An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

History of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program (List)


Screenshot of TRI National Training Conference

October 19-21, 2016

2016 TRI National Training Conference

EPA hosted the 2016 National Training Conference on TRI and Environmental Conditions in Communities in Washington, D.C. The conference theme was, “TRI at 30: Working Together to Reduce Toxic Releases.” At the conference, the TRI Program marked the 30th anniversary of its creation under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.


screenshot of 2013 National Analysis “Where You Live”

January 2015

New Interactive Web-Based TRI National Analysis

For the first time, EPA made the annual TRI report available in a Web-based format featuring analyses and interactive maps showing data at a state, county, city and zip code level.

 

Screenshot of TRI National Training Conference

May 7-9, 2014

2014 TRI National Training Conference

EPA hosted the 2014 National Training Conference on TRI and Environmental Conditions in Communities in Washington, D.C.

 

keyboard with recycling symbol image

August 2013

Mandatory Electronic Reporting Using TRI-MEweb

A final rule required all facilities that report to the TRI Program to submit their reporting forms using the Web-based TRI-MEweb reporting application. Widespread use of TRI-MEweb has improved the quality and accuracy of TRI data and allowed EPA to get the data to the public faster.


February 2013

First TRI University Challenge

EPA launched a new initiative challenging the academic community to find innovative ways to use TRI data to promote informed decision-making among communities, researchers, manufacturers, and others. EPA selected eight proposals for the 2013-2014 school year.


screenshot with image of bar chart

January 2013

TRI Pollution Prevention (P2) Search Tool

A new online tool provided the public with direct access to TRI data on P2 practices implemented by facilities or parent companies that resulted in reductions in release and other waste management quantities of toxic chemicals. The tool lets users visually compare how different companies have managed toxic chemical waste. The tool is also a valuable resource allowing companies to learn from each other’s P2 best practices.


Screenshot of TRI National Training Conference

April 11-13, 2012

2012 TRI National Training Conference

EPA hosted the 2012 National Training Conference on TRI and Environmental Conditions in Communities in Washington, D.C. The conference theme was “Understanding the Past and Promoting a Sustainable Future.”


Dreamcatcher

April 2012

Increasing Tribal Participation in the TRI Program

A final rule required TRI facilities located in Indian country to submit TRI reporting forms to EPA and the appropriate tribe, rather than to the state in which the facility is geographically located.


October 17, 2011

The TRI Program's 25th Anniversary

On the 25th anniversary of the law that created the TRI, EPA leaders and staff reflected on the program's importance.
 
 
 

Screenshot of TRI National Training Conference

November 2-4, 2010

2010 TRI National Training Conference

EPA hosted the 2010 National Training Conference on TRI and Environmental Conditions in Communities in Washington, D.C. The conference theme was, “Connecting Communities and Decision-makers with Environmental Information.” EPA began holding these conferences in the 1990s.

 

NTP program logo

November 2010

National Toxicology Program Chemicals Added to TRI

A final rule added 16 new chemicals to the TRI Program. Each chemical added is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency government program that works to evaluate public health concerns.


people at computers

July 28, 2010

Earliest-Ever Availability of TRI Data

For the first time, EPA made TRI data available to the public within the same month as the TRI reporting deadline, providing communities with earlier access to important toxic chemical information.

 

myRTK Logo Screen Shot

June 2010

Launch of MyRTK Mobile App

EPA launched the first TRI mobile application, “My Right to Know,” in 2010. For any location, MyRTK maps nearby facilities that report to the TRI Program, as well as facilities with EPA air, water or hazardous waste program permits. The map links to more information about the facilities.

 
 

TRI National Analysis Report

December 2009

TRI National Analysis Report Published Earlier

For the first time, EPA published the TRI National Analysis report in the same calendar year that industrial facilities reported the data. The National Analysis includes documents and webpages that provide analysis and interpretation of the most recent TRI data, including national and local trends of toxic chemical releases to the environment.

 
 

TRI.NET Application

June 2009

TRI.NET Application Debuted

EPA developed the TRI.NET application to provide advanced mapping and search capabilities to TRI data users. Users can select, sort and filter TRI data; combine TRI with other data sources; and map and export results into other applications for further analysis.

 
 
 

Power Plant

April 2009

TRI Reporting Requirements Restored

The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act restored the more comprehensive TRI reporting requirements that were in effect prior to the 2006 Burden Reduction Rule.


screenshot from TRI-MEweb

January 2008

TRI-MEweb Application Available to All Facilities

In 2008, EPA released the TRI-MEweb reporting application, allowing all TRI facilities to submit TRI data through the Internet. Since the beginning of the TRI Program, EPA has worked to streamline the TRI reporting process for facilities and simultaneously improve the quality of the data being submitted. 

In the late 1980s, EPA provided facilities with software that could produce a paper reporting form or a diskette that could be mailed to EPA. In the early 2000s, EPA introduced a downloadable computer desktop application that could produce a paper reporting form, a digital file to be submitted online, or a diskette to be mailed to EPA.


Chemical Plant

May 2007

TRI Dioxin Toxic Equivalency Rule

This final rule required that TRI facilities report the mass quantity for each individual member of the dioxin and dioxin-like compounds category on a new reporting form, the Form R Schedule 1. Using the more detailed dioxin data, EPA can calculate toxic equivalent (TEQ) values to help people understand the relative toxicity of the chemical release information found in TRI.


TRI Burden form A

December 2006

TRI Burden Reduction Rule

This final rule expanded eligibility for TRI facilities to use Form A, a simpler reporting form with less detailed information for qualified reporters, instead of the more detailed Form R.

 

Lead Hazard Sign

January 2001

TRI Lead and Lead Compounds as PBTs

This final rule designated lead and lead compounds as Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic chemicals, lowering their TRI reporting thresholds to 100 pounds.


image of three pipes

October 1999

PBT Chemicals Added to TRI

This final rule added seven Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic (PBT) chemicals and two chemical categories to the TRI chemical list and lowered reporting thresholds for 18 PBTs already on the list. PBT chemicals are of particular concern not only because they are toxic but also because they remain in the environment for long periods of time, are not readily destroyed, and build up or accumulate in body tissue.


Screenshot of a TRI Explorer Report

July 1998

TRI Explorer Application Debuts

EPA initially released TRI Explorer as a downloadable application for accessing TRI information. Later, TRI Explorer became an interactive Web-based tool for generating a variety of customized of TRI data reports.

TRI Explorer can help communities identify facilities and chemical disposal or other release patterns that warrant further study and analysis. Combined with hazard and exposure information, TRI Explorer can be a valuable tool for risk identification.

 

Mine

May 1997

Seven Industry Sectors Added to TRI

Expansion of the TRI Program continued with a final rule that applied TRI reporting requirements to metal and coal mining facilities, electric power generators, commercial hazardous waste treatment operations, solvent recovery facilities, petroleum bulk terminals and wholesale chemical distributors.


Bulk Storage Containers

November 1994

Over 200 Chemicals Added to TRI

This final rule expanded TRI by 286 new chemicals and chemical categories, bringing the number of chemicals reportable to TRI to more than 600. This action greatly increased the amount of publicly available information on toxic chemical use at industrial facilities.


Signing a Document

December 1993

21 Chemicals and 2 Chemical Categories Added to TRI

In response to a petition from the Governor of New York and the Natural Resources Defense Council, EPA added certain chemicals from the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) list of hazardous wastes to the TRI chemical list. (58 FR 63500, December 1, 1993)


Executive Order 12856

August 3, 1993

Executive Order 12856: Federal Compliance with Right-to-Know Laws and Pollution Prevention Requirements

Based on EPCRA and the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, President Clinton issued an executive order requiring federal agencies to report any toxic chemicals they release into the environment. The executive order also required federal agencies to reduce pollution as much as possible.


Water unfit for human consumption - Waring Sign

November 1990

Pollution Prevention Act Expands TRI Program

The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) expanded the scope of information collected under the TRI Program to include data on how facilities manage toxic chemicals through recycling, energy recovery and treatment processes.


Image of EPA HQ with Flag

December 1989

First EPA-Initiated Addition of Chemicals

EPA added nine chemicals to the TRI chemical list that reflected toxicity determinations made under Section 102 of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980. (54 FR 49948, December 1, 1989)


1st TRI National Report

June 1989

First National TRI Report for Reporting Year 1987

EPA published “The Toxics Release Inventory: A National Perspective,” a report summarizing the first year of TRI data. Never before had the public had access to such comprehensive toxic chemical release information.

 
 
 

Reporting Deadline Calendar

July 1988

First TRI Reporting Deadline for Reporting Year 1987 Data

On July 1, 1988, industrial facilities that met TRI reporting requirements were required to submit TRI reporting forms for calendar year 1987. More than 19,000 manufacturing facilities submited over 74,000 individual chemical forms to EPA.


June 1988

First Petition to Modify the TRI Chemical List Granted

In response to three petitions from industry, EPA published a final rule to delete titanium dioxide from the TRI chemical list after determining that it did not meet the EPCRA Section 313 listing criteria. This was the first time EPA granted a petition to modify the TRI chemical list. (53 FR 23108). EPA responded to more than 50 TRI petitions over the next three decades.


Blue Drums

November 1986

First TRI Chemical Petition

EPA received a petition requesting the addition of a category of inorganic fluorides to the TRI chemical list. Under EPCRA Section 313, the public can petition EPA to add chemicals to or delete chemicals from the TRI list. EPA denied the inorganic fluorides petition in a Federal Register notice published on May 29, 1987. (52 FR 20142).


Ronald Reagan signing a law

October 1986

TRI Program Created Under Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

In response to growing concerns about local preparedness for chemical emergencies and the availability of information on hazardous substances, Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). President Reagan signed EPCRA into law on October 17, 1986. Section 313 of EPCRA created the Toxics Release Inventory to provide communities with information about toxic chemical releases from industrial facilities into the environment and to support informed decision-making by industry, government, non-governmental organizations and the public.


Union Carbide Bhopal, India Disaster Poster

December 1984

Union Carbide Disaster: Bhopal, India

On December 2, 1984, a cloud of extremely toxic methyl isocyanate gas escaped from a Union Carbide Chemical plant in Bhopal, India. Thousands of people died that night in what is widely considered to be the worst industrial disaster in history. Thousands more died later as a result of their exposure, and survivors continue to suffer with permanent disabilities.

The incident raised public concern about toxic chemical storage, releases and emergency response. It led to the passage of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) under the 1986 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act. Section 313 of EPCRA established the Toxics Release Inventory.


Read more about the the origins of EPA.

Top of Page