Regulatory Development and Retrospective Review Tracker

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs); Reassessment of Use Authorizations

a.k.a. PCB Use Authorizations

RIN: 2070-AJ38 (What's this?)

Docket No.: Not yet available (What's this?)

Current Phase: Pre-Proposal (What's this?)

The EPA's regulations governing the use of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in electrical equipment and other applications were first issued in the late 1970s and have not been updated since 1998.

The EPA has initiated rulemaking to reassess the ongoing authorized uses of PCBs to determine whether certain use authorizations should be ended or phased out because they can no longer be justified under section 6(e) of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which requires that the authorized use will not present an unreasonable risk of injury to health and the environment. As the first step in this reassessment, the EPA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in 2010. The EPA reviewed and considered all comments received on the ANPRM in planning the current rulemaking. This action will address the following specific areas: (1) the use, distribution in commerce, marking and storage for reuse of liquid PCBs in electric equipment; (2) improvements to the existing use authorization for natural gas pipelines; and (3) definitional and other regulatory "fixes". The reassessment of use authorizations related to liquid PCBs in equipment will focus on large capacitors, transformers and other electrical equipment. In addition, revised testing, characterization, and reporting requirements for PCBs in natural gas pipeline systems to provide more transparency for the Agency and the public when PCB releases occur will be considered. Consistent with Executive Order 13563, "Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review", wherever possible and consistent with the overall objectives of this rulemaking, the Agency will also eliminate or fix regulatory inefficiencies noted by the Agency or in public comments on the ANPRM. A separate Regulatory Agenda entry (RIN 2070-AK12) addresses the other proposed reassessment of the use authorization of liquid PCBs in small capacitors in fluorescent light ballasts.

ANPRM: Sent to OMB for Regulatory Review12/04/2009
ANPRM: Received by OMB12/08/2009
ANPRM: Regulatory Review Concluded02/01/2010
ANPRM: Comment Period Open04/07/2010
ANPRM: Published in FR04/07/2010
ANPRM: Public Meeting05/04/2010
ANPRM: Public Meeting05/18/2010
ANPRM: Public Meeting05/25/2010
ANPRM: Public Meeting05/27/2010
ANPRM: Comment Period Extension Published in FR06/16/2010
ANPRM: Comment Period Closed07/06/2010
ANPRM: Public Meeting07/22/2010
ANPRM: Public Meeting07/29/2010
ANPRM: Comment Period Closed with Extension08/20/2010
NPRM: Published in FR00/0000 (projected)

Potential Effects

Children's Health
This rule is likely to address an adverse impact on childhood lifestages, including prenatal (via exposure to women of childbearing age). The potential adverse impacts are expected to be due to exposure (i.e., children and/or women of childbearing age are more likely to be highly exposed than other lifestages).

This rulemaking is likely to have federalism implications, as defined by E.O. 13132.

Local Governments
Likely to be regulated by this rule.

Small Entities
EPA notifies the public when a rulemaking is likely to 1) have any adverse economic impact on small entities even though a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis may not be required and/or 2) have significant adverse economic impacts on a substantial number of small entities. The term "small entities" includes small businesses, small governments, and small not-for-profits. (Read a longer explanation on our Small Entities web page.) This rulemaking is likely to impact small entities in the following way(s):
  • Likely to have any adverse economic impact on:
    • small businesses
    • small governments
    • small not-for-profit enterprises

In addition, small governments are:

  • Likely to be regulated by this rule.

State Governments
Likely to be regulated by this rule.

Tribal Governments
Likely to be regulated by this rule.

Participate / Learn More Regulatory Review

Some of EPA's rulemakings undergo regulatory review (What's this?), as prescribed by Executive Order 12866 and coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The following list describes which of this rulemaking's stages have completed review and published in the Federal Register, if any, and provides links to the review documents where available. Consult the "Timeline" section of this Web page for the dates of each review.

  • NPRM - No Information Available.
Citations & Authorities

Federal Register Citations

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Citation
40 CFR 761

Legal Authority
15 U.S.C. 2605 Toxic Substances Control Act