Advocacy Provides Public Comment on EPA’s Proposed Risk Management for Trichloroethylene under the Toxic Substance Control Act

On October 31, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule to restrict the use of trichloroethylene (TCE); Regulation Under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) (PDF, 214 KB). TCE is used as a solvent in a variety of industrial, commercial, and consumer applications including for hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) production, vapor and aerosol degreasing, and in lubricants, greases, adhesives, sealants, and dry cleaning. EPA evaluated 56 conditions of use of TCE and determined all but two present an unreasonable risk of injury to the health of workers and consumers. Based on these risk determinations, EPA proposes prohibiting most industrial, consumer, and commercial uses of TCE.

For the remaining uses, EPA proposes to require a workplace chemical protection program (WCPP), which would include a requirement to meet an existing chemical exposure limit (ECEL) set by EPA and exposure monitoring. The Office of Advocacy (Advocacy) has filed comments on this proposed rule. Advocacy is concerned with:

  • EPA is exceeding its statutory authority under TSCA by proposing to ban the use of TCE for entities that can demonstrate compliance with the ECEL.
  • EPA did not provide available regulatory flexibilities for the use of TCE by small entities. Including allowing the use of TCE in industries with no reasonable alternative to TCE or providing a longer timeframe for compliance for small entities.
  • EPA should consult and coordinate with OSHA to avoid duplicative requirements in the workplace.
  • Lastly, EPA has set the proposed ECEL at 0.0011ppm (parts per million) which will pose difficulties for small entities to detect and comply with this rule.

For more information, please contact David Mullis, Law Clerk, at or call (202) 830-2292.