Beveridge & Diamond
 

TRI Developments

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., April 3, 2009

As noted in our previous client alert, available here, Congress recently invalidated the controversial 2006 “burden reduction” amendments to the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) Toxics Release Inventory (“TRI”) Program.  That occurred on March 11, 2009 through enactment of the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act, Pub. L. No. 111-8 (the “Act”).  In response, EPA has announced that it will require compliance with the pre-2006 version of the TRI regulations for the TRI reporting due July 1, 2009.  EPA will issue a rule shortly revising the regulatory text in the Code of Federal Regulations to reflect these changes. TRI-ME software and other reporting assistance materials are being revised and will also be available soon.

Specifically, reports on persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (“PBT”) chemicals should now be submitted on Form R, the more detailed form.  For all other chemicals Form A may be used only if the annual reporting amount is 500 pounds or less, and, the chemical was manufactured, processed or otherwise used in an amount not exceeding 1 million pounds during the reporting year.

EPA has acknowledged that, due to the timing of the Act, many facility owners subject to TRI reporting may not have appropriate 2008 data available to meet the new reporting requirements by the July 1, 2009 deadline.  EPA stated that those facility owners “may use readily available data, or where such data are not available, reasonable estimates, of the amounts involved, in completing the Form R.” 

Separately, on March 19, 2009 EPA made available the TRI data for 2007.  The data  showed an overall decrease of 5% in toxic releases from 2006, but PBT releases were up 1% and PCB releases were up 40%.  EPA Administrator Jackson commented that the data, “underscores the need for fundamental transparency and provides a powerful tool for protecting public health and the environment”, adding that she was pleased that “that Congress . . . took action to restore the rigorous reporting standards of this vital program.”

For more information, please contact Mark Duvall at mduvall@bdlaw.com. This alert was prepared with the assistance of Bina Reddy.