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Small Business Administration to EPA: Withdraw proposed rule on trichloroethylene

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Washington – The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a proposed rule that would ban use of the toxic chemical trichloroethylene as an aerosol degreaser and as a spot cleaner in dry cleaning facilities.

The proposed rule would prohibit all manufacturing, processing and commercial distribution of TCE for the above uses. It also would require manufacturers, processors and distributors to notify retailers and others in the supply chain about the ban.

In a letter sent March 15, SBA wrote that “Small businesses have expressed concerns with the agency’s risk assessment used to support the unreasonable risk determination for these TCE uses. Advocacy suggests that EPA withdraw the proposed rule and reassess the TCE uses in this rule as part of its ongoing risk evaluation of TCE uses. Small businesses have also identified additional costs that were not considered by the agency in determining the compliance costs for these businesses. Advocacy suggests that the agency reassess its compliance with the [Regulatory Flexibility Act] to include these additional costs.”

In addition, the letter requests that EPA assemble a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panel “to learn about small business impacts of regulatory proposal, and to develop significant alternatives to the rule.”

In 2014, EPA determined that TCE may cause cancer, developmental and neurotoxicological effects, and toxicity to the liver, among other adverse health effects.

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