Toxic Release Inventory TRI Reports Make Their Way to the EPA Today
As citizens of the world, we can all do our part to recycle, reduce and reuse. After all, we are the ones, along with the future generations, who have to live with the environment we fashion for ourselves. And who doesn’t want clear air and clean water?
But, pollution happens, in fact it’s happening right now all over the world. It is an unfortunate byproduct of our lifestyles. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has its hands full with protecting and regulating our country’s environment and pollution as best as possible. While sorting our cans from our plastics at home is a positive step we can all take, there are major industries that are subject to additional pollution regulations.
Pollution prevention includes a veritable spectrum of options from source reduction as the most desirable choice to disposal as the final step. There are a slew of other options including recycling, reusing, energy recovery and waste treatment. Facilities who are employing any of these methods are encouraged to share their stories on the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) report. This is a chance to do a little public reputation building and also share best practices with the industrial community.
For those of you in the TRI-covered industry sectors, you already submitted your TRI reports by today’s deadline and you can breathe easy. These are the sectors involved with manufacturing, coal/oil electricity generation, some mining facilities, hazardous waste management and federal facilities. However, keep in eye on the proposed changes to the TRI regulations.
The TRI came into being in 1986 when citizens demanded the right to know what chemicals were being released in their area in the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Over 20 years later, the TRI reports are still making their way to the EPA every year. The next important change happened in 1990 with the Pollution Prevention Act passed by Congress, which required facilities to report additional data on waste management and source reducing activities under TRI. It’s a living document that continues to change to meet new standards.
Look Out for TRI Changes on the Horizon
Currently, there are five regulatory development areas with proposed changes to TRI reporting.
1) Addition of a nonylphenol category to the list of TRI reportable chemicals – These chemicals are highly toxic to our friends, the aquatic organisms, and they have already been found in ambient waters.
2) Addition of ortho-Nitrotoluene to the list of TRI reportable chemicals – This makes sense as the National Toxicology Program has classified it as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
3) Potential TRI Sectors Expansion – The EPA is thinking about broadening the scope of industry sectors covered by TRI regulations, to include the hard working folks in Steam Generation from Coal and/or Oil, Petroleum Bulk Storage, Iron Ore Mining, Phosphate Mining, Large Dry Cleaning and Solid Waste Combustors and Incinerators.
4) Requiring Electronic Reporting with Web-based TRI-MEweb application – This would welcome all facilities into the cloud by requiring non-confidential TRI data to be reported with the EPA’s web app.
5) Modifications of TRI Requirements for metal mining operations
Making sure that the TRI addresses all the right issues means that there are ongoing assessments and proposals for improvements. Complying with these regulations is a major responsibility, and requires the use of modern inventory control systems. ChemSW loves chemical safety and we offer several software options to help facility stay in inventory compliance for TRI reporting and other regulatory reports. Please visit our site today to see what we can do for you!