US EPA restores stronger toxics inventory rules

21 April 2009 22:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reinstated stricter reporting requirements for facilities that release toxic substances, the agency said on Tuesday.

The action reverses the Bush administration move in 2006 to lessen some of the inventory reporting requirements.

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is a public EPA database that contains information on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities reported annually by certain industries as well as federal facilities, the agency said.

“People have a right to information that might affect their health and the health of their children - and EPA has a responsibility to provide it,” EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said in a statement. “Restoring the TRI reporting requirements assures transparency and provides a crucial tool for safeguarding human health and the environment in our communities.” 

The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed by President Obama on 11 March, mandated that the prior TRI reporting requirements be re-established. 

The EPA under the Bush administration in 2006 allowed companies using less than 5,000 lbs (2.3 tonnes) of certain toxic chemicals to complete less stringent reports for the agency.

The change in 2006 prompted several states to file a lawsuit in an effort to reinstate the tougher reporting requirements.

Under the reinstated rules, all reports on non-persistent, bio-accumulative, chemicals must be submitted using the more detailed report form, the EPA said. For other chemicals, the shorter and less stringent form can be used if the releases were 500 lbs/year or less and if less than 1m lbs (454 tonnes) of the substance was used or manufactured at the site during the reporting year.

The changes will apply to all TRI reports due on 1 July, the EPA said.

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By: Brian Ford
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