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  • Press Release

ACC Responds to EPA Proposed Rule To Restrict Uses of Perchloroethylene

Erich Shea

WASHINGTON (June 12, 2023) — The American Chemistry Council (ACC) released a statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA’s) proposal to restrict uses of perchloroethylene (PCE) under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act. The following may be attributed to the American Chemistry Council:

“While we are still reviewing the language of EPA’s proposed rule on perchloroethylene, ACC notes that the agency’s approach appears to be evolving in some aspects as it gains more experience in addressing risk management. We see that the PCE proposal includes a de minimis limit, a critical element missing from the methylene chloride proposed rule.

“We also note that more applications are proposed for workplace regulation rather than outright prohibitions, and further note that EPA offers more recognition in the preamble to potential impacts on small businesses.

“ACC remains concerned with many aspects of EPA’s approach to risk management under TSCA, however. One such concern is EPA’s approach to setting its proposed occupational exposure limits. Here, we note that the EPA limit for PCE is 700 times lower than the OSHA legal limit and nearly 200 times below the recommendation from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

“These limits may be scientifically unsupportable. Regardless, in cases where EPA proposes such significant departures from global or domestic OELs, at a minimum, much longer compliance periods will be needed. Here, we urge EPA to allow at least five years for compliance toward meeting such low limits.”

PCE, also known as tetrachloroethylene, is used in a broad number of applications, ranging from dry cleaning to precision cleaning and chemical milling, to isomerization and catalytic reforming in petroleum refining, to its use as a chemical intermediate in the production of refrigerants and other chemistries that are important to achieving the greenhouse gas reduction goals of the Kigali Amendments.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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