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News Releases from HeadquartersChemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)

EPA Finalizes Action Promoting Greater Transparency on Certain Chemicals used in Cleaners, Detergents

EPA Adds Nonylphenol Ethoxylates to Toxics Release Inventory

06/07/2018
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON  - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing a rule to add a category of thirteen specific nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). This addition ensures the most up-to-date information is easily accessible to the public.

“We are taking an important step to provide communities with additional information about toxic chemicals being released to the environment,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “By making information about industrial management of toxic chemicals available to the public, community members, researchers, industrial facilities, investors, and government agencies can make more informed decisions that impact human health and the environment.”

The finalized rule, which received public comment, is effective for the 2019 TRI reporting year with the first reporting forms due July 1, 2020. Facilities that meet TRI reporting thresholds will begin collecting information on January 1, 2019.

A valuable tool for communities, industry, and government to track chemical releases across the country, the TRI enhances knowledge about chemicals in the environment through understandable, interactive online charts and maps. This transparent database of information promotes progress towards the overall goal of responsibly managing chemicals and reducing toxic releases.

Background

NPEs are nonionic surfactants used in a wide variety of industrial applications and consumer products such as adhesives, wetting agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, dispersants, defoamers, cleaners, paints, and coatings. Short-chain NPEs are highly toxic to aquatic organisms, and longer-chain NPEs, while not as toxic as short-chain NPEs, can break down in the environment to short-chain NPEs and nonylphenol, both of which are highly toxic to aquatic organisms.

TRI collects and tracks the management of listed toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. The database includes annually reported information on chemicals released to the environment and otherwise managed through recycling, treatment, and recovery. The information submitted by facilities, which is compiled and made available to the public, helps support informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public. TRI also creates a strong incentive for companies to reduce pollution and be good neighbors in their communities.

For more information on the TRI, see https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program.

For more information on the final rule to add a NPE category to the TRI chemical list, see https://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/addition-npes-category-tri-list-final-rule.

To learn more about NPEs, see https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/risk-management-nonylphenol-and-nonylphenol-ethoxylates