06 December 1999 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]Environmental Protection Agency plans to review toxicity data for the original 330 chemicals on its Toxic Release Inventory, a process that could result in the removal of some chemicals from the list.
An EPA official with the TRI program says the evaluation is intended to ensure that the initial TRI chemicals actually meet all of the toxicity criteria. No deadline has been set for completing the review, but it will probably take "at least a couple of years," she says.
Any chemicals on the TRI list that do not meet the program's toxicity criteria would be removed by EPA through a formal rulemaking. The agency does not have an estimate of how many chemicals might be de-listed, according to the EPA official.
Chemicals dropped from the TRI would no longer be subject to annual reporting requirements under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
The TRI database contains information on environmental releases and transfers of listed chemicals on a facility-by-facility basis. It is updated each year.
The original list of chemicals, whose emissions and transfers were first required to be reported in 1987, were based on lists of substances compiled for environmental programs in Maryland and New Jersey.
Each of the 330 chemicals will be evaluated according to six toxicity "endpoints." These listing criteria focus on both acute and chronic health effects.
The EPA official says the criteria evaluations will be based upon existing toxicity data, and no new testing to develop additional data on the chemicals is needed.
"We are always looking for ways to reduce the regulatory burden on companies, and the delisting of chemicals that don't meet the TRI criteria will be one way of doing this," she says.
EPA's six-year effort to add hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan to the TRI continues. The agency originally cited the two chemicals for inclusion in the TRI in a December 1993 final rule. But in response to industry objections, EPA issued an administrative stay that put the additions on hold.
The agency plans to publish a notice in the Federal Register next year that will contain its final analysis.
Depending on the nature of public comments, EPA will either propose to lift the stay, making emissions of the chemicals reportable to the TRI, or remove hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan.
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