Saturday, November 15, 2008

Toxic Release Inventory Reporting - Changes to TRI Requirements in Minnesota

In May 2008, the State of Minnesota passed a State law that effectively reversed recent Federal actions relaxing Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements as they apply to Minnesota TRI reporting sites.

As background, in December 2006 U.S. EPA revised the reporting requirements for releases of listed chemicals (commonly known as 313 chemicals) required under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The revision allowed some facilities to use a streamlined reporting process; chemicals reported using the streamlined process would not be included in facility TRI reports released to the public.

In response, twelve States, including Minnesota, filed a law suit against U.S. EPA in November 2007. The suit claims that the revision prevented citizens and communities from having access to the critical information required under EPCRA.

The State Law only affects how TRI data are reported; it does not change the thresholds used to determine if a TRI report is required. This change only applies to TRI reporters located in Minnesota and only applies for those sites with total releases less than 5,000 lbs/year. No revisions were made by U.S. EPA for reporting 313 chemicals that have releases greater than 5,000 lbs/year.

The revisions made by U.S. EPA in 2006 related to the Forms used to report 313 chemical releases. Form R is typically used to report releases, and data submitted on Form R is released to the public. Form A is a streamlined reporting process, used for 313 chemicals released in smaller quantities. Data submitted on Form A is not released to the public. The revision made by U.S. EPA changed the thresholds for when Form A could be used. Form R could always be used to report data, even for small quantities.
Minnesota State Law now requires that Form A can only be used to report Non Persistent, Bioaccumulative or Toxic (PBT) Chemicals if the annual release is less than 500 lbs. Form A can not be used for any Persistent, Bioaccumulative or Toxic (PBT) Chemicals regardless of the quantity released.

For further information contact Caltha LLP
Caltha LLP Website

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