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II. The Federal Facilities Executive Order

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

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.

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

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