U.S. Environmental Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has signed a final rule to reinstate stricter reporting requirements for industrial and federal facilities that release toxic substances that threaten human health and the environment.
“People have a right to information that might affect their health and the health of their children -- and EPA has a responsibility to provide it,” Jackson said in a statement. “Restoring the TRI reporting requirements assures transparency and provides a crucial tool for safeguarding human health and the environment in our communities.”
The final rule reinstates Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements that were replaced by the TRI Burden Reduction Rule in December 2006. The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed by President Obama on March 11, 2009, mandated that prior TRI reporting requirements be reestablished.
These changes will apply to all TRI reports due July 1, 2009.
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a publicly available national database maintained by EPA that contains detailed information on nearly 650 chemicals and chemical categories that over 23,000 industrial and other facilities manage through disposal or other releases, recycling, energy recovery, or treatment. The data are collected from industries including paints and coatings, manufacturing, metal and coal mining, commercial hazardous waste treatment, and other industrial sectors. Information on the North American Standard Industry Classification System (NAICS) can be found at www.epa.gov/tri/lawsandregs/naic/ncodes.htm.
Facilities must report release and other waste management information pursuant to EPCRA Section 313 if they:
• Have 10 or more full-time employees or the equivalent;
• Are in a covered NAICS code; and
• Exceed any one threshold for manufacturing (including importing), processing or otherwise using a toxic chemical listed in 40 CFR Section 372.65.
Additional information can be found in 40 CFR Section 372.22 and the Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Forms and Instructions.
The December 2006 TRI Burden Reduction Final Rule expanded Form A eligibility for non-Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic (non-PBT) chemicals to 5,000 pounds and allowed use of Form A for the first time for PBT chemicals under limited circumstances. This rule was met with concern over the availability of required data under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and resulted in a lawsuit by 13 states to restore the TRI Form A thresholds and usage to what they were prior to the 2006 rule.
Following the rule signature, all reports on PBT chemicals must be submitted on the more detailed Form R. For all other chemicals, the shorter Form A may only be used if the annual reporting amount is 500 pounds or less and less than 1 million pounds of the chemical was manufactured, processed or otherwise used during the reporting year.
TRI-ME software and other reporting assistance materials are being revised and will be available soon. TRI reports for 2008 are due on July 1, 2009.
For questions on reporting requirements, see http://www.epa.gov/tri/contacts/contacts.htm.