[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 70 (Tuesday, April 12, 2022)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 21706-21738]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-07601]



[[Page 21705]]

Vol. 87

Tuesday,

No. 70

April 12, 2022

Part II





Environmental Protection Agency





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40 CFR Part 751





Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos; Regulation of Certain Conditions 
of Use Under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); 
Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 87 , No. 70 / Tuesday, April 12, 2022 / 
Proposed Rules

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 751

[EPA-HQ-OPPT-2021-0057; FRL-8332-02-OCSPP]
RIN 2070-AK86


Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos; Regulation of Certain 
Conditions of Use Under Section 6(a) of the Toxic Substances Control 
Act (TSCA)

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a rule 
under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address the 
unreasonable risk of injury to health it has identified for conditions 
of use of chrysotile asbestos following completion of the TSCA Risk 
Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. TSCA requires 
that EPA address the unreasonable risks of injury to health and 
environment by rule and to apply requirements to the extent necessary 
so that chrysotile asbestos no longer presents such risks. Therefore, 
to address the unreasonable risk identified in the TSCA Risk Evaluation 
for Asbestos, Part 1 from chrysotile asbestos, EPA is proposing to 
prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in 
commerce and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos for chrysotile 
asbestos diaphragms for use in the chlor-alkali industry, chrysotile 
asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in chemical production, 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks used in the oil industry, 
aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings, 
other chrysotile asbestos-containing vehicle friction products, and 
other chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets. EPA also is proposing to 
prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution 
in commerce of aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing 
brakes/linings for consumer use, and other chrysotile asbestos-
containing gaskets for consumer use. EPA is also proposing disposal and 
recordkeeping requirements for these conditions of use.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 13, 2022.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification 
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPPT-2021-0057, using the Federal eRulemaking Portal 
at https://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. Due to the 
public health concerns related to COVID-19, the EPA Docket Center (EPA/
DC) and Reading Room is open to visitors by appointments. For the 
latest status information on EPA/DC services and docket access, visit 
https://www.epa.gov/dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    For technical information contact: Peter Gimlin, Existing Chemicals 
Risk Management Division (7405M), Office of Pollution Prevention and 
Toxics, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 
Washington, DC 20460-0001; telephone number: (202) 566-0515; email 
address: [email protected].
    For general information contact: The TSCA-Hotline, ABVI-Goodwill, 
422 South Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14620; telephone number: (202) 
554-1404; email address: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Executive Summary

A. Does this action apply to me?

    You may be potentially affected by this proposed action if you 
manufacture (including import), process, distribute in commerce, use, 
or dispose of chrysotile asbestos. TSCA section 3(9) defines the term 
``manufacture'' to mean to import into the customs territory of the 
United States (as defined in general note 2 of the Harmonized Tariff 
Schedule of the United States), produce, or manufacture. Therefore, 
unless expressly stated otherwise, importers of chrysotile asbestos are 
subject to any proposed provisions regulating manufacture of chrysotile 
asbestos. 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:
     Oil and Gas Extraction (NAICS code 211).
     Chemical Manufacturing (NAICS code 325).
     Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (NAICS code 332).
     Transportation Equipment Manufacturing (NAICS code 336).
     Gasket, Packing, and Sealing Device Manufacturing (NAICS 
code 339991).
     Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies 
Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS code 4231).
     Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers (NAICS code 441).
     Automotive Repair and Maintenance (NAICS code 8111).
    This action may also affect certain entities through pre-existing 
import certification and export notification rules under TSCA. Persons 
who import any chemical substance governed by TSCA 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. The EPA policy in support of import certification appears at 40 
CFR part 707, subpart B. In addition, any persons who export or intend 
to export a chemical substance that is the subject of this proposed 
rule are subject to the export notification provisions of TSCA section 
12(b) (15 U.S.C. 2611(b)), and must comply with the export notification 
requirements in 40 CFR part 707, subpart D.
    Asbestos (including chrysotile asbestos) 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 (including chrysotile asbestos) must comply with the 
export notification requirements in 40 CFR part 707, subpart D. 
Pursuant to TSCA section 12(a)(2), this proposed rule would apply to 
the chemical substance, mixture, or article even if being manufactured, 
processed, or distributed in commerce solely for export from the United 
States because a determination has been made that the chemical 
substance, mixture, or article presents an unreasonable risk to health 
within the United States or to the environment of the United States.
    If you have any questions regarding the applicability of this 
proposed 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?

    Under TSCA section 6(a) (15 U.S.C. 2605(a)), if EPA determines 
through a TSCA section 6(b) risk evaluation that a chemical substance 
presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, 
without consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an 
unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation 
identified as relevant to

[[Page 21707]]

the risk evaluation, under the conditions of use, EPA must by rule 
apply one or more requirements listed in section 6(a) to the extent 
necessary so that the chemical substance or mixture no longer presents 
such risk.

C. What action is the Agency taking?

    EPA determined in the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: 
Chrysotile Asbestos (Ref. 1), that chrysotile asbestos presents an 
unreasonable risk of injury to health based upon the following 
conditions of use:
     Processing and Industrial use of Chrysotile Asbestos 
Diaphragms in the Chlor-alkali Industry;
     Processing and Industrial Use of Chrysotile Asbestos-
Containing Sheet Gaskets in Chemical Production;
     Industrial Use and Disposal of Chrysotile Asbestos-
Containing Brake Blocks in Oil Industry;
     Commercial Use and Disposal of Aftermarket Automotive 
Chrysotile Asbestos-Containing Brakes/Linings;
     Commercial Use and Disposal of Other Chrysotile Asbestos-
Containing Vehicle Friction Products;
     Commercial Use and Disposal of Other Chrysotile Asbestos-
Containing Gaskets;
     Consumer Use and Disposal of Aftermarket Automotive 
Chrysotile Asbestos-Containing Brakes/Linings;
     Consumer Use and Disposal of Other Chrysotile Asbestos-
Containing Gaskets.
    A detailed description of these conditions of use is provided in 
Unit III.B.2. Accordingly, to address the identified unreasonable risk, 
EPA is proposing pursuant to TSCA section 6(a) to prohibit manufacture 
(including import), processing, distribution in commerce, and 
commercial use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk for or as part of 
chrysotile asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-alkali industry and 
chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in chemical 
production. EPA is proposing that these prohibitions would take effect 
two years after the effective date of the final rule. EPA is also 
proposing pursuant to TSCA section 6(a) to prohibit manufacture 
(including import), processing, distribution in commerce, and 
commercial use of: Chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks used in 
the oil industry, aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing 
brakes/linings, other chrysotile asbestos-containing vehicle friction 
products (not including the NASA Super Guppy Turbine aircraft use), and 
other chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets. EPA is proposing that 
these prohibitions would take effect 180 days after the effective date 
of the final rule. EPA is further proposing pursuant to TSCA section 
6(a) to prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, and 
distribution in commerce of: Aftermarket automotive chrysotile 
asbestos-containing brakes/linings for consumer use, and other 
chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets for consumer use. EPA is 
proposing that these prohibitions would take effect 180 days after the 
effective date of the final rule. EPA is also proposing disposal and 
recordkeeping requirements under which regulated parties would document 
compliance with certain proposed prohibitions. EPA does not intend the 
proposed prohibitions on processing or distribution in commerce to 
prohibit any processing or distribution in commerce incidental to 
disposal of the chrysotile asbestos waste in accordance with the 
proposed requirements.
    EPA is requesting public comment on this proposal.

D. Why is the Agency taking this action?

    Under TSCA section 6(a), ``[i]f the Administrator determines in 
accordance with subsection (b)(4)(A) that the manufacture, processing, 
distribution in commerce, use or disposal of a chemical substance or 
mixture, or that any combination of such activities, presents an 
unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, the 
Administrator shall by rule . . . apply one or more of the [section 
6(a)] requirements to such substance or mixture to the extent necessary 
so that the chemical substance no longer presents such risk.'' 
Chrysotile asbestos was the subject of a risk evaluation under TSCA 
section 6(b)(4)(A) that was issued in December 2020 (Ref. 1). In that 
risk evaluation, EPA determined that chrysotile asbestos presents 
unreasonable risk of injury to health under certain conditions of use 
evaluated. As a result, EPA is proposing to take action to ensure that 
chrysotile asbestos no longer presents such risk for the chrysotile 
uses evaluated under part 1 of the risk evaluation. The unreasonable 
risk is described in Unit III.B.1. and the conditions of use that are 
the subject of this proposed regulation and that were found to drive 
the unreasonable risk in the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: 
Chrysotile Asbestos are described in Unit III.B.2.

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

    EPA has prepared an Economic Analysis of the potential incremental 
impacts associated with this rulemaking that can be found in the 
rulemaking docket (Ref. 2).
1. Background
    Asbestos usage in the nation has been declining for decades and 
current domestic consumption of raw asbestos is less than 0.1% of peak 
consumption in the early 1970s. Chlor-alkali producers are the only 
industry in the U.S. known to fabricate products from raw chrysotile 
asbestos. In addition, EPA has concluded that imports of a few 
asbestos-containing products are intended, known, or reasonably 
foreseen to occur; while the total quantity of asbestos in those 
products is uncertain, it is believed to be relatively small (see 
Appendix C of the Risk Evaluation).
2. Costs
    Three firms own a total of ten chlor-alkali plants in the U.S. that 
still use asbestos diaphragms to produce chlorine and sodium hydroxide 
(also known as caustic soda). As one of these ten plants is expected to 
close in 2022, before the expected effective date of the final rule, 
EPA has only estimated the costs and benefits for the nine remaining 
plants that would be impacted by this rule. The nine remaining plants 
range in age from 40 to 123 years old, although some have had new 
capacity added as recently as 16 years ago, and others may have had 
recent refurbishments. The share of total production using asbestos 
diaphragm cells has been declining over time. The diaphragm cells in 
these plants currently represent about one-third of U.S. chlor-alkali 
production capacity. EPA's analysis supports a high probability that 
these firms will respond to the proposed rule by converting their 
asbestos diaphragm cells to membrane cells, which do not use asbestos. 
The use of membrane cells has increased over time and they currently 
account for nearly half of U.S. capacity. (The remaining capacity uses 
non-asbestos diaphragms or other miscellaneous processes.) A more 
detailed discussion of the expected impacts of conversion from 
asbestos-containing diaphragm cells to membrane cells, which use an 
increased concentration of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) 
compounds relative to the amount of PFAS compounds contained in 
asbestos-containing diaphragms, is located in Unit III.B.4.
    Converting the asbestos diaphragm cells to membrane cells in 
response to the proposed rule is predicted to require an incremental 
investment of approximately $1.8 billion across all nine plants 
predicted to be using asbestos diaphragms when the rule goes

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into effect. Membrane cells are much more energy efficient than 
diaphragm cells, so, despite the upfront capital cost, that conversion 
is expected to result in significant savings that would accrue over 
many years. The expected energy savings are included in the estimated 
net annualized costs. Membrane cells also produce a higher grade of 
caustic soda that has historically commanded a higher price than the 
product from diaphragm cells. EPA anticipates that most of the 
conversions to membrane cells would occur in the coming decades even 
without the proposed rule, following existing trends in the chlor-
alkali industry to transition away from asbestos. Compared to this 
baseline trend, the incremental net effect of the proposed rule on the 
chlor-alkali industry over a 20-year period using a 3 percent discount 
rate is estimated to range from an annualized cost of about $49 million 
per year to annualized savings of approximately $35 million per year, 
depending on whether the higher grade of caustic soda produced by 
membrane cells continues to command a premium price. Using a 7 percent 
discount rate, the incremental annualized net effect ranges from a cost 
of $87 million per year to savings of approximately $40,000 per year, 
again depending on whether there are revenue gains from the caustic 
soda production.
    EPA also estimates that approximately 1,800 sets of automotive 
brakes or brake linings containing asbestos may be imported into the 
U.S. each year, representing 0.002% of the total U.S. market for 
aftermarket brakes. The cost of a prohibition would be minimal due to 
the ready availability of alternative products that are only slightly 
more expensive (an average cost increase of $4 per brake). The proposed 
rule is estimated to result in total annualized costs for aftermarket 
automotive brakes of approximately $25,000 per year using a 3% discount 
rate and $18,000 per year using a 7% discount rate.
    EPA did not have information to estimate the costs of prohibiting 
asbestos for the remaining uses subject to the proposed rule (sheet 
gaskets used in chemical production, brake blocks in the oil industry, 
other vehicle friction products, or other gaskets), so there are 
additional unquantified costs. EPA believes that the use of these 
asbestos-containing products has declined over time, and that they are 
now used in at most small segments of the industries. For these 
remaining categories, EPA requests comment on the number of entities 
that manufacture (including import), process, distribute in commerce, 
or use products or articles containing asbestos. EPA also requests 
comment on the costs of the rule to these entities.
3. Benefits
    EPA's Economic Analysis for the rule quantified the benefits from 
avoided cases of lung cancer, mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, and 
laryngeal cancer due to reduced asbestos exposures to workers, 
occupational non-users (ONUs), and DIYers related to the rule's 
requirements for chlor-alkali diaphragms, sheet gaskets for chemical 
production, and aftermarket brakes. The combined national quantified 
benefits of avoided cancer cases associated with these products are 
approximately $3,100 per year using a 3% discount rate and $1,200 per 
year using a 7% discount rate, based on the cancer risk estimates from 
the Part 1 risk evaluation. EPA did not estimate the aggregate benefits 
of the requirements for oilfield brake blocks, other vehicle friction 
products or other gaskets because the Agency did not have sufficient 
information on the number of individuals likely to be affected by the 
rule. Thus, there may be additional unquantified benefits from reducing 
exposures associated with these uses.
    There are also unquantified benefits due to other avoided adverse 
health effects associated with asbestos exposure including respiratory 
effects (e.g., asbestosis, non-malignant respiratory disease, deficits 
in pulmonary function, diffuse pleural thickening and pleural plaques) 
and immunological and lymphoreticular effects.
    In addition to the benefits of avoided adverse health effects 
associated with chrysotile asbestos exposure, the proposed rule is 
expected to generate significant benefits from reduced air pollution 
associated with electricity generation. Chlor-alkali production is one 
of the most energy-intensive industrial operations. Since membrane 
cells are more energy efficient than diaphragm cells, converting 
diaphragm cells to membrane cells reduces electricity consumption and 
thus the level of pollutants associated with electric power generation, 
including carbon dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and 
nitrogen oxides. Based on a sensitivity screening-level analysis that 
EPA conducted, converting asbestos diaphragm cells to membrane cells 
could yield tens of millions of dollars per year in environmental and 
health benefits from reduced emissions of particulate matter, sulfur 
dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide. EPA's Economic Analysis, 
which can be found in the rulemaking docket (Ref. 2), contains more 
information on the potential magnitude of these monetized benefits from 
reduced criteria air pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions as well as 
caveats about the limitations of the screening-level analysis that EPA 
conducted.
4. Small Entity Impacts
    As described in more detail in Unit VIII.C and in the Economic 
Analysis of this rulemaking (Ref. 2), EPA estimates that the proposed 
rule would affect at least 15 small entities, of which 12 are 
businesses supplying aftermarket brakes incurring costs between $778 
and $11,523 per firm (depending on the number of brake replacements 
they perform). Nine of the brake replacement firms have a cost impact 
of less than 1% of their annual revenues. Of the three small entities 
estimated to be affected by the rule that are not supplying aftermarket 
brakes, two manufacture sheet gaskets for chemical production and one 
imports oilfield brake blocks. EPA was unable to estimate the magnitude 
of the impacts for these small entities. Chlor-alkali plants account 
for nearly all of the quantified costs of the rule, and none of the 
firms operating chlor-alkali plants are small businesses. No small 
businesses have been identified as using sheet gaskets for chemical 
production or brake blocks in the oil industry, but small businesses do 
supply these products to end users that are not small. Asbestos-free 
products in these applications reportedly do not last as long as items 
containing asbestos. As a result, the proposed rule could increase 
revenues for the affected small business suppliers if they sell a 
larger volume of non-asbestos products to the end users as 
replacements. For the remaining use categories (aftermarket automotive 
brakes, other gaskets, and other vehicle friction products), EPA has 
not identified firms (of any size) manufacturing, processing, 
distributing or using products containing asbestos. To the extent that 
there are any small businesses engaged in these activities, there are 
likely only a few firms facing a small cost increase for asbestos-free 
products, and any such cost increase can probably be passed on to 
consumers. EPA requests public comments regarding the number of small 
businesses subject to the rule, including use categories for which EPA 
did not identify any affected small businesses, and on the potential 
impacts of the rule on these small businesses.
5. Environmental Justice
    This rule would increase the level of environmental protection for 
all affected populations without having any disproportionately high and 
adverse

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health or environmental effects on any population, including any 
minority or low-income populations. There are pre-existing 
environmental justice concerns in communities surrounding some of the 
affected chlor-alkali facilities and one other chemical manufacturer 
affected by this rule due to high levels of polluting industrial 
activities and a high proportion of minority residents. This rule is 
not expected to increase these pre-existing environmental justice 
concerns. Unit III.A.1 discusses outreach conducted to advocates of 
minority or low-income communities that might be subject to 
disproportionate exposure to chrysotile asbestos.
    Both asbestos-containing diaphragm cells and membrane cells use 
per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) compounds. EPA lacks 
information to determine whether this proposed regulation would 
increase usage and associated release of PFAS compounds at chlor-alkali 
facilities that currently rely on asbestos-containing diaphragms, 
chlor-alkali facilities that do not currently use asbestos-containing 
diaphragms that may expand their production as a result of the 
regulation, upstream facilities that produce membranes, or upstream 
facilities that produce PFAS fibers used in non-asbestos diaphragms.
6. Effects on State, Local, and Tribal Governments
    This action has federalism implications because regulation under 
TSCA section 6(a) may preempt state law. It does not impose costs on 
small governments or have tribal implications.

II. Background

A. Overview of Chrysotile Asbestos

    Asbestos is defined in section 202 of TSCA Title II as: 
``Asbestiform varieties of six fiber types--chrysotile (serpentine), 
crocidolite (riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), 
anthophyllite, tremolite or actinolite.'' EPA used this definition of 
asbestos at the onset of the asbestos risk evaluation in 2016. However, 
EPA determined that chrysotile asbestos is the only type of asbestos 
where import, processing, and distribution in commerce for use is 
known, intended, or reasonably foreseen in the U.S. As such, EPA 
assessed these non-legacy conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos in 
the December 2020 Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile 
Asbestos (Ref. 1). Following a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of 
Appeals (Safer Chemicals Healthy Families v. EPA, 943 F.3d 397 (9th 
Cir. 2019)) concerning legacy use and associated disposal of asbestos, 
conditions of use that were not included in the Part 1 risk evaluation, 
EPA began developing a supplemental risk evaluation to address legacy 
and associated disposal conditions of use. The Risk Evaluation for 
Asbestos, Part 2: Supplemental Evaluation Including Legacy Uses and 
Associated Disposals of Asbestos will include evaluation of those 
conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos, the five amphibole fiber 
types identified in the TSCA Title II definition (crocidolite 
(riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-grunerite), anthophyllite, 
tremolite and actinolite) and Libby Amphibole Asbestos (mainly 
consisting of tremolite, winchite, and richterite). Additionally, some 
talc deposits and articles containing talc have been shown to contain 
asbestos. Thus, it is recognized that certain uses of talc may present 
the potential for asbestos exposure. Where EPA identifies reasonably 
available information demonstrating the presence of asbestos in talc, 
where such talc applications fall under TSCA authority, those talc 
containing asbestos impurities will be evaluated in Part 2 of the risk 
evaluation for asbestos.
    This proposed rule would only apply to chrysotile asbestos 
(Chemical Abstract Services Registry Number 132207-32-0). Chrysotile 
asbestos is a hydrated magnesium silicate mineral, with relatively long 
and flexible crystalline fibers that are capable of being woven. 
Chrysotile asbestos fibers used in most commercial applications consist 
of aggregates and usually contain a broad distribution of fiber 
lengths. Chrysotile asbestos fiber bundle lengths usually range from a 
fraction of a millimeter to several centimeters, and diameters range 
from 0.1 to 100 [micro]m. More information on the physical and chemical 
properties of chrysotile asbestos is in Section 1.1 of the Risk 
Evaluation (Ref. 1).
    EPA evaluated the conditions of use associated with six ongoing use 
categories of chrysotile asbestos (chlor-alkali diaphragms, sheet 
gaskets used in chemical production, oilfield brake blocks, aftermarket 
automotive brakes/linings, other vehicle friction products, and other 
gaskets). There is no domestic mining of asbestos. All imported raw 
asbestos is chrysotile asbestos and is used in the manufacture of 
chlor-alkali diaphragms. According to the United States Geological 
Survey (USGS), 300 metric tons of chrysotile asbestos were imported in 
2020 (Ref. 3).

B. Regulatory Actions Pertaining to Chrysotile Asbestos

    Chrysotile asbestos is subject to numerous federal laws and 
regulations in the United States and is also subject to regulatory 
actions by states and other countries. The following is a summary of 
the laws and regulatory actions pertaining to chrysotile asbestos 
implemented by EPA, other federal agencies, states, and other countries 
or via international treaties and agreements. None of these actions 
addresses the unreasonable risks under TSCA that this proposed rule 
would address. For a full description see the Appendix A of the Risk 
Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos (Ref. 1).
1. EPA Actions Pertaining to Chrysotile Asbestos
    EPA has taken the following actions pertaining to chrysotile 
asbestos under its various authorities:
     Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA): The 
Asbestos-Containing Materials in Schools regulation (40 CFR part 763, 
subpart E (1987)) requires local education agencies to inspect their 
school buildings for asbestos-containing building material, prepare 
asbestos management plans and perform asbestos response actions to 
prevent or reduce asbestos hazards. Public school districts and non-
profit private schools, including charter schools and schools 
affiliated with religious institutions (collectively called local 
education agencies) are subject to the rule's requirements. AHERA 
defines asbestos as the asbestiform varieties of chrysotile 
(serpentine), crocidolite (riebeckite), amosite (cummingtonite-
grunerite), anthophyllite, tremolite or actinolite.
     Toxic Substances Control Act: In 1989, EPA issued a final 
rule entitled Asbestos: Manufacture, Importation, Processing, and 
Distribution in Commerce Prohibitions; Final Rule, (54 FR 29460 (1989)) 
banning most asbestos-containing products. In 1991, a federal court 
vacated and remanded most of the final rule, thereby permitting 
manufacture (including import), processing, or distribution in commerce 
for the majority of the asbestos-containing products. Corrosion Proof 
Fittings v. EPA, 947 F.2d 1201 (5th Cir., 1991). Manufacture (including 
import), processing, and distribution in commerce of the following 
products remain banned by the rule under TSCA: Corrugated paper, 
rollboard, commercial paper, specialty paper, and flooring felt. In 
addition, the 1989 rule continues to ban the manufacture (including 
import), processing, and distribution in commerce for use of asbestos 
in products that have not historically contained asbestos, referred to 
in the 1989 rule as ``new uses'' of asbestos, and

[[Page 21710]]

defined by 40 CFR 763.163 as ``commercial uses of asbestos not 
identified in part 763.165 the manufacture, importation or processing 
of which would be initiated for the first time after August 25, 1989.''
    Through the authority of section 6 of TSCA, EPA extended worker 
protection requirements to state and local government employees 
involved in asbestos work who were not previously covered by existing 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) occupational 
health standards for asbestos through the Asbestos Worker Protection 
Rule (40 CFR part 763, subpart G (2000)).
     Restriction on Discontinued Uses of Asbestos; Significant 
New Use Rule (SNUR). In 2019, EPA promulgated a significant new use 
rule under section 5(a)(2) of TSCA to ensure that any discontinued uses 
of asbestos cannot reenter commerce without prior EPA review (84 FR 
17345, April 25, 2019). These new provisions at 40 CFR 721.11095 
require persons subject to the rule to notify EPA at least 90 days 
before commencing any manufacturing (including importing) or processing 
of asbestos or asbestos-containing products covered under the rule. 
These uses are designated significant new uses and, as such, cannot be 
resumed unless EPA is notified and makes a required determination and 
takes action, as appropriate, under TSCA section 5.
     Asbestos Information Act of 1988 (AIA): The AIA, Public 
Law 100-577, helped provide transparency and identify the companies 
making certain types of asbestos-containing products by requiring 
manufacturers to report production to the EPA.
     Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act 
(EPCRA): Under Section 313, the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) requires 
reporting of environmental releases of friable asbestos at a 
concentration level of 0.1% or greater. Also, within EPCRA, friable 
asbestos is designated as a hazardous substance subject to an Emergency 
Release Notification at 40 CFR 355.40 with a reportable quantity of 1 
pound.
     Clean Air Act: Asbestos has been designated a hazardous 
air pollutant (HAP) under the CAA. In 1973, EPA promulgated the 
Asbestos National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants 
(NESHAP) (40 CFR part 61, subpart M). The regulation requires, among 
other requirements, that some manufacturing and fabricating operations 
either cannot emit visible emissions into the outside air or must 
follow air cleaning procedures and generally must seal asbestos-
containing waste material from regulated activities in a leak-tight 
container while wet, label, and dispose of properly in a landfill 
permitted to receive asbestos waste.
     Clean Water Act (CWA): CWA defines asbestos as a toxic 
pollutant per 33 U.S.C. Section 1317. Each toxic pollutant listed in 
that section is subject to effluent limitations guidelines based on the 
best available technology economically achievable for the applicable 
category or class of point sources established in accordance with the 
CWA. The effluent limitations guidelines for the asbestos manufacturing 
point source category are in 40 CFR part 427.
     Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): RCRA gives 
EPA the authority to control hazardous wastes from cradle to grave, 
including generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal. 
Asbestos is not regulated as a hazardous waste under RCRA Subtitle C. 
Asbestos is a non-hazardous solid waste regulated under Subtitle D of 
RCRA. Regulations established under Subtitle D ban open dumping of 
waste and set minimum federal criteria for the operation of municipal 
waste and industrial waste landfills, including design criteria, 
location restrictions, financial assurance, corrective action 
(cleanup), and closure requirements. States play a lead role in 
implementing these regulations and may set more stringent requirements.
     Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act (CERCLA): The Designation of Hazardous Substances Rule 
(40 CFR 302.4) designates asbestos as a hazardous substance with a 
reportable quantity in Superfund regulations. The regulation also sets 
forth reportable quantities for asbestos under the Clean Water Act and 
the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
     Safe Drinking Water Act: Established National Primary 
Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) (40 CFR part 141, subpart G (1991)). 
NPDWR are enforceable drinking water standards expressed as Maximum 
Contaminant Levels (MCLs) or treatment techniques. The MCLs are the 
maximum level of contaminants that are allowed in public water systems 
in the United States. In 40 CFR 141.62, EPA set the maximum contaminant 
level for asbestos in community water systems and non-transitory, non-
community water systems at 7 million fibers/liter (longer than 10 
[micro]m).
2. Other Pertinent Federal Actions Pertaining to Chrysotile Asbestos
    Actions by other federal agencies related to chrysotile asbestos 
include:
     Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA 
has established a permissible exposure limit (PEL) for asbestos of 0.1 
fibers per cubic centimeter (cc) of air as an eight-hour time weighted 
average (TWA), with an excursion limit of 1.0 asbestos fibers per cubic 
centimeter over a 30-minute period. Among other requirements, OSHA 
requires assessments of workplaces covered by one of three standards 
(General Industry (29 CFR 1910.1001); Shipyards (29 CFR 1915.1001); 
Construction (29 CFR 1926.1101)) to be completed to determine if 
asbestos is present and if the work will generate airborne fibers. 
Further, monitoring is required to detect if asbestos exposure is at or 
above the PEL TWA or excursion limit for workers who are, or may be, 
expected to be exposed to asbestos. Monitoring frequency depends on 
work classification and exposure. Unit II.C. describes EPA's general 
approach to considering OSHA occupational health standards in TSCA risk 
evaluations and TSCA risk management actions.
     The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 
(NIOSH), part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 
in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a research 
agency focused on the study of worker safety and health. NIOSH has 
established a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) for asbestos. For 
asbestos fibers >5 micrometers long and a length-to-width ratio equal 
to or greater than 3:1, NIOSH recommends a REL of 100,000 fibers per 
cubic meter of air (100,000 f/m3), which is equal to 0.1 fiber per 
cubic centimeter of air (f/cc), as determined by a 400-liter air sample 
in accordance with NIOSH Analytical Method 7400. NIOSH Pocket Guide to 
Chemical Hazards, Appendix C. The NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limit 
(REL) is a non-mandatory, recommended occupational exposure limit. This 
0.1 f/cc level is consistent with OSHA's PEL, as well as the 0.1 f/cc 
Threshold Limit Value (TLV) guidance from the American Conference of 
Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), a private not-for-profit 
scientific association.
     Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). CPSC is charged 
with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death 
associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products 
under the agency's jurisdiction. The CPSC has

[[Page 21711]]

banned or restricted the following asbestos-containing products: 
Emberizing materials (ash and embers), patching compounds, and 
asbestos-containing garments for general use (16 CFR part 1305; 16 CFR 
part 1304 and 16 CFR 1500.17(a)(7)).
     Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). MSHA adopted 
an asbestos standard for exposure limits from airborne contaminants (30 
CFR parts 56 and 57 (subpart D)). In these exposure limits, MSHA 
identifies respiratory protection requirements for mine workers in both 
surface and underground mines (Ref. 1).
3. State Actions Pertaining to Chrysotile Asbestos
    Pursuant to AHERA, many states have adopted EPA's Asbestos Model 
Accreditation Plan (MAP) (Appendix C to 40 CFR part 763, subpart E) for 
asbestos abatement professionals who perform work in schools and public 
and commercial buildings. Thirty-nine states have EPA-approved MAP 
programs and separately twelve states have also applied to and received 
a waiver from EPA to oversee implementation of the Asbestos-Containing 
Materials in Schools Rule (40 CFR part 763, subpart E) pursuant to 
AHERA. States also implement regulations pursuant to the Asbestos 
NESHAP regulations (40 CFR part 61, subpart M). While the asbestos MAP 
and asbestos NESHAP regulations set minimum national standards, states 
are free to impose more stringent regulations. Also, both California 
and Washington prohibit the use of more than 0.1% of asbestos in brake 
pads and require laboratory testing of brake pads and labeling to 
certify compliance with their regulations.
    A list of state regulations that are independent of the federal 
AHERA and NESHAP requirements that states implement is in Appendix A of 
the Risk Evaluation (Ref. 1).
4. International Actions Pertaining to Chrysotile Asbestos
    Asbestos is regulated internationally; nearly 60 nations have 
banned or significantly limited the use of asbestos.
    The European Union (EU) first prohibited five uses of asbestos in 
1991 and added chrysotile asbestos prohibitions for numerous uses in 
1999, with a full ban implemented on January 1, 2005. In 2006, the EU 
established the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction 
of Chemicals (REACH) regulation and renewed its position on asbestos 
(Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the 
Council, 18 December 2006). Regulation (EC) No. 2016/1005 amended REACH 
Article XVII to formally phase out the use of diaphragms containing 
chrysotile asbestos for electrolysis installations (i.e., chlor-alkali 
facilities) by July 1, 2025.
    Canada promulgated a regulation to ban asbestos effective December 
30, 2018 (Ref. 4). The regulation prohibited the import, sale and use 
of asbestos, as well as the manufacture, import, sale and use of 
products containing asbestos. Canada added several limited exclusions, 
including an allowance for the import and use of asbestos for chlor-
alkali facilities using asbestos diaphragm technology until December 
31, 2029.

C. Consideration of OSHA Occupational Health Standards in TSCA Risk 
Evaluations and TSCA Risk Management Actions

    TSCA requires EPA to evaluate whether a chemical substance presents 
an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, without 
consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an 
unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation 
identified as relevant by the Administrator, under the conditions of 
use (COUs). COUs are the circumstances, as determined by the 
Administrator, under which a chemical is intended, known, or reasonably 
foreseen to be manufactured, processed, distributed in commerce, used, 
or disposed of. If EPA determines through risk evaluation that a 
chemical substance presents an unreasonable risk, TSCA section 6 
requires EPA to issue regulations applying one or more control 
requirements to the extent necessary so that the chemical substance no 
longer presents such risk. Although EPA must consider, and in some 
cases factor in to the extent practicable, non-risk factors as part of 
TSCA section 6(a) rulemaking (see TSCA section 6(c)(2)), EPA must 
nonetheless still ensure that the selected regulatory requirements 
apply ``to the extent necessary so that the chemical substance or 
mixture no longer presents [unreasonable] risk.'' This risk-based 
requirement is distinguishable from approaches mandated by other laws, 
including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which 
includes both significant risk and feasibility (technical and economic) 
assessments in its rulemaking.
    Congress intended for EPA to consider occupational risks from 
chemicals it evaluates under TSCA, among other potential exposures, as 
relevant and appropriate. As noted previously, section 6(b) of TSCA 
requires EPA to evaluate risks to potentially exposed or susceptible 
subpopulations identified as relevant by the Administrator. TSCA 
section 3(12) defines the term ``potentially exposed or susceptible 
subpopulation'' as ``a group of individuals within the general 
population identified by the Administrator who, due to either greater 
susceptibility or greater exposure, may be at greater risk than the 
general population of adverse health effects from exposure to a 
chemical substance or mixture, such as infants, children, pregnant 
women, workers, or the elderly.''
    The OSH Act similarly requires OSHA to evaluate risk to workers 
prior to promulgating new or revised standards and requires OSHA 
standards to substantially reduce significant risk to the extent 
feasible, even if workers are exposed over a full working lifetime. See 
29 U.S.C. 655(b)(5); Indus. Union Dep't, AFL-CIO v. Am. Petroleum 
Inst., 448 U.S. 607, 642 (1980) (plurality opinion).
    Thus, the standards for chemical hazards that OSHA promulgates 
under the OSH Act share a broadly similar purpose with the standards 
that EPA promulgates under section 6(a) of TSCA. The control measures 
OSHA and EPA require to satisfy the objectives of their respective 
statutes may also, in many circumstances, overlap or coincide. However, 
as this section outlines, there are important differences between EPA's 
and OSHA's regulatory approaches and jurisdiction, and EPA considers 
these differences when deciding whether and how to account for OSHA 
requirements when evaluating and addressing potential unreasonable risk 
to workers so that compliance requirements are clearly explained to the 
regulated community. To that end, EPA has also aligned with ancillary 
requirements of OSHA standards, to the extent possible, by cross 
referencing them.
1. OSHA Requirements
    OSHA's mission is to ensure that employees work in safe and 
healthful conditions. The OSH Act establishes requirements that each 
employer comply with the General Duty Clause of the Act (29 U.S.C. 
654(a)), as well as with occupational safety and health standards 
issued under the Act.
a. General Duty Clause of the OSH Act
    The General Duty Clause of the OSH Act requires employers to keep 
their workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or are 
likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. The 
General Duty Clause is cast in general terms, and does not establish 
specific requirements like

[[Page 21712]]

exposure limits, personal protective equipment requirements (PPE), or 
other specific protective measures that EPA could potentially consider 
when developing its risk evaluations or risk management requirements. 
OSHA, under limited circumstances, has cited the General Duty Clause 
for exposure to chemicals. To prove a violation of the General Duty 
Clause, OSHA must prove employer or industry recognition of the hazard, 
the hazard was causing or likely to cause death or serious physical 
harm, and a feasible method to eliminate or materially reduce the 
hazard was available. In rare situations, OSHA has cited employers for 
violation of the General Duty Clause where exposures were below a 
chemical-specific PEL. In such situations, OSHA must demonstrate that 
the employer had actual knowledge that the PEL was inadequate to 
protect its employees from death or serious physical harm. Because of 
the heavy evidentiary burden on OSHA to establish violations of the 
General Duty Clause, it is not frequently used to cite employers for 
employee exposure to chemical hazards.
b. OSHA Standards
    OSHA standards are issued pursuant to the OSH Act and are found in 
title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. There are separate 
standards for general industry, construction, maritime and agriculture 
sectors, as well as general standards applicable to a number of sectors 
(e.g., OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard). OSHA has numerous 
standards that apply to chemical manufacturers and processors, as well 
as downstream employers whose employees may be occupationally exposed 
to hazardous chemicals.
    OSHA sets legally enforceable limits on the airborne concentrations 
of hazardous chemicals, referred to as permissible exposure limits 
(PELs), to protect workers against the health effects of exposure to 
hazardous substances (29 CFR 1910 subpart Z, 1915 subpart Z, 1926 
subparts D and Z). Under section 6(a) of the OSH Act, OSHA was 
permitted an initial two-year window after the passage of the Act to 
adopt ``any national consensus standard and any established Federal 
standard.'' 29 U.S.C. 655(a). OSHA used this authority in 1971 to 
establish PELs that were adopted from federal health standards 
originally set by the Department of Labor through the Walsh-Healy Act, 
in which approximately 400 occupational exposure limits were selected 
based on the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists 
(ACGIH) 1968 list of Threshold Limit Values (TLVs). In addition, about 
25 exposure limits recommended by the American Standards Association 
(now called the American National Standards Institute) (ANSI) were 
adopted as PELs.
    Following the two-year window provided under section 6(a) of the 
OSH Act for adoption of national consensus and existing Federal 
standards, OSHA has issued health standards following the requirements 
in section 6(b) of the Act. OSHA has established approximately 30 PELs 
under section 6(b)(5) as part of comprehensive substance-specific 
standards that include additional requirements for protective measures 
such as use of PPE, establishment of regulated areas, exposure 
assessment, hygiene facilities, medical surveillance, and training. 
These ancillary provisions in substance specific OSHA standards further 
mitigate residual risk that could be present due to exposure at the 
PEL.
    Many OSHA PELs have not been updated since they were established in 
1971 (The asbestos PEL was last updated in 1994). Yet, in many 
instances, scientific evidence has accumulated suggesting that the 
current limits are not sufficiently protective. As stated on OSHA's 
annotated PELs web page, OSHA has recognized that many of its PELs are 
outdated and inadequate for ensuring protection of worker health (Ref. 
5). In addition, health standards issued under section 6(b)(5) of the 
OSH Act must reduce significant risk only to the extent that it is 
technologically and economically feasible. OSHA's legal requirement to 
demonstrate that its section 6(b)(5) standards are technologically and 
economically feasible often precludes OSHA from imposing exposure 
control requirements sufficient to ensure that the chemical substance 
no longer presents a significant risk to workers. In sum, the great 
majority of OSHA's chemical standards are outdated or do not eliminate 
significant risk contemplated by the Supreme Court's interpretation of 
the OSH Act. See Am. Petroleum Inst., 448 U.S. at 655. They would, in 
either case, be unlikely to address unreasonable risk to workers within 
the meaning of TSCA, since TSCA section 6(b) unreasonable risk 
determinations may account for unreasonable risk to more sensitive 
endpoints and working populations than OSHA's risk evaluations 
typically contemplate, and EPA is obligated to apply TSCA section 6(a) 
risk management requirements to the extent necessary so that the 
unreasonable risk is no longer presented.
    Because the requirements and application of TSCA and OSHA 
regulatory analyses differ, it is appropriate that EPA conduct risk 
evaluations and, where it finds unreasonable risk to workers, develop 
risk management requirements for chemical substances that OSHA also 
regulates, and it is expected that EPA's findings and requirements may 
sometimes diverge from OSHA's. However, it is also appropriate that EPA 
consider the chemical standards that OSHA has already developed, so as 
to limit the compliance burden to employers by aligning management 
approaches required by the agencies, where alignment will adequately 
address unreasonable risk to workers. The following section discusses 
EPA's consideration of OSHA standards in its risk evaluation and 
management strategies under TSCA.
2. Consideration of OSHA Standards in TSCA Risk Evaluations
    When characterizing the risk during risk evaluation under TSCA, EPA 
believes it is appropriate to evaluate the levels of risk present in 
baseline scenarios where no mitigation measures are assumed to be in 
place for the purpose of determining unreasonable risk (see Unit 
II.C.2.a). (It should be noted that, there are some cases where 
baseline scenarios may reflect certain mitigation measures, such as in 
instances where exposure estimates are based on monitoring data at 
facilities that have existing engineering controls in place.) In 
addition, EPA believes it is appropriate to also evaluate the levels of 
risk present in scenarios considering applicable OSHA requirements 
(e.g., chemical-specific PELs and/or chemical-specific health standards 
with PELs and additional ancillary provisions) as well as scenarios 
considering industry or sector best practices for industrial hygiene 
that are clearly articulated to the Agency. By characterizing risks 
using scenarios that reflect different levels of mitigation, EPA risk 
evaluations can help inform potential risk management actions by 
providing information that could be used during risk management to 
tailor risk mitigation appropriately to address any unreasonable risk 
identified (see Unit II.C.2.b and Unit II.C.3).
a. Risk Characterization for Unreasonable Risk Determination
    When undertaking unreasonable risk determinations as part of TSCA 
risk evaluations, EPA cannot assume as a general matter that an 
applicable OSHA requirement or industry practice is consistently and 
always properly applied. Mitigation scenarios included in the EPA risk 
evaluation (e.g.,

[[Page 21713]]

scenarios considering use of PPE) likely represent what is happening 
already in some facilities. However, the Agency cannot assume that all 
facilities will have adopted these practices for the purposes of making 
the TSCA risk determination.
    Therefore, EPA conducts baseline assessments of risk and makes its 
determination of unreasonable risk from a baseline scenario that is not 
based on an assumption of compliance with OSHA standards, including any 
applicable exposure limits or requirements for use of respiratory 
protection or other PPE. Making unreasonable risk determinations based 
on the baseline scenario should not be viewed as an indication that EPA 
believes there are no occupational safety protections in place at any 
location, or that there is widespread noncompliance with applicable 
OSHA standards. Rather, it reflects EPA's recognition that unreasonable 
risk may exist for subpopulations of workers that may be highly exposed 
because they are not covered by OSHA standards, such as self-employed 
individuals and public sector workers who are not covered by a State 
Plan, or because their employer is out of compliance with OSHA 
standards, or because EPA finds unreasonable risk for purposes of TSCA 
notwithstanding existing OSHA requirements.
b. Risk Evaluation To Inform Risk Management Requirements
    In addition to the baseline scenario described previously, EPA risk 
evaluations may characterize the levels of risk present in scenarios 
considering applicable OSHA requirements (e.g., chemical-specific PELs 
and/or chemical-specific health standards with PELs and additional 
ancillary provisions) as well as scenarios considering industry or 
sector best practices for industrial hygiene that are clearly 
articulated to the Agency. EPA's evaluation of risk under scenarios 
that, for example, incorporate use of engineering or administrative 
controls, or personal protective equipment, serves to inform its risk 
management efforts. By characterizing risks using scenarios that 
reflect different levels of mitigation, EPA risk evaluations can help 
inform potential risk management actions by providing information that 
could be used during risk management to tailor risk mitigation 
appropriately to address worker exposures where the Agency has found 
unreasonable risk. In particular, as discussed below, EPA can use the 
information developed during its risk evaluation to determine whether 
alignment of EPA's risk management requirements with existing OSHA 
requirements or industry best practices will adequately address 
unreasonable risk as required by TSCA.
    In the TSCA Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1 for chrysotile 
asbestos, EPA presented risk estimates based on workers' exposures with 
and without respiratory protection. EPA determined that even when 
respirators are used by workers, unreasonable risk would remain in some 
of the conditions of use evaluated. In risk management, EPA is not 
relying only on the use of respirators to reduce exposures to workers 
so that chrysotile asbestos does not present unreasonable risk, since 
for some conditions of use respirators are not a viable regulatory 
option (e.g., the respirator alone does not reduce exposures enough so 
that asbestos does not present unreasonable risk). In addition, EPA is 
considering the NIOSH/OSHA hierarchy of controls when developing risk 
management actions, and therefore use of respirators might only be 
suitable after other steps have been taken by the facilities to reduce 
exposures.
3. Consideration of OSHA Standards in TSCA Risk Management Actions
    When undertaking risk management actions, EPA: 1. Develops 
occupational risk mitigation measures to address any unreasonable risks 
identified by EPA, striving for consistency with applicable OSHA 
requirements and industry best practices, including appropriate 
application of the hierarchy of controls, when those measures would 
address an unreasonable risk; and 2. Ensures that EPA requirements 
apply to all potentially exposed workers in accordance with TSCA 
requirements. Consistent with TSCA section 9(d), EPA consults and 
coordinates TSCA activities with OSHA and other relevant Federal 
agencies for the purpose of achieving the maximum applicability of TSCA 
while avoiding the imposition of duplicative requirements.
    Informed by the mitigation scenarios and information gathered 
during the risk evaluation and risk management process, the Agency 
might propose rules that require risk management practices that may be 
already common practice in many or most facilities. Adopting clear, 
comprehensive regulatory standards will foster compliance across all 
facilities (ensuring a level playing field) and assure protections for 
all affected workers, especially in cases where current OSHA standards 
may not apply or not be sufficient to address the unreasonable risk.
    For evaluation scenarios which involve OSHA chemical-specific PELs, 
EPA's risk evaluation in some cases may illustrate that limiting 
exposure to OSHA's PEL would result in risk levels below the benchmark 
under the TSCA standard under certain conditions of use. In these 
cases, TSCA risk management requirements could incorporate and 
reinforce requirements in OSHA standards and ensure that risks are 
addressed, including for circumstances where OSHA requirements are not 
applicable (e.g., public sector workers) by asserting TSCA compliance/
enforcement as well. EPA's risk evaluation may also find unreasonable 
risk under TSCA associated with some occupational conditions of use, 
even when the applicable OSHA requirements are being met. In these 
cases, EPA would need to develop risk management requirements beyond 
those included in OSHA's standards.

D. Summary of EPA's Risk Evaluation Activities on Chrysotile Asbestos

    In July 2017, EPA published a scope of the chrysotile asbestos risk 
evaluation (82 FR 31592, July 7, 2017), and after receiving public 
comment, published a problem formulation in June 2018 (83 FR 26998, 
June 11, 2018). In March 2020, EPA released a draft risk evaluation for 
asbestos, and in December 2020, following public comment and peer 
review by the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC), EPA 
finalized the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos 
(Ref. 1).
    In the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos, 
EPA evaluated risks associated with the conditions of use involving six 
non-legacy use categories of chrysotile asbestos including: Chlor-
alkali diaphragms, sheet gaskets in chemical production, other gaskets, 
oilfield brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brake/linings, and other 
vehicle friction products. EPA evaluated the conditions of use within 
these categories, including manufacture (including import), processing, 
distribution, commercial use, consumer use, and disposal (Ref. 1). 
Descriptions of these conditions of use are included in Unit III.B.2.
    The risk evaluation identified potential adverse health effects 
associated with exposure to chrysotile asbestos, including the risk of 
mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other cancers from chronic inhalation. A 
further discussion of the chrysotile asbestos hazards is included in 
Unit III.B.1. The chrysotile asbestos conditions of use that EPA 
determined drive the chemical substance's unreasonable risk to health 
include

[[Page 21714]]

processing and industrial use of diaphragms in the chlor-alkali 
industry; processing and industrial use of sheet gaskets used in 
chemical production; industrial use and disposal of brake blocks in the 
oil industry; commercial use and disposal of aftermarket automotive 
brakes/linings; commercial use and disposal of other vehicle friction 
products; commercial use and disposal of other gaskets; consumer use 
and disposal of aftermarket automotive brakes/linings; and consumer use 
and disposal of other gaskets. This determination includes unreasonable 
risk of injury to health to both workers and occupational non-users 
(ONUs) during occupational exposures, and to consumers and bystanders 
during exposures to consumer uses.
    EPA determined that there are no conditions of use that drive 
unreasonable risk to the environment.
    As previously discussed, following the November 2019 decision of 
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Safer Chemicals Healthy Families 
v. EPA, 943 F.3d 397, the agency will also, in parallel to pursuing 
risk management to address unreasonable risk identified in the Risk 
Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 1, conduct a Part 2 of the Asbestos Risk 
Evaluation: Supplemental Evaluation Including Legacy Uses and 
Associated Disposals of Asbestos. Legacy uses and associated disposals 
for asbestos are conditions of use for which manufacture (including 
import), processing, and distribution in commerce for a use no longer 
occur, but where use (e.g., in situ building material) and disposal are 
still known, intended, or reasonably foreseen to occur.
    Part 2 of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos is currently underway. 
The October 13, 2021, consent decree in the case Asbestos Disease 
Awareness Organization et al v. Regan et al, 4:21-cv-03716-PJH (N.D. 
Cal.) requires the agency to publish a final Part 2 asbestos risk 
evaluation on or before December 1, 2024. EPA published a draft scope 
for the Part 2 asbestos risk evaluation on December 29, 2021 (86 FR 
74088).
    The Risk Evaluation for Asbestos, Part 2: Supplemental Evaluation 
Including Legacy Uses and Associated Disposals of Asbestos will include 
evaluation of the legacy uses and associated disposals of chrysotile 
asbestos and the five amphibole fiber types described in the TSCA Title 
II definition in addition to Libby Amphibole Asbestos (mainly 
consisting of tremolite, winchite, and richterite). Additionally, where 
EPA identifies reasonably available information demonstrating the 
presence of asbestos in talc that fall under TSCA authority, talc 
containing asbestos impurities will be evaluated in Part 2.
    As part of the problem formulation for asbestos, EPA found that 
exposures to the general population may occur from the conditions of 
use considered in Part 1 of the asbestos risk evaluation (Ref. 6). EPA 
determined, in Part 1 of the asbestos risk evaluation, that exposure to 
the general population via surface water, drinking water, ambient air, 
and disposal pathways falls under the jurisdiction of other 
environmental statutes administered by EPA. The Agency, therefore, at 
that time explained that it was tailoring the scope of the Part 1 risk 
evaluation for asbestos using authorities in TSCA sections 6(b) and 
9(b)(1). As such, EPA did not evaluate hazards or exposures to the 
general population and the unreasonable risk determinations made in 
Part 1 of the asbestos risk evaluation do not account for exposures to 
the general population. However, EPA expects that any potential 
exposures to the general population would be adequately addressed 
through the proposed prohibition on the manufacture (including import), 
processing, distribution in commerce and commercial use of chrysotile 
asbestos to address the unreasonable risk posed to workers, ONUs, 
consumers and bystanders. EPA does plan to address exposures to the 
general population for the conditions of use evaluated in Part 2 of the 
risk evaluation.
    EPA also concluded that, based on the reasonably available 
information in the published literature provided by industries using 
asbestos and reporting to EPA databases, there were minimal or no 
releases of asbestos to surface water associated with the conditions of 
use that EPA evaluated in Part 1. Therefore, EPA concluded that there 
is low or no risk to aquatic and sediment-dwelling organisms from 
exposure to chrysotile asbestos. Terrestrial pathways, including 
biosolids from wastewater treatment plants, were excluded from the 
analysis at the problem formulation stage (Refs. 1 and 6). However, EPA 
expects that any potential exposures to terrestrial species, as with 
the general population, would be adequately addressed through the 
proposed prohibition on the manufacture (including import), processing, 
distribution in commerce and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos.

III. Regulatory Approach

A. Background

    Under TSCA section 6(a), if the Administrator determines through a 
TSCA section 6(b) risk evaluation that a chemical substance presents an 
unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, without 
consideration of costs or other non-risk factors, including an 
unreasonable risk to a potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation 
identified as relevant to the Agency's risk evaluation, under the 
conditions of use, EPA must by rule apply one or more requirements to 
the extent necessary so that the chemical substance no longer presents 
such risk.
    The TSCA section 6(a) requirements can include one or more of, the 
following actions:
     Prohibit, limit, or otherwise restrict, the manufacturing, 
processing, or distribution in commerce of the substance or mixture 
(TSCA section 6(a)(1)).
     Prohibit, limit, or otherwise restrict, the manufacturing, 
processing, or distribution in commerce of the substance or mixture for 
particular uses or above a specific concentration for a particular use 
(TSCA section 6(a)(2)).
     Require clear and adequate minimum warning and 
instructions with respect to use, distribution in commerce, or disposal 
of the substance or mixture (TSCA section 6(a)(3)).
     Require record keeping, monitoring or testing by 
manufacturers and processors (TSCA 6(a)(4)).
     Prohibit or regulate any manner or method of commercial 
use of the substance or mixture (TSCA section 6(a)(5)).
     Prohibit or otherwise regulate any manner or method of 
disposal of the substance or mixture by certain persons (TSCA section 
6(a)(6)).
     Direct manufacturers or processors to give notice of the 
determination of unreasonable risk to distributors, users, and the 
public and replace or repurchase the substance or mixture (TSCA section 
6(a)(7)).
    As described in Unit III.B., EPA analyzed how the TSCA section 6(a) 
requirements could be applied so that the unreasonable risk found to be 
presented in Part 1 of the risk evaluation for chrysotile asbestos is 
no longer presented. TSCA section 6(c)(2)(A) requires EPA, in proposing 
and promulgating TSCA section 6(a) rules, to include a statement of 
effects addressing certain issues, including the effects of the 
chemical substance on health and the environment; the magnitude of 
exposure of the chemical substance to humans and the environment; the 
benefits of the chemical substance for various uses; and the reasonably 
ascertainable economic consequences of the rule, including 
consideration of the likely

[[Page 21715]]

effects of the rule on the national economy, small business, 
technological innovation, the environment and public health; and the 
costs and benefits and the cost effectiveness of the regulatory action 
and of the one or more primary alternative regulatory actions 
considered by the Administrator. As a result, EPA is proposing a 
regulatory action and requesting comment on an alternative regulatory 
action, which are discussed in Unit IV. EPA is requesting public 
comment on all aspects of the proposed regulatory action and the 
primary alternative regulatory action.
    Under the authority of TSCA section 6(g), EPA may consider granting 
a time-limited exemption for a specific condition of use for which EPA 
finds: That the specific condition of use is a critical or essential 
use for which no technically and economically feasible safer 
alternative is available, taking into consideration hazard and 
exposure; that compliance with the proposed requirement would 
significantly disrupt the national economy, national security, or 
critical infrastructure; or that the specific condition of use of the 
chemical substance, as compared to reasonably available alternatives, 
provides a substantial benefit to health, the environment, or public 
safety. EPA is not proposing to grant an exemption from the rule 
requirements. EPA is aware that chlor-alkali chemicals are used in 
sectors important to the national economy and operation of critical 
infrastructure to protect human health, for uses such as drinking water 
treatment. Sectors include: Water and Wastewater Systems Sector, 
Chemical Sector, Critical Manufacturing Sector, Defense Industrial Base 
Sector, Emergency Services Sector, Energy Sector, Food and Agriculture 
Sector, and Healthcare and Public Health sector. EPA is requesting 
public comment regarding the need and rationale for exemptions from the 
proposed rule pursuant to the provisions of TSCA section 6(g).
    TSCA section 6(c)(2)(C) requires that, in deciding whether to 
prohibit or restrict in a manner that substantially prevents a specific 
condition of use and in setting an appropriate transition period for 
such action, EPA considers, to the extent practicable, whether 
technically and economically feasible alternatives that benefit health 
or the environment will be reasonably available as a substitute when 
the proposed prohibition or restriction takes effect. Unit III.B.4. 
includes more information regarding EPA's consideration of 
alternatives.
1. Consultations
    EPA conducted consultations and outreach in preparing for this 
proposed regulatory action. The Agency held a federalism consultation 
on May 13, 2021, as part of this rulemaking process and pursuant to 
Executive Order 13132. During the consultation EPA met with state and 
local officials early in the process of developing the proposed action 
to permit them to have meaningful and timely input into its development 
(Ref. 7). During the consultation, participants and EPA discussed the 
authority given under TSCA section 6 regarding prohibition, how 
alternatives may be treated in rulemaking, and which activities would 
be potentially regulated in the proposed rule (Ref. 7).
    On May 24, 2021, and June 3, 2021, EPA held tribal consultations 
for Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. Tribal officials were given the 
opportunity to meaningfully interact with EPA risk managers concerning 
the current status of risk management. EPA received questions during 
both meetings held during the consultation period concerning potential 
risks to workers, consumers, and general population (Ref. 8).
    EPA also conducted outreach to advocates of communities that might 
be subject to disproportionate exposure to chrysotile asbestos, such as 
minority populations, low-income populations and indigenous peoples. 
EPA's environmental justice (EJ) consultation occurred from June 1 
through August 13, 2021. On June 1 and 9, 2021, EPA held public 
meetings as part of this consultation. These meetings were held 
pursuant to and in compliance with Executive Orders 12898 and 14008. 
EPA received several comments following the EJ meetings. Commenters 
expressed concerns that consumers who live near chlor-alkali facilities 
and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) auto workers could be exposed unless 
chrysotile asbestos is banned (Ref. 9).
    Units VIII.C., VIII.E., VIII.F., VIII.J. provide more information 
regarding the consultations.
2. Other Stakeholder Consultations
    In addition to the consultations described in Units VIII.C., 
VIII.E., VIII.F., and VIII.J. on February 3, 2021, EPA held a public 
webinar (Ref. 10) and also attended a Small Business Administration 
roundtable on February 5, 2021, where EPA staff provided an overview of 
the TSCA risk management process and the findings in the Part 1 risk 
evaluation (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2021-0057). Attendees of these meetings were 
given an opportunity to voice their concerns on both the risk 
evaluation and the risk management process.
    Furthermore, EPA engaged in discussions with industry, non-
governmental organizations, other national governments, asbestos 
experts and users of chrysotile asbestos. Summaries of external 
meetings held during the development of this proposed rule are in the 
docket. These meetings helped to inform how long industry would need to 
implement a prohibition, how companies currently protect workers, and 
the extent to which each industry uses asbestos-free technology. 
Additionally, discussions with the Canadian government helped EPA to 
better understand how Canada approached its 2018 regulation to prohibit 
asbestos use (such as the asbestos-containing products covered in the 
prohibition and the chosen prohibition effective dates) to better 
inform this proposed rule (Refs. 4 and 11). The purpose of these 
stakeholder discussions was to hear from importers, processors, 
distributors, users, academics, advisory councils, and members of the 
public health community about the conditions of use evaluated for 
chrysotile asbestos; substitute chemicals or alternative methods; 
engineering control measures and personal protective equipment 
currently in use or potentially feasible for adoption; and other risk 
reduction approaches that may have already been adopted or considered 
for the evaluated conditions of use.

B. Regulatory Assessment of Chrysotile Asbestos Under Part 1

    This Unit describes the additional information that EPA considered 
in deciding the proposed regulatory approach for chrysotile asbestos, 
so that chrysotile asbestos would no longer present an unreasonable 
risk under the conditions of use evaluated under Part 1 of the risk 
evaluation. This Unit describes the unreasonable risk, the conditions 
of use of chrysotile asbestos that are the focus of this regulation, 
and how EPA is proposing to apply the TSCA section 6(a) requirements, 
including the consideration of alternatives in deciding whether to 
prohibit or restrict in a manner that substantially prevents a specific 
condition of use.
1. Description of Unreasonable Risk
    The health endpoint driving EPA's determination of unreasonable 
risk for chrysotile asbestos under the conditions of use is cancer from 
inhalation exposure (Ref. 1). This unreasonable risk includes the risk 
of mesothelioma,

[[Page 21716]]

lung cancer, and other cancers from chronic inhalation. An inhalation 
unit risk (IUR), which is an estimate of the carcinogenic risk 
associated with a unit concentration of air, was developed for 
chrysotile asbestos. The IUR was based on epidemiological studies on 
mesothelioma and lung cancer in cohorts of workers using chrysotile 
asbestos in commerce. Since there was no exposure-response data for 
cancer of the ovary and laryngeal cancer effects, a direct estimate of 
risk from ovarian and laryngeal cancer could not be made for the unit 
risk calculation. An adjustment factor for ovarian and laryngeal cancer 
effects was applied to risk value estimates to correct for the negative 
bias in the risk values derived from only lung cancer and mesothelioma. 
And, as discussed in Section 4.2.1 of the Risk Evaluation (Ref. 1), for 
workers and ONUs exposed in a workplace, EPA used as a benchmark extra 
risks of 1 cancer per 10,000 people. At this risk level 1x10-4 (1E-4), 
if the noncancer effects (e.g., asbestosis and pleural thickening) of 
chrysotile asbestos are similar to Libby Amphibole Asbestos, the non-
cancer effects of chrysotile asbestos are likely to contribute 
additional risk to the overall health risk of chrysotile asbestos 
beyond the risk of cancer. Thus, the overall health risks of chrysotile 
asbestos are underestimated based on cancer risk alone.
    For processing and industrial use of chrysotile asbestos 
diaphragms, EPA found unreasonable risk to workers from chronic 
inhalation exposure to chrysotile asbestos, based on industry data 
including personal air monitoring (i.e., worker breathing zone results) 
and area air monitoring (i.e., fixed location air monitoring results) 
that led to the high-end risk estimates exceeding the 1E-4 risk 
benchmark (Ref. 1).
    For both the processing (i.e., gasket cutting) and industrial use 
activities of chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets for chemical 
production, EPA found unreasonable risk to workers and ONUs from 
chronic inhalation exposure to chrysotile asbestos based on monitoring 
data provided by industry and data in the published literature (Ref. 
1).
    For the industrial use and disposal of chrysotile asbestos-
containing oilfield brake blocks, EPA found unreasonable risk to 
workers and ONUs from chronic inhalation exposure to chrysotile 
asbestos based on a 1988 study of Norway's offshore petroleum industry 
(Ref. 1).
    For the commercial use and disposal of aftermarket automotive 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings and other vehicle 
friction products (except for the NASA Super Guppy Turbine aircraft 
use), EPA found unreasonable risk to workers and ONUs from chronic 
inhalation exposure to chrysotile asbestos based on published 
literature and OSHA data (Section 2.3.1.8.1 of the Risk Evaluation). 
EPA determined, based on exposure data provided by NASA to EPA (Section 
2.3.1.8.2 of the Risk Evaluation), that the use and disposal of 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes for NASA's Super Guppy Turbine 
aircraft did not present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or 
the environment.
    For the commercial use and disposal of other chrysotile asbestos-
containing gaskets, EPA found unreasonable risk to workers and ONUs 
from chronic inhalation exposure to chrysotile asbestos based on 
exposure scenarios from occupational monitoring data for asbestos-
containing gasket replacement activities in vehicles.
    For consumer use and disposal of aftermarket automotive chrysotile 
asbestos-containing brakes/linings and other chrysotile asbestos-
containing gaskets, EPA found unreasonable risk to consumers and 
bystanders from chronic inhalation exposure to chrysotile asbestos, 
using as a benchmark cancer risk level of 1x10-6 (1E-6) for consumers 
and bystanders.
    EPA also noted in the Part 1 asbestos risk evaluation that it is 
possible for industrial workers or consumers working with aftermarket 
automotive products or other types of asbestos-containing gaskets to 
cause unintentional exposure to individuals in their residence due to 
take-home exposure from contaminated clothing or other items. While EPA 
did not identify or receive information which could inform such an 
exposure scenario and does not currently have models which can 
adequately evaluate and address this pathway, take-home exposures were 
considered pathways in the Part 1 risk evaluation for asbestos that 
could increase risk to populations associated with the workers, ONUs, 
consumers or bystanders.
    Unit V.A. summarizes the health effects and the magnitude of the 
exposures (Ref. 1).
    The regulatory actions proposed, and alternatives, so that 
chrysotile asbestos no longer presents this unreasonable risk, are in 
Unit IV.
2. Description of Conditions of Use
    This Unit describes the conditions of use subject to this proposed 
regulatory action.
    Although EPA identified both industrial and commercial uses in Part 
1 of the risk evaluation for purposes of distinguishing scenarios, the 
Agency clarified then and clarifies now that EPA interprets the 
authority over ``any manner or method of commercial use'' under TSCA 
section 6(a)(5) to reach both.
    The conditions of use subject to this proposed regulatory action do 
not include any legacy uses or associated disposal for chrysotile 
asbestos or other asbestos fiber types. EPA will consider legacy uses 
and associated disposals in Part 2 of the risk evaluation for asbestos 
(Ref. 1).
    a. Processing and industrial use of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms 
in the chlor-alkali industry:
    Chrysotile asbestos is imported and used by the chlor-alkali 
industry for the fabrication of semi-permeable diaphragms. The 
chrysotile asbestos diaphragms are used in an industrial process for 
the production of chorine and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). Asbestos 
is chemically inert and able to effectively separate chlorine and 
sodium hydroxide in electrolytic cells. The chlor-alkali chemical 
production process involves the separation of the sodium and chloride 
atoms of salt in saltwater (brine) via electricity to produce sodium 
hydroxide (caustic soda), hydrogen, and chlorine. This reaction occurs 
in an electrolytic cell. The cell contains two compartments separated 
by a semi-permeable diaphragm, which is made mostly of chrysotile 
asbestos. The diaphragm prevents the reaction of the caustic soda with 
the chlorine and allows for the separation of both materials for 
further processing. Diaphragms are typically used for 1-3 years before 
they must be replaced (Ref. 1).
    b. Processing and industrial use of chrysotile asbestos-containing 
sheet gaskets in chemical production:
    Sheet gaskets are used to form a leakproof seal between fixed 
components. Chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets are used primarily 
in industrial applications with extreme operating conditions, such as 
high temperatures, high pressures, and the presence of chlorine or 
other corrosive substances. Such extreme production conditions are 
found in many chemical manufacturing and processing operations, 
including: The manufacture of titanium dioxide and chlorinated 
hydrocarbons; polymerization reactions involving chlorinated monomers; 
and steam cracking at petrochemical facilities. Chrysotile asbestos-
containing gaskets are fabricated from sheets composed of 80% (minimum) 
chrysotile asbestos fully encapsulated in styrene butadiene rubber. The 
chrysotile asbestos-containing sheets are imported

[[Page 21717]]

into the U.S. in large rolls where they are cut to shape by a 
fabricator and subsequently used at titanium dioxide manufacturing 
facilities. Installed gaskets typically remain in use anywhere from a 
few weeks to three years (Ref. 1).
    c. Industrial use and disposal of chrysotile asbestos-containing 
brake blocks in oil industry:
    The rotary drilling rig of an oil well uses a drawworks hoisting 
machine to raise and lower the traveling blocks during drilling. The 
drawworks is a permanently installed component of a mobile drilling 
rig. The drawworks consists of a large-diameter steel spool, a motor, a 
main brake, a reduction gear, and an auxiliary brake. The brake of the 
drawworks hoisting machine is an essential component that is engaged 
when no motion of the traveling block is desired. Chrysotile asbestos-
containing brake blocks are imported for use in some drawworks, 
reportedly most often on larger drilling rigs. Spent brake blocks must 
periodically be replaced by workers in the oilfield industry who 
maintain the rig (Ref. 1).
    d. Commercial use and disposal of aftermarket automotive chrysotile 
asbestos-containing brakes/linings:
    The two primary types of automobile brakes are drum brakes and disc 
brakes, and chrysotile asbestos has been found in both, in linings for 
drum brake assemblies and pads in disc brake assemblies. Disc brakes 
are much more common today than drum brakes, but many passenger 
vehicles have a combination of disc brakes for the front wheels and 
drum brakes for the rear wheels. Chrysotile asbestos fibers offer many 
properties that are desired for brake linings and brake pads, and up 
through the 1990s many new automobiles manufactured in the United 
States had brake assemblies with asbestos-containing components. 
However, by 2000, asbestos was no longer used in the brakes of 
virtually any original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automobiles sold 
domestically. Asbestos in automotive parts is not currently banned in 
the U.S., and asbestos-containing brake products may be imported and 
sold in the United States. The quantity of asbestos-containing brake 
parts imported is unknown. Therefore, asbestos could be found in the 
United States: (1) In vehicles on the road that have asbestos-
containing brakes, whether from older and vintage vehicles or 
aftermarket parts; and (2) in vehicles that have new asbestos-
containing brakes installed by establishments or individuals that use 
certain imported products. Brakes must be repaired and replaced 
periodically, which involves activities that create dust and potential 
occupational exposure to asbestos (Ref. 1).
    e. Commercial use and disposal of other chrysotile asbestos-
containing vehicle friction products:
    While EPA has verified that U.S. automotive manufacturers are not 
installing asbestos-containing brakes on new cars for domestic 
distribution, EPA identified a company that claimed to import asbestos-
containing brakes and then install them on cars in the United States 
for export only. Following completion of the risk evaluation, and 
during the risk management phase following publication of the final 
risk evaluation, this company disavowed this practice (Ref. 12).
    In addition, there is a limited use of asbestos-containing brakes 
for a special, large transport plane, the ``Super-Guppy'' Turbine (SGT) 
aircraft, owned and operated by the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA). The SGT aircraft is a specialty cargo plane that 
transports oversized equipment, and it is considered a mission-critical 
vehicle. Only one SGT aircraft is in operation today, and NASA acquired 
it in 1997. The SGT aircraft averages approximately 100 flights per 
year. When not in use, it is hangered and maintained at a NASA facility 
in El Paso, Texas. The SGT aircraft has eight landing gear systems, and 
each system has 32 brake blocks, which contain chrysotile asbestos. 
Potential worker exposures are associated with servicing the brakes. As 
explained in the risk evaluation, the following two conditions of use 
do not present unreasonable risk, and therefore do not require 
mitigation by this proposed regulation: Use of chrysotile asbestos-
containing brakes for a specialized, large NASA transport plane; and 
the disposal of chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes for a 
specialized, large NASA transport plane (Ref. 1).
    f. Commercial use and disposal of other asbestos-containing 
gaskets:
    EPA also identified the use of chrysotile asbestos-containing 
gaskets in the exhaust system of a specific type of utility vehicle 
manufactured and available for purchase in the United States. The 
utility vehicle manufacturer purported at the time to receive the pre-
cut gaskets which are then installed during manufacture of the vehicle. 
The gaskets may be removed during servicing of the exhaust system. EPA 
determined that workers and ONUs who install the gaskets during 
assembly and workers who may repair these vehicles are exposed to 
asbestos (Ref. 1).
    g. Consumer use and disposal of aftermarket automotive chrysotile 
asbestos-containing brakes/linings:
    As discussed in Unit III.B.2.d., asbestos could be found in the 
United States: (1) In vehicles on the road that have asbestos-
containing brakes, whether from original manufacturers (primarily for 
older and vintage vehicles) or aftermarket parts; and (2) in vehicles 
that have new asbestos-containing brakes installed by establishments or 
individuals that use certain imported products. Brakes must be repaired 
and replaced periodically, activities which create dust and exposure to 
asbestos for consumers and bystanders who perform their own do-it-
yourself automobile maintenance and repairs on asbestos-containing 
components (Ref. 1).
    h. Consumer use and disposal of other asbestos-containing gaskets:
    As discussed in Unit III.B.2.f., EPA also identified the use of 
chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets in the exhaust system of a 
specific type of utility vehicle manufactured and available for 
purchase in the United States. The gaskets may be removed during 
servicing of the exhaust system. EPA determined that do-it-yourself 
consumers who may repair these vehicles and bystanders are exposed to 
asbestos (Ref. 1).
3. Description of TSCA Section 6(a) Requirements Considered To Address 
Unreasonable Risk
    EPA examined which requirements or combination of requirements 
under TSCA section 6(a), as described in Unit III, have the potential 
to reduce the risk to workers, occupational non-users (ONUs), consumers 
and bystanders so that chrysotile asbestos no longer presents 
unreasonable risk. As required by TSCA, as amended, in selecting among 
these requirements, EPA factored in, to the extent practicable, 
considerations including the effects of the chemical on health and the 
environment, the benefits of the chemical substance for various uses, 
and the reasonably ascertainable economic consequences of the rule, 
including the effect of the rule on the national economy, small 
business, technological innovation, the environment and public health; 
the costs and benefits of the proposed regulatory action and one or 
more primary regulatory alternative regulatory actions considered; and 
the cost effectiveness of the proposed regulatory action and of the one 
or more primary alternative regulatory actions considered. See Unit V 
for further discussion related to TSCA section

[[Page 21718]]

(c)(2)(A) considerations, including the statement of effects of the 
proposed rule with respect to these considerations.
    EPA developed a proposed regulatory action and one primary 
alternative regulatory action, which are described in Units IV.A. and 
IV.B. To identify and select a regulatory action, EPA considered the 
route of exposure driving the unreasonable risk (inhalation) and the 
exposed population. For consumer conditions of use, EPA considered how 
it could exercise its authority under TSCA to regulate the 
manufacturing, processing, and distribution in commerce of chrysotile 
asbestos at different levels in the supply chain to eliminate or 
restrict the availability of chrysotile asbestos and chrysotile 
asbestos-containing products for consumer use to effectively address 
the unreasonable risk to consumers and bystanders. EPA also considered 
the regulatory authority under TSCA and other statutes such as OSHA, 
CPSA, and other EPA-administered statutes to examine (1) whether there 
are opportunities for identified risk from chrysotile asbestos to be 
addressed under other statutes, such that a referral may be warranted 
under TSCA section 9(a) or section 9(b), or (2) whether TSCA section 
6(a) regulation could include alignment of requirements and definitions 
to minimize confusion to the regulated entities and the general public.
    In addition, EPA considered other TSCA requirements such as the 
consideration of alternatives when recommending prohibition or a 
substantial restriction (TSCA section 6(c)(2)(C), as outlined in Unit 
III.B.4.), and the requirements in TSCA section 6(d)(1)(B) for 
compliance dates (described in the proposed and primary alternative 
regulatory actions in Unit IV.).
    To the extent information was reasonably available, when selecting 
regulatory actions, EPA considered the pollution prevention actions and 
the hierarchy of controls adopted by OSHA and NIOSH, with the goal of 
identifying risk management control methods that are permanent, 
feasible, and effective. EPA also considered how to address the 
unreasonable risk while providing flexibility to the regulated 
entities, given the functionality and the performance efficacy of 
chrysotile asbestos. EPA considered the information presented in the 
risk evaluation, additional input from stakeholders (as described in 
Unit III.A.) and anticipated compliance strategies from regulated 
entities.
    EPA evaluated regulatory options under TSCA section 6(a) to address 
the unreasonable risk found to be presented by chrysotile asbestos 
under the conditions of use evaluated in the Risk Evaluation for 
Asbestos, Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. EPA is proposing a prohibition 
of the manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in 
commerce and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form and as 
part of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-alkali 
industry and chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in 
chemical production (descriptions of these conditions of use are in 
Unit III.B.2.) two years following the effective date of the final 
rule, which is 60 days after final rule promulgation. Associated with 
that prohibition, EPA considered and is proposing interim recordkeeping 
requirements and is proposing to cross reference existing disposal 
regulations. The proposed prohibition, recordkeeping requirements, and 
cross referencing are described in more detail in Unit IV.A. Similarly, 
EPA evaluated and is proposing a prohibition of the manufacture 
(including import), processing, distribution in commerce and industrial 
or commercial use of chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks used 
in the oil industry; aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-
containing brakes/linings; other vehicle friction products; and 
asbestos-containing gaskets 180 days after the effective date of the 
final rule. EPA is further proposing pursuant to TSCA section 6(a) to 
prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution 
in commerce of aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing 
brakes/linings for consumer use, and other chrysotile asbestos-
containing gaskets for consumer use 180 days after the effective date 
of the final rule. EPA also is proposing disposal and recordkeeping 
requirements for these conditions of use. EPA does not intend the 
proposed prohibitions on processing or distribution in commerce to 
prohibit any processing or distribution in commerce incidental to 
disposal of the chrysotile asbestos waste in accordance with the 
proposed requirements.
    EPA considered alternative regulatory requirements that would 
reduce exposures in occupational settings and address consumer and 
bystander exposure so that chrysotile asbestos no longer presents 
unreasonable risk. A possible requirement under TSCA section 6(a) that 
EPA considered was the use of respirators; however, EPA determined that 
respirators were not adequate for all conditions of use that are 
driving unreasonable risk, and EPA also would like to consider the 
NIOSH/OSHA hierarchy of controls instead of consideringly only 
respirators as part of management of occupational exposures. Other 
possible requirements under TSCA section 6(a) such as limiting the 
weight fraction or size of the items containing chrysotile asbestos, 
were not considered since those seemed impracticable for the conditions 
of use under consideration. Other possible requirements under TSCA 
section 6(a) that EPA considered in combination under the primary 
alternative regulatory action, such as labels, warning signs, and 
recordkeeping, are discussed in Unit IV.B.
    The primary alternative option EPA considered for the chlor-alkali 
diaphragm and sheet gasket categories was a prohibition to take effect 
over a longer time (five years), and the establishment of a risk-based 
performance standard, known as an existing chemical exposure limit 
(ECEL) to reduce inhalation exposures by workers and occupational non-
users during that period prior to the prohibition. EPA developed an 8-
hour time-weighted average (TWA) ECEL in support of risk management 
efforts on chrysotile asbestos under TSCA section 6(a). EPA calculated 
the ECEL to be 0.005 fibers/cc (f/cc) for inhalation exposures to 
chrysotile asbestos as an 8-hour TWA (Ref. 13).
    Requirements to meet an ECEL would not include requirements for 
specific engineering or administrative controls; rather, the ECEL is a 
performance-based exposure limit that would allow regulated entities to 
determine how to most effectively meet the ECEL based on what works 
best for their workplace, while following the hierarchy of controls to 
the extent feasible (e.g., preferential use of methods which prevent 
generation or release of asbestos in the workplace rather than relying 
on respiratory protection to meet the ECEL; see Unit IV.B.1, Exposure 
Controls).
    In general, industrial and commercial facilities are already 
familiar with the concept of permissible exposure limits (PELs) 
required by OSHA. Based on their familiarity with the PELs and 
corresponding methods of compliance, some industrial and commercial 
facilities may be able to implement an ECEL. EPA recognizes that an 
ECEL will require time and resources to prepare for and therefore did 
not propose to include it for the two-year interim period prior to the 
proposed prohibition date. It is also unknown whether facilities could, 
under the ECEL provision, routinely monitor at or below the ECEL or 
ECEL-action level with reasonable certainty. Additionally, there are 
uncertainties regarding whether

[[Page 21719]]

facilities would need to routinely rely on the use of respiratory 
protection considering the engineering and administrative controls 
already in place and the effectiveness of the respiratory protection to 
ensure that air concentrations above the ECEL do not result in 
unreasonable risk (see Section 2.3.1.2 of the Risk Evaluation). For 
these reasons, EPA did not include in the proposed regulation 
requirements to meet an ECEL. However, the ECEL is included as an 
interim exposure reduction measure in the primary alternative 
regulatory action, based on the longer interim period prior to 
prohibition considered in the primary alternative regulatory action. 
Details of the ECEL requirement included in the primary alternative 
regulatory action, including how facilities could demonstrate 
compliance, are described in Unit IV.B.
    In addition, EPA considered other requirements, such as requiring 
monitoring and recordkeeping to demonstrate compliance with the ECEL, 
or downstream notification to communicate the date of prohibition for 
manufacturing, processing and distribution in commerce. These 
requirements are described in Unit IV.B.
    As required under TSCA section 6(d), any rule under TSCA section 
6(a) must specify the date of compliance, which shall be as soon as 
practicable with a reasonable transition period but begin no later than 
five years after the date of promulgation of the rule. These proposed 
compliance dates are detailed in Unit IV.A.
    Because a determination has been made that chrysotile asbestos 
presents an unreasonable risk to health within the United States or to 
the environment of the United States, pursuant to TSCA section 
12(a)(2), this proposed rule would apply to chrysotile asbestos even if 
being manufactured, processed, or distributed in commerce solely for 
export from the United States.
    After considering the different regulatory requirements under TSCA 
section 6(a), consideration of alternatives (described in Unit 
III.B.4.), compliance dates, and other requirements under TSCA section 
6(c), EPA developed the proposed regulatory action described in Unit 
IV.A. and a primary alternative regulatory action described in Units 
IV.B.1., IV.B.5, IV.B.6, and IV.B.7.
4. Consideration of Alternatives in Deciding Whether To Prohibit or 
Substantially Restrict Chrysotile Asbestos
    In selecting among prohibitions and other restrictions available 
under TSCA section 6(a), EPA must under section 6(c)(2)(A) and (B) 
consider and factor in, to the extent practicable, the health and 
environmental effects and exposures of the chemical, the benefits of 
the chemical for various uses and the reasonably ascertainable economic 
consequences of the rule (described in Unit V.). Further, under TSCA 
section 6(c)(2)(C) and based on the information published under TSCA 
section 6(c)(2)(A), in deciding whether to prohibit or restrict in a 
manner that substantially prevents a specific condition of use of a 
chemical substance or mixture, and in setting an appropriate transition 
period for such action, EPA must also consider, to the extent 
practicable, whether technically and economically feasible alternatives 
that benefit health or the environment will be reasonably available as 
a substitute when the proposed prohibition or other restriction takes 
effect.
    a. Health and environmental effects of the chemical alternatives or 
substitute methods:
    In considering the potential chemical alternatives or substitute 
methods for chrysotile asbestos for the conditions of use evaluated in 
the risk evaluation, EPA notes that chrysotile asbestos is not 
currently the primary substance most commonly used in these conditions 
of use, nor has it been for the last decade. Chlor-alkali asbestos 
diaphragms, sheet gaskets for chemical production, aftermarket 
automotive breaks, oilfield brake blocks, other gaskets and other 
friction products containing chrysotile asbestos are relatively 
uncommon in the market space, as described in the risk evaluation. 
There are a number of alternatives to asbestos in these conditions of 
use that make up the majority of the market share and have been 
preferentially used for some time, in part as a result of the known 
severe and adverse health effects related to asbestos exposure. Based 
on the information published under TSCA section 6(c)(2)(A), EPA does 
not expect any adverse impacts to human health and the environment to 
result from the further reduction of asbestos in these conditions of 
use when compared to the continued use of asbestos.
    EPA acknowledges that substitute technologies for asbestos-
containing diaphragms in chlor-alkali production use an increased 
concentration of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) relative to 
the amount of PFAS compounds contained in asbestos-containing 
diaphragms. As discussed in the Economic Analysis, the three types of 
chlor-alkali production technologies commonly used in the United States 
vary in their use of PFAS. Non-asbestos diaphragms have a higher 
concentration of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, a polymeric 
perfluorinated substance) than asbestos-containing diaphragms, and non-
asbestos membranes are made of PTFE, perfluorinated carboxylic acids 
and perfluorosulfonic acids. Therefore, the transition away from 
asbestos-containing diaphragms could result in greater usage and 
release of PFAS. EPA lacks information to determine whether increased 
usage is likely to cause increased release of PFAS at chlor-alkali 
facilities that currently rely on asbestos-containing diaphragms, 
chlor-alkali facilities that do not currently use asbestos-containing 
diaphragms that may expand their production as a result of the 
regulation, upstream facilities that produce membranes, or upstream 
facilities that produce perfluorinated fibers used in non-asbestos 
diaphragms. EPA requests public comment with monitoring data and other 
information that would allow the Agency to assess how a transition away 
from asbestos containing diaphragms may affect exposures to PFAS 
released by chlor-alkali facilities. Despite these uncertainties about 
possible greater use and release of PFAS, EPA believes the benefits of 
removing chrysotile asbestos, a known human carcinogen that causes an 
aggressive and deadly cancer (mesothelioma), from continued use in the 
United States, are significant even though there are uncertainties 
regarding the potential additional exposure to PFAS that might result 
from this action.
    b. Technical feasibility, economic feasibility, and reasonable 
availability of the chemical alternatives or substitute methods:
    As mentioned, there are a number of alternatives to asbestos in 
these conditions of use that make up the majority of the market share 
and have been preferentially used for some time. EPA received input 
from stakeholders regarding their concerns about alternatives to 
chrysotile asbestos. EPA expects non-asbestos diaphragms and membrane 
cells will be the likely substitutes to asbestos diaphragms. Each 
chlor-alkali industry member consulted expressed concerns about the 
economic feasibility of transitioning to asbestos free technology 
(Refs. 14, 15, 16, 17, and 20), indicating that would take a 
significant amount of time. Several stakeholders provided feedback on 
alternatives to chrysotile asbestos for the sheet gasket use in 
chemical production. Generally, these stakeholders described how the 
transition from asbestos use for titanium dioxide production would 
require significant capital investment. One stakeholder noted they have 
a titanium dioxide production facility

[[Page 21720]]

located in Taiwan that uses asbestos-free gaskets. The stakeholder, 
however, stated that the technology used in the Taiwan facility would 
not suit certain domestic titanium dioxide plants because the large 
diameter flanges in the domestic plants result in performance issues 
with the asbestos-free gaskets (Ref. 14). Non-asbestos technologies 
already dominate the market for other gaskets, oilfield brake blocks, 
brakes and other friction products. Although, stakeholders indicated 
the advantages of using asbestos (e.g., asbestos in automotive drum 
brakes advantages include thermal stability, flexibility, resistance to 
wear, and low cost), and limitations of the non-asbestos replacements 
(e.g., non-asbestos replacements in brake blocks have a useful life 
half that of products containing asbestos, are more expensive than 
asbestos-containing products, and are subject to sudden failure) (Ref. 
2). Non-asbestos aftermarket automotive brakes are estimated to cost an 
average of $4 more than brakes containing asbestos. Asbestos-free brake 
blocks are also more expensive than those containing asbestos according 
to a company importing asbestos brake blocks. EPA was unable to 
identify any companies currently supplying or using other gaskets or 
other friction products containing asbestos, so the Agency does not 
have information on the cost differentials between products that 
contain asbestos and those that are asbestos-free. Additional 
information is available in the risk evaluation (Ref. 1) and economic 
analysis (Ref. 2).

IV. Proposed and Primary Alternative Regulatory Actions

    This Unit describes EPA's proposed regulatory action to address the 
unreasonable risk identified for chrysotile asbestos under certain 
conditions of use in EPA's Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1, so that 
chrysotile asbestos no longer presents such risk (Ref. 1). In addition, 
as indicated by TSCA section 6(c)(2)(A), EPA must consider the cost and 
benefits and the cost effectiveness of the proposed regulatory action 
and one or more primary alternative regulatory actions. In the case of 
chrysotile asbestos, the proposed regulatory option is described in 
Unit IV.A. and the primary alternative regulatory action is described 
in Unit IV.B.

A. Proposed Regulatory Action

    EPA is proposing under TSCA section 6(a) to: Prohibit manufacture 
(including import), processing, distribution in commerce and commercial 
use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or as part of: Chrysotile 
asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry; chrysotile asbestos-
containing sheet gaskets in chemical production; chrysotile asbestos-
containing brake blocks in the oil industry; aftermarket automotive 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings; and other vehicle 
friction products. EPA is also proposing to prohibit manufacture 
(including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of 
aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings 
for consumer use and other chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets for 
consumer use. EPA is also proposing disposal requirements and 
recordkeeping requirements under which regulated parties would document 
compliance with the proposed disposal requirements. EPA does not intend 
the proposed prohibitions on processing or distribution in commerce to 
prohibit any processing or distribution in commerce incidental to 
disposal of the chrysotile asbestos waste in accordance with the 
proposed requirements.
    Under this proposed approach and pursuant to TSCA section 6(d)(1), 
the manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in 
commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or as 
part of diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry and for asbestos-
containing sheet gaskets used in chemical production would be 
prohibited two years after the effective date of the final rule. 
Manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, 
and commercial use of: Chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks in 
the oil industry; aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing 
brakes/linings; other chrysotile asbestos-containing vehicle friction 
products; and asbestos-containing gaskets would be prohibited 180 days 
after the effective date of the final rule. Disposal and recordkeeping 
requirements would take effect 180 days after the effective date of the 
final rule. As noted in Unit III.B.2.e, these prohibitions would not 
apply to chrysotile asbestos in the NASA Super Guppy Turbine aircraft, 
which is a condition of use for which EPA did not make a determination 
of unreasonable risk.
    EPA requests comment on any suggestions to address the unreasonable 
risk identified while recognizing that chrysotile asbestos is a natural 
occurring fiber that may be unintentionally present (e.g., by 
incorporating a de minimis level). In particular, in lieu of proposing 
a de minimis provision for chrysotile asbestos with this proposed rule, 
EPA requests comment on incorporating a de minimis provision for 
chrysotile asbestos where the regulatory requirements of the rule would 
apply: (1) Only at concentrations in a product greater than or equal to 
0.1% by weight; (2) at any concentration in a product, if intentionally 
added; or (3) above another de minimis level.
    Other national governments, in their prohibitions of asbestos, have 
used threshold levels or other provisions to limit the regulation of 
products that contain trace amounts of chrysotile asbestos present as 
unintentional or naturally occurring fibers in other material obtained 
from mineral sources, such as brake pads and other friction materials 
(Ref. 4).
    1. Prohibition on manufacture (including import), processing, 
distribution in commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos in 
bulk form or as part of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-
alkali industry and for chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets in 
chemical production.
    EPA consulted with several companies who manufacture, process, 
distribute, and use chrysotile asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-alkali 
industry and process and use chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet 
gaskets in chemical production. Each company stated that while 
alternatives may exist, they could take many years to implement. EPA 
considered this information while developing the proposed regulatory 
option and compliance timeframes.
    EPA proposes to prohibit manufacturing (including import), 
processing, distribution in commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile 
asbestos under TSCA sections 6(a)(2) and 6(a)(5) in bulk form or as 
part of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-alkali 
industry and for chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in 
chemical production. The prohibition would take effect two years from 
the effective date of the final rule. Pursuant to TSCA section 6(d)(1), 
when EPA elects to ban or phase-out a chemical substance, the start of 
the ban or phaseout must be as soon as practicable but not later than 
five years after the date of promulgation of the rule, and the date for 
full implementation must be as soon as practicable thereafter. EPA 
believes safer, economically viable alternatives are available for 
these conditions of use. Specifically, for the chrysotile asbestos 
diaphragms, EPA is aware of one company already transitioning to 
exclusive use of alternative technologies such as membrane and non-
asbestos diaphragm technologies. All three domestic companies that use 
chrysotile

[[Page 21721]]

asbestos diaphragms currently also use membrane or non-asbestos 
diaphragms at their chlor-alkali facilities. The plants range in age 
from 40 to 123 years old, although some have had new capacity added as 
recently as 16 years ago, and others may have had recent 
refurbishments. EPA understands from industry stakeholder consultations 
that there are no plans to build new chlor-alkali plants that use 
chrysotile asbestos technology for the production of chlorine and 
caustic soda (Refs. 14, 15, and 16). One of the three remaining chlor-
alkali companies that continue to use chrysotile-asbestos technology 
domestically stated to EPA in 2017 that they plan to voluntarily 
discontinue the use chrysotile asbestos (Ref. 18).
    Globally, the chlor-alkali industry has transitioned away from 
chrysotile asbestos diaphragms to membrane-based technology or 
asbestos-free diaphragm technology due to prohibitions or impending 
prohibitions of chrysotile asbestos and the advantages of asbestos-free 
technology including greater energy efficiency, and reduced waste 
handling and disposal costs for asbestos-free materials. Only one 
chlor-alkali plant that uses chrysotile asbestos technology remains in 
operation in the European Union (EU), but it will phase-out of 
chrysotile asbestos use no later than 2025 to comply with the EU 
prohibition on chrysotile asbestos use by that date (Ref. 19). One 
chlor-alkali plant utilizing chrysotile asbestos technology remains in 
operation in Canada (Ref. 11). The Canadian government prohibited 
chrysotile asbestos use in the chlor-alkali industry with a compliance 
date of no later than the end of 2029.
    EPA considers the proposed two-year effective date for the 
prohibition on manufacturing (including import), processing, 
distribution in commerce, and use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form 
and as part of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-alkali 
industry to be achievable by the industry, thus meeting the ``as soon 
as practicable'' requirement of TSCA section 6(d)(1). EPA believes an 
aggressive transition away from chrysotile asbestos will spur adoption 
of superior technology and that potential supply disruptions could be 
addressed in the shorter term through increased importing of caustic 
soda and derivatives of chlorine and caustic soda, and over time with 
increased production at existing non-asbestos diaphragm or membrane-
based chlor-alkali plants. However, EPA is aware that public drinking 
water and wastewater systems have experienced substantial price 
increases for chlor-alkali products related to supply shortages and 
COVID pandemic impacts. EPA has insufficient information to fully 
assess the impact of this proposed rule on the cost or availability of 
water treatment chemicals. EPA requests public comment on the potential 
impact of changes in supply on the availability and cost of water 
treatment chemicals, including both chlorine and caustic soda used 
directly in water treatment as well as the potential impact on the cost 
of other water treatment chemicals derived from chlorine or caustic 
soda.
    Chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets are used in limited 
chemical production applications, particularly for the manufacture of 
titanium dioxide. EPA believes alternative gaskets are available that 
can meet the high-temperature and pressure conditions for which the 
chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets are currently used. At least one 
manufacturer of titanium dioxide uses only asbestos-free gaskets (Ref. 
14) and the two-year transition away from existing use of chrysotile 
gaskets should be feasible based on the availability of these 
substitutes.
    EPA requests comment on whether the proposed prohibition date would 
both provide a reasonable transition period and be as soon as 
practicable under TSCA section 6(d)(1). EPA requests specific 
information to support or refute its assumption that plants using 
asbestos diaphragms will convert to non-asbestos technologies, and the 
timeframes required for such conversions. EPA is requesting comments on 
potential alternative transition strategies and timing to implement 
those strategies. EPA is requesting specific information regarding 
potential barriers to achieving the proposed prohibition date while 
considering the supply of chlor-alkali chemicals and on the potential 
impact of this transition on the market price of chlor-alkali 
chemicals.
    2. Prohibition on manufacture (including import), processing, 
distribution in commerce, and commercial use of: Chrysotile asbestos-
containing brake blocks in the oil industry; aftermarket automotive 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings; asbestos-containing 
vehicle friction products; and other asbestos-containing gaskets.
    EPA is proposing under TSCA section 6(a)(2) and 6(a)(5) to prohibit 
manufacturing (including import), processing, distribution in commerce 
and commercial use of: Chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks in 
the oil industry; aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing 
brakes/linings; other asbestos-containing vehicle friction products 
(excluding the NASA SGT use); and other asbestos-containing gaskets. 
Based upon discussions with trade groups and industry representatives 
(Refs. 14, 15, 16, 17, 20 and 21), EPA believes chrysotile asbestos is 
almost entirely phased out for these product categories. Thus, these 
prohibitions would not only address the unreasonable risk EPA has 
identified, but also, for this reason, upon consideration of the TSCA 
section 6(c)(2)(A) factors can achieve that statutory requirement 
without an undue economic burden on these industries overall. EPA is 
proposing that the prohibition take effect 180 days after the effective 
date of the final rule for these categories of use. In the context of 
these specific uses of chrysotile asbestos, which EPA believes are 
almost entirely phased out, EPA has no information indicating that 
these proposed compliance dates are not practicable; however, EPA is 
requesting public comment regarding the timing of the prohibition . 
This additional amount of time from the proposed regulatory option is 
meant to account for stakeholders who may not have engaged with EPA in 
advance of this proposed rule, and who may potentially have difficulty 
immediately transitioning away from chrysotile asbestos in the 
manufacture, processing, distribution, and use, of chrysotile asbestos-
containing brake blocks, chrysotile asbestos-containing aftermarket 
automotive brakes and linings, other chrysotile asbestos-containing 
vehicle friction products and other chrysotile asbestos-containing 
gaskets.
    3. Prohibition on manufacture (including import), processing, and 
distribution in commerce for aftermarket automotive chrysotile 
asbestos-containing brakes/linings and other asbestos-containing 
gaskets for consumer use.
    EPA is proposing under TSCA section 6(a)(2) to prohibit the 
manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in 
commerce of aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing 
brakes/linings for consumer use and of other chrysotile asbestos-
containing gaskets for consumer use. EPA is proposing that the 
prohibition on manufacture (including import), processing and 
distribution in commerce for consumer use take effect 180 days after 
the effective date of the final rule for these categories of use, 
identical to the equivalent proposed prohibition on manufacture 
(including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of 
chrysotile asbestos for commercial use. EPA has no information 
indicating that the proposed compliance dates for these

[[Page 21722]]

prohibitions are not practicable for these consumer use-related 
categories. While EPA does not have the authority under TSCA section 
6(a)(5) to regulate consumer use or under TSCA section 6(a)(6) to 
regulate disposal by someone other than a manufacturer, processor, or a 
person who uses or disposes of the substance commercially, prohibiting 
the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in 
commerce of these products for both commercial and consumer uses will 
remove them from the market and therefore effectively eliminate new 
instances of consumer use and the associated disposals from such use.
    4. Other requirements.
    a. Disposal:
    EPA proposes to cross reference existing EPA and OSHA regulations 
that address asbestos-containing waste disposal. By following these 
existing regulations, worker and ONU exposure to chrysotile asbestos 
during disposal can be prevented.
    For this rule, EPA proposes that for each condition of use, 
regulated entities must adhere to waste disposal requirements described 
in OSHA's Asbestos General Industry Standard in 29 CFR 1910.1001, 
including 1910.1001(k)(6), which requires waste, scrap, debris, bags, 
containers, equipment, and clothing contaminated with asbestos that are 
consigned for disposal to be disposed of in sealed impermeable bags or 
other closed, impermeable containers. EPA expects regulated entities to 
follow these requirements for unused and end-of-use products containing 
chrysotile asbestos
    Additionally, for the chrysotile asbestos diaphragm condition of 
use, as well as oilfield brake blocks, other vehicle friction products, 
and any commercial use of other gaskets and aftermarket automotive 
brakes and linings, EPA is proposing to cross-reference the disposal 
requirements of Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air 
Pollutants (NESHAP) (40 CFR part 61, subpart M) at 40 CFR 61.150. The 
asbestos NESHAP reduces exposure to airborne asbestos by generally 
requiring sealing of asbestos-containing waste material from regulated 
activities in a leak-tight container and disposing of it in a landfill 
permitted to receive asbestos waste. EPA is not proposing to cross-
reference this same NESHAP waste disposal provision for the disposal of 
chrysotile asbestos-containing waste from sheet gasket processing and 
use, because EPA did not find unreasonable risk for the disposal of 
sheet gaskets. However, EPA is requesting comment on this, since, 
according to industry communications to EPA, they already follow these 
work practices.
    EPA is also proposing to require that, upon disposal, each 
manufacturer (including importer), processor, and distributor of 
chrysotile asbestos, including as part of products and articles, for 
consumer uses subject to this proposed regulation, dispose of such 
items in accordance with specified disposal provisions. These consumer 
uses are aftermarket automotive brakes and linings, and other gaskets. 
These consumer use supply chain disposal requirements are consistent 
with those proposed for disposers of aftermarket automotive brakes and 
linings, and other gaskets, intended for commercial use. EPA does not 
generally have TSCA section 6(a) authority to directly regulate 
consumer use and disposal, but under TSCA section 6(a) EPA may 
nonetheless regulate the disposal activity of suppliers of these 
products, including importers, wholesalers and retailers of asbestos-
containing aftermarket automotive brakes and linings, and other 
gaskets.
    The proposed disposal requirements would take effect 180 days after 
the effective date of the final rule. EPA has no information indicating 
that this 180-day compliance period, after the 60-day effective date of 
the final rule, is not practicable for regulated entities to comply 
with the proposed disposal provisions; however, EPA requests comment on 
whether the proposed time is adequate. EPA also requests comments on 
the practicability of making the proposed disposal requirements take 
effect sooner than 180 days after the final rule effective date.
    b. Recordkeeping for disposal:
    EPA is also proposing that each person who disposes of any 
chrysotile asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-containing products or 
articles subject to the disposal provisions of this proposed rule must 
retain any records generated pursuant to, or otherwise documenting 
compliance with specified disposal regulations. These records must be 
retained in one location at the headquarters of the company, or at the 
facility for which the records were generated, and they must be 
retained for five years from the date of generation. In addition, EPA 
is exercising its authority under TSCA section 6 to apply recordkeeping 
requirements to distributors of asbestos-containing products who are 
not also manufacturers (including importers), or processors identified 
in the risk evaluation.
    The proposed recordkeeping requirements would take effect 180 days 
after the effective date of the final rule. EPA has no information 
indicating that a 180-day period is not practicable for regulated 
entities to modify their recordkeeping systems to comply with the 
proposed rule; however, EPA requests comment on whether the proposed 
time is adequate. EPA also requests comments on the practicability of 
making the proposed recordkeeping requirements take effect sooner than 
180 days and whether additional recordkeeping requirement are necessary 
to further document compliance with this proposed rule.

B. Primary Alternative Regulatory Action

    As indicated by TSCA section 6(c)(2)(A), EPA must consider the cost 
and benefits and the cost effectiveness of the proposed regulatory 
action and one or more primary alternative regulatory actions. EPA's 
primary alternative regulatory action is to: Prohibit manufacture 
(including import), processing, distribution in commerce and commercial 
use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or as part of: Chrysotile 
asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry and for chrysotile 
asbestos-containing sheet gaskets in chemical production (with 
prohibitions taking effect five years after the effective date of the 
final rule) and require, prior to the prohibition taking effect, 
compliance with an existing chemicals exposure limit (ECEL) for the 
processing and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos for these uses; 
and to prohibit manufacture (including import), processing, 
distribution in commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos-
containing brake blocks in the oil industry; aftermarket automotive 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings; and other vehicle 
friction products (with prohibitions taking effect two years after the 
effective date of the final rule and with additional requirements for 
disposal). The primary alternative regulatory action also includes 
prohibitions on manufacture (including import), processing, and 
distribution in commerce of aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-
containing brakes/linings for consumer use and other chrysotile 
asbestos-containing gaskets for consumer use (with prohibitions taking 
effect two years after the effective date of the final rule). The 
primary alternative regulatory action also would require disposal of 
chrysotile asbestos-containing materials in a manner identical to the 
proposed option, with additional provisions for downstream notification 
and signage and labeling. EPA does not intend the primary alternative 
regulatory action's

[[Page 21723]]

prohibitions on processing or distribution in commerce to prohibit any 
processing or distribution in commerce incidental to disposal of the 
chrysotile asbestos waste in accordance with the proposed requirements.
    1. Primary alternative regulatory action for prohibition of 
manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, 
and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or as part of 
chrysotile asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry and for 
chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets in chemical production.
    As described in Unit IV.A, EPA consulted with several companies in 
the chlor-alkali industry and companies that process and use chrysotile 
asbestos-containing sheet gaskets in chemical production. While EPA 
expects the compliance date in the proposed regulatory option is 
feasible, it is possible that the required changes could take longer 
than expected to implement for some.
    Accordingly, and pursuant TSCA section 6(a)(2) and 6(a)(5), EPA 
presents as a primary alternative regulatory action, a prohibition on 
the manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in 
commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or as 
part of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-alkali 
industry and for sheet gaskets used in chemical production, with an 
effective date five years after the effective date of the final rule, 
with interim controls for processing and commercial use as described in 
Unit IV.B.2.
    2. Requiring as interim control an existing chemical exposure limit 
(ECEL) for: Processing and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos 
diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry; and chrysotile asbestos-
containing sheet gaskets in chemical production.
    As part of the primary alternative regulatory action, EPA would 
require processors and commercial users to comply with an 8-hour 
existing chemical exposure limit (ECEL), during the interim period 
prior to prohibition, beginning 180 days after the effective date of 
the final rule, for the following conditions of use: (1) Processing and 
industrial use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or as part of 
chrysotile asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-alkali industry and 
(2) processing and industrial use of chrysotile asbestos-containing 
sheet gaskets in chemical products. EPA calculated the ECEL to be 0.005 
fibers (f)/cubic centimeter (cc), for inhalation exposure to chrysotile 
asbestos as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) for use in workplace 
settings based on incidence of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other 
cancers. The alternative action would include this interim measure to 
reduce exposures and address the unreasonable risk of injury to health 
resulting from inhalation exposures to chrysotile asbestos in an 
occupational setting. EPA expects that, if inhalation exposures in 
occupational settings are kept at or below the ECEL of 0.005 f/cc, a 
person reasonably likely to be exposed in the workplace, including 
workers and occupational non-users, would be protected against excess 
risk of cancer above the 1x10\4\ (1E-4) benchmark resulting from 
chronic occupational exposure (Ref. 13). Based on this ECEL, the 
alternative action includes an ECEL-action level of 0.0025 f/cc as an 
8-hour TWA, which initiates certain required activities such as 
periodic monitoring of exposures to chrysotile asbestos, as described 
in this unit. As described in Unit III.B.3., EPA recognizes that an 
ECEL will require time and resources to prepare for and therefore did 
not propose to include it for the two-year interim period prior to the 
proposed prohibition date. As part of an interim control measure, 
requirements to meet an ECEL could reduce exposures and address 
unreasonable risk during the interim period of time the regulated 
entities need for implementing prohibitions. This Unit provides 
additional details regarding implementation of the ECEL as an interim 
control measure as part of the primary alternative regulatory action.
    EPA expects that, if this primary alternative regulatory action 
were to be implemented for these two use categories, workplaces may 
have the ability to implement an ECEL as part of an industrial hygiene 
program. Using the NIOSH hierarchy of controls (Ref. 27) (i.e., in 
sequential order: Elimination, substitution, engineering controls, 
administrative controls and personal protective equipment (PPE)), 
workplaces that cannot eliminate the source or replace chrysotile 
asbestos with a substitute could use engineering and administrative 
controls to implement process changes to reduce exposures. EPA also 
expects that these workplaces could establish a monitoring program to 
demonstrate compliance with an ECEL. For example, workplaces that may 
be able to implement the ECEL include those that are implementing the 
8-hour threshold limit value-time weighted average (TLV-TWA) set by the 
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), and 
the OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL), which are both 0.1 f/cc for 
asbestos. EPA expects that workplaces engaged in the following 
conditions of use may be able to implement an ECEL: Processing and 
industrial use of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms in the chlor-alkali 
industry and processing and industrial use of chrysotile asbestos-
containing sheet gaskets in chemical products. Therefore, for the 
primary alternative regulatory action, EPA would require an ECEL for 
these conditions of use and any facility engaged in these conditions of 
use would be considered a regulated entity.
    Specifically, under the primary alternative regulatory action, EPA 
would require that the regulated entity must ensure that no person in 
the workplace is exposed to an airborne concentration of chrysotile 
asbestos in excess of 0.005 f/cc as an 8-hour TWA.
    Initial exposure monitoring. Under the primary alternative 
regulatory action, EPA would require the regulated entity to establish 
a baseline for the implementation of the ECEL by monitoring the 
personal breathing zone of all persons reasonably likely to be exposed 
(with personal monitoring samples outside the facepiece if the person 
is wearing respiratory protective equipment). Under this alternative 
action, the initial monitoring would be taken when the operating 
conditions are representative of the potential exposures of persons in 
the workplace, or of a representative sample of persons in each type of 
job task during every work shift who are reasonably likely to be 
exposed to chrysotile asbestos in the workplace. EPA expects that 
facilities would attempt to monitor a baseline for all of the tasks 
during the same timeframe; however, EPA understands that certain tasks 
occur less frequently, and EPA is soliciting comments regarding the 
timing of the initial exposure monitoring so that it is representative 
of all tasks involving chrysotile asbestos. If the regulated entity 
chooses a representative sample, such sampling will include persons who 
are the closest to the source of chrysotile asbestos, so that the 
monitoring results are representative of the most highly exposed 
persons in the workplace. If the regulated entity has existing 
monitoring data less than five years old that follows the initial 
exposure monitoring criteria and where a process change is not 
implicated, the regulated entity could choose to use this existing data 
as the initial exposure monitoring. EPA is soliciting public comments 
regarding any additional requirement needed to ensure that the initial 
exposure monitoring is representative of the

[[Page 21724]]

exposures to chrysotile asbestos in the workplace.
    Periodic exposure monitoring. Based on the results from the initial 
exposure monitoring, under the primary alternative regulatory action, 
EPA would require the regulated entity to conduct the following 
periodic monitoring:
     If any samples taken during the initial exposure 
monitoring reveal a concentration of airborne chrysotile asbestos at or 
above the ECEL-action level but at or below the ECEL, the regulated 
entity must repeat the exposure monitoring and in no case shall exceed 
six months. However, if the facility does not use chrysotile asbestos 
during those six months, then they do not have to conduct monitoring 
until the next six months and would need to document the fact that they 
are not using chrysotile asbestos.
     If any samples taken during the initial exposure 
monitoring reveal a concentration above the ECEL, the regulated entity 
must repeat the exposure monitoring at least every three months. The 
regulated entity may alter the exposure monitoring schedule from every 
three months to every six months if two consecutive monitoring events 
taken at least seven days apart indicate that the potential exposure 
has decreased to the ECEL or below, but it is at or above the ECEL-
action level. Also, if the facility does not use chrysotile asbestos 
during those three months, then they do not have to conduct monitoring 
until the next three months and would need to document the fact that 
they are not using chrysotile asbestos.
     If the last monitoring was conducted more than five years 
previously, the regulated entity must conduct a new baseline 
monitoring.
    EPA understands that explicitly increasing the frequency of testing 
may be a viable option and is soliciting comments regarding further 
shortening the maximum time interval between monitoring events.
    Termination of exposure monitoring. Based on the results of the 
initial exposure monitoring or the periodic exposure monitoring, EPA is 
proposing that the regulated entity may terminate periodic exposure 
monitoring:
     If all samples taken during the initial exposure 
monitoring reveal a concentration below the ECEL action level, the 
regulated entity may discontinue monitoring, except when additional 
exposure monitoring is required as described in this unit.
     If the periodic exposure monitoring statistically 
indicates that concentrations, are below the ECEL action level, the 
regulated entity may discontinue the monitoring, except when additional 
monitoring is required as described under periodic exposure monitoring 
or additional exposure monitoring. However, regulated entities must 
ensure that the last baseline monitoring event was conducted within the 
last five years.
    EPA is soliciting public comments on the proposed conditions to 
terminate periodic monitoring for chrysotile asbestos.
    Additional exposure monitoring. In addition to the initial and 
periodic exposure monitoring, under the primary alternative regulatory 
action, EPA would require that the regulated entity must, conduct new 
initial exposure monitoring followed by any necessary periodic or 
additional exposure monitoring including immediately after:
     Changes in the production volume, use rate, process, 
control equipment, personnel or work practices that may reasonably be 
anticipated to cause additional sources of exposure or result in 
increased exposure levels to chrysotile asbestos; and
     Start-up, shutdown, or malfunction of the facility that 
may reasonably be anticipated to cause additional sources of exposure 
or result in increased exposure levels to chrysotile asbestos.
    However, the required additional exposure monitoring should not 
delay implementation of any necessary cleanup or other remedial action 
to reduce the exposures to persons in the workplace. In addition, under 
the primary alternative regulatory action, EPA would require use of 
respiratory protection by workers, ONUs, and any other person 
potentially exposed to chrysotile asbestos during cleanup or any other 
remedial actions to reduce exposures.
    For each monitoring event, under the primary alternative regulatory 
action EPA would require that the regulated entities record dates, 
duration, and results of each sample taken, including all measurements 
that may be necessary to determine the conditions (e.g., task duration, 
work site temperatures, etc.) that might have affected the monitoring 
results. In addition, under the primary alternative regulatory action, 
EPA would require: Documentation of the name, address, work shift, job 
classification, and work area of the person monitored. If the regulated 
entity is using area monitoring or a representative sampling 
monitoring, the same documentation will be needed of all other persons 
whose exposures the monitoring was not measured but whose exposure is 
intended to be represented by the area or representative sampling 
monitoring. In addition, EPA would require documentation of and type of 
respiratory protective device, if any, worn by the monitored person; 
or, if area monitoring is used, respiratory protective devices worn, if 
any, by persons in the area monitored; or if a representative sampling 
monitoring is used, respiratory protective devices worn, if any, by the 
persons whose exposure is represented by the monitoring. Also, under 
the primary alternative regulatory action, EPA would require use of 
appropriate sampling and analytical methods to determine asbestos 
exposure, including:
     Use of analytical method with a limit of detection below 
the ECEL-action level, so that the regulated entity is able to 
implement exposure controls, to determine the monitoring frequency 
according to the requirements described in this Unit, and to provide 
persons exposed to chrysotile asbestos with the respiratory protection 
required and described in this Unit.
     Use of analytical methods described in appendix A to 29 
CFR 1910.1001 or as referenced in appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.1001, the 
NIOSH 7400 method;
     Compliance with the Good Laboratory Practice Standards at 
40 CFR part 792; and
     Documentation of information regarding air monitoring 
equipment, including: Maintenance, performance tests, limits of 
detection, and any malfunctions.
    EPA requests comment on the proposed air sampling and analytical 
methods as part of a chrysotile asbestos ECEL air monitoring 
requirement under the primary alternative regulatory option and 
specifically whether the required air sampling and analytical methods 
should require the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM), or 
other microscopy, instead of phase contrast microscopy (PCM). PCM is 
the required microscopy analysis in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.1001 and 
the NIOSH 7400 method. In addition, EPA requests comments on the 
capacity of available methods to effectively sample, detect and analyze 
chrysotile asbestos at the ECEL and ECEL action level.
    Exposure controls. EPA recommends and encourages the use of 
pollution prevention as a means of controlling exposures whenever 
practicable. Under the primary alternative regulatory action, EPA would 
require regulated entities to implement the ECEL through the use of the 
NIOSH/OSHA hierarchy of controls (i.e., elimination, substitution, 
engineering controls, administrative controls, and PPE) and to refer to 
29 CFR 1910.1001 (except for 29

[[Page 21725]]

CFR 1910.1001(c), which references the asbestos PEL for general 
industry), and 29 CFR 1926.1101 (except for 29 CFR 1926.1101(c), which 
references the asbestos PEL for construction). EPA would require that 
regulated entities document their efforts in an exposure control plan 
or through any existing documentation of the facility's safety and 
health program developed as part of meeting OSHA requirements or other 
safety and health standards. If elimination, substitution, engineering 
controls and administrative controls are not sufficient to reduce 
exposures to or below the ECEL for all persons in the workplace, under 
the primary alternative regulatory action, EPA would require the 
regulated entity to use such controls to reduce chrysotile asbestos 
concentrations in the workplace to the lowest levels achievable and 
supplement these controls using respiratory protection. In such cases, 
under the primary alternative regulatory action, EPA would require the 
regulated entity to provide those persons reasonably likely to be 
exposed to chrysotile asbestos by inhalation above the ECEL with 
respirators sufficient to ensure that their exposures do not exceed the 
ECEL, as described in this Unit. Under the primary alternative 
regulatory action, EPA would also require that the regulated entity 
documents their efforts to use elimination, substitution, engineering 
controls and administrative controls to reduce exposure to or below the 
ECEL.
    Under the primary alternative regulatory action, EPA would require 
that the regulated entity documents in the exposure control plan the 
following:
     Identification of the exposure controls including: 
Elimination, substitution, engineering controls and administrative 
controls available to reduce exposures in the workplace to either at or 
below the ECEL or to the lowest level achievable, and the exposure 
controls selected based on feasibility, effectiveness, and other 
relevant considerations;
     If exposure controls were not selected, document the 
efforts identifying why these are not feasible, effective, or otherwise 
not implemented;
     Implementation of exposure controls selected, including 
proper installation, maintenance, training or other steps taken;
     Regular inspections, evaluations, and updating of the 
exposure controls to ensure effectiveness and confirmation that all 
persons are using them accordingly; and
     Occurrence and duration of any start-up, shutdown, or 
malfunction of the facility that causes air concentrations above the 
ECEL and subsequent corrective actions taken during start-up, shutdown, 
or malfunctions to mitigate exposures to chrysotile asbestos.
    Personal protective equipment (PPE). As part of this primary 
alternative regulatory action, where engineering and administrative 
controls are not feasible to reduce the air concentration below the 
ECEL or inhalation exposure is still reasonably likely to persons in 
the workplace, EPA would require the regulated entity to determine the 
level of respiratory protection needed. EPA is proposing that the 
regulated entity refer to OSHA's General Requirements for Personal 
Protective Equipment standard at 29 CFR 1910.132 for application of a 
PPE program. EPA is also proposing that the regulated entity select the 
required respiratory protection as described in this unit and also 
refer to OSHA's Respiratory Protection standard at 29 CFR 1910.134, and 
the respiratory protection provision of the Asbestos standard for 
general industry at 29 CFR 1910.1001(g) for directions on how to 
implement a respiratory protection program.
    Required respiratory protection. EPA is proposing to require under 
the primary alternative regulatory action the following respiratory 
protection, after consideration and implementation of all other 
practicable controls, such as engineering and administrative controls, 
whenever exposure monitoring reveals an air concentration, measured as 
an 8-hour TWA, that exceeds the ECEL (0.005 f/cc). A respirator 
affording higher levels of protection than the following proposed 
required respirator may be used.
     If the measured exposure concentration is at or below 
0.005 f/cc (ECEL): No respiratory protection is required.
     If the measured exposure concentration is less than or 
equal to 0.05 f/cc (10 times the ECEL), the respirator protection 
required is: (i) Half-mask air-purifying respirator other than a 
disposable respirator, equipped with high-efficiency filters (i.e., a 
filter that is at least 99.97% efficient against mono-dispersed 
particles of 0.3 [micro]m (micrometers) in diameter or higher).
     If the measured exposure concentration is less than or 
equal to 0.25 f/cc (50 times the ECEL): Full-facepiece air-purifying 
respirator equipped with high-efficiency filters.
     If the measured exposure concentration is less than or 
equal to 0.50 f/cc (100 times the ECEL): The respirator protection 
required is any powered air-purifying respirator equipped with high-
efficiency filters (i.e., a filter that is at least 99.97% efficient 
against mono-dispersed particles of 0.3 [micro]m (micrometers) in 
diameter or higher) or any supplied-air respirator operated in 
continuous-flow mode.
     If the measured exposure concentration is less than or 
equal to 5 f/cc (1,000 times the ECEL): The respirator protection 
required is a full-facepiece supplied air respirator operated in 
pressure-demand mode.
     If the measured exposure concentration is more than 5 f/cc 
(1,000 times the ECEL): The respirator protection required is a full-
facepiece supplied-air respirator operated in pressure-demand mode, 
equipped with an auxiliary positive-pressure self-contained breathing 
apparatus.
    Worker participation: EPA encourages regulated entities to consult 
with workers on the conduct and development of exposure control plans 
and PPE program. EPA is proposing to require entities to provide 
workers with access to the exposure control plans, exposure monitoring 
records, and PPE program implementation (such as fit-testing and other 
requirements as described in 29 CFR 1910.134) and documentation.
    Notification of monitoring results. As part of the primary 
alternative regulatory action, EPA is proposing to require that within 
15 working days after receipt of the results of any exposure 
monitoring, the regulated entity must notify each person whose exposure 
is represented by that monitoring in writing, either individually to 
each person or by posting the information in an appropriate and 
accessible location. The notice must identify the ECEL, the exposure 
monitoring results, and any respiratory protection required in response 
to the exposure monitoring results. Also, the notice must include a 
description of the actions taken by the regulated entity to reduce 
inhalation exposures to or below the ECEL or refer to a document 
available to the person which states the actions to be taken to reduce 
exposures. In addition, the notice should be in plain English and 
understandable to the average worker that is exposed; for example: 
``Based on the monitoring conducted on March 15, 2022, the exposure to 
chrysotile asbestos by workers installing gaskets was 0.03 f/cc. This 
concentration is above the limit set by EPA to protect workers, and 
therefore the company is providing half-mask air-purifying respirators 
(not disposable respirators), equipped with high-efficiency filters to 
workers. Workers can access the

[[Page 21726]]

exposure control plans, exposure monitoring records, and PPE program 
implementation and documentation at the office during regular business 
hours.''
    Recordkeeping: To support and demonstrate compliance, EPA is 
proposing under this primary alternative regulatory action, that the 
regulated entities must retain compliance records for five years, 
unless a longer retention time is required under 29 CFR 1910.1020. The 
records proposed by EPA to be retained by regulated entities include:
     Exposure control plan;
     Exposure monitoring records;
     Notifications of exposure monitoring results; and
     PPE program implementation and documentation.
    3. Solicitation of public comment on interim workplace controls 
prior to prohibition of processing and commercial use of chrysotile 
asbestos in bulk form or as part of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms in 
the chlor-alkali industry; and for chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet 
gaskets used in chemical production.
    EPA is proposing to prohibit manufacturing, processing, commercial 
use, and distribution of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or as part of 
chrysotile asbestos diaphragms for use in the chlor-alkali industry and 
for chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in chemical 
production two years after the effective date of the final rule. EPA 
recognizes that an ECEL will require time and resources to prepare for 
and did not propose to include it for the two-year interim period prior 
to the proposed prohibition date. However, EPA seeks public comment, 
including data on costs and feasibility, on requiring compliance with 
an ECEL during the period beginning 180 days after the effective date 
of the final rule and continuing until the proposed prohibition date 
for processing and commercial use of these uses of chrysotile asbestos.
    4. Compliance date for the prohibition of manufacture (including 
import), processing, distribution in commerce, and commercial use of 
chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or as part of chrysotile asbestos 
diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry and for chrysotile asbestos-
containing sheet gaskets used in chemical production.
    For the proposed prohibition on manufacturing, processing, 
distribution, and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos in bulk for or 
as part of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-alkali 
industry and for chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in 
chemical production uses, EPA is proposing that the prohibition begin 
two years after the effective date of the final rule based upon several 
considerations, including the existence of alternatives. As part of the 
primary alternative regulatory action, EPA is also taking comment on 
the prohibition beginning five years after the effective date of the 
final rule. EPA proposes that the final rule would take effect 60 days 
after publication of the final rule.
    EPA held meetings with several of the processors and industrial 
users of chrysotile asbestos for these conditions of use. These 
companies stated to EPA that the transition to asbestos-free technology 
could take many years, although the companies processing and using 
chrysotile asbestos for these uses stated that research on asbestos 
alternatives has been ongoing. Each company did express that conversion 
to an alternative was possible but would require significant retooling 
of a facility, testing new processes, and other costly measures. 
However, these companies did not provide EPA with delineated cost 
estimates or a detailed timeline for the conversion process (Refs. 15, 
16, 17, and 18).
    EPA acknowledges that a prohibition on manufacturing (including 
import), processing, distribution and use of chrysotile asbestos 
diaphragms will require significant infrastructure changes for the 
chlor-alkali plants continuing to use the chrysotile asbestos diaphragm 
technology. It is possible that chlor-alkali facilities using non-
asbestos technology could expand production to meet supply shortfalls 
induced by a prohibition on chrysotile asbestos diaphragms, but such 
expansion could also take time. Imports of caustic soda or chemicals 
derived from chlorine or caustic soda may increase in order to make up 
for short-term supply shortfalls. Short-term supply shortages of 
chlorine, caustic soda, and derivative chemicals are likely to lead to 
price increases experienced by both industrial and commercial users, 
some of which may be passed along to final consumers of products made 
with these inputs.
    EPA seeks comment on a prohibition compliance date that under TSCA 
sections 6(d)(1) would be both ``as soon as practicable'' and ``provide 
for a reasonable transition period.'' Information that will be helpful 
includes the specific and detailed timelines to build asbestos-free 
facilities or to convert existing asbestos-using facilities to 
asbestos-free technology and the availability of asbestos-free 
technology. EPA is also requesting specific information regarding 
potential barriers to achieving the proposed prohibition date while 
considering the supply of chlor-alkali chemicals. EPA is also 
requesting comment on the potential impact of this transition on the 
market price of chlor-alkali chemicals, including the potential impact 
of a decrease in availability of diaphragm-grade caustic soda on both 
the production and cost of water treatment chemicals, including both 
caustic soda used directly in water treatment as well as the potential 
impact on the cost of other water treatment chemicals derived from 
caustic soda.
    Alternatively, EPA could grant an exemption for these uses under 
TSCA section 6(g). Under the authority of TSCA section 6(g), EPA may 
consider granting a time-limited exemption for a specific condition of 
use for which EPA finds: That the specific condition of use is a 
critical or essential use for which no technically and economically 
feasible safer alternative is available, taking into consideration 
hazard and exposure; that compliance with the proposed requirement, as 
applied with respect to the specific condition of use, would 
significantly disrupt the national economy, national security, or 
critical infrastructure; or that the specific condition of use of the 
chemical substance, as compared to reasonably available alternatives, 
provides a substantial benefit to health, the environment, or public 
safety. EPA is aware that chlor-alkali chemicals are important to the 
national economy and operation of critical infrastructure, including: 
Water and Wastewater Systems Sector, Chemical Production Sector, 
Manufacturing Sector, Defense Industrial Base Sector, Emergency 
Services Sector, Energy Sector, Food and Agriculture Sector, and 
Healthcare and Public Health Sector.
    Should EPA find that justification exists for such an exemption, an 
analysis and reasoning will be published in the final rule. EPA seeks 
any public comment that that favors or disfavors EPA using TSCA section 
6(g) authority for chrysotile asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-
alkali industry or chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in 
chemical production. Since any decision made by EPA under TSCA section 
6(g) must be through a rulemaking, EPA believes the best means to issue 
an exemption would be through this rulemaking process and careful 
analysis of reasonably available information which supports a TSCA 
section 6(g) exemption. A rulemaking under TSCA section 6(g) also 
allows EPA to include reasonable conditions to protect health while 
achieving the

[[Page 21727]]

purposes of the exemption. To that end, EPA is considering requiring an 
ECEL and downstream notification, as described in Unit IV.B. Primary 
alternative regulatory action. EPA is seeking public comments on the 
possible conditions to be included if EPA issues a rulemaking under 
TSCA section 6(g) to provide a time limited exemption for chrysotile 
asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-alkali industry or chrysotile 
asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in chemical production.
    5. Primary alternative regulatory action for manufacture (including 
import), processing, distribution in commerce, and commercial use of 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks in the oil industry; 
aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings; 
other asbestos-containing vehicle friction products; and other 
asbestos-containing gaskets.
    EPA's primary alternative regulatory action is to prohibit 
manufacture, processing, commercial use, and distribution of chrysotile 
asbestos containing brake blocks in the oil industry; aftermarket 
automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings; other 
asbestos-containing vehicle friction products; and other asbestos-
containing gaskets two years after the effective date of the final 
rule. This additional amount of time from the proposed regulatory 
option is meant to account for stakeholders who may not have engaged 
with EPA in advance of this proposed rule, and who may potentially have 
difficulty immediately transitioning away from chrysotile asbestos in 
the manufacture, processing, distribution, and use, of chrysotile 
asbestos-containing brake blocks, chrysotile asbestos-containing 
aftermarket automotive brakes and linings, other chrysotile asbestos-
containing vehicle friction products and other chrysotile asbestos-
containing gaskets. While EPA does not have specific knowledge of 
regulated entities that would have difficulty complying with a shorter 
compliance date, a period of two years may be more feasible for 
regulated entities who have yet to transition to asbestos-free 
technology. This amount of time would account for use of existing 
stocks, expiration of equipment like asbestos-containing brake blocks, 
and investment in asbestos-free technology.
    As with the proposed regulatory action, this primary alternative 
action would not apply to NASA's Super Guppy Turbine aircraft use.
    6. Primary alternative regulatory action for the disposal of 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks in the oil industry; 
aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings; 
chrysotile asbestos-containing other vehicle friction products and 
other chrysotile asbestos-containing gaskets.
    The primary alternative regulatory action would also require 
regulated entities, upon disposal, to dispose of chrysotile asbestos-
containing brake blocks in the oil industry; chrysotile asbestos-
containing aftermarket automotive brakes/linings; other chrysotile 
asbestos-containing vehicle friction products and other chrysotile 
asbestos-containing gaskets in a manner consistent with the waste 
disposal requirements described in the housekeeping provision 
(1910.1001(k)(6)) of OSHA's Asbestos standard for general industry and 
in conformance with the asbestos waste disposal requirements of the 
Asbestos NESHAP at 40 CFR 61.150 and any other applicable and existing 
law as may apply to the commercial disposal of chrysotile asbestos and 
chrysotile asbestos-containing products or article. This requirement 
would apply to any unused or end-of-use products for these uses.
    7. Other provisions of the primary alternative regulatory action.
    a. Prohibition on manufacture (including import), processing, and 
distribution in commerce of aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-
containing brakes/linings for consumer use and other chrysotile 
asbestos-containing gaskets for consumer use:
    The primary alternative regulatory action would prohibit the 
manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in 
commerce of aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing 
brakes/linings for consumer use and of other asbestos-containing 
gaskets for consumer use two years after the effective date of the 
final rule. This additional amount of time from the proposed regulatory 
option aligns with the compliance dates provided for commercial use of 
these asbestos-containing articles. The rationale for this compliance 
date is the same as provided in that earlier Unit.
    b. Downstream notification:
    EPA would require as part of the primary alternative regulatory 
action under TSCA section 6(a)(3) that manufacturers (including 
importers), processors, and distributors of chrysotile asbestos in bulk 
form or as part of chrysotile asbestos diaphragms used in the chlor-
alkali industry and chrysotile asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used 
in chemical production provide notification of the prohibitions through 
existing safety data sheets (SDS) by adding to sections 1(c) and 15 of 
the SDS the following language: ``This chemical/item is not and cannot 
be distributed in commerce (as defined in TSCA section 3(5)) or 
processed (as defined in TSCA section 3(13)) for commercial and 
consumer use after [prohibition date].''
    The requirement under the primary alternative regulatory action 
would take effect 180 days after the effective date of the final rule 
in order to provide adequate time to undertake the changes to the SDS 
and ensure that all products in the supply chain include the revised 
SDS.
    c. Primary alternative regulatory action for signage and labeling 
requirements:
    EPA would also, pursuant to TSCA section 6(a)(3), require 
processors, and commercial users of chrysotile asbestos in bulk form or 
as part of chrysotile asbestos chlor-alkali diaphragms and chrysotile 
asbestos-containing sheet gaskets used in chemical production to post 
visible and clearly noticeable signs in the work area of the ECEL 
value, compliance with any monitoring requirements, and worker 
protection requirements in this rule. Such signs would be used where 
any worker or ONU may be exposed to chrysotile asbestos and according 
to the requirements for signage under 29 CFR 1910.1001(j)(4).

V. TSCA Section (c)(2) Considerations

    The following is EPA's statement of effects, as required by TSCA 
section 6(c)(2)(A), with respect to this proposed rule as well as 
discussions under TSCA section 6(c)(2)(D) about replacement parts and 
under TSCA section 6(c)(2)(E) about articles.

A. Health Effects of Chrysotile Asbestos and the Magnitude of Human 
Exposure to Chrysotile Asbestos

    EPA's analysis of the health effects of and magnitude of exposure 
to chrysotile asbestos is in the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1: 
Chrysotile Asbestos (Ref. 1). A summary is presented here. Many 
authorities have established causal associations between asbestos 
exposures and lung cancer and mesothelioma in humans based on 
epidemiologic studies. EPA identified in the literature a causal 
association between exposure to asbestos and cancer of the larynx and 
cancer of the ovary and suggestive evidence of a positive association 
between asbestos and cancer of the pharynx, stomach, and colorectum. 
EPA also identified increases in lung cancer and mesothelioma mortality 
in both workers and residents exposed to various

[[Page 21728]]

asbestos fiber types, including chrysotile asbestos, as well as fiber 
mixtures. Mesothelioma tumors arise from the thin membranes that line 
the chest and abdominal cavities and surround internal organs.
    Asbestos exposure is known to cause various non-cancer health 
outcomes as well, including asbestosis, non-malignant respiratory 
disease, deficits in pulmonary function, diffuse pleural thickening, 
and pleural plaques. Various immunological and lymphoreticular effects 
are suggested but not well-established.
    For the conditions of use that drive unreasonable risk, populations 
exposed to chrysotile asbestos (including potentially exposed or 
susceptible subpopulations) include workers, ONUs, consumer users, and 
bystanders to consumers using products containing chrysotile asbestos. 
For these conditions of use EPA estimates that, annually, at least 144 
workers and 276 ONUs are exposed to chrysotile asbestos at over 31 
commercial operations either processing or using products containing 
chrysotile asbestos. Additional workers and ONUs are exposed to 
oilfield brake blocks and may potentially be exposed to other vehicle 
friction products and other gaskets. Each year, approximately 400 
consumers are potentially exposed to asbestos through the use of 
products containing chrysotile asbestos subject to this rule. The 
number of exposed bystanders is unknown to EPA. The breakdown by 
category of use is as follows:
     Diaphragms--100 workers and 100 ONUs at 9 sites;
     Sheet gasket stamping--4 workers and 8 ONUs at 4 sites;
     Sheet gasket use--22 workers and 150 ONUs at 5 sites;
     Oilfield brake blocks--Unknown;
     Aftermarket automotive brakes--15 workers and 15 ONUs at 
12 sites;
     Other vehicle friction products--Unknown;
     Other gaskets--Unknown; and
     DIY mechanics--400 consumers and unknown bystanders.
    More information on the derivation of these estimates is provided 
in the Economic Analysis for this rulemaking that can be found in the 
rulemaking docket (Ref. 2).
    As discussed in Unit II.D., EPA did not evaluate hazards or 
exposures to the general population in the Part 1 asbestos risk 
evaluation.

B. Environmental Effects of Chrysotile Asbestos and the Magnitude of 
Exposure of the Environment to Chrysotile Asbestos

    EPA's analysis of the environmental effects of and the magnitude of 
exposure of the environment to chrysotile asbestos are in the Risk 
Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos (Ref. 1). A summary 
is presented here.
    Chrysotile asbestos may be released to the environment through 
industrial or commercial activities, such as processing raw chrysotile 
asbestos, fabricating/processing asbestos-containing products, or the 
dispersing of friable chrysotile asbestos during use, disturbance and 
disposal of asbestos-containing products.
    Although this action is focused on chrysotile asbestos fiber type, 
some of the information in this section pertains to asbestos fibers in 
general. Asbestos is a persistent mineral fiber that can be found in 
soil, sediments, in the air and windblown dust, surface water, ground 
water and biota. Asbestos fibers are largely chemically inert in the 
environment. They may undergo minor physical changes, such as changes 
in fiber length or leaching of surface minerals, but do not react or 
dissolve in most environmental conditions.
    In water, chrysotile asbestos will eventually settle into sediments 
(or possible biosolids) and can enter wastewater treatment plants. 
EPA's review of aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate studies indicated 
that chronic exposure to waterborne chrysotile asbestos at a 
concentration range of 10\4\-10\8\ fibers/L, which is equivalent to 
0.01 to 100 million fibers per liter (MFL), may result in reproductive, 
growth and/or sublethal effects to fish and clams. In addition, acute 
exposure of clams to waterborne chrysotile asbestos at a concentration 
range of 10\2\-10\8\ fibers/L demonstrated reduced siphoning activity.
    EPA has determined that there are minimal or no releases of 
asbestos to surface water associated with the conditions of use that 
EPA evaluated in the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile 
Asbestos and that are the subject of this action.

C. Benefits of Chrysotile Asbestos for Various Conditions of Use

    The only form of asbestos manufactured (including imported), 
processed, or distributed for use in the United States today is 
chrysotile asbestos. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) 
estimated that 300 metric tons of raw chrysotile asbestos were imported 
into the United States in 2020 (Ref. 3). This raw asbestos is used 
exclusively by the chlor-alkali industry and imported amounts between 
2016 and 2020 ranged from 172 to 747 metric tons during a given year 
(Ref. 3).
    In addition to the use of raw imported chrysotile asbestos by the 
chlor-alkali industry, EPA is also aware of imported asbestos-
containing products; however, the imported volumes of those products 
are not fully known. The asbestos-containing products that EPA has 
identified as potentially being imported and used are sheet gaskets 
(which are imported in large sheets and cut to size domestically by a 
fabricator), oilfield brake blocks, aftermarket automotive brakes/
linings, other vehicle friction products, and other gaskets. Chrysotile 
asbestos is chemically inert, durable, and able to effectively separate 
the anode and cathode chemicals in the electrolytic cells used in the 
chlor-alkali process. Asbestos-containing gaskets have been used in 
chemical production because they are resistant to cyclical high 
temperatures and immense pressure. During the manufacture of titanium 
dioxide, temperatures can exceed 1850 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures 
can be greater than 50 pounds per square inch. The physical properties 
of chrysotile asbestos including heat resistance make asbestos a useful 
material for uses where friction is produced and extreme heat is 
generated, including its application in brakes, gaskets and other 
vehicle friction product uses considered in this proposed rule.

D. Replacement Parts Under TSCA Section 6(c)(2)(D)

    TSCA section 6(c)(2)(D) states that EPA shall exempt from TSCA 
section 6(a) rules replacement parts for complex durable goods and 
complex consumer goods that are designed prior to the publication of a 
final risk management rule, unless such replacement parts contribute 
significantly to the risk, identified in a risk evaluation conducted 
under TSCA section 6(b)(4)(A), to the general population or to an 
identified potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulation. TSCA 
section 6(c)(2)(D) defines complex consumer goods as electronic or 
mechanical devices composed of multiple manufactured components, with 
an intended useful life of three or more years, where the product is 
typically not consumed, destroyed, or discarded after a single use, and 
the components of which would be impracticable to redesign or replace. 
The term ``complex durable goods'' means manufactured goods composed of 
100 or more manufactured components,

[[Page 21729]]

with an intended useful life of five or more years, where the product 
is typically not consumed, destroyed or discarded after a single use. 
Several of the conditions of use addressed by this proposed rule impact 
these replacement part categories. Aftermarket automotive brakes/
linings are replacement parts for automobiles and other vehicles. Other 
asbestos-containing gaskets may be available as both new and 
replacement parts on utility and other vehicles. Oilfield brake blocks 
are replacement parts for the drilling rigs used in the oil industry. 
These vehicles and drilling rigs are composed of numerous components, 
manufactured separately and assembled together into a machine designed 
for a useful life of at least three years if properly maintained. By 
their nature, EPA believes these meet the TSCA definition of complex 
durable goods. In the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile 
Asbestos, however, EPA found unreasonable risk from use and disposal of 
chrysotile asbestos-containing brake blocks in the oil industry; 
aftermarket automotive chrysotile asbestos-containing brakes/linings; 
and other asbestos-containing gaskets. EPA's risk evaluation evaluated 
scenarios involving these replacement parts, and EPA proposes to find 
that the replacement parts contribute significantly to the identified 
unreasonable risk for these conditions of use to the potentially 
exposed or susceptible subpopulations identified in the risk 
evaluation.
    Accordingly, EPA is not exempting replacement parts from regulation 
in the proposed rule.

E. Article Considerations Under TSCA Section 6(c)(2)(E)

    EPA is proposing to regulate the manufacture, processing, and 
distribution in commerce of articles containing chrysotile asbestos. 
TSCA section 6(c)(2)(E) states that in selecting among prohibitions and 
other restrictions, the Administrator shall apply such prohibitions or 
other restrictions to an article or category of articles containing the 
chemical substance or mixture only to the extent necessary to address 
the identified risks from exposure to the chemical substance or mixture 
from the article or category of articles so that the substance or 
mixture does not present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or 
the environment identified in the risk evaluation conducted in 
accordance with section 6(b)(4)(A). TSCA does not define ``article,'' 
but based on the proposed definition of ``article'' in the proposed 
rule, the conditions of use subject to this proposed regulation include 
articles, e.g., sheet gaskets, brake blocks, brake/linings, other 
gaskets and other vehicle friction products.
    Except for bulk chrysotile asbestos imported for use in asbestos 
diaphragms, all of the other conditions of use that are the subject of 
this proposed regulation involve the use and/or disposal of products or 
articles containing chrysotile asbestos. For each condition of use, the 
article is subject to circumstances during use that change or alter the 
article as a direct result of the use. Releases of chrysotile asbestos, 
and the associated unreasonable risks from exposure to chrysotile 
asbestos identified in the risk evaluation, result from use of the 
articles. The articles themselves include sheet gaskets, other gaskets, 
brake blocks, brakes and linings, which wear down during use and 
release asbestos fibers. The risk evaluation determined that exposure 
to workers, ONUs, consumers and bystanders can occur when these items 
are replaced or repaired, resulting in harmful exposures. These 
identified risks from articles containing asbestos could result from 
exposure of any kind and, as a result, EPA had no feasible option to 
prevent these risks other than a complete prohibition. In particular, 
no other restriction EPA researched could sufficiently prevent 
unreasonable risk to ONUs, consumers, and bystanders who were not 
expected to wear respiratory protection. Accordingly, EPA's proposed 
regulatory action sets requirements for articles only to the extent 
necessary to address the identified risks from exposure to chrysotile 
asbestos from the article so that chrysotile asbestos does not present 
an unreasonable risk to health.

F. Reasonably Ascertainable Economic Consequences of the Rule

    The reasonably ascertainable economic consequences of this rule 
include several components, all of which are described in the economic 
analysis for this proposed rule and summarized here (Ref. 2).
    1. Likely effect of the rule on the national economy, small 
business, technological innovation, the environment, and public health.
    With respect to the anticipated effects of this rule on the 
national economy, the economic impact of a regulation on the national 
economy generally only becomes measurable if the economic impact of the 
regulation reaches 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent of Gross Domestic 
Product (GDP). Given the current GDP of $23.17 trillion, this is 
equivalent to a cost of $58 billion to $116 billion which is 
considerably higher than the estimated cost of this rule. EPA 
considered the number of businesses and workers that would be affected 
and the costs and benefits to those businesses and workers and society 
at large and did not find that there would be a measurable effect on 
the national economy. In addition, EPA considered the employment 
impacts of this proposal. While EPA assumes that chlor-alkali plants 
currently using asbestos diaphragms will convert to non-asbestos 
technologies, some facilities may choose not to do so before the 
effective prohibition date in the proposed rule. As a result, the rule 
may result in plant closures and job losses, at least temporarily, at 
some chlor-alkali plants as well as at facilities that use chlorine, 
caustic soda, or their derivatives as intermediates. There may be 
similar employment effects at chemical plants using asbestos gaskets. 
However, there may also be increased temporary employment associated 
with new construction as firms convert their facilities to replace 
asbestos diaphragms and asbestos gaskets with substitute technologies. 
There may also be increases in employment at facilities that currently 
use asbestos-free technologies (Ref. 2).
    EPA has determined that the rule will not have a significant impact 
on a substantial number of small entities; EPA estimates that the rule 
would affect at least 15 small entities, of which 12 are businesses 
supplying aftermarket brakes incurring costs between $778 and $11,523 
per firm (depending on the number of brake replacements they perform). 
Nine of the brake replacement firms have a cost impact of less than 1% 
of the annual revenue. Of the three small entities estimated to be 
affected by the rule that are not supplying aftermarket brakes, two 
manufacture sheet gaskets for chemical production and one imports 
oilfield brake blocks. EPA did not have the information necessary to 
estimate the cost impacts on the other three small entities (Ref. 2).
    The uses of asbestos subject to the rule are all in mature 
industries and the amount of asbestos consumed in them has been 
declining for some time. There is no evidence of innovative 
applications of asbestos in these uses in recent years, nor is there 
any expectation that such innovations would occur in the future in the 
absence of a prohibition on these uses of asbestos.
    The effects of this rule on public health are estimated to be 
positive, due to the avoided incidence of adverse health effects 
attributable to asbestos exposure, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, 
and cancers of the larynx

[[Page 21730]]

and ovary (Ref. 2). Despite the uncertainties about possible greater 
use and release of PFAS discussed in Unit III.B.4.a, EPA believes the 
benefits of removing chrysotile asbestos, a known human carcinogen that 
causes an aggressive and deadly cancer (mesothelioma), from continued 
use in the United States, are significant enough to outweigh the 
potential additional exposure to PFAS that might result from this 
action.
    Converting chlor-alkali diaphragm cells to membrane cells reduces 
electricity consumption and thus the level of air pollution associated 
with electric power generation. This reduction in air pollution would 
provide environmental benefits as well as health benefits (Ref. 2).
    2. Costs and benefits of the proposed regulatory action and of the 
primary alternative regulatory actions considered by the Administrator.
    a. Proposed regulatory action:
    EPA was able to quantify the costs of the proposed regulatory 
action to the chlor-alkali industry and the aftermarket automotive 
brake industry. For the chlor-alkali industry, the proposed rule is 
predicted to require an investment of approximately $1.8 billion to 
convert the remaining plants with asbestos diaphragm cells to membrane 
cell technology. That conversion would result in significant energy 
savings that would accrue over the long run. EPA anticipates that most 
of these conversions would occur in the baseline in the coming decades 
even without the proposed rule, following existing trends in the chlor-
alkali industry to transition away from asbestos. When taking the 
capital costs and energy savings into account over a 20-year period, 
the proposed rule is estimated to result in incremental annualized net 
costs to the chlor-alkali industry of $49 million per year using a 3 
percent discount rate and $87 million per year using a 7 percent 
discount rate. Membrane cells also produce a higher grade of caustic 
soda that has historically commanded a higher price than the product 
from diaphragm cells. If this price differential continues, converting 
to membrane cells could generate incremental net annualized savings of 
approximately $35 million per year using a 3% discount rate and about 
$40,000 per year using a 7% discount rate, when considered over a 20-
year period.
    The extent to which the higher grade of caustic soda will continue 
to command a higher relative price when produced in larger quantities 
depends on the elasticity of demand for the higher-grade product. EPA 
lacks sufficient information to characterize the demand curve for 
chlor-alkali products, including higher grade caustic soda. If the 
caustic soda price differential declines but is still greater than 
zero, then the incremental annualize net costs to the chlor-alkali 
industry will fall between these estimates. The proposed rule would 
result in total annualized costs for aftermarket automotive brakes 
estimated at approximately $25,000 per year using a 3% discount rate 
and $18,000 per year using a 7% discount rate.
    EPA was unable to estimate the costs of prohibiting the commercial 
use of asbestos for other products that are subject to the rule (sheet 
gaskets used in chemical production, oilfield brake blocks, other 
vehicle friction products, or other gaskets). EPA requests comment on 
the costs of the rule for each of these use categories.
    If there is no revenue gain from the higher grade of caustic soda 
produced, the combined quantified annualized costs of the rule for the 
chlor-alkali and aftermarket automotive brake industries would be 
approximately $49 million per year and $87 million per year using a 3 
percent and 7 percent discount rate, respectively. If there is a 
revenue gain from caustic soda, the net quantified savings could be 
approximately $35 million per year and $27,000 per year using a 3 
percent and 7 percent discount rate, respectively. Because the costs of 
prohibiting the commercial use of asbestos in sheet gaskets, oilfield 
brake blocks, other friction products, and other gaskets could not be 
quantified, these combined values are an upper bound estimate of total 
cost savings and a lower bound estimate of total costs (Ref. 2).
    The combined national quantified benefits of avoided cancer cases 
are approximately $3,000 per year using a 3% discount rate and $1,200 
per year using a 7% discount rate. These reflect the benefits related 
to the rule's requirements for chlor-alkali diaphragms, sheet gaskets 
for chemical production, and aftermarket brakes. EPA did not estimate 
total benefits of the requirements for oilfield brake blocks, other 
vehicle friction products or other gaskets because the Agency did not 
have sufficient information on the number of individuals likely to be 
affected by the rule.
    In addition to the quantified benefits of avoided cancer cases 
associated with asbestos exposure, the proposed rule may generate 
significant benefits from reduced air pollution associated with 
electricity generation. Chlor-alkali production is one of the most 
energy-intensive industrial operations. According to the U.S. 
Department of Energy the industry consumed approximately 317 trillion 
Btu per year as of 2004, amounting to approximately 2% of the total 
electric power used in the United States (Ref. 21). Since membrane 
cells are more energy efficient than diaphragm cells, converting to 
membrane cells reduces electricity consumption and thus the level of 
pollutants associated with electric power generation, including carbon 
dioxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. There 
is uncertainty about the magnitude and location of these emission 
reductions. EPA's economic analysis used a simplifying assumption that 
the electric power used by chlor-alkali plants is all purchased from 
commercial electric generating units. EPA then used information on 
regional electricity markets to estimate how changes in electricity 
demand would affect emissions of greenhouses gases and criteria air 
pollutants. EPA performed this sensitivity screening-level analysis 
which found that converting asbestos diaphragm plants to membrane cells 
could yield tens of millions of dollars per year in environmental and 
health benefits from reduced emissions of particulate matter, sulfur 
dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide (Ref. 2). Please see 
Chapter 4, Section 4.4 of the economic analysis for more discussion. 
EPA estimated the potential health and environmental benefits of 
reduced emissions of carbon dioxide using the federal government's 
interim estimates of the social cost of greenhouse gases. EPA does not 
rely on the interim estimates of the social cost of greenhouse gases as 
a record basis for this Agency action, and the Agency would propose the 
same conclusion regarding the requirements of this proposed rule even 
in the absence of the social cost of greenhouse gases.
    b. Primary alternative regulatory action:
    Under the primary alternative action, the capital investment needed 
to convert chlor-alkali plants to membrane cells would be spread out 
over five years instead of two, but the energy savings and any revenue 
gains from producing a higher grade of caustic soda would accrue more 
slowly as well. The total annualized costs to the chlor-alkali industry 
of the additional requirements for compliance with the ECEL as well as 
disposal, downstream notification, and recordkeeping requirements are 
estimated to be approximately $103,000 per year using a 3% discount 
rate and $127,000 per year using a 7% discount rate, assuming the 
industry relies solely on the use of upgraded PPE to comply

[[Page 21731]]

with the ECEL. If there are no revenue gains from caustic soda, the 
total 20-year annualized incremental net costs of all the requirements 
for the chlor-alkali industry would be $48 million per year and $77 
million per year using a 3% and 7% discount rate, respectively. If the 
higher grade of caustic soda generates increased revenues, the chlor-
alkali industry could have an overall annualized incremental net 
savings over 20 years of $27 million per year using a 3% discount rate; 
using a 7% discount rate, the industry is predicted to incur an 
annualized net cost of $4 million per year.
    The total annualized costs of the alternative option for 
aftermarket automotive brakes are estimated at approximately $24,000 
per year using a 3% discount rate and $16,000 per year using a 7% 
discount rate, which are similar to the costs of the proposed option 
($25,000 per year using a 3% discount rate and $18,000 using a 7% 
discount rate).
    EPA was not able to estimate the costs of prohibiting the use of 
asbestos sheet gaskets for chemical production. The total annualized 
cost of the other requirements for this industry (ECEL, disposal, 
downstream notification, and recordkeeping requirements) is estimated 
to be approximately $230,000 per year using a 3% discount rate and 
$285,000 per year using a 7% discount rate (assuming that the industry 
relies solely on PPE to comply with the ECEL).
    For the remaining use categories (oilfield brake blocks, other 
vehicle friction products, and other gaskets), EPA was unable to 
estimate the costs of prohibiting the manufacturing, processing, 
distribution or commercial use of asbestos, disposal, downstream 
notification, or recordkeeping requirements, as the Agency was unable 
to estimate the number of affected sites.
    The combined quantified incremental annualized costs of the 
alternative option for the chlor-alkali, aftermarket automotive brake, 
and sheet gasket industries would be approximately $48 million per year 
and $78 million per year using a 3% and 7% discount rate, respectively, 
if there is no revenue gain from the higher grade of caustic soda 
produced. If there is a revenue gain from producing a higher grade of 
caustic soda, the alternative option could result in combined 
quantified savings of approximately $26 million per year using a 3% 
discount rate but combined quantified costs of approximately $4 million 
per year using a 7% discount rate. Because the costs of prohibiting the 
use of asbestos in sheet gaskets could not be calculated, nor any of 
the costs for oilfield brake blocks, other friction products, and other 
gaskets, these combined values are an upper bound estimate of total 
savings and a lower bound estimate of total costs.
    The combined national quantified benefits of avoided cancer cases 
under the alternative option are approximately $2,900 per year using a 
3% discount rate and $1,100 per year using a 7% discount rate. These 
reflect the benefits related to the rule's requirements for chlor-
alkali diaphragms, sheet gaskets for chemical production, and 
aftermarket brakes. EPA did not estimate total benefits of the 
requirements for oilfield brake blocks, other vehicle friction products 
or other gaskets because the Agency did not have sufficient information 
on the number of individuals likely to be affected by the rule. As is 
the case with the proposed option, converting asbestos diaphragm plants 
to membrane cells could yield tens of millions of dollars per year in 
environmental and health benefits from reduced criteria air pollution 
and CO2 emissions due to decreased electricity consumption 
and production (Ref. 2).
    3. Cost effectiveness of the proposed regulatory action and primary 
alternative regulatory actions considered by the Administrator.
    For the COUs where EPA determined that chrysotile asbestos presents 
an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, both the 
proposed option and the alternative option reduce unreasonable risks to 
the extent necessary such that risk is no longer presented. In 
achieving this result, however, the estimated costs of the proposed 
option and the alternative option differ as described in Unit V.F. The 
costs of achieving the desired outcome via the proposed option or the 
alternative option can be compared to evaluate cost-effectiveness. The 
cost-effectiveness of the options depends on whether and to what extent 
the higher grade of caustic soda produced by membrane cells generates 
increased revenues for chlor-alkali manufacturers. If the revenues from 
caustic soda do increase, the proposed option results in estimated 
annualized cost savings of about $35 million per year using a 3% 
discount rate or about $27,000 using a 7% rate. The alternative option 
is estimated to result in annualized savings of about $26 million per 
year using a 3% discount rate or annualized costs of about $4 million 
per year using a 7% rate. In this revenue increasing scenario the 
proposed option will be more cost effective in addressing the 
unreasonable risk. If there is no increase in revenues, the estimated 
annualized costs of the proposed rule are about $49 million per year 
using a 3% discount rate or about $87 million per year using a 7% rate. 
The estimated annualized costs of the alternative option are about $48 
million per year using a 3% discount rate or about $78 million per year 
using a 7% rate. In this revenue neutral scenario the alternative 
option will be more cost effective in addressing the unreasonable risk. 
In the latter scenario, the difference in annualized costs between the 
options is largely due to the differences in their effective dates. 
This is because costs that occur farther in the future have smaller net 
present values and annualized values than the same costs that occur 
sooner. The dates when the manufacture (including import), processing, 
distribution in commerce and commercial use of chrysotile asbestos are 
prohibited occur later under the alternative option than under the 
proposed option. The differences in the annualized costs are mainly due 
to discounting and are not driven by differences in the estimated unit 
costs of compliance between the two options.
    4. Request for comment on economic analysis.
    EPA's economic analysis used a simplifying assumption that the 
electric power used by chlor-alkali plants is all purchased from 
commercial electric generating units. EPA then used information on 
regional electricity markets to estimate how changes in electricity 
demand would affect emissions of greenhouses gases and criteria air 
pollutants. EPA requests comment on this assumption and approach to 
estimating emissions reductions. EPA further requests information on 
how much of the electric power for the chlor-alkali plants affected by 
this rule is purchased from commercial electric generating units and 
where these units are located; how much power is provided by on-site 
co-generation units; what fuels are used by both types of power 
sources; and how the mix of electricity sources and fuel types would be 
affected by a conversion to membrane cells or non-asbestos diaphragms. 
EPA also requests comment on the extent to which the power produced by 
these co-generation units is sold or exported, as well as the extent to 
which the electricity or heat produced is used on-site to produce goods 
other than chlorine or caustic soda (e.g., ethylene dichloride, vinyl 
chloride monomer, chlorinated organics, etc.).
    The chlor-alkali production occurs in three steps: Pre-electrolysis 
brine preparation, electrolysis, and post-electrolysis after-treatment 
of the chlorine and caustic soda. EPA estimated the net cost of 
converting

[[Page 21732]]

from asbestos diaphragms to membranes or non-asbestos diaphragms based 
on the capital costs of the conversion, the electricity savings of the 
electrolysis step, and the potential for increased revenue from a 
higher grade of caustic soda. EPA requests comment on the methodology 
and data it used to estimate these values.
    EPA estimated the cost to convert asbestos diaphragm cell chlor-
alkali capacity to membrane technology based on the average cost per 
ton from two different studies, a 2001 paper by Stanley and a 2014 
study by the European Commission. EPA requests comment on reasons why 
using the information from one or the other study might predict the 
costs of this rule more accurately than using the average of the two. 
EPA requests that commenters identify whether there are more recent 
published studies that would be appropriate for estimating the 
conversion costs from asbestos diaphragms to non-asbestos diaphragms or 
membrane cells. EPA also requests data on other capital costs or 
savings associated with the conversion (e.g., the avoidance of 
refurbishment costs for existing asbestos diaphragm cells).
    Brine preparation and the treatment of the chlorine and caustic 
soda require electricity, steam, and chemical inputs. The different 
production technologies can require different amounts of these inputs 
at various steps in the production process. EPA requests data on the 
positive and negative differences in operating costs per unit of output 
and energy use per unit of output between asbestos diaphragms, 
membranes, and non-asbestos diaphragms, specific to each of the various 
input processing, electrolysis, and output processing steps.
    EPA estimated the energy savings and potential revenue gains of the 
rule for the chlor-alkali industry based on a capacity utilization rate 
of 88%, which reflects a typical operating rate for the industry in 
recent years. EPA requests comment on whether an alternative value 
would better represent a typical operating rate over the twenty-year 
analytical timeframe used in EPA's analysis.
    EPA requests information relevant to determining whether increased 
costs for chlorine and caustic soda that may result from the rule would 
lead to disproportionate or adverse effects on water systems that serve 
populations with a higher concentration of people of color or lower 
incomes than the total U.S. population.
    EPA requests comment on its analyses of the number of affected 
firms for the sheet gasket for chemical production, oilfield brake 
block, aftermarket automotive brake, other gasket, and other vehicle 
friction use categories and the costs they would incur as a result of 
the proposed rule, as well as information that the Agency could use to 
improve these estimates.

VI. TSCA Section 9 Analysis and Section 26(h) Considerations

A. TSCA Section 9(a) Analysis

    Section 9(a) of TSCA provides that, if the Administrator determines 
in the Administrator's discretion that an unreasonable risk may be 
prevented or reduced to a sufficient extent by an action taken under a 
Federal law not administered by EPA, the Administrator must submit a 
report to the agency administering that other law that describes the 
risk and the activities that present such risk. Section 9(a) describes 
additional procedures and requirements to be followed by EPA and the 
other federal agency after submission of the report. As discussed in 
this Unit, the Administrator does not determine that unreasonable risk 
from the conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos may be prevented or 
reduced to a sufficient extent by an action taken under a Federal law 
not administered by EPA.
    TSCA section 9(d) instructs the Administrator to consult and 
coordinate TSCA activities with other Federal agencies for the purpose 
of achieving the maximum enforcement of TSCA while imposing the least 
burden of duplicative requirements. For this proposed rule, EPA has 
consulted with other appropriate Federal executive departments and 
agencies including OSHA and NIOSH.
    OSHA requires that employers provide safe and healthful working 
conditions by setting and enforcing standards and by providing 
training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA has three separate 
health standards for asbestos covering employers in General Industry 
(29 CFR 1910.1001); Shipyards (29 CFR 1915.1001); and Construction (29 
CFR 1926.1101). These standards include a permissible exposure limit 
(PEL) for asbestos of 0.1 fibers per cubic centimeter (cc) of air as an 
eight-hour time weighted average (TWA), and an excursion limit of 1.0 
asbestos fibers per cubic centimeter over a 30-minute period. The 
standards apply to all occupational exposures to asbestos and require 
exposure monitoring to determine employee exposure. Exposure monitoring 
includes both initial monitoring of employees who are, or may 
reasonably be expected to be, exposed to airborne concentrations at or 
above the TWA PEL or excursion limit, as well as additional monitoring. 
Monitoring frequency depends on work classification exposure while 
additional monitoring may be required based on changes in the workplace 
environment that may result in new or additional exposures above the 
TWA PEL or excursion limit.
    This proposed rule addresses risk from exposure to chrysotile 
asbestos in both workplace and consumer settings (e.g., do-it-yourself 
automobile maintenance). With the exception of TSCA, there is no 
Federal law that provides authority to prevent or sufficiently reduce 
these cross-cutting exposures. No other Federal regulatory agency can 
evaluate and address the totality of the risk that EPA is addressing in 
this proposal. For example, OSHA may set exposure limits for workers 
but its authority is limited to the workplace and does not extend to 
consumer uses of hazardous chemicals (while EPA does not regulate 
consumer use directly under TSCA 6(a)(5), it has authority to regulate 
the upstream supply of chemicals for consumer uses). Further, OSHA does 
not have direct authority over state and local employees, and it has no 
authority at all over the working conditions of state and local 
employees in states that have no OSHA-approved State Plan under 29 
U.S.C. 667. CPSC is charged with protecting the public from 
unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the 
thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's 
jurisdiction, CPSC has the authority to regulate chrysotile asbestos in 
such consumer products, but not in automobiles, trucks and motorcycles, 
which are not under its jurisdiction.
    Moreover, the 2016 amendments to TSCA, Public Law 114-182, alter 
both the manner of identifying unreasonable risk under TSCA and EPA's 
authority to address unreasonable risk under TSCA, such that risk 
management under TSCA is increasingly distinct from analogous 
provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), the Federal 
Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), or the OSH Act. These changes to TSCA 
reduce the likelihood that an action under the CPSA, FHSA, or the OSH 
Act would sufficiently prevent or reduce the unreasonable risk of 
chrysotile asbestos. In a TSCA section 6 rule, following an 
unreasonable risk determination, EPA must apply risk management 
requirements to the extent necessary so that the chemical no longer 
presents unreasonable risk and only consider costs to the extent 
practicable, 15 U.S.C. 2605(a), (c)(2), subject to time-limited 
conditional exemptions, 15 U.S.C.

[[Page 21733]]

2605(g). By contrast, a consumer product safety rule under the CPSA 
must include a finding that ``the benefits expected from the rule bear 
a reasonable relationship to its costs.'' 15 U.S.C. 2058(f)(3)(E). 
Additionally, the 2016 amendments to TSCA reflect Congressional intent 
to ``delete the paralyzing `least burdensome' requirement,'' 162 Cong. 
Rec. S3517 (June 7, 2016), a reference to TSCA section 6(a) as 
originally enacted, which required EPA to use ``the least burdensome 
requirements'' that protect ``adequately'' against unreasonable risk, 
15 U.S.C. 2605(a) (1976). However, a consumer product safety rule under 
the CPSA must impose ``the least burdensome requirement which prevents 
or adequately reduces the risk of injury for which the rule is being 
promulgated.'' 15 U.S.C. 2058(f)(3)(F). Analogous requirements, also at 
variance with recent revisions to TSCA, affect the availability of 
action CPSC may take under the FHSA relative to action EPA may take 
under TSCA. 15 U.S.C. 1262. Gaps also exist between OSHA's authority to 
set workplace standards under the OSH Act and EPA's obligations to 
sufficiently address chemical risks under TSCA. To set PELs for 
chemical exposure, OSHA must first establish that the new standards are 
economically feasible and technologically feasible. 79 FR 61387 (2014). 
But under TSCA, EPA's substantive burden under TSCA section 6(a) is to 
demonstrate that, as regulated, the chemical substance no longer 
presents an unreasonable risk, with unreasonable risk being determined 
under TSCA section 6(b)(4).
    EPA therefore concludes that: TSCA is the only regulatory authority 
able to prevent or reduce risks of chrysotile asbestos to a sufficient 
extent across the range of conditions of use, exposures and populations 
of concern; these risks can be addressed in a more coordinated, 
efficient and effective manner under TSCA than under different laws 
implemented by different agencies, and there are key differences 
between the finding requirements of TSCA and those of the OSH Act. For 
these reasons, in the Administrator's discretion, the Administrator 
does not determine that unreasonable risk from the conditions of use of 
chrysotile asbestos may be prevented or reduced to a sufficient extent 
by an action taken under a Federal law not administered by EPA.

B. TSCA Section 9(b) Analysis

    If EPA determines that actions under other Federal laws 
administered in whole or in part by EPA could eliminate or sufficiently 
reduce a risk to health or the environment, section 9(b) of TSCA 
instructs EPA to use these other authorities unless the Administrator 
determines in the Administrator's discretion that it is in the public 
interest to protect against such risk under TSCA. In making such a 
public interest finding, TSCA section 9(b)(2) states: ``the 
Administrator shall consider, based on information reasonably available 
to the Administrator, all relevant aspects of the risk . . . and a 
comparison of the estimated costs and efficiencies of the action to be 
taken under this title and an action to be taken under such other law 
to protect against such risk.''
    Although several EPA statutes have been used to limit chrysotile 
asbestos exposure (Unit II.B.1), regulations under those EPA statutes 
have limitations because they largely regulate releases to the 
environment, rather than direct human exposure. CAA generally focuses 
on releases of asbestos to the ambient air. Under RCRA Subtitle D, the 
disposal of chrysotile asbestos is regulated as a non-hazardous solid 
waste; RCRA does not address exposures during manufacturing, 
processing, distribution and use of products containing chrysotile 
asbestos. Only TSCA provides EPA the authority to regulate the 
manufacture (including import), processing, distribution in commerce, 
commercial use and commercial disposal of chemicals substances to be 
able to address chrysotile asbestos direct exposure to humans.
    For these reasons, the Administrator does not determine that 
unreasonable risk from the conditions of use of chrysotile asbestos 
could be eliminated or reduced to a sufficient extent by actions taken 
under other Federal laws administered in whole or in part by EPA.

C. TSCA Section 26(h) Considerations

    In accordance with TSCA section 26(h), EPA has used scientific 
information, technical procedures, measures, methods, protocols, 
methodologies, and models consistent with the best available science. 
The unreasonable risk determination was based on a risk evaluation, 
which was subject to peer review and public comment, was developed in a 
manner consistent with the best available science and based on the 
weight of the scientific evidence as required by TSCA sections 26(h) 
and 40 CFR 702.43 and 702.45. The extent to which the various 
information, procedures, measures, methods, protocols, methodologies or 
models, as applicable, 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 this rule. Additional information 
on the peer review and public comment process, such as the peer review 
plan, the peer review report, and the Agency's response to comments, 
can be found at EPA's risk evaluation docket at EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0501 
(Ref. 23).

VII. References

    The following is a listing of the documents that are specifically 
referenced in this document. The docket includes these documents and 
other information considered by EPA, including documents 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. EPA. Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. 
December 2020. (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-0501-0117).
2. EPA. Economic Analysis of the TSCA Section 6 Proposed Rule for 
Asbestos Risk Management, Part 1. April 2022.
3. U.S. Geological Survey. (2021). Mineral commodity summaries 2021: 
U.S. Geological Survey, https://doi.org/10.3133/mcs2021.
4. Environment and Climate Change Canada. (2021). Prohibitions of 
Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations (SOR/2019-
196). https://pollution-waste.canada.ca/environmental-protection-registry/regulations/view?Id=150. Accessed August 31, 2021.
5. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration. Permissible Exposure Limits--Annotated Tables. 
www.osha.gov/annotated-pels. Accessed August 31, 2021.
6. EPA. Problem Formulation for the Risk Evaluation of Asbestos. May 
2018. (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0131). https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPPT-2016-0736-0131.
7. EPA. Section 6(a) Rulemakings under the Toxic Substances Control 
Act (TSCA) Chrysotile Asbestos Rulemakings E.O. 13132: Federalism 
Consultation. May 13, 2021.
8. EPA. Notification of Consultation and Coordination on Proposed 
Rulemakings under the Toxic Substances Control Act for Asbestos Part 
1: Chrysotile Asbestos. May 24, and June 3, 2021. Tribal 
Consultation.
9. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Comments submitted at 
the Environmental Justice Webinar. June 1, 2021.
10. EPA. Part 1. Asbestos (Chrysotile) Public Webinar Slides. 
February 3, 2021.
11. EPA. Meeting with Environment and Climate Change Canada on Risk 
Management under TSCA section 6, Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile 
Asbestos. February 26, 2021.

[[Page 21734]]

12. EPA. Email Exchange with Mobis and EPA on the presence of 
Asbestos in its Brake and Friction Products. March to June, 2021.
13. EPA. Existing Chemical Exposure Limit (ECEL) for Occupational 
Use of Chrysotile Asbestos. March 2, 2021.
14. EPA. Meeting with Chemours Corporation on Risk Management under 
TSCA section 6, Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. March 29, 
2021.
15. EPA. Meeting with Olin Corporation on Risk Management under TSCA 
section 6, Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. June 2, 2021.
16. EPA. Meeting with Oxychem Corporation on Risk Management under 
TSCA section 6, Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. May 27, 2021.
17. EPA. Meeting with Westlake Corporation on Risk Management under 
TSCA section 6, Asbestos Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. May 20, 2021.
18. Westlake Corporation. Comments submitted to EPA on Axiall/
Westlake use of asbestos for diaphragms in chlor-alkali facility. 
May 22, 2018.
19. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. (2019). ADAO Chlor-
Alkali Industry Report. https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/ADAO-ChlorAlkali-Industry-Report.pdf. 
Accessed on June 1, 2021.
20. EPA. Meeting and Correspondence with The Chlorine Institute on 
Risk Evaluation and Risk Management for Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos. 
June 30, 2021.
21. EPA. Email Correspondence with Oilfield Industry concerning use 
of Chrysotile Asbestos in Brake Blocks. April through June, 2021.
22. U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 
Industrial Technologies Program. (2006). Zero-Gap Membrane Chlor-
Alkali Cells with Oxygen-Depolarized Cathodes Achieved Energy 
Savings of 32%. https://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/industries_technologies/imf/pdfs/1797_advanced_chlor-alkali.pdf. 
Accessed on November 1, 2021.
23. EPA. Summary of External Peer Review and Public Comments and 
Disposition for Chrysotile Asbestos. May, 2020 (EPA-HQ-OPPT-2019-
0501).
24. EPA. Information Collection Request (ICR) for the Regulation of 
Part 1: Chrysotile Asbestos under TSCA Section 6(a) (Proposed Rule). 
EPA ICR No. 2707.01 and OMB No. 2070-[NEW].
25. EPA. Environmental Justice Consultation on Forthcoming Proposed 
Rulemakings under TSCA Section 6(a). May 12, 2021. https://www.epa.gov/chemicals-under-tsca/epa-announces-environmental-justice-consultations-risk-management-0.
26. Office of Management and Budget. Memorandum for the Heads of 
Executive Departments and Agencies (M-95-09). Guidance for 
Implementing Title II of S. 1. March 31, 1995. https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/memoranda/1995-1998/m95-09.pdf. Accessed December 14, 2021.
27. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Hierarchy 
of Controls. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hierarchy/default.html. Accessed December 10, 2021.

VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders 
can be found at https://www.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 an economically significant regulatory action that 
was submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review 
under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 
Executive Order 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011). Any changes made 
in response to OMB recommendations have been documented in the docket. 
EPA prepared an economic analysis of the potential costs and benefits 
associated with this action, which is available in the docket and 
summarized in Unit IV.D (Ref. 2).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    The information collection requirements in this proposed rule have 
been submitted to OMB for review and comment under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. The Information Collection 
Request (ICR) document prepared by the EPA has been assigned the EPA 
ICR number 2707.01 (Ref. 24), and it is briefly summarized here.
    The information collection activities required under the proposed 
rule include recordkeeping requirements. The proposed rule does not 
include any reporting requirements or any third-party notification 
requirements, nor does it include any certification requirements that 
would substitute for a collection of information to collect evidence 
of, or to monitor, compliance with regulatory standards. As explained 
in Unit IV.A.4.b and specified at proposed section 751.X11, companies 
that manufacture (including import), process, distribute in commerce 
and use chrysotile asbestos would be required to retain certain 
information at the company headquarters for five years from the date of 
generation. These information collection activities are necessary to 
provide EPA with information upon inspection. EPA believes that these 
information collection activities would not significantly impact the 
regulated entities. As further explained in the ICR document:
     Four chemical manufacturers that use sheet gaskets and 12 
companies installing aftermarket automotive brakes are estimated to 
incur additional recordkeeping costs associated with their disposal 
activities. Each firm is predicted to incur a burden of approximately 
4.4 hours. The aftermarket automotive brake installers incur this 
burden for one year, and the chemical manufacturers using sheet gaskets 
incur it for two years.
     For the remaining industry sectors and recordkeeping 
activities required by the rule, records that comply with the 
requirements are assumed to already be maintained as part of ordinary 
business records. Therefore, EPA estimates that such respondents would 
incur no additional incremental paperwork burdens due to the rule.
    Respondents/affected entities: Chrysotile asbestos manufacturers 
(including importers), processors, and distributors.
    Respondent's obligation to respond: Mandatory.
    Estimated number of respondents: 16.
    Frequency of response: On occasion.
    Total estimated burden: 29 hours per year. Burden is defined at 5 
CFR 1320.3(b).
    Total estimated cost: $1,166 per year.
    An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for the 
EPA's regulations in 40 CFR are listed in 40 CFR part 9.
    Submit your comments on the Agency's need for this information, the 
accuracy of the provided burden estimates, and any suggested methods 
for minimizing respondent burden to EPA using the docket identified at 
the beginning of this proposed rule. You may also send your ICR-related 
comments to OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs using 
the interface at www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find this 
particular information collection by selecting ``Currently under 
Review--Open for Public Comments'' or by using the search function. 
Since OMB is required to make a decision concerning the ICR between 30 
and 60 days after receipt, OMB must receive comments no later than May 
12, 2022. EPA will respond to any ICR-related comments in the final 
rule.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities

[[Page 21735]]

under the RFA, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. The small entities subject to the 
requirements of this action manufacture (including import), process, 
distribute in commerce and use chrysotile asbestos in the conditions of 
use covered by this proposed rule. EPA estimates that the proposed rule 
would affect at least 15 small entities, of which 12 are businesses 
supplying aftermarket brakes incurring costs between $778 and $11,523 
per firm (depending on the number of brake replacements they perform). 
Nine of the brake replacement firms have a cost impact of less than 1% 
of their annual revenue. Of the three small entities estimated to be 
affected by the rule that are not supplying aftermarket brakes, two 
manufacture sheet gaskets for chemical production and one imports 
oilfield brake blocks. EPA did not have the information necessary to 
estimate the cost impacts on the other three small entities. The 
available information about the magnitude of the small entity impacts 
for each use category are summarized below:
    Chlor-alkali plants: None of the three affected firms are small 
businesses.
    Sheet gasket manufacturing for chemical production: EPA does not 
have the information to calculate the costs of the rule to small 
businesses in this sector, so small business impacts have not been 
estimated. EPA requests comment on the costs of the rule to firms 
currently manufacturing asbestos sheet gaskets for chemical production.
    EPA is aware of one small business that manufactures sheet gaskets 
containing asbestos for chemical production, and the Agency assumes 
that there may be a second small business engaged in this activity. 
While EPA lacks the information to estimate the compliance cost and the 
resulting impact on firms in this sector, the one firm EPA is aware of 
sells a diverse line of products (including non-asbestos gaskets and 
many products other than gaskets) serving several different industries, 
and it operates several sites that do not manufacture gaskets 
containing asbestos. This suggests that asbestos-containing gaskets are 
not a primary source of revenue for the firm. EPA assumes that if there 
is another manufacturer of asbestos gaskets, that it also sells non-
asbestos gaskets. Since asbestos gaskets are such a niche portion of 
the gasket industry, EPA believes this is a reasonable assumption. If 
the customers using gaskets containing asbestos are able to convert 
entirely to asbestos-free gaskets, the affected gasket manufacturers 
could likely provide the substitute products. These customers consist 
of chemical manufacturers that are all large businesses as far as EPA 
is aware. To the extent that asbestos-free gaskets do not last as long 
as those containing asbestos, the proposed rule could increase revenues 
for the affected gasket manufacturers. A less durable product might be 
less profitable for the customers, but selling a product that has to be 
replaced more often could increase revenues for the suppliers.
    Sheet gasket end users (chemical production): None of the 4 firms 
known to be affected are small businesses. It is possible there may be 
other unknown small businesses that may be affected.
    Oilfield brake block importer: EPA does not have the information to 
calculate the costs of the rule to small businesses in this sector, so 
small business impacts have not been estimated. EPA requests comment on 
the costs of the rule to firms supplying oilfield brake blocks.
    There is one firm known to import and distribute oilfield brake 
blocks containing asbestos and it is a small business. While EPA was 
not able to estimate the compliance cost and its impact on this firm, 
if the customers (which may include other small businesses) with older 
drilling rigs currently using brake blocks containing asbestos continue 
to use those rigs, the importer could likely provide the asbestos-free 
brake blocks used as substitutes. To the extent that asbestos-free 
brake blocks are more expensive and do not last as long as those 
containing asbestos, the proposed rule could increase revenues for the 
affected brake block importer. A less durable product might be less 
profitable for the customers, but selling a product that has to be 
replaced more often could increase revenues for the importer.
    Oilfield brake block--end users: EPA has not identified any small 
businesses using oilfield brake blocks containing asbestos. If there 
are such small businesses, EPA does not have the information needed to 
calculate the costs of the rule to them. EPA requests comment on 
whether there are small businesses using oilfield brake blocks 
containing asbestos, and if so, what the costs of the rule to them 
would be. Industry sources have indicated that the use of asbestos-
containing brake blocks has declined over time because the type of 
drilling rigs that use them have been replaced by equipment that does 
not require the use of brake blocks containing asbestos, or that do not 
use brake blocks at all. Since there is only one known importer and it 
is small, there are likely few companies still using asbestos-
containing brake blocks.
    Aftermarket automotive brakes: Twelve firms are estimated to be 
affected by the proposed rule, and all of them are assumed to be small 
businesses. As described in the Economic Analysis (Ref. 2), brakes 
containing asbestos are estimated to have a very small share (0.002%) 
of the total market, and the cost impact of the rule is modest 
(estimated to range between $800 and $12,000 per establishment based on 
an incremental cost of $4 per brake and annual recordkeeping costs of 
approximately $178). It is expected that the affected firms would pass 
the higher cost of non-asbestos brakes on to their customers, who may 
include other small businesses. EPA did not estimate any costs for 
these businesses associated with finding suppliers of non-asbestos 
brakes because EPA assumes that these businesses already sell non-
asbestos brakes as well as brakes containing asbestos.
    Other gaskets: EPA is not aware if any firms that would be affected 
for this use category, since the one firm that previously indicated 
that it used these products subsequently stated that it does not do so. 
Therefore, no impacts are predicted on this use category as a result of 
the rule.
    Other vehicle friction products: EPA is not aware of any firms 
impacted for this use category because the one firm that previously 
indicated to EPA that it used products in this use category 
subsequently stated that it does not do so. Therefore, no impacts are 
predicted on this use category as a result of the rule. To the extent 
there are ongoing uses, it is likely that the effects of the rule would 
be similar to those for aftermarket auto brakes (a few firms facing a 
small cost-increase for asbestos-free products that probably can be 
passed on to consumers).
    Details of this analysis are presented in the Economic Analysis 
(Ref. 2).
    EPA requests public comments regarding on the number of small 
businesses subject to the rule, including use categories for which EPA 
did not identify any affected small businesses, and on the potential 
impacts of the rule on these small businesses.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action contains a federal mandate under UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-
1538, that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for 
state, local and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private 
sector in any one year. Accordingly, the EPA has prepared a written 
statement required under section 202 of UMRA. The statement is

[[Page 21736]]

included in the docket for this action and briefly summarized here.
    Total estimated compliance costs of the proposed rule are estimated 
to be approximately $909 million per year the first two years, not 
including costs for sheet gaskets used in chemical production, brake 
blocks in the oil industry, other vehicle friction products, or other 
gaskets. Thus, the cost of the rule to the private sector exceeds the 
inflation-adjusted UMRA threshold of $100 million in any one year. When 
longer term savings in the chlor-alkali industry are accounted for over 
a 20-year period, the quantified effects of the proposed rule range 
from an incremental cost of $49 million per year to an incremental 
savings of $35 million per year using a 3% discount rate. Using a 7% 
discount rate, the incremental effects range from a cost of 90 million 
per year to savings of $300,000 per year.
    Most of the estimated compliance costs would be incurred by the 
chlor-alkali industry. Of the nine chlor-alkali plants affected by the 
rule, seven are in Louisiana or Texas.
    The economic impact of a regulation on the national economy is 
generally considered to be measurable only if the economic impact of 
the regulation reaches 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent of Gross Domestic 
Product (GDP) (Ref. 26). Given the current GDP of $23.17 trillion, this 
is equivalent to a cost of $58 billion to $116 billion. Therefore, EPA 
has concluded that this rule is highly unlikely to have any measurable 
effect on the national economy.
    The quantified benefits of avoided cancer incidence due to the 
requirements for chlor-alkali plants, sheet gaskets in chemical 
production, and aftermarket automobile brakes total approximately 
$3,000 per year using a 3% discount rate and $1,200 per year using a 7% 
discount rate. There may be additional unquantified benefits from 
reducing exposures associated with other uses of chrysotile asbestos, 
and avoided cases of non-cancer health outcomes. There may also be 
significant benefits due to the reduction in pollutants generated by 
electric utilities that supply power to the chlor-alkali plants.
    Additional information on EPA's estimates of the benefits and costs 
of this action are provided in Units I.E and V.F and in the Economic 
Analysis for this action (Ref. 2). Information on the authorizing 
legislation is provided in Unit I.B. Information on prior consultations 
with affected State, local, and Tribal governments is provided in Units 
VIII.E and VIII.F.
    This action is not subject to the requirements of section 203 of 
UMRA because it contains no regulatory requirements that might 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    The EPA has concluded that this action has federalism implications, 
as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999), 
because regulation under TSCA section 6(a) may preempt state law. EPA 
provides the following preliminary federalism summary impact statement. 
The Agency consulted with state and local officials early in the 
process of developing the proposed action to facilitate their 
meaningful and timely input into its development. EPA invited the 
following national organizations representing state and local elected 
officials to a meeting on May 13, 2021, in Washington, DC: National 
Governors Association; National Conference of State Legislatures, 
Council of State Governments, National League of Cities, U.S. 
Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, International 
City/County Management Association, National Association of Towns and 
Townships, County Executives of America, and Environmental Council of 
States. A summary of the meeting with these organizations, including 
the views that they expressed, is available in the docket (Ref. 7). EPA 
provided an opportunity for these organizations to provide follow-up 
comments in writing but did not receive any such comments.

F. 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). This rulemaking 
would not have substantial direct effects on tribal government because 
chrysotile asbestos is not manufactured, processed, or distributed in 
commerce by tribes and would not impose substantial direct compliance 
costs on tribal governments. Thus, E.O. 13175 does not apply to this 
action. EPA nevertheless consulted with tribal officials during the 
development of this action, consistent with the EPA Policy on 
Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribes.
    EPA met with tribal officials via teleconferences on May 24, 2021, 
and June 3, 2021, concerning the prospective regulation of chrysotile 
asbestos under TSCA section 6 (Ref. 8). Tribal officials were given the 
opportunity to meaningfully interact with EPA risk managers concerning 
the current status of risk management. EPA received questions during 
both meetings held during the consultation period concerning potential 
risks to workers, consumers, and general population. Participants in 
the consultations expressed interest in the conditions of use where EPA 
found unreasonable risk and how EPA would address that unreasonable 
risk. EPA responded by providing the suite of options provided the 
agency under TSCA section 6 to address the unreasonable risk (Ref. 8).

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

    This action is subject to Executive Order 13045 because it is an 
economically significant regulatory action as defined by Executive 
Order 12866, and the EPA believes that the environmental health or 
safety risk addressed by this action has a disproportionate effect on 
children. The health effect of concern related to exposures to 
chrysotile asbestos are mesothelioma and lung cancer, both of which 
have a long latency periods following exposure. The risk evaluation 
demonstrated in sensitivity analyses that age at first exposure 
affected risk estimates, with earlier exposures in life resulting in 
greater risk. For children, exposures can be anticipated (1) as 
bystanders for consumer uses such as aftermarket brakes and (2) in 
consumer uses and occupational uses given that the risk evaluation 
presented information indicating that children 16 years of age may 
engage in these activities. The results of this evaluation are 
discussed in Units II.A. and V.A.

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

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' under Executive 
Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) because it is not likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution or use of 
energy and has not otherwise been designated by the Administrator of 
OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs as a ``significant 
energy action.'' The action is predicted to reduce energy use and is 
not expected to reduce energy supply or increase energy prices.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA)

    This proposed rulemaking does not involve technical standards. As 
such, NTTAA section 12(d), 15 U.S.C. 272 note, does not apply to this 
action.

[[Page 21737]]

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

    This action does not have disproportionately high and adverse human 
health or environmental effects on minority populations, low-income 
populations and/or indigenous peoples, as specified in Executive Order 
12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994). Executive Order 12898 
establishes federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main 
provision directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable 
and permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their 
mission by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, 
disproportionately high and adverse health or environmental effects of 
their programs, policies and activities on minority populations and 
low-income populations in the U.S. This rule would increase the level 
of environmental protection for all affected populations without having 
any disproportionately high and adverse health or environmental effects 
on any population, including any minority, or low-income population. 
EPA also conducted outreach to advocates of communities that might be 
subject to disproportionate exposure to chrysotile asbestos, such as 
minority populations, low-income populations and indigenous peoples. 
EPA's EJ consultation occurred from June 1 through August 13, 2021. On 
June 1 and 9, 2021, EPA held public meetings as part of this 
consultation (Ref. 24). See also Unit III.A.1. These meetings were held 
pursuant to and in compliance with Executive Order 12898 and Executive 
Order 14008, Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad (86 FR 
7619, February 1, 2021). EPA received several comments following the EJ 
meetings. Commenters expressed concerns that consumers who live near 
chlor-alkali facilities and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) auto workers could be 
exposed unless chrysotile asbestos is banned (Ref. 9). EPA also 
acknowledges that there are pre-existing environmental justice concerns 
in communities surrounding some of the affected chlor-alkali facilities 
and one other chemical manufacturer in Louisiana and Texas due high 
levels of polluting industrial activities and high proportions of 
minority residents. This rule is not expected to affect these pre-
existing environmental justice concerns.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 751

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Export certification, 
Hazardous substances, Import certification, Recordkeeping.

Michael S. Regan,
Administrator.

    Therefore, for the reasons stated in the preamble, EPA proposes to 
amend 40 CFR part 751 as follows:

PART 751--REGULATION OF CERTAIN CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES AND MIXTURES 
UNDER SECTION 6 OF THE TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL ACT

0
1. The authority citation for part 751 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2605, 15 U.S.C. 2625(l)(4).

0
2. Add subpart F to read as follows:
Subpart F--Chrysotile Asbestos
Sec.
751.X01 General.
751.X03 Definitions.
751.X05 Restrictions on Conditions of Use.
751.X07 [Reserved]
751.X09 Disposal.
751.X11 Recordkeeping.

Subpart F--Chrysotile Asbestos


Sec.  751.X01  General.

    This subpart sets certain restrictions on the manufacture 
(including import), processing, distribution in commerce, and 
commercial use and disposal of chrysotile asbestos to prevent 
unreasonable risk of injury to health in accordance with TSCA section 
6(a), 15 U.S.C. 2605(a).


Sec.  751.X03  Definitions.

    The definitions in subpart A of this part apply to this subpart 
unless otherwise specified in this section. In addition, the following 
definitions apply:
    Aftermarket Automotive Brakes and Linings mean any automotive 
friction brake articles sold in the secondary market as replacement 
parts (e.g., brake pads, linings and shoes) used in disc and drum brake 
systems on automobiles and trucks.
    Article means a manufactured item:
    (1) Which is formed to a specific shape or design during 
manufacture;
    (2) Which has end use function(s) dependent in whole or in part 
upon its shape or design during end use; and
    (3) Which has either no change of chemical composition during its 
end use or only those changes of composition which have no commercial 
purpose separate from that of the article, and that result from a 
chemical reaction that occurs upon end use of other chemical 
substances, mixtures, or articles; except that fluids and particles are 
not considered articles regardless of shape or design.
    Chrysotile asbestos is the asbestiform variety of a hydrated 
magnesium silicate mineral, with relatively long and flexible 
crystalline fibers that are capable of being woven.
    Disposal means to discard, throw away, or otherwise complete or 
terminate the useful life of chrysotile asbestos, including any 
chrysotile asbestos-containing products or articles.
    Distribution in commerce has the same meaning as in section 3 of 
the Act, but the term does not include distribution of chrysotile 
asbestos waste solely for purposes of disposal in accordance with this 
subpart.
    Diaphragms means semipermeable diaphragms, which separate the anode 
from the cathode chemicals in the production of chlorine and sodium 
hydroxide (caustic soda).
    Gasket means an article used to form a leakproof seal between fixed 
components.
    Oilfield Brake Blocks means the friction brake blocks component in 
drawworks used in the hoisting mechanism for oil well drilling rigs.
    Other Gaskets means gaskets other than sheet gaskets in chemical 
production, to include gaskets used in the exhaust systems of utility 
vehicles.
    Other Vehicle Friction Products means friction articles such as 
brakes and clutches, other than aftermarket automotive brakes and 
linings, installed on any vehicle, including on off-road vehicles, 
trains, planes, etc. Vehicle Friction Products do not include articles 
used in the NASA Super Guppy Turbine aircraft, a specialty cargo plane 
used for the transportation of oversized equipment that is owned and 
operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
    Processing has the same meaning as in section 3 of the Act, but the 
term does not include processing of chrysotile asbestos waste solely 
for purposes of disposal in accordance with this subpart.
    Sheet Gaskets in Chemical Production means gaskets cut from 
sheeting, including asbestos-containing rubberized sheeting, that are 
used in chemical manufacturing facilities for extreme condition 
applications such as titanium dioxide manufacturing.


Sec.  751.X05   Restrictions on Conditions of Use.

    (a) After [DATE 2 YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], all 
persons are prohibited from the manufacture (including import), 
processing, distribution in commerce, and commercial use of chrysotile 
asbestos, including any chrysotile

[[Page 21738]]

asbestos-containing products or articles, for:
    (1) Diaphragms in the chlor-alkali industry; and
    (2) Sheet gaskets in chemical production.
    (b) After [DATE 180 DAYS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], all 
persons are prohibited from the manufacture (including import), 
processing, distribution in commerce and commercial use of chrysotile 
asbestos, including any chrysotile asbestos-containing products or 
articles, for commercial use of:
    (1) Oilfield brake blocks;
    (2) Aftermarket automotive brakes and linings;
    (3) Other vehicle friction products; and
    (4) Other gaskets.
    (c) After [DATE 180 DAYS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], all 
persons are prohibited from the manufacture (including import), 
processing, and distribution in commerce of chrysotile asbestos, 
including any chrysotile asbestos-containing products or articles, for 
consumer use of:
    (1) Aftermarket automotive brakes and linings; and
    (2) Other gaskets.


Sec.  751.X07  [Reserved]


Sec.  751.X09  Disposal.

    (a) After [DATE 180 DAYS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], all 
persons disposing of chrysotile asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-
containing products or articles subject to Sec.  751.X05(a)(1), must 
dispose of chrysotile asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-containing 
products or articles, as applicable:
    (1) In accordance with the Asbestos General Industry Standard--(29 
CFR 1910.1001(k)).
    (2) In conformance with the asbestos waste disposal requirements at 
40 CFR 61.150.
    (b) After [DATE 180 DAYS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], all 
persons disposing of chrysotile asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-
containing products or articles subject to Sec.  751. X05(a)(2) must 
dispose of chrysotile asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-containing 
products or articles, as applicable:
    (1) In accordance with the Asbestos General Industry Standard--(29 
CFR 1910.1001(k))
    (2) [Reserved]
    (c) After [DATE 180 DAYS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], all 
persons disposing of chrysotile asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-
containing products or articles subject to Sec.  751.X05(b) must 
dispose of chrysotile asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-containing 
products or articles, as applicable:
    (1) In accordance with the Asbestos General Industry Standard--(29 
CFR 1910.1001(k)).
    (2) In conformance with the asbestos waste disposal requirements at 
40 CFR 61.150.
    (d) After [DATE 180 DAYS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], each 
manufacturer (including importer), processor, and distributor of 
chrysotile asbestos, including any chrysotile asbestos-containing 
products or articles, for consumer use, disposing of chrysotile 
asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-containing products or articles 
subject to Sec.  751.X05(c), must dispose of chrysotile asbestos and 
any chrysotile asbestos-containing products or articles, as applicable:
    (1) In accordance with the Asbestos General Industry Standard--(29 
CFR 1910.1001(k)).
    (2) In conformance with the asbestos waste disposal requirements at 
40 CFR 61.150.


Sec.  751.X11  Recordkeeping.

    (a) Each person, except a consumer, who disposes of any chrysotile 
asbestos and any chrysotile asbestos-containing products or articles 
subject to Sec.  751.X09, after [DATE 180 CALENDAR DAYS AFTER EFFECTIVE 
DATE OF FINAL RULE] must retain in one location at the headquarters of 
the company, or at the facility for which the records were generated, 
documentation showing:
    (1) Any records related to any disposal of chrysotile asbestos and 
any chrysotile asbestos-containing products or articles generated 
pursuant to, or otherwise documenting compliance with, regulations 
specified in Sec.  751.X09.
    (2) [Reserved]
    (b) The documentation in paragraph (a) of this section must be 
retained for 5 years from the date of generation.

[FR Doc. 2022-07601 Filed 4-11-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P