Monday, March 23, 2009

Changes to 2009 Toxic Release Inventory Report Requirements

Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements were changed on March 11, 2009 as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009. These changes affect TRI reports due July 1, 2009. The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act returned TRI reporting requirements back to the rules in effect prior to December 22, 2006.

The change requires that all reports on persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals be submitted on "Form R,", which is the more detailed form. For all other chemicals the shorter form, “Form A” may be used only if the annual reporting amount is 500 pounds or less and that the chemical was manufactured, processed or otherwise used in an amount not exceeding 1 million pounds during the reporting year. EPA will issue a rule shortly revising the regulatory text in the Code of Federal Regulations to reflect these changes. TRI-ME software and other reporting assistance materials are also being revised.

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 revisions made by 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.

The 2006 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 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 2009 changes to TRI reporting 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 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.

[Read more about recent changes to TRI reporting for auxiliary facilities]
[Read more about 2008 legislation in Minnesota that reversed 2006 EPA TRI changes for Minnesota TRI sites]

Caltha LLP provides specialized expertise to clients nationwide in the EPCRA and TRI reporting, developing hazardous material tracking procedures, and preparing cost-effective regulatory compliance programs.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
Caltha LLP Website

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