PRE-PUBLICATION COPY SEPTEMBER 26, 1996

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[OPPTS- 400106a; FRL-5387-6)

Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know; Notice of Public Meetings

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

SUMMARY: EPA will hold two public meetings to receive public comment on issues raised by the Agency's advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) on increasing the information available to the public on chemical use.

DATES: The first public meeting will take place in Boston, MA on October 16, 1996 at 10:00 am and will continue through the last registered speaker. The second meeting will take place in Baton Rouge, LA on October 30, 1996 at 10:00 am and will continue through the last registered speaker.

ADDRESSES: The first meeting will be held at the Environmental Protection Agency, Auditorium, One Congress St., Boston, MA 02203 in the 11th floor conference room. The second meeting will be held at the Department of Environmental Quality, room 326, Maynard Ketcham Building, 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA, 70810.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To register to speak, contact Cassandra Vail at 202-260-0675, e-mail: [email protected] For additional information about the meetings, contact Denise Coutlakis at 202-260-5558, e-mail: [email protected] For further information on EPCRA section 313, contact the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Hotline, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Stop 5101, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC 20460. Toll free 1-800-535-0202, in Virginia and Alaska: 703-412-9877 or Toll free TDD: 800-553-7672.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Section 313 of EPCRA requires certain businesses to submit reports each year on the amounts of toxic chemicals their facilities release into the environment or otherwise manage. The information is placed in a publicly accessible database known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The purpose of this requirement is to inform the public, government officials, and industry about the chemical management practices of specified toxic chemicals.

EPA is interested in expanding the information available via TRI to include chemical use information such as materials accounting data. The Agency began reviewing this issue in 1993 and held public meetings in 1994 and 1995. On August 8, 1995,President Clinton directed EPA to develop and implement, on an expedited schedule, a process for consideration of reporting use information under TRI. In response, EPA hasbegun the regulatory development process for additional review of chemical use reporting, which the Agency believes may provide a more detailed and comprehensive picture to the public about environmental performance and about toxic chemicals in their communities. Elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register EPA has provided an ANPR to give notice of EPA's consideration of this issue and to solicit comments on all aspects of chemical use and the collection of chemical use data. The purpose of the public meetings is to provide public forums for interested parties to provide input on the issues raised by the ANPR.

Oral statements will be scheduled on a first-come first serve basis by calling Cassandra Vail at the number listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. EPA encourages meeting participants to provide written statements. All statements will become part of the public record and will be considered in the development of any proposed rule. In order to accommodate and schedule speakers, EPA requests that those interested in speaking register by October 11, 1996.

Dated:

_________________________________

William H. Sanders III, Dr. P.H., P.E.

Director, Office of Pollution Prenvention and Toxics

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