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EPA/SWER RIN: 2050-AE87 Publication ID: Fall 2011 
Title: Revisions to the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; Subpart J Product Schedule Listing Requirements 
Abstract: EPA is considering proposing revisions to subpart J of the National Contingency Plan (NCP). The Clean Water Act requires EPA to prepare a schedule of dispersants, other chemicals, and other spill mitigating devices and substances, if any, that may be used in carrying out the NCP. Under subpart J, respondents wishing to add a product to the Product Schedule must submit technical product data to EPA. The Agency is considering revisions to subpart J to clarify and/or change the effectiveness and toxicity testing protocols required for adding a product to the Schedule. These changes, if finalized, will help ensure protection of the environment when these products are used to clean up and mitigate oil spills (1) into or upon navigable waters, adjoining shorelines, or the waters of the contiguous zone, or (2) which may affect natural resources belonging to or under the exclusive management authority of the United States. Further, the Agency is considering proposed changes to 40 CFR 110.4 regarding the use of dispersants. 
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 40 CFR 300    40 CFR 110   
Legal Authority: 33 USC 1321(d)(2)    33 USC 1321(b)(3)    CWA 311(d)(2)   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: The unprecedented use of dispersants on the surface and in the subsea during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico raised many questions about dispersant efficacy, toxicity, environmental fate, and monitoring. The public and officials working at local, State, and Federal levels expressed concerns regarding the effects of dispersant use on the ecosystem. These concerns require a review of the product toxicity and efficacy testing and application in the current subpart J regulatory requirements. Additionally, the large-scale submission of oil-mitigating technologies through the Interagency Alternative Technology Assessment Program (IATAP) as a result of this incident also highlights the need to re-evaluate the current subpart J regulations, particularly the technical data requirements.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) requires the President to prepare and publish a National Contingency Plan (NCP) for the removal of oil and hazardous substances. In turn, the President delegated the authority to implement this section of the FWPCA to EPA through Executive Order 12777 (56 FR 54757; Oct. 22, 1991). Section 311(d)(2)(G)(i) of the FWPCA (a.k.a., Clean Water Act), as amended by the OPA, requires that the NCP include a schedule identifying "dispersants, other chemicals, and other spill mitigating devices and substances, if any, that may be used in carrying out" the NCP. Currently, the use of dispersants, other chemicals, and other oil spill mitigating devices and substances (e.g., bioremediation agents) to respond to oil spills in U.S. waters is governed by subpart J of the NCP (40 CFR part 300 series 900).

Alternatives: To be determined.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: To be determined.

Risks: To be determined.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  08/00/2012    
Final Action  To Be Determined    
Additional Information: Includes Retrospective Review under E.O.13563.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State, Tribal 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Information URL:  
Sectors Affected: 325 Chemical Manufacturing; 3251 Basic Chemical Manufacturing; 3259 Other Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing; 54 Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
William Nichols
Environmental Protection Agency
Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 564-1970
Fax:202 564-2625

Leigh DeHaven
Environmental Protection Agency
Solid Waste and Emergency Response
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 564-1974
Fax:202 564-2625