EPCRA Reporting Mechanisms for Protecting Sensitive Business Information
Does EPCRA provide any mechanisms for facilities that must submit Tier II inventory information to protect sensitive business information?
Trade secret and confidential location information (CLI) are two separate confidentiality provisions under EPCRA. Trade secret claims made under EPCRA Sections 303, 311, 312, or 313 allow facilities to claim the specific chemical identity of a chemical as a trade secret. Facilities are then required to submit sanitized and unsanitized substantiation forms and EPCRA reports to EPA and sanitized substantiation forms and EPCRA reports to the appropriate state or local agencies as specified in 40 CFR Parts 355, 370, and 372. The procedures for asserting a claim of trade secrecy are found in 40 CFR Part 350, and the EPCRA Trade Secret Forms and Instructions are available online.
Since claims of confidentiality regarding the location of chemicals in facilities are not covered by EPCRA trade secrecy protection, facilities are also allowed to submit Confidentiality Location Information (CLI) under EPCRA Section 312 to withhold storage locations of otherwise disclosed chemicals. CLI should not be sent to EPA, but only to the requesting state and local entity. The procedures for withholding CLI are found in 40 CFR 370.64(b), and the Confidential Location Information Form is available online.