Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program
Electronic Reporting of Toxics Release Inventory Data
EPA is announcing a proposed rule to require facilities to report all non-confidential TRI data to EPA using electronic software provided by the Agency. Currently, facilities that report Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data to the EPA use either paper reporting forms or the TRI-MEweb reporting application. For Reporting Year (RY) 2010, approximately 95% of TRI facilities submitted their TRI data using TRI-MEweb. Widespread use of TRI-MEweb helps the Agency to process and expedite the release of TRI data to the public.
Under this rulemaking, EPA would also require facilities to electronically submit (i.e., not on paper forms or CD-ROMs) any revisions or withdrawals of previously-submitted TRI data. The Agency would continue to allow facilities to revise or withdraw TRI reports going back to Reporting Year (RY) 2005, but not for reporting years prior to RY 2005. TRI-MEweb allows a facility to revise or withdraw TRI reports for prior reporting years back to RY 2005, even if the facility did not use TRI-MEweb for the original submission.
The only exception to this electronic reporting requirement would be for the few facilities that submit trade secret TRI information. These facilities would continue to submit their trade secret reporting forms and substantiation forms in hard copy, as well as any revisions or withdrawals of previously-submitted trade secret information.
Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-TRI-2011-0174, by one of the following methods:
- www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460
- Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Deliveries are only accepted during the Center’s normal hours of operation, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.
Why is EPA proposing this requirement?
Electronic reporting makes it easier for facilities to prepare and submit their TRI data to EPA, and helps EPA collect better quality data due to the data quality checks incorporated into TRI-MEweb. Electronic reporting also helps EPA process and make the data available to the public more quickly than is possible for data submitted on paper forms. When facilities submit paper forms, EPA must manually enter the data into the TRI electronic database, which requires more time and staff resources than required to process electronic submissions. In addition, transcription errors can inadvertently be introduced during this process, particularly if the data have been handwritten on the reporting forms. Electronic reporting makes it possible for EPA to provide communities with access to the latest TRI data on toxic chemical releases and other waste management information much faster.
Where can I find information about TRI-MEweb, the online software used to report TRI data?
Tutorials and other materials related to the electronic reporting process are available on the TRI-MEweb Resources webpage.