January 10, 2003
The BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) software helps you select cost-effective, environmentally preferable building products. Developed by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Building and Fire Research Laboratory ( with support from the U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program (, the tool is based on consensus standards and designed to be practical, flexible, and transparent. The Windows-based decision support software, aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers, includes actual environmental and economic performance data for nearly 200 building products.

BEES measures the environmental performance of building products by using the life-cycle assessment approach specified in ISO 14000 standards. All stages in the life of a product are analyzed: raw material acquisition, manufacture, transportation, installation, use, and recycling and waste management. Economic performance is measured using the ASTM standard life cycle cost method, which covers the costs of initial investment, replacement, operation, maintenance and repair, and disposal. Environmental and economic performance are combined into an overall performance measure using the ASTM standard for Multi-Attribute Decision Analysis. For the entire BEES analysis, building products are defined and classified according to the ASTM standard classification for building elements known as UNIFORMAT II.

Download your free copy of BEES now at If you prefer a free BEES 3.0 CD-ROM and printed manual, place your order through the EPA Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse by calling (202) 566-0799 or e-mailing


On January 9, 2003, EPA published an interim final rule and a proposed rule to extend the dates cited in 40 CFR Sections 112.3(a) and (b) for a facility to amend and implement its SPCC Plan. The interim final rule extends these compliance dates by sixty days; the proposed rule proposes to extend the dates for one year.

The interim final rule is effective immediately. Accordingly, owners or operators of facilities that were in operation on or before August 16, 2002 now have until April 17, 2003 to amend their Plan, and until October 18, 2003 to implement the amendments. Additionally, Plans for those facilities that become operational between August 16, 2002 and October 18, 2003 must now be prepared and implemented as soon as possible, but no later than October 18, 2003. Plans for facilities that become operational after October 18, 2003 must be prepared and implemented before beginning operations (68 FR 1348).

The proposed rule proposes to extend the compliance dates of Sections 112.3(a) and (b) by one year. Comments on the proposed rule must be received at EPA by January 29, 2003 (68 FR 1352).

During the period of the sixty-day extension finalized by the interim final rule, facility owners or operators will not need to file an extension request pursuant to 40 CFR 112.3(f). Moreover, the interim final rule renders moot any extension requests that were filed prior to its publication (68 FR 1348; January 9, 2003).

Both the interim final rule and the proposed rule can be found at:


The TSCA Inventory Update Rule (IUR) requires the submission of basic data on approximately 9,000 organic substances every four years. Through IUR Amendments published in the January 7, 2003 Federal Register (Volume 68, Number 4, pages 847-906), EPA is adding exposure and use elements, adjusting exemptions, making confidential business information changes, and is making some administrative changes to the rule.

What is being changed?
Current reporters are manufacturers of TSCA chemicals produced annually in amounts of at least 10,000 lb. The 10,000 lb threshold is being raised to 25,000 lb. EPA is fully exempting natural gas and to partially exempting most petroleum streams. As described below, the current inorganic substances exemption will be changed to a partial exemption.

The Agency is adding a new larger-volume reporting threshold of 300,000 lb. per year for processing and use of each reportable chemical substance that is conducted at sites that receive the reportable chemical substance from the submitter site directly or indirectly (whether the recipient site(s) are controlled by the submitter site or not) (including through a broker/distributor, from a customer of the submitter, etc.). Manufacturers of these larger-production volume chemical substances will be required to report:

  • The type of industrial processing or use operation(s) at each site, including downstream sites.
  • The five-digit NAICS codes that best describe the industrial activities during the processing or use operation.
  • The industrial function of each chemical substance during the processing or use operation, for each NAICS code reported.
  • The percentages of the submitter's production volume used in each industrial function category.
  • The number of sites where the various processing or use operations occur.
  • The number of workers reasonably likely to be exposed.
  • The categories of commercial and consumer uses
  • The presence of the reportable chemical substance in or on consumer products intended for use by children.
  • The percentages of the submitter's production volume associated with each commercial and consumer product category.
  • The maximum concentration of the reportable chemical substance in each commercial and consumer product category.

EPA is revoking the current full exemption from IUR reporting for inorganic chemical substances, and is phasing in reporting for these substances, which appears in the new subpart C as 40 CFR 710.46(b)(3). For the first submission period following promulgation of IURA (i.e., the 2006 submission period), EPA is requiring partial reporting for these substances (i.e., inorganic chemical substances will not be subject to the reporting of processing and use information). In subsequent submission periods, manufacturers of an inorganic substance will be subject to full reporting (i.e., including the processing and use information reporting requirements), to the extent that they manufacture at least 300,000 lb of the substance at a site during a given reporting year.

EPA is to creating a partial reporting exemption for certain petroleum process streams for purposes of reporting under the IURA (i.e., these chemical substances are not subject to the reporting of processing and use information). The Agency is also providing a full exemption from IUR reporting for certain forms of natural gas.

EPA is providing a partial exemption for specific chemical substances where the Agency has identified that there is a low current interest in the IURA processing and use information related to the chemical. EPA has identified a list of chemicals that are covered by this partial exemption, and provides a process for revising this list over time because interest in the IURA processing and use information for a particular chemical can change.

EPA is amending 40 CFR 710.32, which appears in the new subpart C as Sec. 710.52, to require the reporting of more specific information to assist in the accurate identification of plant sites reporting under IUR.

EPA is amending 40 CFR 710.28, 710.32, and 710.33, which appear in the new subpart C as Sec. Sec. 710.48, 710.52, and 710.53, to change the period for which reporting is required from a corporate fiscal year to a calendar year basis.

EPA will allow submitters to claim their production volume range as CBI, in addition to the existing requirement that submitters report a specific production volume number and the CBI status of that specific number. Under the IURA, some submitters may choose to assert a confidentiality claim for specific production volume information while releasing the more general production volume range as public information.

EPA is requiring substantiation of plant site confidentiality claims at the time such claims are made in IUR submissions.

EPA is extending the records retention period from 4 years to 5 years.

When will these amendments go into effect?
The primary changes to the IUR, do not affect the regulations in place for IUR reporting in 2002, but will impact reporting in 2006.

How many chemicals will be covered by the IUR?
Under the current IUR, EPA collects basic production information on approximately 9,000 mostly organic chemicals. Under the proposed amendments, EPA would collect basic production and manufacturing exposure information on approximately 8,900 organic and inorganic chemicals and processing and use exposure information on approximately 4,000 organic chemicals.

Who will use the IUR Amendments information?
A primary user of this information would be the EPA. EPA would use the information in everyday decision-making, to screen chemicals based on exposure and, when combined with hazard information, on risk. For example, EPA's HPV Challenge program will generate basic hazard information on many of the high production volume chemicals. Exposure information collected through the amended IUR help the Agency put that hazard information into context.

Other Federal Agencies, such as NIOSH, OSHA, and CPSC; states; environmental groups; and the public have indicated that they would also use this information.

Would the IUR Amendments information be made public?
Information not claimed confidential (CBI) is available to the public. The Agency makes current non-CBI IUR information available upon request and would continue to do so for information collected through the IUR Amendments. The information is available through the TSCA hotline, email requests, and phone requests.