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Questions and Answers

Source: EPA 1994 Toxics Release Inventory
Public Data Release, Appendix A

I.        Industry Expansion
II.       The Federal Facilities Executive Order
III.      Federal Acquisition and Community 
          Right-to-Know Executive Order
IV.       Pollution Prevention
V.        Materials Accounting
VI.       Alternate Threshold Rule
VII.      TRI List of Chemicals
VIII.     Air Emissions
IX.       Water Discharges
X.        Underground Injection
XI.       Solid and Hazardous Waste
XII.      Exposure and Health Effects
XIII.     33/50 Program
XIV.      Compliance and Enforcement

For further information about any of these topics, contact the EPCRA Hotline at 1-800-535-0202.

I. Industry Expansion

Q1 Do all industrial facilities in the U.S. that meet reporting thresholds have to report to TRI?

A No. From 1987 to 1994, only manufacturing facilities classified in SIC codes 20-39 were required to report. Federal facilities were also required to report beginning with the 1994 reporting year. Many other industrial facilities that may be significant sources of toxic chemical releases do not have to report. The Office of Technology Assessment estimated that manufacturing accounts for only 5% of releases.

Q2 Does EPA plan to expand the reporting requirements to cover industries that are not currently required to report?

A Yes. EPA has the statutory authority to require additional facilities to report under EPCRA section 313 and is in the process of determining which industries are most appropriate for addition to TRI.

Q3 How is EPA identifying and selecting industries for possible addition to TRI?

A EPA is making its determination based upon such factors as indication of the management of TRI chemicals and the relationship between manufacturing activities and other facilities engaged in activities which support the manufacturing process. EPA is also considering such factors as whether the facilities conduct activities compatible with TRI reporting requirements and the burden imposed through these requirements. EPA has focused on those industries where reportable releases of TRI chemicals occur and which support manufacturing activities in some direct way.

Q4 What industries have been identified?

A EPA has examined a large number of industries that are part of sectors previously identified. The broad sectors identified as being closely related to manufacturing are energy production, materials extraction, materials distribution, and waste management. Several industries were identified within these sectors--electric utilities, mining, oil and gas exploration and production, commercial waste treatment, POTWs and landfills, materials recycling and recovery, airports, and some transportation and warehousing operations.

Q5 What has EPA done in this effort during the past year?

A As part of this examination, EPA has continued to refine its analysis regarding the management of toxic chemicals at facilities within the industries under consideration. EPA also held two major public meetings and heard the diverse viewpoints on the expansion issues from a wide range of stakeholders. EPA continues to solicit extensive public input. Once final determinations are made regarding the contents of the proposal and it is published in the Federal Register, a period of public comment will ensure extensive public input prior to any revisions.

Q6 What are the issues that will determine how TRI industry expansion is conducted?

A EPA must consider the costs to industry of complying with the regulatory burden associated with TRI reporting. Concern over "unfunded mandates" at the state and local level and small business impacts mean that EPA must take into account the burden that other levels of government as well as the regulated community will bear. Also, the current reporting structure of TRI, with its reporting definitions, thresholds, and exemptions, may inhibit valuable reporting from some facilities under consideration. EPA must take this structure into account as it considers the quality and quantity of reporting possible from the industries under consideration.

Q7 When does EPA expect to apply the reporting requirements to additional industries?

A EPA anticipates proposing new sectors for inclusion in TRI during 1996.

Q8 What impact does the Presidential Directive from August 8, 1995, have on this effort?

A This directive was issued in conjunction with Executive Order 12969. It instructs EPA to move forward with industry expansion and the consideration of incorporating materials accounting data into TRI. For industry expansion, this directive provides firm backing from the Administration for EPA's efforts on this issue, and calls on the Agency to expedite the proposed rulemaking.

II. The Federal Facilities Executive Order

Q9 Are Federal facilities required to report under section 313 of EPCRA?

A On August 3, 1993, the President signed Executive Order 12856, "Federal Facility Compliance with Right-to-Know and Pollution Prevention Laws," requiring government-owned and government-operated Federal facilities (GOGOs) to comply with EPCRA. Therefore, as of reporting year 1994, all Federal facilities must file TRI reports under EPCRA section 313. Executive Order 12856 also commits all Federal agencies to reduce by 50% their toxic chemical releases and transfers for treatment and disposal by 1999. A Federal agency may go beyond the TRI list of toxic chemicals and set a voluntary reduction goal for other chemicals that are used at its facilities.

Prior to the 1994 reporting year GOGOs were not required to report by law, but some reported voluntarily. The Department of Energy voluntarily submitted reports for the 1993 reporting year to EPA and the states for 23 facilities. Government-owned and contractor-operated facilities (GOCOs), however, were already covered and reported under EPCRA section 313 prior to E.O. 12856.

Q10 Are all Federal agencies required to develop a pollution prevention strategy and pollution prevention plans?

A Each Federal agency that has one or more facilities meeting any of the EPCRA reporting requirements is responsible for the development of a written pollution prevention strategy. The strategies are available from the EPA Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC) at (202) 260-1023 and from each individual agency. EPA has published "Meeting the Challenge: A Summary of Federal Agency Pollution Prevention Strategies" (EPA 300-R-95-014). This document is also available from the PPIC. Covered Federal facilities were also required to prepare pollution prevention plans by December 31, 1995. For a copy of a facility's plan, interested persons can contact the individual facility.

Q11 Which agencies have submitted pollution prevention strategies under Executive Order 12856?

A The following 16 Federal entities submitted pollution prevention strategies:

Central Intelligence Agency
Department of Agriculture
Department of Defense
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Interior
Department of Justice
Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury
Department of Veterans Affairs
Environmental Protection Agency
General Services Administration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Smithsonian Institution
Tennessee Valley Authority
U.S. Enrichment Corporation
U.S. Postal Service

The Department of Veterans Affairs, which does not currently have facilities covered under the Executive Order, has chosen to prepare a pollution prevention strategy. The U.S. Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution, which are not legally covered under the Executive Order, have also submitted strategies.

Q12 Will EPA report to the public on the Federal agencies' progress toward meeting their voluntary 50% reduction goals?

A EPA must report annually to the President on the Federal agencies' progress toward reducing their releases and transfers of toxic chemicals. This information will be made available to the public in an annual progress report which can be obtained from the Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse at (202) 260-1023.

Q13 How many facilities are covered under this Executive Order? How many facilities were expected to report to TRI?

A The Executive Order directed each agency to identify which of their facilities might be covered by EPCRA. Covered facilities are defined in the Executive Order to include any Federal facility which meets one or more of the threshold requirements for reporting set forth in sections 302, 303, 304, 311, 312, and 313 of EPCRA. The agencies identified approximately 1,900 facilities that may be covered under EPCRA. A list of these facilities is available from the PPIC.

Out of the estimated 1,900 covered facilities, EPA estimated that around 400 Federal facilities would submit TRI reports. TRI is only one component of EPCRA, and therefore only one component of the Executive Order. The remaining Federal facilities were thought to meet other provisions of the directive, for example EPCRA's section 304, which deals with accidental releases of toxic chemicals and sections 311-312, which relates to emergency planning.

Q14 How many Federal facilities reported under EPCRA section 313 for reporting year 1994? What is the total number of chemical reports submitted to TRI from these facilities?

A For reporting year 1994, 191 Federal facilities submitted 686 chemical reports. The number of reporting facilities is approximately half the number which EPA originally expected. The difference is the result of several factors. A number of the Federal facilities did not meet the reporting thresholds. Other facilities took advantage of reporting exemptions, such as the motor vehicle maintenance exemption and the personal use exemption.

Q15 Are Federal facilities located in foreign countries required to comply with this Executive Order?

A This Executive Order does not apply to Federal facilities outside the customs territory of the United States, such as U.S. diplomatic and consular missions abroad.

III. Federal Acquisition and Community Right-to-Know Executive Order

Q16 What is Executive Order 12969 and how does it affect Federal contractors?

A On August 8, 1995, the President signed Executive Order 12969, "Federal Acquisition and Community Right-To-Know" (60 FR 40989; August 10, 1995), mandating that, to the extent practicable, each Federal agency shall contract only with those companies that have committed to continue reporting their releases of toxic chemicals under EPCRA section 313 and PPA section 6607. To achieve this goal, E.O. 12969 requires prospective contractors to include in their bids a certification that, if awarded the contract, they will continue to report as required under EPCRA section 313, unless an exemption provided by the Executive Order applies. The E.O. applies to all competitive contracts expected to exceed $100,000. This certification requirement also is required of first-tier subcontractors.

Q17 Does this mean that Federal contractors currently not required to report under section 313 of EPCRA must now report if they want to be awarded a government contract?

A No. E.O. 12969 does not extend the EPCRA section 313 reporting requirements to facilities which are not currently subject to them. E.O. 12969 only mandates that contractors already required to report under section 313 of EPCRA certify that they will continue to do so for the life of the contract, or face termination of their government contracts. Federal contractors not required to report may simply indicate in their proposals that they are not subject to the EPCRA section 313 reporting requirements.

Q18 Where can I get more information about the provisions of E.O. 12969?

A On September 29, 1995, EPA published guidance for implementing E.O. 12969 in the Federal Register (60 FR 50738). This guidance provides a section-by-section analysis of the Executive Order. Also, on October 30, 1995 an interim final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) was published (60 FR 55306). This interim final rule, which took effect immediately, provided detailed instructions for contracting officers to comply with E.O. 12969. The FAR Council currently is working to promulgate a final rule. For additional information, you can call the EPCRA Hotline at (800) 535-0202.

IV. Pollution Prevention

Q19 November 1992 is the expiration date listed on Form R. Is the Form R valid for reporting year 1995?

A The Form R was revised in May 1992 to include the Pollution Prevention Act requirements. November 1992 was the expiration date given by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) when it approved the Form on May 19, 1992. However, the Pollution Prevention Act Implementation Provisions of the 1993 Appropriations Act allows the Agency to continue to use this Form R until regulations are promulgated. Therefore, this Form R is still valid and should be used for all submissions until changes are made to the form.

Q20 Why don't the totals reported for "Source Reduction and Recycling Activities" in Section 8 of the Form R equal the quantities reported for "Transfers of the Toxic Chemical in Wastes to Off-Site Locations" in Section 6 of Form R? Do these represent different quantities? Why are the data reported in two places on the Form R?

A The quantities reported in Sections 6 and 8 may be different if the facility has reported accidental or one-time releases not related to production. Quantities reported in Section 8.1 through 8.7 do not include such quantities, while quantities reported in Section 6 do. If the facility has not reported any non-production related releases, the quantities reported in Section 8 and Section 6 should be the same. Differences in the data are also due to different interpretations made by reporting facilities when completing Sections 6 and 8. EPA is building on the experience gained from the 1991 through 1994 reports to develop final guidance for reporting facilities.

Q21 How does the quantity released, reported in Section 8 of the Form R, Source Reduction and Recycling Activities, differ from the quantities reported in the Section 5, Releases of the Toxic Chemical to the Environment On-Site?

A The quantity reported as released in Section 8.1 can differ from the total of the releases reported in Section 5 in two basic ways. First, the quantity reported in Section 8 includes quantities sent off-site for disposal. This quantity is not reported in Section 5 but is reported in Section 6. Second, the quantity reported in Sections 8.1-8.7 should not include any quantities released to the environment because of catastrophic, remedial, or one-time events that are non-routine (not associated with production operations). Such quantities would be included as part of the total releases reported in Section 5 and Section 8.8.

Q22 Why are the off-site energy recovery, recycling, and treatment data characterized differently from these same activities on-site?

A The difference in how the data are characterized is based on the level of knowledge the facility has. For example, a facility is able to estimate the amount of the toxic chemical recovered by on-site recycling processes because this activity is under its control. The facility is not likely to know the amount recovered through a similar activity occurring off-site because it is not under its control. What the facility should know, however, is the quantity of the chemical sent off-site for the purpose of recycling. This same difference in knowledge applies to on-site and off-site energy recovery and treatment. The facility can estimate amounts combusted for energy and destroyed through their treatment processes, but they may only know the amounts sent offsite for the purpose of energy recovery and treatment.

Q23 Why are the individual quantities reported in Section 8, Source Reduction and Recycling Activities, mutually exclusive?

A These quantities are designed to add up to the total amount of the TRI chemical in waste streams (exclusive of catastrophic, remedial, or one-time non-production related releases). To accomplish this, the individual quantities undergoing each type of waste management activity must be mutually exclusive because any double or multiple counting of an amount of the reported TRI chemical in waste streams will inflate the actual total. By avoiding multiple counting, a more accurate picture of how the toxic chemical in waste streams is managed within the waste management hierarchy can be obtained.

Q24 Why are catastrophic releases reported separately?

A The catastrophic releases are reported separately because they cannot be predicted and generally are not amenable to source reduction efforts.

Q25 Why are the recycling numbers so large?

A The recycling numbers are very large in comparison with the amounts reported as being released to the environment because the nature of recycling is to recover the chemical for further use. Unlike the quantities released, which leave the process, the amounts recycled return to the process again and again.

Q26 How will EPA and others use the "future years" reported estimates? What if actual estimates differ from the projected estimates?

A EPA will use the future estimates data as indicators of possible future trends in waste management. The future year estimates are projections and do not represent a commitment or a quantity that the facility must meet under penalty of enforcement. In addition, this data is useful to city planners in identifying future pollution loads and opportunities for new businesses.

Q27 What is the production index?

A The production index is a ratio of production during the reporting year and production during the prior year. It is intended to allow data users to assess the impact of business changes on changes in total waste generated.

Q28 How is a chemical that is treated on-site and then disposed of reported in Section 8 of the Form R?

A The amount of a chemical destroyed in on-site treatment is the quantity reported as treated on-site. Any amount not destroyed (the balance) is reported as the quantity "released" (including transferred off-site for disposal).

Q29 Does EPA plan to review the quality of the data reported in Section 8 of the Form R?

A EPA has instituted a computerized review of the data, primarily to check potential data discrepancies between Section 8 and Sections 5 and 6 of the form.

Q30 What is the difference between energy recovery and incineration?

A Both incineration and energy recovery involve combustion of a toxic chemical in a waste. However, they have different purposes. Energy recovery is combustion of toxic waste occurring in a boiler, kiln, or industrial furnace in which the heat from the combustion is used to generate steam or to heat other materials in a manufacturing process. Incineration is the combustion of toxic waste in order to destroy the toxic chemical by converting it into one or more other chemicals.

Q31 Over 1 million pounds of various metals and metal compounds have been reported as transferred to energy recovery. Can metal compounds be used for energy recovery?

A No. These reports were made in error. They may represent metal compounds in waste solvents that were sent to an energy recovery unit. EPA's instructions cite metals as an example of the type of chemicals that should not be reported as undergoing energy recovery because they do not contribute to the heating value of the waste stream.

Q32 A large quantity of toluene was reported as burned off-site for energy recovery in 1994. Does any of the toluene get released to the environment as a result of this?

A Energy recovery processes are not 100% efficient. Therefore, some small amount of the toluene is likely to be released, either as un-combusted material or as fugitive releases from the handling of the toluene-containing material prior to combustion.

Q33 How are the data elements in Section 8 of Form R different from those stated in the Pollution Prevention Act?

A Facilities do not report the "quantity entering any waste stream prior to recycling, treatment, or disposal" as stated in the PPA. This number is derived by EPA by adding up the individual quantities that were reported as released, used for energy recovery, treated, and recycled. This total number is available in the public database for each chemical reported by a facility. Energy recovery, which is not discussed in the PPA, has aspects of both recycling and waste treatment and is reported separately from the quantities reported as treated or recycled. Instead of reporting the percent changes of quantities reported in Sections 8.1-8.7 from the prior year and for the next two years, the Form R collects the actual prior year quantity and the estimated two future years' quantities in pounds per year. Quantities treated, recycled, or undergoing energy recovery are reported separately by whether they occur on-site or off-site.

Q34 What is the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) doing to reduce environmental releases reportable under EPCRA section 313?

A OPPT is using TRI data to help target activities, chemicals, facilities, and industry categories that are of high concern. The Pollution Prevention Policy Council's initiative, "Source Reduction Review Project," is one example where the TRI data were used as a screening tool to identify a group of industrial categories as long-term targets of opportunity. As a part of this project, OPPT is working with other program offices to incorporate prevention into their programs through regulation, where feasible, and through guidance and voluntary efforts. OPPT is also working with industry (usually through trade associations) to raise awareness of the benefits of pollution prevention. OPPT also conducts training programs that help orient government and industry toward pollution prevention and to incorporate prevention into their regular activities. A state grants program is available to help states develop pollution prevention programs. OPPT and the Office of Research and Development have developed a clearinghouse, the Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse (PPIC), that provides information on pollution prevention for industry, government, and public interest groups to use in encouraging and implementing prevention.

Q35 The quantity of certain chemicals released (at a particular facility or nationwide) is decreasing. What does this mean?

A Currently, Form R does not allow for facility- and-chemical specific quantification of source reduction. Also, the TRI database does not include specific explanations of the reasons for changes in quantities reported by facilities. The new TRI data required under the PPA can give some indication of whether changes are due to shifting of chemicals off-site for energy recovery, treatment, or recycling; decrease in economic activity or production levels; or source reduction. Many other factors, however, may also cause changes in reported release quantities, for example, substitution of one chemical for another, changes in accounting or estimation techniques, changes in the design of a product, or regulatory requirements. A study completed by OPPT examined how some of the above factors contributed to changes in releases and transfers between 1989 and 1990. The study found that although source reduction was a significant factor in explaining some of the changes, fluctuations in production were more frequently cited for individual facilities' increases and decreases. This is an important consideration because measuring progress in source reduction must also take into account production changes.

Source reduction is too complex to be captured by only one measure. These data collected on Form R will help EPA better evaluate release trends and will also be critical in developing a comprehensive understanding of the effects of pollution prevention activities. The data provide EPA with a more comprehensive view of waste management practices. They shift the focus from releases to movement up the waste management hierarchy.

V. Materials Accounting

Q36 What is materials accounting?

A Materials accounting is a tool that tracks the use and flow of chemicals through manufacturing processes. Data elements that may be considered part of a materials accounting program could include: quantity of chemical brought on-site, quantity of chemical produced on-site, quantity of chemical consumed in the manufacturing process, quantity of chemical contained in product, quantity of chemical contained in waste.

Q37 Why is EPA interested in expanding TRI to collect materials accounting information under EPCRA?

A Communities and public interest groups have indicated to EPA that there are gaps in existing Right-to-Know information and that materials accounting information would be useful, not only to them, but to the government and industry itself. These groups believe that materials accounting data, in the hands of the public, would provide information that would aid in studies on a variety of issues including, but not limited to, trend information on chemical use patterns, the quantity of toxics in products, worker health and safety issues, and promoting and tracking pollution prevention activities.

Q38 What are the concerns voiced about the collection of materials accounting information under EPCRA?

A The most common concerns about the collection of materials accounting information voiced to EPA include the potential loss of confidential business information to competitors, whether EPA has the legislative authority to collect this type of information, and the public's ability to interpret and use this type of information. The basic need for the collection and public dissemination of chemical use information has been questioned by some stakeholders. Some people believe that the collection of materials accounting data would cause duplicative reporting because some industrial facilities may already be required to report this or similar information under other environmental statutes. Industry spokespersons are also concerned that a materials accounting program would impose an excessive reporting burden to industry.

Q39 Does EPA plan to expand the reporting requirements to include the collection of materials accounting information? Does EPA expect to come out with a proposed rule for the implementation of a materials accounting program?

A EPA is committed to strengthening the public's Right-toKnow. EPA is presently examining the issues related to the collection and dissemination of materials accounting information to determine if there are data gaps that could be filled by expansion of TRI. Two public meetings have been held on this topic, in September 1994 and in October 1995. After reviewing the comments from these meetings, EPA has developed steps for further analyses. For example, EPA will evaluate the two state programs (New Jersey and Massachusetts) that already collect materials accounting information; existing, internal EPA databases for overlap of relevant materials accounting information; the potential to collect occupational health and safety information; and concerns about potential loss of confidential business information as a result of reporting.

EPA is still examining the issues surrounding a materials accounting program. As the benefits and concerns are studied and assessed, EPA will report back to the public with its plans on this issue.

VI. Alternate Threshold Rule

Q40 What is the Alternate Threshold Rule?

A EPA finalized a reporting modification that was effective January 1, 1995. In the final rule, 59 FR 61488, entitled "TRI Alternate Threshold for Facilities with Low Annual Reportable Amounts," EPA established a reporting option for facilities that meet TRI reporting thresholds for a listed chemical, but whose total annual reportable amount (defined below) does not exceed 500 pounds for that chemical.

For facilities that do not exceed the 500-pound criterion for a listed chemical, this reporting modification provides the option of applying an "alternate manufacture, process or otherwise use threshold" of 1 million pounds to the chemical. If a facility does not exceed the 1 million pound (alternate) threshold, then that facility is eligible to submit a "certification statement" in place of a full Form R.

A facility that fits within the category description, and manufactures, processes, or otherwise uses no more than 1 million pounds of a listed toxic chemical annually, and whose owner/operator elects to take advantage of the alternate threshold is not considered a TRI covered facility for that chemical for the purpose of submitting a Form R. This determination may provide further regulatory relief from other Federal or state regulations that apply to facilities on the basis of their TRI reporting status. A facility will need to refer to other applicable regulations in order to determine if other requirements are affected by this reporting modification.

Q41 What is included in the total annual reportable amount?

A For the purpose of this reporting modification, the annual reportable amount is equal to the combined total quantities managed on a per-chemical basis, which are disposed of within the facility, treated at the facility (as represented by amounts destroyed or converted by waste treatment processes), recovered at the facility as a result of recycling operations, combusted for the purpose of energy recovery at the facility, and amounts transferred from the facility to off-site locations for the purpose of recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and/or disposal. These volumes correspond to the sum of amounts reportable for data elements on EPA Form R (EPA Form 9350-1; Rev. 12/4/93) as Part II column B of Section 8, data elements 8.1. Quantity Released; 8.2. Quantity Used for Energy Recovery Onsite; 8.3. Quantity Used for Energy Recovery Off-site; 8.4. Quantity Recycled On-site; 8.5. Quantity Recycled Off-site; 8.6. Quantity Treated On-site; and 8.7. Quantity Treated Off-site.

Q42 Why did EPA establish the Alternate Threshold reporting option?

A This rulemaking was undertaken in response to two petitions that requested EPA to provide some regulatory relief for a subset of facilities covered under EPCRA section 313. The certification statement provided by this rulemaking creates a simplified form of reporting which is intended to reduce the compliance burden associated with EPCRA section 313 reporting without significantly reducing the amount of release data available to the public. EPA estimates approximately 20,100 Form Rs can be replaced by certification statements based on 1992 reporting trends.

Q43 How much money is this expected to save?

A EPA estimates that this modification will save industry and EPA an annual total of $17.3 million and $700,000, respectively.

Q44 What information will be collected on the certification statement and how will that information be made available to the public?

A The certification statement must be submitted on an annual basis for each eligible chemical. The information submitted on the certification statement includes facility identification information and the chemical or chemical category identity. The information submitted on the certification statement will appear in the TRI database in the same manner that information submitted on Form R appears, excluding the release, transfer, and other waste management quantities. An approved certification statement, including a magnetic media version, was made available in the 1995 TRI Form R and Instructions package.

Q45 Aren't there some chemicals for which 500 pounds of releases could be a potentially serious environmental or health problem? Why is the 500-pound cut-off the same for all chemicals, regardless of their toxicity?

A When EPA began evaluating approaches to a reporting modification that would provide regulatory burden reduction, it considered making a distinction among the listed chemicals. EPA recognizes that there are differences in toxicities among the chemicals listed under EPCRA section 313. However, EPA determined that in order to effectively accomplish burden reduction, it was also necessary that the mechanism which provides the burden reduction not be unduly complicated. Therefore, in order to ensure that reporting modifications not jeopardize the public's Right-to-Know, a quantity for the "annual reportable amount" was selected that would be acceptable for application to the complete list of chemicals.

EPA believes the level of 500 pounds selected for this reporting modification, coupled with the information collected by the certification statement, will not appreciably lessen the value of currently collected information. EPA is planning a future modification of current thresholds to more fully capture information on chemicals that persist in the environment and bioaccumulate.

Q46 What kind of recordkeeping is required of facilities that submit certification statements?

A Owners and operators who determine that they are eligible and wish to apply the alternate threshold to a particular chemical must retain records substantiating this determination for a period of three years from the date of the submission of the certification statement. These records must include the calculations made by the facility that confirm its eligibility for each chemical for which the alternate threshold was applied as well as sufficient documentation to support these calculations.

VII. TRI List of Chemicals

Q47 How was the list of chemicals subject to TRI reporting created?

A A list of chemicals subject to TRI reporting was given to EPA by Congress in EPCRA. The statutory list was derived from separate lists from the states of New Jersey and Maryland. The criteria for chemicals on the Maryland and New Jersey lists differ from the criteria established under EPCRA section 313. For instance, the Maryland list is a survey list and consists of chemicals that are noted for toxicity and/or high-volume activities in that state. As a result of these differences in listing criteria, a number of chemicals have been added to the TRI list that were not on the original state lists. Also, a number of chemicals have been deleted from the original TRI list of toxic chemicals because EPA determined that they did not meet any of the criteria for listing.

Under EPCRA section 313, anyone can petition EPA to add a chemical(s) to, or delete a chemical(s) from, the list of chemicals.

EPA has developed criteria and is currently refining the process for reviewing the TRI list of chemicals. The result of this exercise will allow EPA to more effectively add chemicals to and delete chemicals from the list. This will result in reporting on chemicals that meet the intent of section 313.

Q48 What are the criteria for listing a chemical under section 313 of EPCRA?

A For a chemical or chemical category to remain on or be added to the TRI list, it must be known to cause or reasonably be anticipated to cause one of the following:

Q49 What chemicals have been added to the TRI list?

A EPA added to the list nine chemicals that were subject to reporting for the 1990 reporting year. These chemicals were added to the list for cancer or other chronic toxicity concerns. These chemicals are:

Allyl alcohol
Dinitrotoluene (mixed isomers)
Toluene diisocyanate (mixed isomers)

As a result of a petition submitted by three governors and the Natural Resources Defense Council, EPA also added to the list seven chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons that were subject to reporting beginning with the 1991 reporting year. These chemicals were added because they are stratospheric ozone depleters. Depletion of stratospheric ozone can lead to adverse human health and environmental effects. These chemicals are:

Bromochlorodifluoromethane (Halon 1211)
Bromotrifluoromethane (Halon 1301)
Dibromotetrafluoroethane (Halon 2402)
Dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC-12)
Dichlorotetrafluoroethane (CFC-114)
Monochloropentafluoroethane (CFC-115)
Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11)

In response to another petition, 11 hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) were also added, subject to reporting beginning with the 1994 reporting year (reports due by July 1, 1995). These chemicals were added because they are listed as Class II ozonedepleting substances in section 602(b) of the Clean Air Act. These chemicals are:

Chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-22)
Dichlorotrifluoroethane (HCFC-123) and isomers
Chlorotetrafluoroethane (HCFC-124) and isomers
1,1-Dichloro-1-fluoroethane (HCFC-141b) and isomers
1-Chloro-1,1-difluoroethane (HCFC-142b)

An additional 21 chemicals and two chemical categories that appear on the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) list of hazardous wastes were added to the TRI list. Reporting for these chemicals was required beginning with the 1994 reporting year (reports due by July 1, 1995). These chemicals are:

Ethylene bisdithiocarbamic acid, salts and esters
Ethylidene dichloride
Formic acid
Hydrogen sulfide*
Methyl chlorocarbonate
Methyl mercaptan*
Trypan blue
Warfarin and salts

On November 30, 1994, EPA issued a final rule adding 286 chemicals to the TRI list, including about 160 pesticides. Many of these chemicals have been identified as of concern under sections 112(b) and 602(b) of the Clean Air Act, section 307(a) of the Clean Water Act, section 1412 of the Safe Drinking Water Act, and under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Q50 How were the chemicals added in November 1994 selected?

A EPA began with a pool of 1,031 chemicals regulated or identified as of concern under various environmental statutes. In addition, EPA considered chemicals designated as possible, probable, or known carcinogens in the Monographs of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the 6th annual Report on Carcinogens of the National Toxicology Program (NTP), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This list was narrowed by excluding those chemicals already on TRI or proposed for addition in response to a petition. The remaining chemicals underwent a toxicity screen using numerical criteria guidelines and a production volume screen. This narrowed the list of candidates to approximately 400 chemicals.

The remaining candidates underwent a rigorous hazard assessment, including a detailed review of the toxicity of each to determine whether the chemical meets the statutory criteria for listing.

Q51 How many of the chemicals proposed to be added by EPA were not added because they did not meet the criteria for listing?

A EPA determined that three of the proposed chemicals did not meet the statutory criteria for listing and so they were not added. These three chemicals are:

Tetrasodium ethylenediaminetetraacetate

Q52 Why did EPA defer the addition of 40 chemicals and one chemical category?

A EPA decided to defer action on 40 chemicals and one chemical category because more time was needed to address technical and policy issues that were raised about these chemicals. EPA did not wish to delay action on the addition of 286 chemicals that met the listing criteria, so the public comments on the deferred chemicals will be addressed in a future rulemaking.

Q53 If EPA proposed 313 chemicals and deferred or dropped 44, how is it that 286 chemicals were finalized?

A The discrepancy arises from the addition of the diisocyanates category. The 313 chemicals in the proposed rule included three individual diisocyanates. As an alternative, EPA proposed adding the three diisocyanates and 17 other diisocyanates as a delimited category, but the additional 17 diisocyanates were not counted in the 313 proposed chemicals. EPA finalized the alternative proposal, and the 17 additional diisocyanates were counted among the 286 chemicals finalized.

Q54 I understand that EPA's November 30, 1994, rulemaking that added 286 chemicals and chemical categories to the TRI chemical list was challenged in court. Who challenged the rule, and has the case been settled?

A Four organizations (Chemical Manufacturers Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, Troy Corporation, and NMP Producers Group) challenged several aspects of the November 30, 1994, rulemaking. Combined, these suits challenged the listing of the following chemicals and chemical categories: hexane; 3-iodo-2-propynyl butyl carbamate; 2,6-dimethylphenol; bronopol; polychlorinated alkanes; methyltrichlorosilane; dimethyldichlorosilane; trimethylchlorosilane; isophorone diisocyanate; 2,2,4-trimethylhexamethylene diisocyanate; 2,4,4- trimethylhexamethylene diisocyanate; and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone. CMA's suit also challenged EPA's decision to not consider exposure for the 152 moderately high to highly toxic chemicals that were added in this rulemaking based on sufficient evidence of adverse chronic health effects.

On April 30, 1996, Judge Gladys Kessler of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in EPA's favor with respect to all claims. Therefore, all of the challenged chemicals are reportable beginning with the 1995 reporting year, except for the three chlorosilanes (methyltrichlorosilane, dimethyldichlorosilane, trimethylchlorosilane). EPA voluntarily remanded these chlorosilanes; therefore, they are not reportable for the 1995 reporting year.

Q55 Where can lists of the added and deferred chemicals be obtained?

A The lists are in the final rule which was published in the Federal Register on November 30, 1994 (59 FR 61432). Copies may be obtained by contacting the EPCRA Hotline


Q56 How many additional reports will be submitted due to the addition of 286 chemicals?

A The first reports for these chemicals will be required for reporting year 1995 and will be submitted by August 1, 1996. EPA estimates that about 10,500 additional reports and 3,500 certification statements will be submitted, assuming facilities use the alternate threshold reporting option, which is also effective for the 1995 reporting year and beyond. The alternate threshold reporting option is further discussed in Section VI of this Appendix.

Q57 What chemicals have been deleted from the TRI list or had their listings modified?

A The following individually listed chemicals have been deleted from the TRI list:

Ammonium sulfate (solution)*
Butyl benzyl phthalate
Color Index (C.I.) Acid Blue 9 diammonium salt
C.I. Acid Blue 9 disodium salt
Di-n-octyl phthalate (n-dioctyl phthalate)
Sodium hydroxide (solution)
Sodium sulfate (solution)
Terephthalic acid
Titanium dioxide

The following chemicals have been deleted from the categories indicated:

Barium sulfate (barium compounds category)
Copper phthalocyanine compounds substituted with only bromine, chlorine, and/or hydrogen (copper compounds category)
High molecular weight glycol ethers were deleted from the glycol ethers category by redefining the category to exclude such chemicals.

The following chemicals have had their listings modified; they now include the modifier shown in parenthesis:

Aluminum oxide (fibrous forms)

Ammonia (includes anhydrous ammonia and aqueous ammonia from water, dissociable ammonium salts, and other sources; 10% of total aqueous ammonia is reportable under this listing)

Sulfuric acid (acid aerosols including mists, vapors, gas, fog, and other airborne forms of any particle size)

Q58 Has EPA taken any other actions on listed chemicals?

A On August 22, 1994, EPA issued an administrative stay for hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan and on October 27, 1995, EPA issued an administrative stay for 2,2-dibromo-3- nitrilopropionamide (DBNPA). Until these stays are lifted, hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and DBNPA are not reportable under EPCRA section 313.

Q59 What is the status of EPCRA section 313 petitions to date?

A EPA has responded to and is currently working on many petitions to modify the EPCRA section 313 list of toxic chemicals. The following is a summary of section 313 petition activity to date.

EPCRA Section 313 Petitions

Chemical Action Requested Status
Acetone Delist Granted
Aluminum oxide (non-fibrous) Delist Granted
Alloys Delist Denied (1)
Ammonium sulfate (solution) (2) Delist Partially Granted
Antimony tris(iso-octyl-mercaptoacetate) Delist Denied
Barium sulfate Delist Granted
Butyl benzyl phthalate Delist Granted
Cadmium selenide Delist Denied
Cadmium sulfide Delist Denied
CFC-11 (3) List Granted
CFC-114 List Granted
CFC-115 List Granted
CFC-12 List Granted
Chromium (III) compounds Delist Denied
C.I. Acid Blue 9 disodium and diammonium salts (4) Delist Granted
C.I. Pigment Blue 15 Delist Granted
C.I. Pigment Green 36 Delist Granted
C.I. Pigment Green 7 Delist Granted
Cobalt and compounds Delist Denied
Copper metal Modify Pending
Copper mono-chlorophthalocyanine (5) Delist Granted
Cyclohexane Delist Denied
Chromium antimony titanium buff rutile Delist Denied
Decabromodiphenyl ether Delist Denied
2,2-Dibromo-3-nitrilopropionamide Delist Comment Requested
Di-n-Octyl phthalate Delist Granted
Di(2-ethylhexyl)adipate Delist Proposed
Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate Delist Pending
Diethyl phthalate Delist Proposed
Disodium and monosodium methane arsenate Delist Denied
Ethylene Delist Denied
Ethylene glycol Delist Pending
Glycol ethers Modify Granted
Halon 1211 List Granted
Halon 1301 List Granted
Halon 2402 List Granted
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (6) List Partially Granted
Hydrochloric acid Modify Proposed
Inorganic fluorides List Denied
Iron chromite Delist Withdrawn
Manganese and compounds Delist Denied
Manganese and compounds in slags Delist Denied
Melamine Delist Granted
Methyl ethyl ketone Delist Withdrawn
Methyl isobutyl ketone Delist Withdrawn
Molybdenum trioxide Delist Withdrawn
Nickel and compounds Delist Denied
ortho-Phenylphenol Delist Denied
Phosphoric acid Delist Withdrawn
Phosphoric acid Delist Pending
Phthalic anhydride Delist Withdrawn
Polymeric diphenylmethane diisocyanate Delist Pending
Propylene Delist Denied
Sodium hydroxide (solution) Delist Granted
Sodium sulfate (solution) Delist Granted
Sulfuric acid Delist Denied
Sulfuric acid Modify Granted
Terephthalic acid Delist Granted
Titanium dioxide Delist Granted
Trifluralin Delist Withdrawn
Zinc borate hydrate Delist Denied
Zinc sulfide Delist Denied
82 RCRA Chemicals (6) List Partially Granted

(1) EPA is reviewing whether certain constituent metals of alloys should be reportable.

(2) The ammonium sulfate (solution) deletion will not result in a loss of reporting, but rather in more focused reporting since the aqueous ammonia from ammonium sulfate solutions is still reportable under the modified ammonia listing.

(3) CFC = Chlorofluorocarbon

(4) C.I. = Color Index

(5) Finalized as copper phthalocyanine compounds substituted only with bromine, chlorine, and/or hydrogen.

(6) Refer to Question 59 for a complete list of the HCFCs and RCRA chemicals that were added to the list.

VIII. Air Emissions

Q60 What are the air quality impacts and toxicity concerns for the TRI chemicals with the largest air releases?

A The 15 chemicals with the largest releases to the air account for 79% of all air releases.

A number of TRI chemicals (e.g. methanol, toluene, xylenes, styrene) are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions that contribute to the secondary formation of tropospheric (ground-level) ozone, commonly referred to as smog. Ground-level ozone is a respiratory tract irritant that reacts rapidly with the tissues and fluids lining the airways of the lungs. Ozone is known to exacerbate pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Additionally, a number of the chemicals reported to TRI that pose direct health effects are regulated under the Clean Air Act Amendments as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). The possible health effects are classified into several categories:

Carcinogenic: Chemicals that have a probability of resulting in cancer.

Reproductive: Chemicals that have a probability of causing adverse effects on the reproductive system.

Developmental: Chemicals that have a probability of causing detrimental effects during the embryonic stages of development.

Neurotoxicity: Chemicals that have a probability of causing adverse effects on the nervous system.

Q61 What regulatory authority does the Agency have to reduce toxic air emissions?

A Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) covers emission reduction for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to meet ambient air quality standards for ozone. These programs are controlled to some extent by state and/or local governments. A number of TRI chemicals are regulated under Title I as VOCs that participate in atmospheric photochemical reactions to produce ozone, a regulated ambient air pollutant.

Title III of the CAAA is the primary regulatory tool by which EPA controls emissions of air toxics. Title III (specifically section 112) lists 189 Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), almost all of which are part of the TRI list. Twelve of the top 15 TRI chemicals with the largest air emissions are also HAPs.

Title III, section 112(b) of the CAAA, lists hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) that EPA is required to regulate by categories of HAPs sources. In accordance with section 112, EPA published the final list of categories of sources to be regulated on July 16, 1992 (57 F.R. 31576). Under section 112(d), EPA must issue regulations requiring listed categories of sources emitting HAPs to utilize control technologies to reduce their air emissions, for example, the maximum achievable control technology (MACT). After the application of the maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards, section 112(f) states that EPA may issue additional standards, if necessary, within eight years to further protect the public.

One of the first standards to be promulgated under Title III was the Hazardous Organic National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, or the HON Rule, October 1992. The HON Rule had far-reaching effects because it required reductions of 110 of the 189 hazardous air pollutants. The HON/MACT standard affected many sources of toxic emissions, such as process vents, equipment leaks, and storage tanks at chemical manufacturing plants. The requirement resulted in substantial reductions in emissions from the affected facilities.

Title III, Section 112(r) of the CAAA, requires EPA to develop risk management planning (RMP) regulations to help prevent accidental releases of at least 100 substances. In January 1994, EPA promulgated a final list consisting of 140 toxic and flammable substances, as well as Division 1.1 explosives, which will be subject to the requirements in the RMP rulemaking. Facilities producing, handling, or storing threshold quantities of listed substances, including chlorine and ammonia, will be required to undertake a risk management program and develop risk management plans available to the public. The program must include a hazard assessment, prevention program, and emergency response program.

In addition to the other air pollutant regulations, section 604 of Title VI mandates restrictions of ozone-depleting chemicals. On December 10, 1993, EPA published a final rule (58 FR 65018) that phases out the production of ozone-depleting chemicals, including Freon 113, dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC-12), and 1,1,1- trichloroethane (methyl chloroform), by January 1, 1996, due to their ozone-depleting potential. The effective date of this rule was January 1, 1994. (See question 49 for the ozone-depleting chemicals added to TRI.)

The EPA's Technology Transfer Network Bulletin Board System (TTN BBS) is an excellent resource for information regarding proposed and promulgated rules pursuant to the 1990 CAAA. The modem number is (919) 541-5742, and it operates at 8,N,1 (8 databits, No parity, 1 stopbit). For more information regarding the TTN BBS, including Internet access, contact the help desk at (919) 541-5384.

Q62 How are the TRI chemicals with large quantities of air emissions regulated?

A Listed below are the 10 chemicals with the greatest total reported air emissions in TRI for 1994, and the authority by which they will be regulated under the Clean Air Act Amendments.

Regulated Provision under
Chemical Clean Air Act Amendment

Methanol Title I and Title III Section 112(b)
Toluene Title I and Title III Section 112(b)
Ammonia Title III Section 112(r)
Xylene Title I and Title III Section 112(b)
Carbon disulfide Title I and Title III Section 112(b)
Methyl ethyl ketone Title I and Title III Section 112(b)
Hydrochloric acid Title III Section 112(b)
Dichloromethane Title III Section 112(b)
Chlorine Title III Section 112(b) and 112(r)
Glycol ethers Title III Section 112(b)
Styrene Title III Section 112(b)
1,1,1-Trichloroethane Title I, Title III Section 112(b), and Title VI
Ethylene Title I
Trichloroethylene Title III Section 112(b)
n-Butyl alcohol Title I

Q63 Why are some of the CAAA's 189 hazardous air pollutants (HAPS) not included in the TRI list of chemicals?

A Nine chemicals listed as HAPs in the CAAA that were not listed on EPCRA section 313 were proposed for addition as part of the Agency's expansion of the TRI chemical list. On November 22, 1994, EPA issued a final rule that added six of those nine chemicals to the TRI list. Facilities regulated under EPCRA section 313 were required to report on the following HAPs for the first time in reporting year 1995:

Dimethyl formamide
Polycyclic Organic Matter (polycyclic aromatic compounds)

The following three HAPs were proposed for listing but deferred and as such are still not listed on EPCRA section 313:

Mineral fibers

The following six HAPs have not been proposed for addition to the TRI chemical list:

Coke Oven Emissions
p,p'-Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) Radionuclides (including radon)

There are various reasons why the remaining hazardous air pollutants have not been proposed for addition to EPCRA section 313. Two examples follow: 1) Coke oven emissions is a process category. It consists of a mixture of various chemicals that are individually listed on EPCRA section 313 or are being proposed for addition to EPCRA section 313, i.e., polycyclic aromatic compounds. EPA believes that, for the purposes of the Toxics Release Inventory, coke oven emissions are more appropriately covered by listing the constituents rather than the process category. 2) Other chemicals such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzop -dioxin are not produced in quantities that will meet or exceed the EPCRA section 313 reporting thresholds. Listing this type of chemical would not result in the submission of TRI reports.

IX. Water Discharges

Q64 What are the water quality impacts and toxicity concerns for the TRI chemicals with the largest surface water releases?

A The six chemicals with the largest releases to surface waters account for 89.5% of all the discharges to surface waters reported to the TRI for 1994. The top six chemicals are:

phosphoric acid
ammonium nitrate (solution)
ammonium sulfate (solution)
zinc compounds

Phosphoric acid affects water quality primarily by introducing phosphates into the water body. Phosphates may cause algae blooms which result in deoxygenation of water and other effects which may lead ultimately to fish kills. Ammonia, ammonium sulfate, and ammonium nitrate primarily affect water quality by introducing ammonia into the water body. EPA has issued water quality criteria for ammonia. EPA also regulates the oxygen demand from ammonia and the nutrient impact of all three ammonia chemicals. Methanol is a semi-volatile chemical that biodegrades readily and is toxic only at moderately high levels. Zinc compounds are toxic to fish and other aquatic life.

EPA continues to examine all chemicals discharged to surface waters to see if their toxicity or the characteristics of the receiving waters require short-term or long-term attention. The environmental impact of these discharges is much more dependent on the toxicity of the chemicals and on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of the receiving waters than simply on the weight of these chemicals.

Q65 The discharge of phosphoric acid to surface waters decreased by over 150 million pounds between 1993 and 1994, almost six times more than any other chemical discharged to water. What accounts for this large decrease in the discharge of phosphoric acid to surface water?

A Previous TRI reports indicated that two IMC-Agrico facilities in Louisiana reported discharges of very large quantities of phosphoric acid (110.7 million pounds in 1988). In December of 1991, the company set a voluntary goal of reducing its discharges by 75% (from 1988 levels) by 1994. The 1994 levels were reported at 13.5 million pounds, a reduction of 88%. A large portion of the decrease in phosphoric acid discharges for 1994 is a result of implementation of the pollution prevention initiative at IMC-Agrico's Uncle Sam and Faustina Plants. These reductions were achieved by preventing rainwater from falling on gypsum stacks (a byproduct of fertilizer production). The stacks were covered with an impervious clay layer and piping was installed to convey any rainwater runoff to the company's water treatment plant. This best management practice prevented large quantities of contaminated stormwater from being generated and released to surface waters.

Q66 How does EPA (or the states) regulate EPCRA section 313 chemicals discharged to water?

A Under section 301 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), the discharge of any pollutant by any person is unlawful unless it is in compliance with the provisions of the Act. The provisions are implemented by EPA and the states through the development of effluent guidelines, the adoption of water quality standards, and the issuance of a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. Pursuant to Congressional directive, these programs have focused on 126 toxic pollutants of greatest concern, known as "priority pollutants." However, regulatory authorities also rely heavily on measurements of whole effluent toxicity as an aggregate measure of toxicity and an indication of the presence of toxic compounds other than the priority pollutants. The list of priority pollutants includes 80 of the TRI chemicals.

States are in the process of adopting water quality standards for those priority pollutants that could reasonably be expected to interfere with water quality. The states and EPA then use standards, together with best available treatment technology guidelines, to set enforceable permit limits on the amounts of these and other toxic pollutants that local governments and industries are allowed to discharge to waters of the United States.

While many of the TRI chemicals with the largest surface water discharges are controlled, a number of the small-volume chemicals with high toxicity levels are not fully regulated. EPA will continue to work with the states to ensure that all appropriate standards and permits are adopted. EPA is also preparing to issue Federal water quality standards if states do not adopt standards as Congress has directed. In addition, states and EPA regulate the overall toxicity of effluents with permit limits that rely upon biological toxicity tests. These limits serve, in part, to control the discharge of those TRI chemicals for which there are no state water quality standards.

Q67 What are EPA's plans to develop water quality criteria for chemicals that are on the EPCRA section 313 list that do not yet have them?

A EPA has published aquatic life and/or human health protective ambient water quality criteria for 134 of the TRI chemicals. There is a current capability to develop four to six aquatic life protective water quality criteria a year. Obviously, at this level of effort, it would take many years to complete criteria for all of the chemicals on the TRI list.

Because criteria and advisory development is a multi-year process, EPA is careful to set priorities before beginning work. First, EPA collects a variety of toxicology and exposure information on chemicals we are considering for criteria or advisories. Then, EPA ranks the pollutants. Finally, the Office of Water meets with other affected offices within EPA to obtain their views before making a final selection of chemicals for criteria and advisory development. TRI data will play a major role in setting these priorities.

Once EPA issues a criteria document for a chemical, the next step is for states to adopt them as water quality standards under state law. Those standards are then used to derive enforceable NPDES permit limits for specific direct discharging facilities.

Q68 What is the process for deciding whether to revise effluent guidelines or to develop new effluent guidelines to reflect the TRI information?

A EPA is required to publish a biennial effluent guidelines plan under section 304(m) of the CWA. The purpose of the plan is to identify those industrial categories for which effluent limitations and standards should be developed or revised. Plans were published in 1990, 1992, and 1994. The 1994 plan did not select any new industries for development because work still continued on industries selected in the 1992 plan. The choice of industries to be regulated is based on a number of factors, including TRI data. The Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances has prepared information on the industrial categories that are responsible for the majority of the discharges of the TRI chemicals. A Task Force is currently advising EPA on how to improve the process for selection of additional industries, and this may lead to a greater reliance on TRI data.

Q69 How will EPA use TRI to implement the Public Water Supply Supervision Program of the Safe Drinking Water Act?

A The Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water will use the TRI data in a variety of ways to identify potential contaminants in specific geographic areas.

In particular, these data could be source data for vulnerability assessments to determine frequency of monitoring by public water systems.

The Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water could review chemicals reported in the TRI database to identify candidates for future maximum contaminant level developments.

The Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water compares hazardous waste injection data with TRI data to identify and match those contaminants released.

Q70 How will EPA use the TRI data to improve the management of the permit program?

A EPA will investigate the feasibility of EPA Headquarters and Regions and the states using TRI data to determine whether permits issued to some or all of these facilities control the release of contaminants listed in TRI reports.

The Office of Wastewater Management (OWM) has used TRI data to begin to identify new undetected significant industrial users discharging to POTWs and to identify illegal unpermitted discharges. The Office of Enforcement and Compliance (OEC) has used data to identify discharges by industrial users to POTWs to determine whether additional NPDES permit limits are needed. OEC, EPA Regional offices, and states will continue to use the data for geographic and national planning, and targeting of activities to high priority areas (i.e., near coastal areas, wetlands) and to target inspections to suspected violators that could lead to permit modification, new or revised limits when the permit is reissued, or an enforcement action.

X. Underground Injection

Q71 What is an underground injection of toxic chemicals?

A Underground injection is the release of toxic chemicals below the surface of the earth. Such releases may be directed to different types of wells. Class I wells are technologically sophisticated wells that inject hazardous and non-hazardous waste into deep subsurface, isolated rock formations that are separated from the lower most underground sources of drinking water by layers of impermeable clay and rock. Generally, the largest number of facilities that practice underground injection inject waste into Class I wells. When constructed and operated in compliance with program requirements, these wells are expressly designed to prevent the movement of disposed and leachate fluids into protected aquifers. Other facilities may be injecting waste into Class V wells, which may be of concern because they may be directly discharging into aquifers protected by the Underground Injection Control program and are a high priority for inspection and enforcement follow-up. EPA bans injection of hazardous waste into or above aquifers used as sources of drinking water.

Q72 How are the TRI data used by the Safe Drinking Water Act's Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program?

A EPA and the implementing states verify the accuracy of TRIreported underground injection operations to determine if these operations are properly authorized and in compliance with the program's requirements.

Q73 Why is there such disparity from state to state in the underground injection data reported to TRI?

A Underground injection is a practice that varies widely across geographical areas of the United States. Underground injection control reporting to TRI will range from little or no data to showing millions of pounds injected annually. This is due to several factors: (1) whether a particular area's geology and hydrology is suitable for injection; (2) industry disposal, injection, and reporting practices; and (3) state laws and regulations governing underground injection control practices.

Where an area is geologically suitable for injection, there is usually a high degree of subsurface disposal activity and generally a high degree of reporting for that area. Conversely, in areas not geologically suitable for injection, there is little subsurface disposal activity and, therefore, there will be little or no reporting for that area. Industrial complexes engaged in subsurface disposal are generally located in geographically suitable locations such as the Gulf Coast, Midwest Region, Midcontinent Region, etc. The states in these geographic regions are where one may expect to find the highest TRI reporting levels. Some states have either banned underground injection or have never implemented an underground injection control program. These states will have little to no TRI reporting for underground injection.

Q74 How could a release of a toxic chemical into an underground injection well affect an area's groundwater resources?

A Underground injection of toxic chemicals may, depending on the type of well and well management practices, pose a threat of contamination to underground sources of drinking water. For this reason, each facility in the TRI database that reports a discharge to an underground injection well is checked to verify that it is permitted for such discharges. If it is not properly authorized, the facility would then be subject to state or EPA enforcement action. If the facility is properly permitted, the operation would be subject to a compliance review on a prescribed schedule.

Q75 Does EPA have any estimation of what percentage of the TRI releases to underground injection wells are going to Class I wells (deep underground injection of industrial or municipal wastes)?

A The current TRI Form R does not differentiate the underground injection releases by well type. Other UIC volume data reported by the states and the Regions indicate that the majority of TRI releases are to Class I industrial (nonhazardous) and Class I hazardous injection wells.

Q76 How are Class I injection wells monitored to ensure against any toxic releases to the environment?

A All permitted Class I wells are rigorously monitored to prevent any loss of fluids injected in the receiving geologic formations. Class I wells must be properly sited and adequately cased and cemented to protect underground sources of drinking water and isolate the injection zone; the well casing, tubing, and annular seal must be tested for mechanical integrity; a test for any fluid movement along the borehole must be run at least every five years; and the operator must identify all wells within a specified distance from the injection well bore to assure that all abandoned wells are properly plugged so that there is no potential for fluid movement by these paths.

Q77 What is the difference between a hazardous and nonhazardous Class I Injection well permit?

A All Class I Injection wells, hazardous and nonhazardous, must have an approved UIC permit to operate in the U.S. The basic difference between the two well permits is the physical, chemical, and biological makeup of the waste to be injected. Both well permits establish the necessary criteria and standards for the safe operation of these wells, in addition to protecting underground sources of drinking water from contamination. Hazardous and nonhazardous Class I injection well permits similarly address siting, construction, operation, reporting, testing, and monitoring requirements. However, the hazardous UIC well permit addresses these requirements more stringently because of the hazardous nature of corrosive and toxic wastes. There is more frequent well testing and monitoring. Additionally, since a 1988 UIC rulemaking, all Class I hazardous waste injection wells disposing a RCRA-banned hazardous waste must either complement the well permit with a rigorous technical demonstration referred to as a "No-migration Demonstration" or treat the waste to Agency-approved safe levels before disposal.

It should be noted that some state UIC programs (Primacy) require the same stringent requirements for the granting of nonhazardous UIC well permits as for hazardous well permits.

Q78 Have any Class I wells released fluids to underground sources of drinking water (USDWs), and, if so, were these wells adequately repaired?

A Instances of contamination of underground sources of drinking water by Class I wells have been rare. EPA and the states have identified only two cases where hazardous injected waste contaminated underground sources of drinking water (USDWs) and one case where a Class I well was suspected of causing contamination. All three cases occurred prior to the implementation of a state or Federal UIC program. EPA also identified eight cases where leakage from Class I hazardous wells entered non-USDW formations. These leaks were minor in nature and immediately adjacent to the well bore. All of these cases were addressed by either repairing the wells or properly plugging and abandoning operations.

Q79 What happens to abandoned operations?

A Prior to abandoning a Class I, II, or III well, the well owner or operator is required to plug the well with cement to prevent the movement of fluids either into or between underground sources of drinking water. The regulations concerning the plugging and abandoning of Class I-III wells can be found at 40 CFR 146.10.

In addition, the owner or operator of a Class I hazardous well must comply with much more stringent closure plan requirements. These owners or operators must submit a detailed closure plan as part of their permit applications and demonstrate financial responsibility (i.e., that they will be able to pay all costs associated with the closing of the well). The regulations concerning the closing of a Class I hazardous well can be found at 40 CFR 146.71.

XI. Solid and Hazardous Waste

Q80 What role do TRI data play in chemical accident prevention?

A TRI data are used to support two activities related to chemical accident prevention:

TRI data are used to identify chemical handling facilities that could benefit from information on chemical process safety for preventing accidental chemical releases.

TRI data are used as one source of background material in learning more about facility activities. For example, these data can assist a team in preparing for a chemical safety audit at a particular chemical-handling facility.

Q81 How can a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) use the TRI data?

A LEPCs can use the TRI data for emergency planning for response to chemical accidents. The LEPCs receive notifications of accidental releases under EPCRA section 304. They can compare the data received under section 304 to the TRI data to help screen the risks posed by manufacturing facilities in their community. They also can review TRI information along with chemical inventory information submitted by facilities under sections 311 and 312 of EPCRA to obtain a "chemical profile" of their community for use in planning for response to chemical accidents.

Q82 Are the TRI chemicals regulated under the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)?

A Of the 343 individually listed TRI chemicals reportable for 1994, 322 are also CERCLA hazardous substances. TRI chemicals that are also CERCLA hazardous substances are subject to all of the requirements of CERCLA, as amended by SARA, such as reporting, liability, and penalties.

Q83 How do the EPCRA section 313 reporting requirements compare to CERCLA reporting requirements?

A There are few similarities between the reporting requirements of EPCRA section 313 and those of CERCLA section 103. Section 313 requires the owner or operator of a facility where a toxic chemical is manufactured, processed, or otherwise used to submit a toxic chemical release form to EPA when the quantity of the toxic chemical exceeds the threshold quantity established by section 313(f) of EPCRA.

The reporting requirements of section 103 of CERCLA require any person in charge of a vessel or facility to report the release of a hazardous substance into the environment, in a quantity equal to or greater than its "reportable quantity," to the National Response Center. The purpose of reporting under CERCLA section 103 is to allow the Federal government to assess each reported release to determine if a response action is warranted.

Q84 How many TRI chemicals are regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)?

A Approximately two-thirds of the 343 individually listed TRI chemicals reportable for 1994 are regulated under RCRA. Forty of the individually listed TRI chemicals are currently used to identify a waste as a characteristic hazardous waste under RCRA. When such chemicals are found in the waste above specified levels, the waste is subject to RCRA regulation. In addition, 153 of the individually listed TRI chemicals are also listed as hazardous wastes when they are unused or discarded in commercial chemical products under RCRA.

Q85 How many facilities are regulated by the RCRA program and what is the overlap with facilities that report for TRI?

A Under Subtitle C, RCRA regulates about 5,000 Treatment, Storage, and Disposal facilities (TSDs). RCRA also regulates more than 200,000 large- and small- quantity generators (LQGs and SQGs) and about 18,000 transporters.

Of the generators that are regulated under Subtitle C of RCRA, approximately 17,000 LQGs report RCRA waste generation and management activities biennially via the National Hazardous Waste Report (biennial report). Approximately 7,000 of the LQGs report to the TRI. These sites and facilities are listed in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Information System (RCRIS) and may be cross-checked with TRI facilities by EPA ID number.

Q86 How are TRI releases of hazardous wastes regulated under RCRA?

A Hazardous wastes must be stored, treated, or disposed of in hazardous waste management units regulated under the RCRA or under authorized state laws. Hazardous waste land disposal units, including landfills, land treatment, surface impoundments, and waste piles, must meet applicable design and operating controls, such as liners and leak detection systems and groundwater monitoring systems to detect releases out of the unit. All facilities that store, treat, or dispose of hazardous wastes are subject to corrective action requirements to clean up hazardous wastes or hazardous constituents that migrate from any waste management unit at the facility.

Q87 Are all land releases reported under TRI regulated under RCRA?

A Some land releases may be accidental releases of chemicals in wastes that are not regulated by RCRA. Most of the land releases reported to TRI fall under one of the following categories: on-site disposal of hazardous wastes which are regulated under RCRA or authorized state hazardous waste programs; and industrial solid waste or waste from mining and mineral processing activities that would be regulated under state solid waste management programs insofar as they do exist. Some mineral processing wastes are regulated as hazardous wastes.

Under EPCRA section 313, facilities that manufactured or processed 25,000 pounds or used 10,000 pounds of a listed chemical must report. Under RCRA, those facilities that generate more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of hazardous waste per month must report.

Q88 Can direct comparisons be made between TRI data and RCRA data for amounts of toxic waste generated, waste minimization, etc.?

A It is difficult to make comparisons for several reasons:

TRI reports individual chemical constituent data; RCRA requires reporting on a total waste stream that represents a substantially larger volume than any single chemical contained in the waste stream. A RCRA hazardous waste stream may or may not contain TRI chemicals.

RCRA distinguishes between regulated and exempt wastes. A particular TRI chemical may occur in a waste that is exempt and need not be reported under RCRA. For example, certain wastewater treatment activities are exempt from RCRA, as are the activities of small-quantity generators who generate less than 100 kg/month of hazardous waste.

Currently, only facilities in SIC codes 20-39 are required to report to TRI; RCRA reporting is not limited by SIC code.

Under RCRA, hazardous waste generators are required to report on existing or planned waste minimization activities at facilities on a biennial basis. The current reporting forms request information on reduction of the volume of waste generated. These data differ from TRI data in that they represent specific RCRA waste streams rather than individual chemical constituents. EPA's Office of Solid Waste is exploring approaches to refine the utility of the waste minimization data collected through the biennial reporting system and to coordinate the results with TRI data.

XII. Exposure and Health Effects

Q89 What amount of toxic chemicals am I exposed to?

A Estimating exposure based on release quantities requires an analysis of chemical- and site-specific characteristics. There is no simple conversion of release quantity to concentration in the environment or dose received by individuals.

Natural environmental processes can transform the chemical (e.g., sunlight decomposes some chemicals); transfer it from one medium to another (e.g., evaporation may transfer some chemicals from water to air); or concentrate it (e.g., bioaccumulation of the chemical in fish). Concentration in the environment can depend on many factors such as the volume of water in the receiving stream into which the chemical is released, dispersion of air releases as a function of local meteorological conditions, the height from which an air release occurs, integrity of landfill liners or other containment of disposed materials, and many other factors. Finally, your exposure to the chemicals will depend on factors such as distance from the release, and the source and treatment of your drinking water supply, etc.

Q90 What are my chances of getting sick when I have been exposed to chemicals?

A The likelihood of becoming sick from chemicals is determined by the length of time you are exposed, the amount of chemical to which you are exposed and as well as the "inherent" toxicity of the chemical. The risk increases as the amount of exposure increases.

Q91 When are higher exposures more likely?

A Accidents can expose the facility's workers and surrounding community to higher concentrations of the chemicals. Other conditions that increase risk of exposure include dust-releasing operations (grinding, mixing, blasting, dumping, etc.), other physical and mechanical processes (heating, pouring, spraying, and evaporation from large surface areas such as open containers), and "confined space" exposures (working inside vats, reactors, boilers, small rooms, etc.). During process start-up and shutdown operations, there also is a greater likelihood of exposure. The closer one is to a release, the greater the potential for exposure.

Q92 Is the risk of getting sick higher for workers in the facilities than for community residents?

A Yes. Exposures in the community, except possibly in cases of fires or spills, are usually much lower than those found in the workplace. However, people in the community may be exposed to contaminated water and chemicals in the air over long periods. Because of this, and because of exposure of sensitive populations, such as children or people who are already ill, community exposures may cause health problems.

Q93 If I have acute (short-term) health effects, will these actually develop into chronic effects?

A Not always. Most chronic (long-term) effects result from repeated exposures to a chemical. Although many acute effects are reversible, some exposures may also cause chronic health effects.

Q94 Can I get long-term effects without ever having short-term effects?

A Yes, because long-term effects can occur from repeated or continuous exposures to a chemical at levels not high enough to make you immediately sick.

Q95 Do all chemicals cause cancer?

A No. Most chemicals tested by scientists do not cause cancer.

Q96 Should I be concerned if a chemical causes cancer in animals?

A Yes. Most scientists agree that a chemical that causes cancer in animals should be treated as a suspected human carcinogen unless proven otherwise.

Q97 Should I be concerned if a chemical is a teratogen (a substance which causes fetal malformations) in animals?

A Yes. Although some chemicals may affect humans differently than they affect animals, damage to animals suggests that same damage can occur in humans.

Q98 But don't they test animals using much higher levels of a chemical than people usually are exposed to?

A Yes. That's so effects can be seen more clearly using fewer animals. But high doses alone don't cause cancer unless the chemical is a cancer agent. In fact, a chemical that causes cancer in animals at high doses could cause cancer in humans exposed to low doses, especially over long periods of time.

Q99 Can men as well as women be affected by chemicals that cause reproductive system damage?

A Yes. Some chemicals reduce potency or fertility in either men or women. Some damage sperm and eggs, possibly leading to birth defects.

Q100 Aren't pregnant women at the greatest risk from reproductive hazards?

A Not necessarily. Pregnant women are at greatest risk from chemicals which harm the developing fetus. However, chemicals may affect the ability to have children, so both men and women of child-bearing age are at higher risk.

Q101 What is the risk to public health resulting from toxic emissions to the air?

A While the TRI data represent a useful means of identifying potential sources of toxic chemicals in the air, these data are not sufficient to accurately determine the magnitude of the public health risk posed by the emissions from a given facility. For example, TRI provides no information concerning the potential exposure to these emissions. These data are most useful to point out the direction for further analyses of public health risk. In addition to identifying new regulatory projects, the data can be used to make priority decisions for the air toxics regulatory agenda.

Q102 Is there any difference between fugitive and stack air emissions when it comes to my health?

A Dispersion of the chemical and its concentration at various distances from the point of release are affected by whether, for example, the chemical is emitted from a tall stack at high temperatures or a pipe fitting near the ground at ambient temperature. Thus, your exposure could vary depending on the manner in which the release occurs. In general, a ground or nearground release, such as through fugitive emissions, will more likely result in a higher exposure and, therefore, a greater possible health hazard for nearby residents than emissions from tall stacks.

Q103 Can my drinking water be contaminated by these toxic chemicals?

A Again, this depends on the amount and concentration released, among other things. Characteristics at the site-- including the relationship of the release to the water supply; geology and hydrology of the soil, both at the surface and below ground; and the distance to where the drinking water intake/well is located--will be determinants of drinking water contamination. Treatment, if any, that the water receives before it is piped to your house will also affect the quality of the water you drink.

Q104 Are the facilities with the largest toxic chemical releases always the most important in terms of public health?

A No. It is not possible to determine risks to public health strictly from knowing the amount of a chemical which is released by a facility over a year. A release total is an important first step in identifying a facility that may pose a public health hazard. Other factors that are necessary to the risk assessment process include specific information on: the environmental medium of the release, chemical toxicity and potency, local meteorological and topographical characteristics, where people live and work (potential population exposure), and when and how releases occur. Because some chemicals are more toxic than others, knowing only the quantity of chemicals released to the environment is not sufficient to determine its importance with respect to risk.

Q105 Is there a risk of getting sick when I have been exposed to a chemical that is released in small quantity?

A It depends upon the inherent ability of the chemical to cause an effect. Chemicals such as cyanide can make you sick even if you are exposed to a small quantity.

Q106 Why should I be concerned about getting ill when I am exposed to pharmaceuticals and pesticides which have been tested for safety?

A Uncontrolled use of such chemicals may pose the likelihood of an individual becoming sick depending upon how long that person is exposed and the amount of exposure. It will also depend upon the inherent toxicity of the chemical.

Q107 How does EPA determine the health and environmental effects of chemicals?

A EPA has developed guidelines to assess these effects. The available information on each chemical is evaluated using these guidelines and a determination is made on a case-by-case-basis. EPA is currently in the process of revising these guidelines. For further information call the EPCRA Hotline, (800) 535-0202.

Q108 Why should I be concerned about chemicals that accumulate at extremely low levels?

A These chemicals are persistent and accumulate in soil, plants, and organisms and, therefore, pose the chance of causing an adverse impact on human health and the environment even when released at low levels. Over a number of years such chemicals can accumulate into larger and larger quantities.

XIII. 33/50 Program

Q109 What is the 33/50 Program?

A The 33/50 Program is an EPA voluntary pollution prevention initiative begun in 1991. It derives its name from its overall goals--an interim goal of a 33% reduction in 1992 and an ultimate goal of a 50% reduction in 1995 in releases and transfers of 17 high-priority toxic chemicals, using 1988 TRI reporting as a baseline. The 33/50 Program emphasized simplicity and flexibility, allowing companies to set their own reduction goals and to achieve them in ways they felt made the most sense for their specific manufacturing operations. The Program represents an innovative experiment aimed at demonstrating whether voluntary programs can augment the Agency's traditional command-and-control approach by achieving targeted reductions more quickly than would regulations alone. The 33/50 Program is part of a broad group of EPA activities designed to encourage pollution prevention as the best means of achieving reductions in toxic chemical releases and transfers.

Q110 How is the 33/50 Program related to the TRI program?

A The 33/50 Program relies on the TRI as its primary tool in measuring progress toward achieving the Program's national goals and in monitoring the progress of individual company participants and their facilities in meeting their own pollution reduction targets. The 33/50 Program compliments the TRI program: while TRI asks industry to monitor and publicly report on the pollution resulting from its manufacturing operations, the 33/50 Program takes the next step by asking--though not requiring--industry to do something about these environmental releases and off-site transfers. EPA has observed that the public accountability fostered by TRI and the Pollution Prevention Act play a vital role in persuading companies to take voluntary actions to prevent pollution. Nonetheless, establishment of the 33/50 Program appears to have accelerated the reduction rate for emissions of the 17 target chemicals.

Q111 What chemicals are included in the 33/50 Program?

A The 17 chemicals and chemical categories targeted for reductions are all listed TRI chemicals: benzene, cadmium and compounds, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, chromium and compounds, cyanide and compounds, dichloromethane, lead and compounds, mercury and compounds, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, nickel and compounds, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and xylenes.

Q112 Has the 33/50 Program met its goals?

A Industry exceeded the 33/50 Program's national interim 33% reduction goal by more than 100 million pounds in 1992. National emissions of Program chemicals were reduced by an additional 94 million pounds in 1993 and 62 million pounds in 1994, bringing total reductions since 1988 to more than 756 million pounds (51%), exceeding the Program's ultimate 50% reduction goal a full year ahead of schedule.

Q113 How have companies reduced their emissions of the 33/50 Program's 17 chemicals?

A EPA encouraged 33/50 Program participants to employ source reduction as the method of first choice in reducing their releases and off-site transfers of Program chemicals. Companies could also undertake recycling, energy recovery, and treatment projects to achieve their 33/50 Program reduction goals. EPA has published twenty-three 33/50 Program Company Profiles that document some of the specific techniques employed by large and small companies alike to reduce their toxics emissions. Another 10 profiles are in development. EPA has also invited all participants to submit their own success stories, to be published and distributed by EPA in the Fall of 1996, highlighting their experiences and the significant environmental accomplishments they achieved voluntarily as members of the 33/50 Program.

Q114 Did the 33/50 Program end at the end of 1995?

A While the 33/50 Program's ultimate 50% reduction goal was targeted for 1995, EPA encouraged companies to set their own reduction goals and not to be constrained by the Program's national time frames. Some 33/50 Program companies have set pollution reduction goals that extend well past 1995. Furthermore, while many company reduction projects may be completed by the end of 1995, EPA must wait for 1995 TRI data to be reported and assembled in 1997 to analyze and report on the full extent of 33/50 Program achievements. Accordingly, EPA's administration of the 33/50 Program did not terminate at the close of the 1995 calendar year.

Q115 What is EPA planning to do as a follow-up to the 33/50 Program?

A EPA solicited input from interested parties throughout 1995 to help determine whether there should be a next generation of the 33/50 Program and, if so, how a next generation voluntary toxics reduction initiative should be designed and administered. Approximately two-thirds of the written comments received favored continuing the 33/50 Program in one form or another.

EPA and its state, industrial, and environmental partners are continuing to deliberate over what kind of program would serve best as a follow-up to the 33/50 Program's successes. EPA will announce plans for a next generation of the 33/50 Program once this open decision-making process has been completed.

Q116 What company recognition activities is EPA planning for 33/50 Program participants throughout the remaining life of the Program?

A All companies that enrolled in the 33/50 Program received Certificates of Appreciation signed by the Administrator, and their names have been listed by EPA in periodic 33/50 Program Progress Reports, at Program conferences and events, and in various EPA communications and other environmental publications. EPA provided special recognition for approximately 300 participants, when the Program exceeded its 1992 national interim goal, for particularly rapid reductions in their releases and transfers of our target chemicals. In its November issue of Chemical Engineering magazine, the McGraw-Hill Corporation saluted eighteen 33/50 Program participants as Environmental Champions for their voluntary efforts to reduce their toxics emissions. The publication included letters of congratulation from both Vice President Al Gore and EPA Administrator Carol Browner.

To celebrate this year's early achievement of the Program's 50% goal, EPA is planning a major national conference to be held in Washington, DC, in September 1996. The conference will bring together decision-makers from industry, government, academia, and public interest groups in a thought provoking, analytical, and action-oriented arena to advance the role of voluntarism and partnership in pursuing the principles of environmental protection and pollution prevention. Companies that have been featured in 33/50 Program Company Profiles and that submit their own "Success Stories" will be invited to publicize their pollution reduction activities throughout the conference.

XIV. Compliance and Enforcement

Q117 How many inspections have EPA's Regional offices conducted in support of the Office of Compliance (OC) EPCRA section 313 program?

A Since October 1988, EPA field offices have conducted 5,058 inspections of facilities subject to EPCRA section 313 reporting requirements.

FY 1988 - 153
FY 1989 - 768
FY 1990 - 701
FY 1991 - 666
FY 1992 - 774
FY 1993 - 839
FY 1994 - 548
FY 1995 - 612

Q118 How many civil complaints have been issued under section 313?

A EPA has issued 1,179 civil complaints (almost all of which were against non-reporters) since October 1988.

FY 1989 - 124
FY 1990 - 206
FY 1991 - 179
FY 1992 - 134
FY 1993 - 219
FY 1994 - 178
FY 1995 - 139

Q119 What is the total amount of proposed penalties levied against EPCRA section 313 violators?

A EPA's Office of Compliance has levied proposed penalties in excess of $70,694,411 in the EPCRA section 313 program from October 1988 to September 1995. In fiscal year 1995 EPA proposed $8,159,791 in civil administrative penalties.

Q120 How many EPCRA section 313 enforcement cases have been settled? What is the total of final administrative penalties assessed?

FY 1989 - 121 ($2,450,561)
FY 1990 - 193 ($4,186,428)
FY 1991 - 160 ($3,038,135)
FY 1992 - 129 ($2,608,651)
FY 1993 - 118 ($2,852,935
FY 1994 - 121 ($3,017,279)
FY 1995 - 69 ($1,032,304)

Q121 What are Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)? How are they beneficial for environmental enforcement cases?

A A Supplemental Environmental Project is an environmentally beneficial project which a defendant voluntarily agrees to undertake as part of the settlement of an environmental enforcement action. The defendant, however, is not otherwise legally required to perform the project. SEPs go beyond compliance and that which is required by law (Federal, state, or local). These projects are aimed at reducing risk to human health and enhancing the condition of the environment.

By considering some percentage of the cost of a SEP as a factor in calculating a penalty, EPA encourages defendants to conduct such beneficial projects which would otherwise not be included as part of the assessed penalty. Further, the percentage of the mitigation is directly linked to the environmental benefits of the Project, which encourages defendants to conduct more environmentally comprehensive projects. Since fiscal year 1991 (when EPA began tracking SEPs), EPA has settled 185 EPCRA section 313 cases containing one or more SEPs.

Q122 What is the EPCRA section 313 compliance and enforcement program doing about data quality?

A Data quality has emerged as a second important focus for the EPCRA section 313 compliance and enforcement programs, both at Headquarters and in the Regions. Now that the section 313 nonreporters compliance and enforcement program has matured, EPA is beginning to concentrate more on the quality of the TRI data submitted to EPA and the states. EPA and its Regions are using a variety of tools, from compliance assistance to issuing cases, in order to ensure compliance with the regulations.

Q123 Without a final regulation in place, how is EPA enforcing the Pollution Prevention Act reporting requirements?

A Submission to EPA and the state of certain source reduction, recycling, and other waste stream management information is required under the PPA. Because the requirement to submit these data is mandated by statute, owners and operators of regulated facilities must comply, regardless of the presence or absence of implementing regulations. However, because EPA has not promulgated definitions and guidance for complying with the PPA, its enforcement is focused on ensuring submission of these data, rather than on the methodology for calculating the data.

Q124 What is the Sector Notebook Project, and how does the project relate to TRI?

A In September 1995, the Office of Compliance published comprehensive profiles (Sector Notebooks) of 18 industrial sectors. The Project was designed to raise awareness of environmental regulations, pollution outputs, industrial processes, pollution prevention and compliance history associated with each profile sector. The reports enhance the ability of stakeholders to assess sector-wide issues on a multimedia basis. TRI data contained within the Sector Notebook provide a detailed breakdown of chemicals released and transferred by each industry and give a relative comparison of pollutant outputs across industrial categories. EPA plans to release several more Sector Notebooks at the end of 1996. Existing notebooks are available electronically on the Internet at the Enviro$ense World Wide Web site ( or via modem Directory 57 of the Enviro$ense bulletin board [modem number: (703) 908-2092]. Hard copies can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents by calling (202) 512-2250. Information on the Sector Notebook Project can be obtained by calling (202) 564-2395.

Source: USEPA 1994 Toxics Release Inventory Public Data Release (EPA 745-R-96-002, June 1996).

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