I will wrap up this series of posts on EPCRA regulations with the last of the required reports, the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Report. Let’s begin with identifying which facilities need to complete this report (see 40 CFR 372.22 for details). Facilities that have:
- More than 10 employees
- A certain North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)
- Manufactured, processed or otherwise used toxic chemicals listed in the regulation.
The first two are easily identifiable while the last is a bit more difficult due to the regulatory jargon. The definitions of the three terms are the determining factor in whether the regulations are applicable or not so let’s discuss those a bit. The term manufacture not only means produced at the facility but includes importing, preparing or compounding of a toxic chemical. The term also includes coincidental production of another toxic chemical during manufacture, processing, use or disposal of another chemical or mixture. To process a toxic chemical means preparation of the toxic chemical for distribution in commerce in the same form or physical state as received, in a different form or state, as part of an article, in a mixture or trade product name. Finally, otherwise used is any use of a toxic chemical outside of manufacturing or processing but does not includes disposal or stabilization (unless related to treatment, storage and Disposal Facility activities). You may also notice that the TRI regulations introduce the term toxic chemical, these materials are found in a list at 40 CFR 372.65.
Facilities that manufacture or process 25,000 pounds of a toxic chemical are required to submit a TRI Report while the threshold for otherwise used toxic chemicals is 10,000 pounds.
An environmental regulation would just not be complete without some exceptions and 40 CFR 372.28 contains a list of chemicals of concern that have lower thresholds and must be considered as some of them are extremely low (i.e. lead 100 pounds). The good news is that there are also a variety of exemptions to TRI reporting, my personal favorite is for articles which includes lead acid batteries, making the 100 pound threshold a little farther out of reach for facilities whose processes do not include lead. Some other goodies are the de minimis, laboratory and vehicle maintenance exemptions. These omit the need to report small amounts of toxic chemicals in mixtures (1% or less or 0.1% if the mixture contains a carcinogen); toxic chemicals manufactured, processed or otherwise used in laboratories; or those used in maintaining vehicles operated by the facility. To see a detailed list of the exemptions please visit 40 CFR 372.38.
The TRI Report is due annually before July 1 and must be submitted to the designated state environmental agency. A TRI report can be submitted using a Form R or a Form A, electronically using TRI-ME or in paper format. It is up to each facility to determine if a Form A is permitted as certain requirements must be met (the instructions have a great decision tree on page 12). Following are additional resources on TRI, they are typically updated on annual basis at the TRI Homepage. Enjoy!
Basis Concepts of TRI
List of Lists (document contains all the thresholds I have discussed in this series of posts).
TRI Advanced Concepts Training
TRI Threshold Screening Tool
TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions