On January 6, 2021, EPA issued a rule limiting manufacturing, importing, processing, and distribution of products containing phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)). That rule was scheduled to take effect on February 5, 2021, with a March 8, 2021, compliance date. After this date, companies would be prohibited from processing and distributing PIP (3:1) and PIP (3:1)-containing products unless there was an applicable exclusion. Furthermore, after the compliance date, the rule prohibited the release of PIP (3:1) into water during manufacturing, processing, and distribution. This final rule also required commercial users to follow existing regulations and best practices to prevent the release of PIP (3:1) and products containing PIP (3:1) into water. On March 8, 2022, the effective compliance date of the rule was extended to October 3, 2024.
The March 2022 extension applies to the following consumer and commercial goods: cellular telephones, laptop computers, electronic devices, and industrial and commercial equipment used in various sectors including transportation, life sciences, and semiconductor production. Notably, this is not an exhaustive list of the goods affected by the rule. This extension follows the publication of the initial rule in January 2021, no action assurance issued in March 2021, and the September 2021 extension which expired on March 8, 2022. These milestones are discussed in greater detail below.
In January 2021, EPA released risk management rules under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) intended to mitigate exposure to five chemicals that are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT). The five chemicals listed under this rule are decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE); phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)); 2,4,6-tris (tert-butyl) phenol (2, 4, 6-TTBP); hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD); and pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP). The rules were designed to either limit or prohibit manufacturing, importing, processing, and distributing the aforementioned chemicals. Following the publication of these rules, EPA received numerous comments from manufacturers and processors of PIP (3:1) asserting that the March 8, 2021, compliance date did not provide stakeholders with enough time to find viable chemical substitutes. Consequently, on March 8, 2021, EPA provided a no action assurance letter on enforcement of the rule. The no action assurance expired on September 4, 2021. Subsequently, on September 17, 2021, EPA issued a short-term extension of specific compliance deadlines for the processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) and articles containing PIP (3:1) to March 8, 2022. On March 8, 2022, a further extension was granted, which moved the compliance deadline to October 31, 2024.