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I. Industry Expansion

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


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.

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

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