Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reports mandated by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) are due July 1, 2010 for the 2009 reporting year. Although a requirement for many industries for more than two decades, TRI Reports are sometimes overlooked because they do not directly impact operations or production. As a matter of background on TRI reporting, the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 created EPCRA, the statute that was designed to improve community access to information about chemical hazards and to facilitate the development of chemical emergency response plans.
Section 313 of EPCRA requires that reports be filed by owners and operators of facilities that meet all of the following criteria.
- The facility has 10 or more full-time employee equivalents; and
- The facility is included in a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code listed in Table I; and
- The facility manufactures, processes, or otherwise uses any EPCRA Section 313 chemical in quantities greater than the established threshold in the course of a calendar year.
The number of full-time employees is dependent only upon the total number of hours worked by all employees and other individuals (e.g., contractors) for the facility during the calendar year and not the number of persons working. If the total number of hours worked by all employees for your facility is 20,000 hours or more, your facility meets the ten employee threshold.
Beginning with 2006 EPCRA Section 313 reporting, the TRI Program began requiring North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes instead of Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes. The list of NAICS codes for facilities that must report to TRI if all other threshold determinations are met is provided in Table I of the Toxic Release Inventory instructions.
The term “manufacture” means to produce, prepare, compound, or import an EPCRA Section 313 chemical. You should also consider the possible coincidental production of an EPCRA Section 313 chemical as a result of the manufacture, processing, otherwise use or disposal of another chemical or mixture of chemicals.
The term “process” means the preparation of a listed EPCRA Section 313 chemical, after its manufacture, for distribution in commerce. Processing is usually the incorporation of an EPCRA Section 313 chemical into a product. A facility may process an impurity that already exists in a raw material by distributing that impurity in commerce. Processing includes preparation of the EPCRA Section 313 chemicals in the same physical state or chemical form as that received by your facility, or preparation that produces a change in physical state or chemical form.
The term “otherwise use” means the use of an EPCRA Section 313 chemical, including an EPCRA Section 313 chemical contained in a mixture or other trade name product or waste that is not covered by the terms manufacture or process. Otherwise use of an EPCRA Section 313 chemical does not include disposal, stabilization, or treatment for destruction unless certain conditions are met. Relabeling or redistributing of the EPCRA Section 313 chemical where no repackaging of the EPCRA Section 313 chemical occurs does not constitute an otherwise use or processing of the EPCRA Section 313 chemical. Some “otherwise uses” of listed EPCRA Section 313 chemicals are also exempted by the regulations.
EPCRA Section 313 chemicals contained in “articles” that are processed or otherwise used at a covered facility are exempt from threshold determinations and release and other waste management calculations. The exemption applies when the facility receives the article from another facility or when the facility produces the article itself. The exemption applies only to the quantity of EPCRA Section 313 chemical present in the article. If the EPCRA Section 313 chemical is manufactured (including imported), processed, or otherwise used at the covered facility other than as part of the article, in excess of an applicable threshold quantity, the facility is required to report that use of a chemical (40 CFR Section 372.38(b)).
If the processing or otherwise use of all like items results in a total release of 0.5 pound or less of an EPCRA Section 313 chemical in a reporting year to any environmental medium, EPA will allow this release to be rounded to zero, and the manufactured items retain their article status. The 0.5 pound threshold does not apply to each individual article, but applies to the sum of all releases from processing or otherwise use of all like articles.
EPCRA Section 313 reporting is required if threshold quantities are exceeded. If you meet the other criteria noted above, you must submit a report for any EPCRA Section 313 chemical that it:
- Is not listed as a PBT chemical and which is manufactured or processed at your facility in excess of 25,000 pounds per toxic chemical or category over the calendar year.
- Is not listed as a PBT chemical and that is otherwise used at your facility in excess of 10,000 pounds per toxic chemical or category over the calendar year.
- Is listed as a PBT chemical and which is manufactured, processed or otherwise used at your facility above the designated threshold for that chemical. The PBT chemical names, CAS numbers and reporting thresholds are listed in the TRI reporting instructions.
Starting this reporting year, facilities can only use TRI-MEweb or paper for submitting Form R(s) and/or Form A(s). The report for the 2009 calendar reporting year will be due on or before July 1, 2010 whether using Form R or Form A. If you have any questions about EPCRA Section 313 reporting requirements and whether your facility may be subject to these regulations, please contact Paul Tomiczek III, REM, P.E. at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-365-2324. More information on EPCRA Section 313 Reporting obligations and instructions for completing the report are provided on EPA’s TRI Program website.