The toxic release inventory (TRI) is required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The rule was established to provide the public with information regarding the type and quantity of toxic chemicals released to the environment from industrial facilities in their neighborhoods. The rule is not intended to impose restrictions or limitations on the storage or usage of these chemicals. The TRI, also known as the Form R report, must be submitted by July 1st each year by facilities which meet the applicability requirements. Form R reporting can be an overwhelming and time consuming task, especially for first time filers and small businesses. The intent of this article is to assist facilities in determining whether or not they are required to file a Form R report and provide an overview of Form R reporting requirements.
Know if Your Facility Needs to Report
A facility is required to submit annual Form R reports if the facility has 10 or more full time employees; has a primary North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code listed in the Form R instruction manual; and exceeds the reporting threshold for any listed chemical. There are currently over 670 chemicals on the Section 313 Form R chemical list that consist of 30 different chemical categories. Most chemicals have the following thresholds:
- 25,000 lbs/year for chemicals which are manufactured;
- 25,000 lbs/year for chemicals which are processed; and,
- 10,000 lbs/year for chemicals which are otherwise used.
Chemicals which are Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBTs), such as dioxin, lead, mercury, and polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), have been assigned lower reporting thresholds (either 100 pounds, 10 pounds or in the case of the dioxin and dioxin-like compounds chemical category, 0.1 gram). Sixteen new chemicals were added to the Section 313 Form R chemical list on November 26, 2010. All of the chemicals are possible carcinogens. Four of the new chemicals are polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs), which are PBTs and will have a lower reporting threshold.
Multiple approaches can be taken when evaluating what chemicals are Form R reportable at a facility such as: a review of the facility material safety data sheets (MSDSs), supplier notifications, process knowledge (including any knowledge of byproducts), and historical Form R report filings. Once the threshold applicability requirements have been determined, record reviews and calculations necessary for determining how much of the chemical was released to the environment via various pathways (e.g., fugitive air emissions, stack emissions, on-site and off-site disposal, discharges to surface water or a wastewater treatment plant).
“Articles” are exempt from Form R reporting. According to the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Reporting Forms and Instructions, an article is defined as an item that is already manufactured and is formed…