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Reassessment of PCB Use Authorizations. PCB-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts. AASA Legislative Advocacy Conference July 8, 2014. Presentation Overview. Background on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Current stage of rulemaking development Overview of EPA rulemaking process.

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Reassessment of pcb use authorizations

Reassessment of PCB Use Authorizations

PCB-Containing Fluorescent Light Ballasts

AASA Legislative Advocacy Conference

July 8, 2014


Presentation overview
Presentation Overview

  • Background on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)

  • Current stage of rulemaking development

  • Overview of EPA rulemaking process


Pcbs background
PCBs Background

  • PCBs are a group of chemicals used extensively in industrial applications because of their persistence, heat resistance, elasticity to plastics and low electrical conductivity.

  • Chronic exposure to PCBs can lead to health effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system and can cause cancer.


Pcbs background1
PCBs Background

  • The Toxic Substances Control Act or TSCA banned the manufacture of PCBs in 1977.

  • Under TSCA, EPA issued use authorizations in 1979 for existing PCBs based on a finding at the time of “no unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment.”

  • One of the use authorizations was for PCBs in small capacitors including those within fluorescent light ballasts (FLBs).

  • EPA is now re-examining some of the PCB use authorizationsincluding for FLBs.


Pcb small capacitors in flbs
PCB Small Capacitors in FLBs

  • We have learned from incidents in schools that PCB FLBs are still in use and often leak.

    • Particularly prevalent in New York City schools.

    • Court mandate to remove PCB FLBs by December 31, 2016.

  • EPA research shows that even PCB FLBs that are not leaking still off-gas, resulting in PCB exposures.


Potential pcb flb options
Potential PCB FLB Options

  • Phase-out near or at estimated natural attrition date (2020).

  • Public outreach campaign targeting schools and other public and commercial buildings to encourage the removal of PCB FLBs.

  • Considering different regulatory universes (schools, daycares, hospitals, public housing).


Rulemaking steps
Rulemaking Steps

  • Proposed Rule

  • Consultations (Federalism, Tribal consultations, Small Business Advocacy Review Panel)

  • Internal EPA review

  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) interagency review period

  • Administrator signature

  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Federal Register (Proposed Rule comment period)

  • Final Rule

  • Incorporate comments received

  • Internal EPA review

  • OMB interagency review period

  • Administrator signature

  • Final Rule published in Federal Register


Rulemaking process next steps
Rulemaking Process Next Steps

  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking– May 2015



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