Memorial Day has passed, and the beginning of summer is upon us. In the world of environmental compliance, this means that Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reports are on the top of the “to-do” list. TRI reports are due July 1.
TRI reports, as mandated under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act and implemented under 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 372, are required to be submitted by facilities with 10 or more full-time employees, in specified Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, that manufacture, process, or otherwise use listed TRI chemicals in excess of the established thresholds. The thresholds per calendar year are:
- 25,000 pounds (lb) per toxic chemical manufactured or processed, other than persistent, bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals;
- 10,000 lb per toxic chemical for chemicals otherwise used, other than PBT chemicals; and
- As listed in 40 CFR 372.28 for PBT chemicals.
Reporting is done primarily through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) TRI-MEweb online application. However, trade secret submissions must still be submitted on paper with trade secret substantiation forms. In addition, many states attach fees to TRI reports that must be submitted separately from the TRI report.
Changes to the TRI reporting program for the 2017 Reporting Year (RY) (i.e., the report due on July 1, 2018) include a new chemical category to report, updated NAICS codes to use, and updated de minimis levels for several substances newly classified as carcinogens.
New chemicals. The EPA has added the hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) category to the list of chemicals and chemical categories subject to inclusion in TRI reports. This category includes the following chemicals, which will be reported for the first time on the TRI report due July 1, 2018:
- 1,2,5,6,9,10-Hexabromocyclododecane (CAS# 3194-55-6)
- Hexabromocyclododecane (CAS# 25637-99-4)
NAICS code updates. Every 5 years, the NAICS codes are updated, and the EPA recently revised the TRI reporting regulations to incorporate the 2017 version of the NAICS codes. The full six-digit NAICS code determines a facility’s coverage under the TRI program. All facilities should verify that they are using accurate, up-to-date NAICS codes.
De minimis concentrations in a mixture. If a toxic chemical is present in a mixture at a concentration below 1% of the mixture, or 0.1% of the mixture if the toxic chemical is a carcinogen, it need not be considered when determining if a reporting threshold has been met or when determining the amount of release to be reported. Several chemicals have been newly classified as Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) carcinogens; therefore, you may need to reevaluate the mixtures at your facility to determine if the lower de minimis levels now apply. The chemicals newly classified as OSHA carcinogens are:
- Methyl isobutyl ketone;
- Sodium pentachlorophenate;
- 1,1,1,2-tetrachloroethane; and
Use the Data
For many, compiling a TRI report is a large undertaking, so make it worthwhile by using your report as an opportunity to identify areas where you can make improvements at your facility. Where are the opportunities for source reduction and pollution prevention? Also, use EPA’s TRI data analysis tools to find out what other facilities are doing to reduce releases. Can similar strategies be implemented at your facility?
Anything you can do to reduce your toxic releases is good for the environment, good for your facility’s image, and may be good for the bottom line.
|Watch BLR’s webinar, Toxic Release Inventory Reports: How to Comply with Updated Reporting Requirements by the July 1 Deadline, on-demand.