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Regulatory Flexibility for Small Entities

SBAR Panel: PCB Use Authorizations Update Rule

Key Dates for this SBAR Panel

  • Convening Date: 02/07/2014
  • Completion Date: 04/07/2014

About the Rule

What is the Implication of the Rulemaking on Small Entities?

Section 6(e) of TSCA banned the manufacture, processing, distribution in commerce, and use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), except when the Administrator determined such uses were "totally enclosed" or would otherwise pose no unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment. On May 31, 1979, EPA promulgated the first of several regulations (at 40 CFR part 761) that established authorizations for certain ongoing uses of PCBs (44 FR 31514). EPA has initiated this rulemaking to revise or end the authorized uses of PCBs if the conditions under which they were authorized more than 30 years ago have changed. On April 7, 2010 EPA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) entitled "Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs); Reassessment of Use Authorizations" (75 FR 17645), requesting comment on topics such as the cost of conversion to non-PCB-containing equipment, disposal costs, use of substitutes, and in particular the potential impact that a rule-making might have on disparate communities and small business owners. EPA received comments from electric utilities, natural gas companies, state and local governments, paper companies, recycling companies, non-profit and environmental organizations, and citizens. Based on this input, the Agency decided to focus this rule-making on existing liquid-filled PCB use authorizations, PCBs in fluorescent light ballasts, PCBs in natural gas pipelines, and clarifying regulatory language.

Entities potentially regulated by this rulemaking include: those using PCB transformers such as electric utilities; firms involved with pipeline transfer of natural gas or natural gas distribution; and entities that own or operate building have PCB-containing fluorescent light ballasts in use.

How Can I Learn More?

While the opportunity to participate on this Panel has passed, you will have the chance to submit comments concerning this rulemaking during the standard public comment period commencing after publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.

Semiannual updates about the development status of the rulemaking are available on: