On May 10, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in the Federal Register requesting comments on a new request for information to the commercial sterilization and fumigation sector about the use of ethylene oxide (EO). The request, which was initially distributed to nine EO commercial sterilization facilities, is part of EPA’s technology review of the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Pollutants (NESHAP). EPA explained that “[w]hile [initial] data gathering efforts have been successful, there are still several important information gaps that should be filled prior to any final rulemaking activity.” The additional information now being requested will “enable the EPA to have a complete understanding of all emissions, emissions sources, processes, and control technologies in use at EtO sterilization facilities nationwide, providing a robust foundation for a final rulemaking.”
The Information Collection Request follows a number of recent EO-related announcements, including a May 6, 2021 EPA Office of Inspector General report and EPA’s April 29, 2021 announcement that it plans to expand the Toxics Release Inventory reporting requirements for a number of chemicals, including EO.
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