section 5(a)(1) requires persons to submit a 
significant new use notice (SNUN) to EPA at least 90 days before they 
manufacture (including import) or process the chemical substance for 
that use (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(1)(B)(i)). TSCA further prohibits such 
manufacturing (including importing) or processing from commencing until 
EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate 
determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in 
association with that determination (15 U.S.C. 2604(a)(1)(B)(ii)). As 
described in Unit V., the general SNUR provisions are found at 40 CFR 
part 721, subpart A.

C. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA is proposing a SNUR for asbestos, using the definition in TSCA 
Title II, Section 202, which defines asbestos as the ``asbestiform 
varieties of six fiber types--chrysotile (serpentine), crocidolite 
(riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), anthophyllite, 
tremolite or actinolite.'' The proposed significant new use of asbestos 
(including as part of an article) is manufacturing (including 
importing) or processing for certain uses no longer ongoing. The Agency 
found no information indicating that the following uses are ongoing, 
and therefore, the following uses are subject to this proposed SNUR: 
Adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc chutes; 
beater-add gaskets; extruded sealant tape and other tape; filler for 
acetylene cylinders; high-grade electrical paper; millboard; missile 
liner; pipeline wrap; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; separators in 
fuel cells and batteries; vinyl-asbestos floor tile; and any other 
building material (other than cement).
    The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act 
(Pub. L. 114-182, 130 Stat. 448) amended TSCA in June 2016. The new law 
includes statutory requirements related to the risk evaluations of 
conditions of use for existing chemicals. Based on the 2014 update of 
EPA's TSCA Work Plan for Chemical Assessments, in December of 2016, EPA 
designated asbestos as one of the first 10 chemical substances subject 
to the Agency's initial chemical risk evaluations (81 FR 91927), as 
required by TSCA section 6(b)(2)(A) (15 U.S.C. 2605(b)(2)(A)).
    EPA is separately conducting a risk evaluation of asbestos under 
its conditions of use, pursuant to TSCA section 6(b)(4)(A). Through 
scoping and subsequent research for the asbestos risk evaluation, EPA 
identified several conditions of use of asbestos to include in the risk 
evaluation. Those include imported raw bulk chrysotile asbestos for the 
fabrication of diaphragms for use in chlorine and sodium hydroxide 
production and several imported chrysotile asbestos-containing 
materials, including sheet gaskets for use in titanium dioxide chemical 
production, brake blocks for use in oil drilling, aftermarket 
automotive brakes/linings and other vehicle friction products, other 
gaskets and packing, cement products, and woven products. This proposed 
significant new rule would not identify as significant new uses those 
uses that EPA believes are currently ongoing. EPA is requesting public 
comment on this proposal and welcomes specific and verifiable 
documentation of any ongoing uses not identified by the Agency as well 
as additional uses not identified as no longer ongoing. This proposed 
SNUR would require persons that intend to manufacture (including 
import) or process any form of asbestos as defined under Title II of 
TSCA (including as part of an article) for a significant new use, 
consistent with the requirements at 40 CFR 721.25, to notify EPA at 
least 90 days before commencing such manufacturing (including 
importing) or processing. This proposed SNUR would preclude the 
commencement of such manufacturing (including importing) or processing 
until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate 
determination on the notice, and taken such actions as are required in 
association with that determination.

D. Why is the Agency taking this action?

    This proposed SNUR is necessary to ensure that EPA receives timely 
advance notice of any future manufacturing (including importing) or 
processing of asbestos (including as part of an article) for new uses 
that may produce changes in human and environmental exposures, and to 
ensure that an appropriate determination (relevant to the risks 
associated with such manufacturing (including importing), processing, 
and use) has been issued prior to the commencement of such 
manufacturing (including importing) or processing. Today's action is 
furthermore necessary to ensure that manufacturing (including 
importing) or processing for the significant new use cannot proceed 
until EPA has responded to the circumstances by taking the required 
actions under Sections 5(e) or 5(f) of TSCA in the event that EPA 
determines any of the following: (1) That the significant new use 
presents an unreasonable risk under the conditions of use (without 
consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, and including an 
unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation 
identified as relevant by EPA); (2) that the information available to 
EPA is insufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation of the health and 
environmental effects of the significant new use; (3) that, in the 
absence of sufficient information, the manufacturing (including 
importing), processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of 
the substance, or any combination of such activities, may present an 
unreasonable risk (without

[[Page 26924]]

consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, and including an 
unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation 
identified as relevant by EPA); or (4) that there is substantial 
production and sufficient potential for environmental release or human 
exposure (as defined in TSCA section 5(a)(3)(B)(ii)(II)).
    There is a strong causal association between asbestos exposure and 
lung cancer and mesotheliomas (tumors arising from the thin membranes 
that line the chest (thoracic) and abdominal cavities and surround 
internal organs) (Ref. 1; Ref. 2; Ref. 3; Ref. 4; Ref. 5; Ref. 6). In 
addition, other cancers, as well as non-cancer effects, such as 
respiratory and immune effects, have been associated with asbestos 
exposure (Ref. 7).
    Agency research conducted in support of the TSCA risk evaluation of 
asbestos revealed that the use of asbestos has declined dramatically in 
the United States since the 1970s when asbestos use was at its peak. 
EPA is taking action in this proposed rule to ensure that EPA receives 
timely advance notice and makes an appropriate determination prior to 
the commencement of manufacturing (including importing) or processing 
for any significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an 
article) as identified in Table 2. The rationale and objectives for 
this proposed SNUR are explained in detail in Unit III.

E. What are the estimated incremental impacts of this action?

    EPA has evaluated the potential costs of establishing SNUR 
reporting requirements for potential manufacturers (including 
importers) and processors of the chemical substance included in this 
proposed rule. This Economic Analysis (Ref. 8), which is available in 
the docket, is discussed in Unit IX. and is briefly summarized here.
    In the event that a SNUN is submitted, costs are estimated to be 
less than $10,000 per SNUN submission for large business submitters and 
$8,000 for small business submitters. In addition, for persons 
exporting a substance that is the subject of a SNUR, a one-time notice 
to EPA must be provided for the first export or intended export to a 
particular country, which is estimated to be approximately $96 per 
notification. However, asbestos is already subject to TSCA section 6(a) 
rules (40 CFR part 763, subparts G and I) that trigger the export 
notification provisions of TSCA section 12(b) (15 U.S.C. 2611(b); see 
also 40 CFR 721.20), and the Agency is not proposing to require export 
notifications for articles containing asbestos as articles are 
generally excluded from the TSCA section 12(b) export notification 
requirements. Therefore, EPA assumes no additional costs under TSCA 
section 12(b) for this proposed rule.
    The proposed rule may also affect firms that plan to import or 
process articles that may be subject to the SNUR. Although there are no 
specific requirements in the rule for these firms, they may choose to 
undertake some activity to assure themselves they are not undertaking a 
new use. In the accompanying Economic Analysis for this proposed SNUR 
(Ref. 8), example steps (and their respective costs) that an importer 
or processor might take to identify asbestos in articles are provided. 
These steps can include gathering information through agreements with 
suppliers, declarations through databases or surveys, or use of a 
third-party certification system. Additionally, importers may require 
suppliers to provide certificates of testing analysis of the products 
or perform their own laboratory testing of certain articles. EPA is 
unable to predict, however, what, if any, particular steps an importer 
might take; thus, potential total costs were not estimated.

II. Chemical Substances Subject to This Proposed Rule and Associated 
Background Information

A. What chemicals are included in the proposed SNUR?

    This proposed SNUR applies to asbestos, using the definition in 
TSCA Title II (added to TSCA in 1986), Section 202, which defines 
asbestos as the ``asbestiform varieties of six fiber types--chrysotile 
(serpentine), crocidolite (riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-
grunerite), anthophyllite, tremolite or actinolite.'' This proposed 
SNUR Applies to the manufacturing (including importing) or processing 
of asbestos (including as part of an article) for certain uses no 
longer ongoing. EPA found no information indicating that the following 
uses are ongoing, and therefore, the following uses are subject to this 
proposed SNUR: Adhesives, sealants, and roof and non-roof coatings; arc 
chutes; beater-add gaskets; extruded sealant tape and other tape; 
filler for acetylene cylinders; high-grade electrical paper; millboard; 
missile liner; pipeline wrap; reinforced plastics; roofing felt; 
separators in fuel cells and batteries; vinyl-asbestos floor tile; and 
any other building material (other than cement). Under this proposed 
SNUR, the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) would not apply to persons who 
import or process asbestos as part of an article (which includes as a 
component of an article) because there is reasonable potential for 
exposure to asbestos if the substance is incorporated into articles and 
then imported or processed. However, in accordance with the impurity 
exclusion at 40 CFR 721.45(d), this proposed significant new use rule 
would not apply to persons who manufacture (including import) or 
process asbestos (including as part of an article) only as an impurity.

B. What are the production volumes and uses of asbestos?

    Asbestos has not been mined or otherwise produced in the United 
States since 2002; therefore, any new raw bulk asbestos used in the 
United States is imported. According to the U.S. Geological Survey 
(USGS), approximately 300 metric tons of raw bulk asbestos was imported 
into the United States in 2017 (Ref. 9). Chrysotile is the only form of 
raw bulk asbestos currently imported, and the chlor-alkali industry is 
the only known importer (Ref. 9). EPA did not identify any domestic 
entity that uses raw bulk asbestos other than the chlor-alkali 
industry, which uses chrysotile asbestos to fabricate diaphragms for 
use in chlorine and sodium hydroxide production.
    In an effort to identify national import volumes and conditions of 
use for the asbestos risk evaluation under TSCA section 6(b)(4)(A), EPA 
searched a number of available data sources including EPA's Chemical 
Data Reporting (CDR) database, USGS's Mineral Commodities Summary and 
the Minerals Yearbook, the U.S. International Trade Commission's 
Dataweb, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Automated Commercial 
Environment (ACE) System, and the Use and Market Profile for Asbestos 
(EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0085). Based on this search, EPA published a 
preliminary list of information and sources related to asbestos 
conditions of use (see Preliminary Information on Manufacturing, 
Processing, Distribution, Use, and Disposal: Asbestos, EPA-HQ-OPPT-
2016-0736-0005) prior to a February 2017 public meeting on the scoping 
efforts for the risk evaluation convened to solicit public comment. EPA 
also convened meetings with companies, associated industry groups, 
chemical users and other stakeholders to aid in identifying conditions 
of use and verifying conditions of use identified by EPA. On June 22, 
2017, EPA published the Scope of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos (EPA-
HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0086), which further

[[Page 26925]]

provided opportunity for the public and private sector to identify 
conditions of use of asbestos in the United States.
    During the public comment period for the Preliminary Information on 
Manufacturing, Processing, Distribution, Use, and Disposal: Asbestos 
(EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0005), one company identified the use of 
asbestos-containing gaskets, which are imported, for use during the 
production of titanium dioxide. During stakeholder discussions another 
company confirmed importing and distributing brake blocks for use in 
drawworks by the oil industry. EPA believes that aftermarket automotive 
brakes/linings and other vehicle friction products, other gaskets and 
packing, cement products, and woven products containing asbestos could 
also be imported, as reported by USGS (Ref. 10) and also appear in data 
from ACE (Ref. 11); however, the volume of products and the quantity of 
asbestos within imported products is unknown. ACE is not a publicly 
accessible database because it contains information that is protected 
under the provisions of Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), the 
Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a), and the Trade Secrets Act (18 U.S.C. 
1905), and the information in ACE related to importer identity cannot 
be released.

C. What are the potential health effects of asbestos?

    Asbestos was listed as a known human carcinogen in the National 
Toxicology Program's First Annual Report on Carcinogens in 1980 (Ref. 
1). In 1988, EPA assessed the health hazards and effects caused by 
exposure to asbestos under the Integrated Risk Information System 
(IRIS) program, and determined that asbestos exposure can lead to lung 
cancer and mesotheliomas (tumors arising from the thin membranes that 
line internal organs) (Ref. 2). Many authorities have established that 
there is causal association between asbestos and lung cancer and 
mesotheliomas (Ref. 1; Ref. 3; Ref. 4). EPA also noted in the Scope of 
the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos that there is a causal association 
between exposure to asbestos and cancer of the larynx and cancer of the 
ovary (Ref. 4). There is also suggestive evidence of a positive 
association between asbestos and cancer of the pharynx (Ref. 4; Ref. 
12), stomach (Ref. 3; Ref. 4), and colorectum (Ref. 1; Ref. 3; Ref. 4; 
Ref. 12; Ref. 13; Ref. 14). All types of asbestos fibers have been 
reported to cause mesothelioma. (Ref. 4).
    Increases in lung cancer mortality have been reported in both 
workers and residents exposed to various asbestos fiber types as well 
as fiber mixtures (Ref. 4). There is evidence in in-vitro, animal, and 
human studies that asbestos is genotoxic, meaning asbestos can damage 
an organism's genetic material (Ref. 3). There is also evidence that 
asbestos exposure is associated with adverse respiratory system 
effects, such as asbestosis and immunotoxicity (Ref. 3; Ref. 7).

D. What are the potential routes and sources of exposure to asbestos?

    The greatest risk of exposure to asbestos occurs when the substance 
is in a friable state, meaning the fibers can be crumbled, pulverized 
or reduced to a powder under hand pressure (Ref. 3). During use and 
over time, non-friable asbestos has the potential to become friable 
(Ref. 3). For example, testing has shown that non-friable asbestos-
containing material can become friable during use such as cutting, 
crumbling, and tearing, and as a result of such use, asbestos fibers 
can be released into the air (Ref. 15). Similarly, non-friable 
asbestos-containing building materials can release fibers if disturbed 
during building repair or demolition (Ref. 16). Exposures to workers, 
consumers and the general population, as well as environmental 
receptors, may occur from industrial releases and use of asbestos-
containing products. Based on EPA's research conducted during the early 
stages of the TSCA risk evaluation, most of the ongoing uses of 
asbestos pertain to industrial and commercial uses (Ref. 7).
    The primary exposure route for asbestos is inhalation. Asbestos 
fibers can be released into the air during processing of raw bulk 
asbestos and asbestos-containing products. Weathering and the 
disturbance and/or degradation of asbestos-containing products can also 
cause asbestos fibers to be suspended in air (Ref. 3). Fibers can then 
enter the lungs through inhalation. Exposures to asbestos can 
potentially occur via oral and dermal routes; however, EPA anticipates 
that the most likely exposure route is inhalation.

III. Rationale and Objectives

A. Rationale

    EPA is concerned about the potential for adverse health effects of 
asbestos based on established sound scientific data indicating that 
asbestos is a known human carcinogen. Asbestos was listed as a human 
carcinogen in the National Toxicology Program's First Annual Report on 
Carcinogens in 1980 (Ref. 1).
    Asbestos, in particular chrysotile asbestos, has several unique 
properties, including low electrical conductivity while maintaining 
high tensile strength, high friction coefficient, and high resistance 
to heat (Ref. 17). These properties made asbestos ideal for use in 
friction materials (e.g., brakes), insulation (e.g., sound, heat, and 
electrical), and building materials (e.g., cement pipes, roofing 
compounds, flooring) over the past century. However, the use of 
asbestos has declined dramatically due to health concerns and consumer 
preference (Ref. 17), which has led to the elimination of some exposure 
scenarios associated with such uses. According to USGS, in 1973, 
national consumption, including manufacturing/importing and processing, 
of raw bulk asbestos peaked around 800,000 metric tons and has since 
fallen approximately 99 percent to between 300 and 800 metric tons in 
recent years (Ref. 9). Today, most manufactured products in the United 
States are now asbestos-free (Ref. 17).
    In 1989, EPA published a final rule Asbestos: Manufacture, 
Importation, Processing, and Distribution in Commerce Prohibitions (54 
FR 29460, July 12, 1989) (FRL-3476-2), which was intended ``to 
prohibit, at staged intervals, the future manufacture, importation, 
processing and distribution in commerce of asbestos in almost all 
products, as identified in the rule . . .'' and to ``reduce the 
unreasonable risks presented to human health by exposure to asbestos 
during activities involving these products.'' The 1989 final rule 
applied to the asbestos product categories identified in the Regulatory 
Impact Analysis of Controls on Asbestos and Asbestos Products, which 
was conducted in support of the rule (Ref. 20). However, the ban 
against most of the asbestos product categories was overturned by the 
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991. In addition to the asbestos 
products that remain banned after the court ruling, which are 
identified in Table 1 below, any new use of asbestos was also banned. 
The prohibition on any new uses of asbestos is for uses initiated for 
the first time after August 25, 1989. As a point of clarification, in 
this proposed rulemaking, a significant new use of asbestos addresses 
multiple uses that were initiated prior to August 25, 1989, for which 
manufacturing and processing are no longer ongoing in the United 
States.

[[Page 26926]]



    Table 1--Asbestos Containing Product Categories Banned Under TSCA
                                Section 6
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Product category                Definition (40 CFR 763.163)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Corrugated Paper..................  Corrugated paper means an asbestos-
                                     containing product made of
                                     corrugated paper, which is often
                                     cemented to a flat backing, may be
                                     laminated with foils or other
                                     materials, and has a corrugated
                                     surface. Major applications of
                                     asbestos corrugated paper include:
                                     Thermal insulation for pipe
                                     coverings; block insulation; panel
                                     insulation in elevators; insulation
                                     in appliances; and insulation in
                                     low-pressure steam, hot water, and
                                     process lines.
Rollboard.........................  Rollboard means an asbestos-
                                     containing product made of paper
                                     that is produced in a continuous
                                     sheet, is flexible, and is rolled
                                     to achieve a desired thickness.
                                     Asbestos rollboard consists of two
                                     sheets of asbestos paper laminated
                                     together. Major applications of
                                     this product include: Office
                                     partitioning; garage paneling;
                                     linings for stoves and electric
                                     switch boxes; and fire-proofing
                                     agent for security boxes, safes,
                                     and files.
Commercial Paper..................  Commercial paper means an asbestos-
                                     containing product that is made of
                                     paper intended for use as general
                                     insulation paper or muffler paper.
                                     Major applications of commercial
                                     papers are insulation against fire,
                                     heat transfer, and corrosion in
                                     circumstances that require a thin,
                                     but durable, barrier.
Specialty Paper...................  Specialty paper means an asbestos-
                                     containing product that is made of
                                     paper intended for use as filters
                                     for beverages or other fluids or as
                                     paper fill for cooling towers.
                                     Cooling tower fill consists of
                                     asbestos paper that is used as a
                                     cooling agent for liquids from
                                     industrial processes and air
                                     conditioning systems.
Flooring Felt.....................  Flooring felt means an asbestos-
                                     containing product that is made of
                                     paper felt intended for use as an
                                     underlayer for floor coverings, or
                                     to be bonded to the underside of
                                     vinyl sheet flooring.
New Uses *........................  The commercial uses of asbestos not
                                     identified in Sec.   763.165 the
                                     manufacture, importation or
                                     processing of which would be
                                     initiated for the first time after
                                     August 25, 1989.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Note: A ``new use'' as defined in 40 CFR 763.163 is distinct from a
  significant new use per TSCA section 5(a)(2), which is explained for
  the purposes of this proposed rule in Table 2.

    As part of the information gathering activity associated with the 
current asbestos risk evaluation, the Agency researched market 
availability for the asbestos product categories subject to the 1989 
asbestos ban and phase-out rule that was later overturned. EPA 
identified several asbestos product categories where manufacturing 
(including importing) and processing for the use is no longer ongoing. 
Through further refinement of the Scope of the Risk Evaluation for 
Asbestos, the Agency determined that asbestos-containing cement 
products (e.g., pipe, shingles and replacement parts) are the only 
condition of use of asbestos in building materials; therefore, this 
proposed SNUR also applies to all asbestos-containing building 
materials other than asbestos cement products. These product categories 
and descriptions are listed in Table 2, and manufacturing and 
processing for these product categories are significant new uses 
subject to this proposed rulemaking. The product category descriptions 
are based on the product category descriptions presented in the 
Regulatory Impact Analysis of Controls on Asbestos and Asbestos 
Products for the 1989 final rule (Ref. 20) and may not be all-
encompassing.

Table 2--Product Categories of Proposed Significant New Uses of Asbestos
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Product category            Description of the product category
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Arc Chutes........................  Ceramic arc chutes containing
                                     asbestos were used to guide
                                     electric arcs in motor starter
                                     units in electric generating
                                     plants.
Beater-Add Gaskets................  Asbestos fibers were incorporated
                                     within various elastomeric binders
                                     and other fillers to form the
                                     beater-add paper. These products
                                     were used extensively for internal
                                     combustion applications and for the
                                     sealing component of spiral wound
                                     gaskets. Gaskets were used to seal
                                     one compartment of a device from
                                     another in non-dynamic applications
                                     such as engine and exhaust
                                     manifolds.
Extruded Sealant Tape and Other     Sealant tape was made from a semi-
 Tape.                               liquid mixture of butyl rubber and
                                     asbestos. On exposure to air, the
                                     sealant solidified forming a rubber
                                     tape about an inch wide and an
                                     eighth of an inch thick. The tape
                                     acted as a gasket for sealing
                                     building windows, automotive
                                     windshields, and mobile home
                                     windows. It was also used in the
                                     manufacture of parts for the
                                     aerospace industry and in the
                                     manufacture of insulated glass.
Filler for Acetylene Cylinders....  Asbestos was used to produce a
                                     sponge-like filler, which held the
                                     liquefied acetylene gas (acetone)
                                     in suspension in the steel cylinder
                                     and puled the acetone up through
                                     the tank as the gas was released
                                     through the oxyacetylene torch. The
                                     torch was used to weld or cut metal
                                     and sometimes used as an illuminant
                                     gas. The filler also acted as an
                                     insulator that offered fire
                                     protection in case the oxidation of
                                     the acetylene became
                                     uncontrollable.
High-Grade Electrical Paper.......  The major use of asbestos electrical
                                     paper was insulation for high
                                     temperature, low voltage
                                     applications such as in motors,
                                     generators, transformers, switch
                                     gears, and other heavy electrical
                                     apparatuses.
Millboard.........................  Asbestos millboard was essentially a
                                     heavy cardboard product that was
                                     used for gasketing, insulation,
                                     fireproofing, and resistance
                                     against corrosion and rot.
                                     Millboard was used in many
                                     industrial applications to include
                                     linings in boilers, kilns, and
                                     foundries; insulation in glass tank
                                     crowns, melters, refiners, and
                                     sidewalls in the glass industry;
                                     linings for troughs and covers in
                                     the aluminum, marine, and aircraft
                                     industries; and thermal protection
                                     in circuit breakers in the
                                     electrical industry. In addition,
                                     thin millboard was inserted between
                                     metal to produce gaskets.
                                     Commercial applications for
                                     millboard included fireproof
                                     linings for safes, dry-cleaning
                                     machines, and incinerators.
Missile Liner.....................  A missile liner was an asbestos and
                                     rubber compound used to insulate
                                     the outer casing of the rocket from
                                     the intense heat generated in the
                                     rocket motor while the rocket fuel
                                     was burned. Rockets and rocket
                                     boosters were used to propel a
                                     number of objects including
                                     military weapons and the space
                                     shuttle.

[[Page 26927]]

 
Adhesives, Sealants, and Roof and   The automobile industry historically
 Non-Roof Coatings.                  used asbestos in a wide variety of
                                     adhesive, sealant, and coating
                                     applications. The aerospace
                                     industry used asbestos in extremely
                                     specialized applications such as
                                     firewall sealants and epoxy
                                     adhesives. Non-roof coatings were
                                     used to prevent corrosion (e.g., as
                                     vehicle undercoatings and
                                     underground pipe coatings). Roof
                                     coatings were used to repair and
                                     patch roofs, seal around
                                     projections such as chimneys and
                                     vent pipes, and bond horizontal and
                                     vertical surfaces.
Pipeline Wrap.....................  Pipeline wrap was an asbestos felt
                                     product primarily used by the oil
                                     and gas industry for coating its
                                     pipelines. Asbestos pipeline wrap
                                     was also used in the coal tar
                                     enamel method of coating pipes,
                                     some above-ground applications
                                     (such as for special piping in
                                     cooling towers), and was also used
                                     by the chemical industry for
                                     underground hot water and steam
                                     piping.
Reinforced Plastics...............  Asbestos-reinforced plastics were
                                     used for electro-mechanical parts
                                     in the automotive and appliance
                                     industries and as high-performance
                                     plastics for the aerospace
                                     industry. Asbestos-reinforced
                                     plastic was typically a mixture of
                                     some type of plastic resin (usually
                                     phenolic or epoxy), a general
                                     filler (often chalk or limestone),
                                     and raw asbestos fiber.
Roofing Felt......................  Asbestos roofing felt was single or
                                     multi-layered grade and used for
                                     built-up roofing. Asbestos was used
                                     in roofing felts because of its
                                     dimensional stability and
                                     resistance to rot, fire, and heat.
Separators in Fuel Cells and        In very specialized aerospace
 Batteries.                          applications, asbestos functioned
                                     as an insulator and separator
                                     between the negative and positive
                                     terminals of a fuel cell/battery.
Vinyl-Asbestos Floor Tile.........  Vinyl-asbestos floor tile was used
                                     in commercial, residential, and
                                     institutional buildings in heavy
                                     traffic areas such as supermarkets,
                                     department stores, commercial
                                     plants, kitchens, and ``pivot
                                     points''--entry ways and areas
                                     around elevators
Any Other Building Materials        Examples include insulation,
 (other than cement) *.              plasters, mastics, textured paints
                                     (e.g., simulates stucco), and block
                                     filler paints (e.g., for coating
                                     masonry).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Note: Not a product category described in the same terms in the
  Regulatory Impact Analysis; this broader product category is used
  generally to describe a number of specific product categories
  identified during the TSCA section 6 risk evaluation process.

    As part of the current asbestos risk evaluation process, the Agency 
identified conditions of use to be considered under the TSCA risk 
evaluation. Those include: Imported raw bulk chrysotile asbestos for 
the fabrication of diaphragms for use in chlorine and sodium hydroxide 
production and several imported chrysotile asbestos-containing 
materials including sheet gaskets for use in titanium dioxide chemical 
production, brake blocks for use in oil drilling, aftermarket 
automotive brakes/linings and other vehicle friction products, other 
gaskets and packing, cement products, and woven products. These ongoing 
uses identified by EPA are not among the significant new uses 
identified in this proposal and therefore would not require a 
significant new use notification submission to the Agency. EPA requests 
comment regarding any ongoing uses not identified by the Agency and 
welcomes specific and verifiable documentation. EPA also requests 
comment on additional uses not identified as no longer ongoing.
    In the absence of this proposed rule, the importing or processing 
of asbestos (including as part of an article) for the significant new 
uses proposed in this rule may begin at any time, without prior notice 
to EPA. Thus, EPA is concerned that commencement of the manufacturing 
(including importing) or processing for the significant new uses of 
asbestos identified in Table 2 could significantly increase the volume 
of manufacturing (including importing) and processing of asbestos as 
well as the magnitude and duration of exposure to humans over that 
which would otherwise exist currently. EPA has preliminarily concluded 
that action on this chemical substance is warranted and therefore 
proposes that any manufacturing (including importing) or processing of 
asbestos (including as part of an article), using the definition under 
Title II of TSCA, for any use identified in Table 2 would be a 
significant new use.
    Consistent with EPA's past practice for issuing SNURs under TSCA 
section 5(a)(2), EPA's decision to propose a SNUR for a particular 
chemical use need not be based on an extensive evaluation of the 
hazard, exposure, or potential risk associated with that use. If a 
person decides to begin manufacturing (including importing) or 
processing asbestos (including as part of an article) for a use 
identified in Table 2, the notice to EPA allows the Agency to evaluate 
the use according to the specific parameters and circumstances 
surrounding the conditions of use.

B. Rationale for Making Inapplicable the Exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) 
for Persons Who Import or Process Asbestos

    Chemical substances that are part of an article may still result in 
exposure if the chemical substance has certain physical-chemical 
properties--as in the case of asbestos, fibers can degrade with use and 
become friable over time where human exposures can occur leading to 
increased risks for disease (Ref. 3; Ref. 15; Ref. 16). During use and 
over time, non-friable asbestos has the potential to become friable 
(Ref. 3). For example, testing has shown that non-friable asbestos-
containing material can become friable during use such as cutting, 
crumbling, and tearing, and as a result of such use, asbestos fibers 
can be released into the air (Ref. 15). Similarly, non-friable 
asbestos-containing building materials can release fibers if disturbed 
during building repair or demolition (Ref. 16). Therefore, EPA is 
proposing to make inapplicable the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) for 
persons who import or process any asbestos as part of an article for 
the proposed significant new uses, which are identified in Table 2. A 
person who imports or processes asbestos (including as part of an 
article) for a proposed significant new use identified in Table 2 would 
be subject to the significant new use notification requirements in this 
proposed rule. No person would be able to begin importing or processing 
asbestos (including as part of an article) for a proposed significant 
new use without first submitting a SNUN to EPA and until the Agency has 
conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on 
the notice, and taken such actions as are required in association with 
that determination.
    As requested in Unit XII., EPA asks for comment on the Agency's 
understanding of ongoing uses. When submitting a comment to the Agency, 
EPA requests specific and verifiable information that provides evidence 
of ongoing uses beyond those identified in this proposed rule.

[[Page 26928]]

C. Objectives

    Based on the considerations in Unit III.A., EPA wants to achieve 
the following objectives with regard to the significant new use of 
asbestos (including as part of an article) as designated in this 
proposed rule:
    1. EPA would receive notice of any person's intent to manufacture 
(including import) or process asbestos (including as part of an 
article) for the described significant new use before that activity 
begins.
    2. EPA would have an opportunity to review and evaluate data 
submitted in a SNUN before the notice submitter begins manufacturing 
(including importing) or processing asbestos (including as part of an 
article) for the described significant new use.
    3. EPA would be able to either determine that the significant new 
use is not likely to present an unreasonable risk, or take necessary 
regulatory action associated with any other determination before the 
described significant new use of asbestos (including as part of an 
article) occurs.

IV. Significant New Use Determination

    Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA states that EPA's determination that a use 
of a chemical substance is a significant new use must be made after 
consideration of all relevant factors including:
    1. The projected volume of manufacturing and processing of a 
chemical substance.
    2. The extent to which a use changes the type or form of exposure 
of human beings or the environment to a chemical substance.
    3. The extent to which a use increases the magnitude and duration 
of exposure of human beings or the environment to a chemical substance.
    4. The reasonably anticipated manner and methods of manufacturing, 
processing, distribution in commerce, and disposal of a chemical 
substance.
    In addition to these factors enumerated in TSCA section 5(a)(2), 
the statute authorizes EPA to consider any other relevant factors.
    Both federal and state environmental protection agencies and 
occupational safety and health organizations provide existing 
regulation pertaining to certain aspects of the manufacturing 
(including importing), processing, use, and/or disposal of asbestos in 
order to protect consumers, workers, and the environment. EPA believes 
the significant new uses of asbestos identified in Table 2 could 
increase the volume of manufacturing (including importing) and 
processing of asbestos, as well as the duration and magnitude of human 
and environmental exposure to the substance, reverse the declining 
trend of national import volumes of the substance, and reintroduce 
exposure scenarios that have become obsolete over the past several 
decades. It is imperative that EPA be notified of any intended 
significant new use of asbestos identified in Table 2 and be provided 
the opportunity to evaluate such proposed new use. Once a SNUR is 
finalized, failure to notify EPA and file a SNUN prior to manufacturing 
or processing for the significant new uses would constitute a violation 
of TSCA and would be subject to penalties, accordingly.
    To determine what would constitute a significant new use of 
asbestos as discussed in this unit, EPA considered relevant information 
about the toxicity or expected toxicity of the substance, likely human 
exposures and environmental releases associated with possible uses, and 
the four factors listed in Section 5(a)(2) of TSCA. In addition to 
these factors enumerated in TSCA section 5(a)(2), the statute 
authorizes EPA to consider any other relevant factors.
    The article exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) is based on an assumption 
that people and the environment will generally not be exposed to 
chemical substances in articles (Ref. 18). However, even when contained 
in an article, asbestos can become friable over time with use (Ref. 3; 
Ref. 15; Ref. 16). Based on this understanding, upon submission of a 
SNUN, EPA intends to evaluate the potential risk of exposure to human 
health and the environment for any proposed significant new use of 
asbestos (including as part of an article). This understanding warrants 
making the exemption at 40 CFR 721.45(f) inapplicable to importers or 
processors of articles containing asbestos. Considering the potential 
friability of asbestos, even when incorporated in articles, and the 
health risks associated with exposure to asbestos, EPA proposes to 
affirmatively find under TSCA section 5(a)(5) that notification is 
justified by the reasonable potential for exposure to asbestos through 
the articles subject to this SNUR. EPA intends to evaluate such 
potential uses whether in the form of an article or not before those 
uses would begin for any associated risks or hazards that might exist. 
EPA has reason to anticipate that importing or processing asbestos as 
part of an article would create the potential for exposure to asbestos, 
and that EPA should have an opportunity to review the intended use 
before such use could occur. Persons subject to this proposed SNUR are 
required to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to commencing 
manufacturing (including importing) or processing of the substance for 
the new use. This required notification provides EPA with the 
opportunity to evaluate an intended significant new use of the 
regulated chemical substance and, if necessary, an opportunity to 
protect against potential unreasonable risks.

V. Applicability of General Provisions

    General provisions for SNURs appear under 40 CFR part 721, subpart 
A. These provisions describe persons subject to the rule, recordkeeping 
requirements, and exemptions to reporting requirements.
    Provisions relating to user fees appear at 40 CFR part 700. 
According to 40 CFR 721.1(c), persons subject to SNURs must comply with 
the same notice requirements and EPA regulatory procedures as 
submitters of Premanufacture Notices (PMNs) under TSCA section 
5(a)(1)(A). In particular, these requirements include the information 
submission requirements of TSCA sections 5(b) and 5(d)(1), the 
exemptions authorized by TSCA sections 5(h)(1), (h)(2), (h)(3), and 
(h)(5), and the regulations at 40 CFR part 720. Once EPA receives a 
SNUN, EPA must either determine that the significant new use is not 
likely to present an unreasonable risk of injury or take such 
regulatory action as is associated with an alternative determination 
before the manufacturing (including importing) or processing for the 
significant new use can commence. If EPA determines that the 
significant new use is not likely to present an unreasonable risk, EPA 
is required under TSCA section 5(g) to make public, and submit for 
publication in the Federal Register, a statement of EPA's finding.

VI. Applicability of Rule to Uses Occurring Before Effective Date of 
the Final Rule

    EPA designates June 1, 2018 (the date of web posting of this 
proposed rule) as the cutoff date for determining whether the new use 
is ongoing. The objective of EPA's approach is to ensure that a person 
cannot defeat a SNUR by initiating a significant new use before the 
effective date of the final rule. In developing this proposed rule, EPA 
has recognized that, given EPA's general practice of posting proposed 
and final SNURs on its website a week or more in advance of Federal 
Register publication, this objective could be thwarted even before that 
publication.
    Persons who begin commercial manufacturing (including importing) or 
processing of the chemical substance (to include importing or 
processing articles

[[Page 26929]]

and components thereof containing the chemical substance) for a 
significant new use identified as of June 1, 2018 would have to cease 
any such activity upon the effective date of the final rule. To resume 
their activities, these persons would have to first comply with all 
applicable SNUR notification requirements and wait until all TSCA 
prerequisites for the commencement of manufacturing (including 
importing) or processing have been satisfied (see Federal Register 
documents of April 24, 1990 (55 FR 17376) (FRL-3658-5) and November 28, 
2016 (81 FR 85472) (FRL-9945-53) for additional information).

VII. Development and Submission of Information

    EPA recognizes that TSCA section 5 does not usually require 
developing new information (e.g., generating test data) before 
submission of a SNUN; however, there is an exception: Development of 
information is required where the chemical substance subject to the 
SNUR is also subject to a rule, order, or consent agreement under TSCA 
section 4 (see TSCA section 5(b)(1)). Also pursuant to TSCA section 
4(h), which pertains to reduction of testing of vertebrate animals, EPA 
encourages consultation with the Agency on the use of alternative test 
methods and strategies (also called New Approach Methodologies or 
NAMs), if available, to generate any recommended test data. EPA 
encourages dialogue with Agency representatives to help determine how 
best the submitter can meet both the data needs and the objective of 
TSCA section 4(h).
    In the absence of a TSCA section 4 test rule covering the chemical 
substance, persons are required to submit only information in their 
possession or control and to describe any other information known to or 
reasonably ascertainable by them (15 U.S.C. 2604(d); 40 CFR 721.25, and 
40 CFR 720.50). However, as a general matter, EPA recommends that SNUN 
submitters include information that would permit a reasoned evaluation 
of risks posed by the chemical substance during its manufacturing 
(including importing), processing, use, distribution in commerce, or 
disposal. EPA encourages persons to consult with the Agency before 
submitting a SNUN. As part of this optional pre-notice consultation, 
EPA would discuss specific information it believes may be useful in 
evaluating a significant new use.
    Submitting a SNUN that does not itself include information 
sufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation may increase the likelihood 
that EPA will either respond with a determination that the information 
available to the Agency is insufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation 
of the health and environmental effects of the significant new use or, 
alternatively, that in the absence of sufficient information, the 
manufacturing (including importing), processing, distribution in 
commerce, use, or disposal of the chemical substance may present an 
unreasonable risk of injury.
    SNUN submitters should be aware that EPA will be better able to 
evaluate SNUNs and define the terms of any potentially necessary 
controls if the submitter provides detailed information on human 
exposure and environmental releases that may result from the 
significant new uses of the chemical substance.

VIII. SNUN Submissions

    EPA recommends that submitters consult with the Agency prior to 
submitting a SNUN to discuss what information may be useful in 
evaluating a significant new use. Discussions with the Agency prior to 
submission can afford ample time to conduct any tests that might be 
helpful in evaluating risks posed by the substance. According 
to[emsp14]40 CFR 721.1(c), persons submitting a SNUN must comply with 
the same notice requirements and EPA regulatory procedures as persons 
submitting a PMN, including submission of test data on health and 
environmental effects as described in 40 CFR 720.50. SNUNs must be 
submitted on EPA Form No. 7710-25, generated using e-PMN software, and 
submitted to the Agency in accordance with the procedures set forth in 
40 CFR 721.25 and 40 CFR 720.40. E-PMN software is available 
electronically at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/newchems.

IX. Economic Analysis

A. SNUNs

    EPA has evaluated the potential costs of establishing SNUR 
reporting requirements for potential manufacturers (including 
importers) and processors of the chemical substance included in this 
proposed rule (Ref. 8). In the event that a SNUN is submitted, average 
costs are estimated at approximately $9,937 per SNUN submission for 
large business submitters and $7,537 for small business submitters. 
These estimates include the cost to prepare and submit the SNUN, and 
the payment of a user fee. Businesses that submit a SNUN would be 
subject to either a $2,500 user fee required by 40 CFR 
700.45(b)(2)(iii), or, if they are a small business with annual sales 
of less than $40 million when combined with those of the parent company 
(if any), a reduced user fee of $100 (40 CFR 700.45(b)(1)). On February 
26, 2018, EPA proposed raising the fee for SNUNs to $2,800 for small 
businesses and $16,000 for other businesses (83 FR 8212). Further, on 
November 30, 2017, EPA determined that revisions to the current small 
business size standards for TSCA reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements are warranted (82 FR 56824). Businesses that submit a SNUN 
are also estimated to incur average costs of $67 for rule 
familiarization. First time submitters will incur an average cost of 
$128 for Central Data Exchange (CDX) registration and associated 
activities. Companies manufacturing, importing, or processing asbestos 
or articles containing asbestos will incur an average cost of $80 for 
notifying their customers of SNUR regulatory activities.
    The costs of submitting a SNUN will not be incurred by any company 
unless a company decides to pursue a significant new use as defined in 
this proposed SNUR. Additionally, these estimates reflect the costs and 
fees as they are known at the time this rule is promulgated. EPA's 
complete economic analysis is available in the public docket for this 
proposed rule (Ref. 8).

B. Export Notification

    Under Section 12(b) of TSCA and the implementing regulations at 40 
CFR part 707, subpart D, exporters must notify EPA if they export or 
intend to export a chemical substance or mixture for which, among other 
things, a rule has been proposed or promulgated under TSCA section 5. 
As explained in Unit I., export notifications are required for 
asbestos, but not for articles containing asbestos. EPA is not 
proposing that asbestos-containing articles be subject to the export 
notification requirements; therefore, EPA assumes no additional costs 
under TSCA section 12(b) for this proposed rule.
    In general, for persons exporting a substance that is the subject 
of a SNUR, a one-time notice to EPA must be provided for the first 
export or intended export to a particular country. The total costs of 
export notification will vary by chemical, depending on the number of 
required notifications (i.e., the number of countries to which the 
chemical is exported). While EPA is unable to make any estimate of the 
likely number of export notifications for the chemical covered in this 
proposed SNUR, as stated in the accompanying economic analysis of this 
proposed SNUR, the estimated cost of the export notification

[[Page 26930]]

requirement on a per unit basis is approximately $96.

C. Import or Processing Chemical Substances as Part of an Article

    In making inapplicable the exemption relating to persons that 
import or process certain chemical substances as part of an article, 
this action may affect firms that plan to import or process types of 
articles that may contain the asbestos. Some firms have an 
understanding of the contents of the articles they import or process. 
However, EPA acknowledges that importers and processors of articles may 
have varying levels of knowledge about the chemical content of the 
articles that they import or process. These parties may need to become 
familiar with the requirements of the rule. And, while not required by 
the SNUR, these parties may take additional steps to determine whether 
the subject chemical substance is part of the articles they are 
considering for importing or processing. This determination may involve 
activities such as gathering information from suppliers along the 
supply chain and/or testing samples of the article itself. Costs vary 
across the activities chosen and the extent of familiarity a firm has 
regarding the articles it imports or processes. Cost ranges are 
presented in the Understanding the Costs Associated with Eliminating 
Exemptions for Articles in SNURs (Ref. 19). Based on available 
information, EPA believes that article importers or processors that 
choose to investigate their products would incur costs at the lower end 
of the ranges presented in the Economic Analysis. For those companies 
choosing to undertake actions to assess the composition of the articles 
they import or process, EPA expects that importers or processors would 
take actions that are commensurate with the company's perceived 
likelihood that a chemical substance might be a part of an article for 
the significant new uses subject to this proposed rulemaking 
(identified in Table 2) and the resources it has available. Example 
activities and their costs are provided in the accompanying Economic 
Analysis of this proposed rule (Ref. 8).

X. Alternatives

    Before proposing this SNUR, EPA considered the following 
alternative regulatory action: Promulgate a TSCA section 8(a) Reporting 
Rule.
    Under a TSCA section 8(a) rule, EPA could, among other things, 
generally require persons to report information to the Agency when they 
intend to manufacture (including import) or process a listed chemical 
for a specific use or any use. However, for asbestos, the use of TSCA 
section 8(a) rather than SNUR authority would have several limitations. 
First, if EPA were to require reporting under TSCA section 8(a) instead 
of TSCA section 5(a), that action would not ensure that EPA receives 
timely advance notice of future manufacturing (including importing) or 
processing of asbestos (including as part of an articles and components 
thereof) for new uses that may produce changes in human and 
environmental exposures. Nor would action under 8(a) ensure that an 
appropriate determination (relevant to the risks of such manufacturing 
(including importing) or processing) has been issued prior to the 
commencement of such manufacturing (including importing) or processing. 
Furthermore, a TSCA section 8(a) rule would not ensure that 
manufacturing (including importing) or processing for the significant 
new use cannot proceed until EPA has responded to the circumstances by 
taking the required actions under Sections 5(e) or 5(f) of TSCA in the 
event that EPA determines any of the following: (1) That the 
significant new use presents an unreasonable risk under the conditions 
of use (without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, and 
including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible 
subpopulation identified as relevant by EPA); (2) that the information 
available to EPA is insufficient to permit a reasoned evaluation of the 
health and environmental effects of the significant new use; (3) that 
in the absence of sufficient information, the manufacture (including 
import), processing, distribution in commerce, use, or disposal of the 
substance, or any combination of such activities, may present an 
unreasonable risk (without consideration of costs or other non-risk 
factors, and including an unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or 
susceptible subpopulation identified as relevant by EPA); or (4) that 
there is substantial production and sufficient potential for 
environmental release or human exposure (as defined in TSCA section 
5(a)(3)(B)(ii)(II)).
    In addition, EPA may not receive important information from small 
businesses, because such firms generally are exempt from TSCA section 
8(a) reporting requirements (see TSCA sections 8(a)(1)(A) and 
8(a)(1)(B)). In view of the level of health concerns about asbestos if 
used for a proposed significant new use, EPA believes that a TSCA 
section 8(a) rule for this substance would not meet EPA's regulatory 
objectives.

XI. Scientific Standards, Evidence, and Available Information

    EPA has used scientific information, technical procedures, 
measures, methods, protocols, methodologies, and models consistent with 
the best available science, as applicable. These sources supply 
information relevant to whether a particular use would be a significant 
new use, based on relevant factors including those listed under TSCA 
section 5(a)(2). As noted in Unit III., EPA's decision to promulgate a 
SNUR for a particular chemical use need not be based on an extensive 
evaluation of the hazard, exposure, or potential risk associated with 
that use.
    The clarity and completeness of the data, assumptions, methods, 
quality assurance, and analyses employed in EPA's decision are 
documented, as applicable and to the extent necessary for purposes of 
this proposed significant new use rule, in Unit II. and in the 
references cited throughout the preamble of this proposed rule. EPA 
recognizes, based on the available information, that there is 
variability and uncertainty in whether any particular significant new 
use would actually present an unreasonable risk. For precisely this 
reason, it is appropriate to secure a future notice and review process 
for these uses, at such time as they are known more definitively. The 
extent to which the various information, procedures, measures, methods, 
protocols, methodologies or models used in EPA's decision have been 
subject to independent verification or peer review is adequate to 
justify their use, collectively, in the record for a significant new 
use rule.

XII. Request for Comment

A. Do you have comments or information about ongoing uses?

    EPA welcomes comment on all aspects of this proposed rule. EPA 
based its understanding of the use profile of this chemical on the 
published literature, the 2016 Chemical Data Reporting submissions, 
market research, review of Safety Data Sheets, and extensive research 
conducted during the early stages of the TSCA risk evaluation for 
asbestos. To confirm EPA's understanding, the Agency is requesting 
public comment on all aspects of this proposed rule. In providing 
comments on an ongoing use of asbestos, it would be helpful to provide 
specific information and documentation sufficient for EPA to 
substantiate any assertions of use.

[[Page 26931]]

B. What should I consider as I prepare my comments for EPA?

    1. Submitting CBI. It is EPA's policy to include all comments 
received in the public docket without change or further notice to the 
commenter and to make the comments available online at 
www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided, 
unless a comment includes information claimed to be CBI or other 
information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit 
this information to EPA through regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark 
the part or all of the information that you claim to be CBI. For CBI 
information in a disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA, mark the outside 
of the disk or CD ROM that you mail to EPA as CBI and then identify 
electronically within the disk or CD ROM the specific information that 
is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment 
that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that 
does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for 
inclusion in the public docket. Information so marked will not be 
disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 
2, subpart B.
    2. Tips for preparing your comments. When preparing and submitting 
your comments, see the commenting tips at http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets#tips.

XIII. References

    The following is a listing of the documents that are specifically 
referenced in this document. The docket, EPA-HQ-OPPT-2018-0159, 
includes these documents and other information considered by EPA, 
including documents that are referenced within the documents that are 
included in the docket, even if the referenced document is not 
physically located in the docket. For assistance in locating these 
other documents, please consult the technical person listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

1. National Toxicology Program. (NTP, 2016). Report on Carcinogens, 
Fourteenth Edition.; Research Triangle Park, NC: U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. Retrieved from 
https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/content/profiles/asbestos.pdf.
2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 1988). IRIS summary 
for asbestos (CASRN 1332-21-4). Washington, DC: Integrated Risk 
Information System. Retrieved from http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/iris/iris_documents/documents/subst/0371_summary.pdf.
3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (ATSDR, 2001). 
Toxicological profile for asbestos (update). Retrieved from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/ToxProfiles/tp.asp?id=30&tid=4.
4. International Agency for Research on Cancer. (IARC, 2012). A 
review of human carcinogens. Part C: Arsenic, metals, fibres, and 
dusts [IARC Monograph]. Lyon, France: World Health Organization. 
Retrieved from http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol100C/mono100C.pdf.
5. International Agency for Research on Cancer. (IARC, 1977). IARC 
monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risk of chemicals to 
man: Asbestos. Lyon, France: World Health Organization. Retrieved 
from http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol1-42/mono14.pdf.
6. International Agency for Research on Cancer. (IARC, 1987). 
Asbestos and certain asbestos compounds [IARC Monograph]. In IARC 
Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans (pp. 
106-116). Lyon, France. Retrieved from http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/suppl7/index.php.
7. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 2017). Scope of the 
Risk Evaluation for Asbestos. Retrieved from https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0086.
8. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 2018). Economic 
Analysis for the Proposed Significant New Use Rule for Asbestos.
9. U.S. Geological Survey. (USGS, 2018). Mineral Commodity Summaries 
2018. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved 
from https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/mcs/2018/mcs2018.pdf.
10. U.S. Geological Survey. (USGS, 2017). Mineral Commodity 
Summaries: Asbestos. Retrieved from https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/asbestos/mcs-2017-asbes.pdf.
11. U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2017). Automated Commercial 
Environment System (ACE).
12. National Research Council. (NRC, 2006). Asbestos: Selected 
cancers. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Asbestos: Selected 
Health Effects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
13. National Research Council. (NRC, 1983). Drinking Water and 
Health. Washington, DC: Safe Drinking Water Committee, Board on 
Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.17226/326.
14. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 1980). Ambient water 
quality criteria for asbestos [EPA Report]. (EPA/440/5-80/022). 
Washington, DC.
15. Anderson, P.H. and Farino, W.J. (1982). Analysis of Fiber 
Release from Certain Asbestos Products. Draft Final Report. Prepared 
by GCA Corporation for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 
Retrieved from https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi/9101PBZ6.PDF?Dockey=9101PBZ6.PDF.
16. 40 CFR part 61, subpart M, Asbestos National Emission Standards 
for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP).
17. Virta, R. (2011). Asbestos. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical 
Technology. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/0471238961.0119020510151209.a01.pub3/pdf.
18. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 1984). Significant 
New Uses of Chemical Substances; Certain Chemicals. 49 FR 35014, 
September 5, 1984 (FRL-2541-8).
19. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 2013). Understanding 
the Costs Associated with Eliminating Exemptions for Articles in 
SNURs. May 1, 2013.
20. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (EPA, 1989). Regulatory 
Impact Analysis of Controls on Asbestos and Asbestos Products: Final 
Report: Volume III. (5601989ICF001). Washington, DC: Office of Toxic 
Substances, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

XIV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders 
can be found at http://www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was 
therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) 
and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011).

B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs

    This action is not expected to be a regulatory action subject to 
Executive Order 13771 (82 FR 9339, February 3, 2017), because this 
action is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 
12866.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden 
under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. Burden is defined in 5 CFR 
1320.3(b). The information collection activities associated with 
existing chemical SNURs are already approved under OMB control number 
2070-0038 (EPA ICR No. 1188); and the information collection activities 
associated with export notifications are already approved under OMB 
control number 2070-0030 (EPA ICR No. 0795). If an entity were to 
submit a SNUN to the Agency, the burden is estimated to be 
approximately 100 hours per response

[[Page 26932]]

(slightly less for submitters who have already registered to use the 
electronic submission system).
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information that requires OMB approval 
under the PRA, unless it has been approved by OMB and displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations in Title 40 of the CFR, after appearing in the Federal 
Register, are listed in 40 CFR, part 9, and included on the related 
collection instrument, or form, as applicable.

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., I 
certify that promulgation of this SNUR would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The 
rationale supporting this conclusion is as follows.
    A SNUR applies to any person (including small or large entities) 
who intends to engage in any activity described in the rule as a 
``significant new use.'' By definition of the word ``new'' and based on 
all information currently available to EPA, it appears that no small or 
large entities presently engage in such activities. Since this proposed 
SNUR will require a person who intends to engage in such activity in 
the future to first notify EPA by submitting a SNUN, no economic impact 
will occur unless someone files a SNUN to pursue a significant new use 
in the future or forgoes profits by avoiding or delaying the 
significant new use. Although some small entities may decide to conduct 
such activities in the future, EPA cannot presently determine how many, 
if any, there may be. However, EPA's experience to date is that, in 
response to the promulgation of SNURs covering over 1,000 chemical 
substances, the Agency receives only a handful of notices per year. 
During the six-year period from 2005-2010, only three submitters self-
identified as small in their SNUN submissions (Ref. 8). EPA believes 
the cost of submitting a SNUN is relatively small compared to the cost 
of developing and marketing a chemical new to a firm or marketing a new 
use of the chemical and that the requirement to submit a SNUN generally 
does not have a significant economic impact.
    Therefore, EPA believes that the potential economic impact of 
complying with this proposed SNUR is not expected to be significant or 
adversely impact a substantial number of small entities. In a SNUR that 
published as a final rule on August 8, 1997 (62 FR 42690) (FRL-5735-4), 
the Agency presented its general determination that proposed and final 
SNURs are not expected to have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    Based on EPA's experience with proposing and finalizing SNURs, 
State, local, and Tribal governments have not been impacted by these 
rulemakings, and EPA does not have any reason to believe that any 
State, local, or Tribal government would be impacted by this 
rulemaking. As such, the requirements of sections 202, 203, 204, or 205 
of UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, do not apply to this action.

F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action will not have federalism implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), because it will 
not have substantial direct effect on States, on the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or on the distribution 
of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000), because it will 
not have any effect on tribal governments, on the relationship between 
the Federal Government and the Indian tribes, or on the distribution of 
power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian 
tribes.

H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, 
April 23, 1997), because this action does not address environmental 
health or safety risks, and EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as 
applying only to those regulatory actions that concern environmental 
health or safety risks that EPA has reason to believe may 
disproportionately affect children, per the definition of ``covered 
regulatory action'' in section 2-202 of the Executive Order.

I. Executive Order 13211: Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' as defined in 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001), because it is not 
likely to have any effect on energy supply, distribution, or use.

J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This rulemaking does not involve any technical standards, and is 
therefore not subject to considerations under section 12(d) of NTTAA, 
15 U.S.C. 272 note.

K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    This action will not have disproportionately high and adverse human 
health or environmental effects on minority or low-income populations 
as specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). 
This action does not affect the level of protection provided to human 
health or the environment.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 721

    Environmental protection, Asbestos, Chemicals, Hazardous 
substances, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 31, 2018.
Tala R. Henry,
Acting Director, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics.

    Therefore, for the reasons stated in the preamble, the 
Environmental Protection Agency proposes that 40 CFR chapter I be 
amended as follows:

PART 721--SIGNIFICANT NEW USES OF CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES

0
1. The authority citation for part 721 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  15 U.S.C. 2604, 2607, and 2625(c).

0
2. Add Sec.  721.11095 to subpart E to read as follows:


Sec.  721.11095   Asbestos.

    (a) Chemical substance and significant new use subject to 
reporting. (1) The chemical substance identified as asbestos (as 
defined by 15 U.S.C. 2642(3) as the asbestiform varieties of chrysotile 
(serpentine), crocidolite (riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-
grunerite), anthophyllite, tremolite or actinolite) is subject to 
reporting under this section for the significant new use

[[Page 26933]]

described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.
    (2) The significant new use is: Manufacturing (including importing) 
or processing for any of the following uses:
    (i) Arc chutes;
    (ii) Beater-add gaskets;
    (iii) Extruded sealant tape and other tape;
    (iv) Filler for acetylene cylinders;
    (v) High grade electrical paper;
    (vi) Millboard;
    (vii) Missile liner;
    (viii) Adhesives, sealants, roof and non-roof coatings;
    (ix) Pipeline wrap;
    (x) Reinforced plastics;
    (xi) Roofing felt;
    (xii) Separators in fuel cells and batteries;
    (xiii) Vinyl-asbestos floor tile; or
    (xiv) Other building products (other than cement products).
    (b) Specific requirements. (1) Section 721.45(f) does not apply to 
this section. A person who intends to manufacture (including import) or 
process the substance identified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section 
for the significant new use identified in (a)(2) of this section as 
part of an article is subject to the notification provisions of Sec.  
721.25.
    (2) [Reserved]

[FR Doc. 2018-12513 Filed 6-8-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P