Industrial Facility releasing smoke from building

Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Deadline Remains Unchanged During COVID-19

May 5th, 2020

With everything going on in the world right now, it is easy to forget regulatory deadlines are still occurring. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a memo stating that they “do not expect to seek penalties for violations of routing compliance monitoring, integrity testing, sampling, laboratory analysis, training, and reporting or certification obligations in situations where the EPA agrees that COVID-19 was the cause of the noncompliance and the entity provides supporting documentation to the EPA upon request.” While other deadlines may be pushed, the reporting deadline for Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reports is STILL July 1st, 2020. The EPA has indicated that since the deadline is a statutory requirement, the reporting deadline will not change. Therefore, if you are unable to submit your TRI report by July 1st due to COVID-19, you may need to show supporting documentation as to why you submitted late.

Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reports are required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). TRI reports are required to provide information to the public on releases and other waste management of Section 313 chemicals in their communities. It is also used by the EPA to determine the need for future regulations.

Each year, the EPA makes a few changes to the list of reportable chemicals. Changes for RY2019 TRI Reporting include:

  • The de minimis levels for N,N-dimethylformamide (68-12-2), 2-mercaptobensthiazole (149-30-4), and molybdenum trioxide (1313-27-5) have been changed from 1.0% to 0.1%.
  • A new chemical category, Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs), was added to the list of reportable chemicals.

The EPA uses the data from TRI reports to generate a TRI National Analysis Report which summarizes the various TRI reports and is used to determine trends in releases and pollution prevention. Therefore, it is important that TRI reporting is completed correctly and accurately. When completing your TRI evaluations and reports this year, here are a few common mistakes that facilities may make:

  • Not completing an annual evaluation if you have an applicable NAICS code and more than 10 full-time equivalent employees to determine if you exceed reporting thresholds
  • Not capturing all TRI chemicals in your evaluation
  • Not including all applicable releases related to a TRI reportable chemical (i.e. air emissions from welding, natural gas combustion, etc.)
  • Not evaluating the application of asphalt to determine if TRI threshold was exceeded
  • Not using the most readily available information to calculate thresholds and releases
  • Not keeping a copy of the supporting documentation for previous TRI reports
  • Not including the manufacture of compounds when mixing chemicals together

We hope this serves as a reminder to still get your TRI reports in by July 1st even during this COVID-19 time. RY2020 will see even more changes with the addition of 172 PFAS chemicals. Stay tuned for another blog post regarding the RY2020 TRI PFAS changes.

If you need assistance with your TRI reporting this year, please contact us for assistance.

If interested in learning more about how PFAS could affect your operations, check out our on-demand webinar library for our PFAS webinar.

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