EPA Adding o-nitrotoluene to Section 313 List

The agency's final rule applies for the reporting year beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

EPA is publishing a final rule that adds ortho-nitrotoluene (o-nitrotoluene, CAS No. 00088-72-2) to the list of toxic chemicals that are subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990.

The chemical is used in the production of dyes, explosives, organic chemicals, according to the National Toxicology Program's 12th Report on Carcinogens, which is one of the two cancer lists referenced in OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard. The 12th RoC listed this chemical as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." EPA's final rule says EPA has determined that o-nitrotoluene meets the EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(B) criteria because it can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer in humans.

The RoC document about o-nitrotoluene said it has been found in groundwater, private well water, surface water, and soil at or near munitions production facilities and military training grounds. It said no information was found on the number of U.S. workers potentially exposed to the chemical in the production of chemical intermediates.

Section 313 of EPCRA, 42 U.S.C. 11023, requires certain facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use listed toxic chemicals in amounts above reporting threshold levels to report their environmental releases and other waste management quantities of such chemicals annually. The EPCRA section 313(d)(2) criteria are:

  • The chemical is known to cause or can reasonably be anticipated to cause significant adverse acute human health effects at concentration levels that are reasonably likely to exist beyond facility site boundaries as a result of continuous, or frequently recurring, releases.
  • The chemical is known to cause or can reasonably be anticipated to cause in humans: cancer or teratogenic effects, or serious or irreversible reproductive dysfunctions, neurological disorders, heritable genetic mutations, or other chronic health effects.
  • The chemical is known to cause or can be reasonably anticipated to cause such effects because of: its toxicity, its toxicity and persistence in the environment, or its toxicity and tendency to bioaccumulate in the environment.

In its final rule, EPA said it received no comments on its proposed rule to add o-nitrotoluene to the section 313 list.

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