EPA's Region 6 Office
Serving: Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 Tribal Nations
History and Reporting Requirements
As a direct result of the Bhopal disaster, and several other major chemical spills in the United States, Congress enacted the Emergency Planning Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) as Title III of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986. The major reasons for enacting this legislation is that it establishes authorities for emergency planning and preparedness, emergency release notification, community right-to-know reporting, and toxic chemical release reporting. Title III has four (4) major sections: emergency planning (Sections 301-303), emergency release notification (Section 304), community Right-to-Know reporting requirements (Sections 311,312), and toxic chemical release inventory reporting (Section 313), aka Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting. Only EPCRA § 313, that pertains to TRI reporting, is addressed here.
First TRI reports (Form R) were for the 1987 reporting year and were due to EPA and the applicable state agency, where the facility is located, on or before July 1, 1988. Reporting is annual with reports due on or before July 1st for the previous year’s activity.
The TRI Program publishes a comprehensive national analysis of the latest TRI information indicating how well the nation, various watersheds, geographic areas, and certain industry sectors are progressing in an effort to decrease releases of toxic chemicals into the environment and how efficiently facilities are waste managing toxic chemicals. Waste management activities became part of TRI reporting (Section 8, Form R) after passage of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, for the 1991 reporting year (specifically Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990).
Facilities come under the jurisdiction of EPCRA § 313 if they meet all three of the following requirements: (1) the facility has more than 10 full-time employee equivalents, or the combined hours worked by all full-time, part-time, and contract employees is equal to or greater than 20,000 hours (2,000 hours is considered a full-time single employee equivalent). (2) The facility has a primary Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code or corresponding North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code listed in 40 C.F.R. § 372.23. (3) The facility exceeds the stipulated threshold (amount of chemical used in a year) for reporting. For non-PBT (Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins) TRI chemicals, the threshold is based on the TRI chemical’s activity at the facility. Manufacturing or processing the TRI chemical has a threshold of 25,000 pounds/year. Otherwise using the TRI chemical has a threshold of 10,000 pounds/year. EPA added what is referred to as PBT chemicals effective for the 2000 reporting year (64 Fed. Reg. 58666) and also significantly reduced their reporting thresholds. Lead was added as a PBT subsequent to the other PBT’s and it became effective for the 2001 calendar year (66 Fed. Reg. 4500). The PBT thresholds are individually listed at 40 C.F.R. § 372.28. Thresholds vary from 0.1 gram (dioxin and dioxin-like compounds) to 10 pounds (e.g., mercury and mercury compounds) to 100 pounds (e.g., lead and lead compounds). Note: Lead and lead compounds contained in stainless steel, brass, or bronze alloy retains the 25,000 pound threshold for manufacturing and processing, or 10,000 pound threshold for otherwise using.
Covered facilities must report releases and other waste management activities of toxic chemicals to the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory and to the appropriate state agency where the facility is located. Historically, paper forms were utilized to report. The standard reporting form is a Form R or, if total releases are less than 500 pounds for the year, the facility can elect to use a much shorter and abbreviated reporting form, a Form A. Form A’s became effective for the 1995 calendar year and subsequent years (59 Fed. Reg. 61488). NOTE: A Form R can always be utilized to report, however, if a facility uses a Form A and does not qualify for a Form A that is a violation. Effective for the 2013 reporting year (78 Fed. Reg. 52860) paper reporting ceased, except for trade secret forms, and electronic reporting, using EPA’s TRI-MEweb software, became mandatory.
Since reporting year 1993, all Federal Facilities are also required to report, regardless of their SIC/NAICS codes, as long as the federal facility meets the other two reporting requirements.
There are approximately 650 chemicals and chemical categories on the list of reportable TRI chemicals. The list is not static and constant attention must be paid to the list for chemicals are added and deleted on a periodic basis.
For the 1998 reporting year additional seven (7) new sectors were added to the reporting requirement of EPCRA § 313. These include Metal Mining (SIC code 10 except 1011, 1081, and 1094); Coal Mining (SIC code 12 except 1241); Electricity Generating Facilities that utilize only coal or oil (SIC codes 4911, 4931, and 4939); Refuse Systems (SIC code 4953); Chemicals and Allied Systems (SIC code 5169); Petroleum Bulk Stations and Terminals (SIC code 5171); and Solvent Recovery Services on a Contract or Fee Basis (SIC code 7389).
One of the most significant transitions for the EPCRA § 313 and TRI Programs was transitioning from SIC codes to NAICS codes. A facility’s primary SIC codes were established in the original law (42 U.S.C. § 11023) as part of the criteria that a facility must meet in order to report to TRI (SIC Code 2000 – 3999). This range of codes was designated as manufacturing. As technology and business advanced, it became apparent that 4-digit codes were insufficient to accurately describe a business’s activity for statistical purposes. The Office of Management and Budget published their final decision to transition from the older 4-digit SIC codes to the newer, more reflective 6-digit NAICS codes in 1997 (62 Fed. Reg. 17288) with the first NAICS manual published in 1998. To be consistent with other federal agencies the TRI Program amended the regulations of EPCRA § 313 to include NAICS codes which corresponded to the appropriate SIC codes (71 Fed. Reg. 32464).
Information on EPA's TRI Program Additions and New Initiatives:
1. Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBTs)
In October of 1999 EPA published a final rule reducing the reportable threshold for selected PBTs and dioxin and dioxin-like compounds [40 CFR Part 372 (October 29, 1999)]. This final rule can be accessed at http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/persistent-bioaccumulative-toxic-pbt-chemicals-rules-under-tri. A complete listing of information available on this new rule can be accessed from the TRI home page http://www.epa.gov/tri.
2. Lead and Lead Compounds
In early 2001 a final rule to lower the reporting threshold for lead and lead compounds can be found in the Federal Register for January 17, 2001 (40 CFR Part 372) at the above address. Supporting information may be found at the TRI home page address above. The new reporting threshold is 100 pounds of use of lead and lead compounds per year. It will effect 2002 reports for 2001 data.
TRI.NET is a downloadable, “stand-alone” EPA computer program that allows the user to manipulate TRI data in any number of different ways. This tool can be downloaded from the following link: http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/trinet. One of the more versatile features of TRI.NET is its ability to plot the location of an address (geocoding) and then locate and plot on a map all TRI facilities within a selected radius of that point. Queries can be constructed by checking any number of boxes for the information desired. That information can also be filtered by chemical name, NAICS code, geography, EPA Region, and or year, just to mention a few of TRI.NETs attributes.
4. Risk Screening Environmental Indicators
The Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) model is a computer-based screening tool developed by EPA that analyzes factors that may result in chronic human health risks. These factors include the amount of toxic chemical releases, the degree of toxicity, and the size of the exposed population. RSEI analyzes these factors and calculates a numeric score. To give the score meaning, it must be ranked against other scores also produced by RSEI. The model highlights releases that pose the highest potential risk or potentially pose the highest risk. RSEI combines release information from the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) with the other risk factors: estimates of toxicity and exposed populations. RSEI is not a formal risk assessment and does not describe a specific level of risk related to any particular disease; rather, it highlights situations that may lead to potential chronic human health risks. RSEI is a screening-level model because it uses simplifying assumptions to fill data gaps and reduce the complexity of calculations. RSEI should be used for screening level activities, such as trend analysis, or ranking regions, states, counties, industries, chemicals, facilities, or release pathways for follow-up activities. All RSEI results should be followed up with additional analysis. For further information, please see http://www.epa.gov/oppt/rsei.
Where has eDisclosure gone?
The EPA electronic Audit Policy Self-Disclosure system for EPCRA is being decommissioned effective July 1, 2013. Current CDX registered users will no longer be able to submit self-disclosures, electronically. Instead registrants will be redirected to a webpage with further instructions on self-disclosing. To learn more on the process of self-disclosing violations of EPCRA § 313 visit the Audit Policy homepage http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/auditpolicy.html
If you have Region 6 Audit Policy questions pertaining to just EPCRA § 313, contact: Morton (“Mort”) E. Wakeland, Jr., Ph.D., at (214) 665-8116 or E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have Multi-Media, Multi-Regional Audit Policy questions, contact: Phil Milton at (202) 564-5029: email@example.com
More information on EPA’s Audit Policy: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/auditpolicy.html
To learn more about the TRI Program and the EPCRA § 313 Enforcement Program, and how to utilize EPA data bases with TRI data, contact: Morton (“Mort”) E. Wakeland, Jr., Ph.D., at (214) 665-8116 or E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
To access the TRI homepage: http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program
To ask general questions regarding TRI Reporting, utilize the TRI Hot Line: 800-424-9346
To access TRI / EPCRA § 313 guidance documents: http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/guidance-documents-tri-reporting
To access Envirofacts, where facility TRI information resides: http://www.epa.gov/enviro/
To access TRI Explorer to retrieve downloadable TRI information: http://iaspub.epa.gov/triexplorer/tri_release.chemical
EPA Region 6 EPCRA § 313 Contacts:
Morton (Mort) E. Wakeland, Jr., Ph.D., EPCRA 313 Enforcement & Program
Coordinator, (214) 665-8116, or
Stan Lancaster, EPCRA 313 Enforcement Officer, 214.665.8034, or
David Riley, EPCRA 313 Enforcement Officer, Audit Policy Coordinator, 214.665.7298, or
Larry Stranne, EPCRA 313 Inspector, (214) 665-7337, or
State EPCRA § 313 Contacts: