23 June 2020

EPA Grants Petitions to Add First Chemical to Hazardous Air Pollutants List Since 1990

On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Federal Register notice granting petitions to add n-propyl bromide, commonly known as 1-bromopropane (1-BP), to the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) list of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). Once EPA takes a separate regulatory action to add the chemical to the list of HAPs, the action will represent the first addition to the list since 1990, when it was created. 1-BP is found in degreasers, cleaners, spray adhesives, automotive refrigerant flushes and lubricants. In a draft risk evaluation conducted under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA noted last year that the chemical could pose “an unreasonable risk of injury to health” under certain conditions of use but did not find any unreasonable risk of injury to the environment. The risk evaluation is ongoing and is expected to be finalized this year.

The action to grant petitions to add 1-BP to the list of HAPs is separate from EPA’s TSCA risk evaluation and responds to petitions from the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance (HSIA) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The granting of the petitions does not impose any obligations on sources of 1-BP. EPA must take a separate regulatory action to add the chemical to the list of HAPs, and additional actions must be taken to regulate 1-BP from its largest source categories. The chemical is already subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA).