Tuesday, May 18, 2010

TRI Reporting Obligations for Metal Mining Activities

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) currently requires reporting from metal mining facilities if they manufacture or process 25,000 pounds or more of a listed chemical or otherwise use 10,000 pounds or more of a listed chemical.

EPA had considered naturally occurring materials to be "manufactured" by natural processes. A recent court order set aside EPA's interpretation of manufacture in the context of mining, concluding that naturally occurring ores in situ have not been manufactured within the meaning of Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) section 313. EPA is currently considering clarifying how the definitions of manufacturing and processing under EPCRA section 313 apply to the mining sector processes of extraction and beneficiation. According to EPA, this action will not affect the coal extraction activities exemption. EPA anticipates that their revised guidance on application of TRI report to mining activities will be completed by February 2011.

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