Relying on its new authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which was amended in summer 2016, EPA announced a proposed rule on December 7, 2016, which would ban trichloroethylene (TCE) from use as a degreaser and spot removal agent in dry-cleaning operations. The proposed rule marks the first exercise of EPA’s new authority to restrict the use of an existing chemical under TSCA. The proposed rule is based on a 2014 EPA risk assessment which found significant health risks for workers and consumers relating to the use of TCE in dry cleaning. The proposed rule would prohibit the manufacture, import, processing, and distribution in commerce of TCE in aerosol degreasing and in spot cleaning in dry cleaning facilities. EPA is also developing a separate, proposed regulatory action to address risks associated with TCE use in vapor degreasing.
Comments must be received within 60 days after publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register.