New regs for Thursday: toxic chemicals, food facilities and deepwater ports

Thursday’s edition of the Federal Register contains new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency for toxic chemicals, a rule from the Food and Drug Administration for food facilities and revisions to the Department of Homeland Security’s rules for deepwater ports.

Here’s a look at what's to come. 

Chemicals: The Environmental Protection Agency is considering changing its rules for the significant new use of 24 new chemicals.

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Under the Toxic Substances Control Act, the rule would require manufacturers to notify the EPA at least 90 days before making the chemical substance.

Significant use is determined by how much of the chemical will be manufactured, if the new use for the chemical changes how humans are going to be exposed to it and the extent to which humans who are exposed will change.

The proposed rule would apply to 24 chemicals including 1-Butanol, 3-methoxy-3-methyl and acetate, which are ingredients in paint thinners, cleaners, screen ink, airplane paint and printer ink. The EPA said it has identified concerns that the products could be toxic to the liver, kidney and the nervous systems, and cause cancer.

The public has 30 days to comment.

Food: The Food and Drug Administration is considering a rule that would require domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption in the U.S. to register with the agency.

The rule would amend the Food Safety Modernization Act and require facilities to renew their registration with the agency every two years, between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 of each even-numbered year. The FDA, which will be able to inspect the facilities at any time, said the proposed rule would help the agency respond to food safety issues.

The public has 60 days to comment.

Deepwater ports: The Department of Homeland Security is considering revising its rules for licensing, constructing, designing, equipping and operating offshore deepwater ports used for importing and exporting oil and natural gas.

The proposed revisions would provide additional information, clarify existing regulations, provide additional regulatory flexibility and add new requirements to ensure safety. The proposed rule would not, however, affect the license to operate any existing deepwater port, nor would it result in the licensing of any new deepwater port, the rule-making said.

The public has 90 days to comment.