U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics Public Meeting on the Expansion of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI): Phase 3 -- Chemical Use Expansion MEETING SUMMARY September 28, 1994 Waterside Tower Apartments Washington, DC
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) is currently reviewing issues related to the possible addition of chemical use inventory (CUI) information to existing information collection requirements under the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) program. As part of this process, OPPT held a public meeting on September 28, 1994, to solicit opinions, ideas, and positions of interested and potentially affected parties. A total of 38 individuals representing industry, environmental group s, government, labor, and academia provided presentations at the meeting. The key themes arising from these presentations included:
- Pollution prevention and source reduction;
- Industrial accountability of toxic chemical use;
- Tracking toxic chemicals consumed in process operations and "product" streams;
- Trade secrets and confidential business information (CBI);
- Labor issues relating to toxic chemicals and occupational health and safety;
- EPA's authority to expand TRI to include CUI information;
- Increased financial/other burdens on industry;
- Usefulness of CUI data;
- Differences between risk data and use data;
- Racial and gender data;
- Federal leadership in promoting pollution prevention;
- Substitutes for toxic chemicals;
- Information management; and
- Access to and public use of information.
Each of these themes are summarized in Section 2.0 of this document. A list of those attending the public meeting is included as Attachment 1.1.0
OPENING REMARKS/EPA STATEMENTS
Susan Hazen, Director, Environmental Assistance Division (EAD)/OPPT, opened the meeting by welcoming the participants, outlining the agenda, and summarizing EPA's activity to date regarding the Phase 3 expansion of TRI (TRI-P 3). Ms. Hazen also introduced EAD staff attending the public meeting, including the meeting facilitator, Hank Topper, as well as Matt Gillen, Priscilla Flattery, Michelle Kinard, Mike McDonell, and John Pratt. She also introduced Ward Penberthy and Dan Bushman of the Economics, Exposure & Technology Division (EETD), who are working with EAD on this project.
1.1 Welcome and Background
In welcoming the participants, Ms. Hazen noted that this public meeting was being held to gain a better understanding of the public's opinion on whether EPA should consider including CUI data as part of the TRI program. In summarizing EPA's recent activities, Ms. Hazen noted that the Agency was currently in the process of expanding the TRI program. The expansion could potentially include three phases.
Phase 1 expands the toxic chemical list used for TRI reporting. Currently, over 360 chemicals and chemical categories are included in the list of toxic chemicals under EPCRA section 313. The Phase 1 expansion would include an additional 313 toxic chemicals and chemical categories which were proposed on January 12, 1994 (59 FR 1788).
The TRI program currently focuses only on manufacturing facilities that perform the majority of their activities under Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes 20 through 39. Concerns have been raised that a significant amount of toxic chemical releases occur from facilities outside of this SIC code range. As a result, the Phase 2 expansion focuses on expanding the types of facilities subject to TRI beyond SIC codes 20-39. Over the past year, EPA has been performing analyses to identify industrial categories with significant chemical use and release activities. These analyses will determine which SIC codes will be included in the Phase 2 expansion and will form the basis of a proposed rule which EPA plans to publish in the spring of 1995. Ms. Hazen also noted that in addition to including new SIC codes, as a result of Executive Order 12856, federal facilities will also participate in the TRI program and will begin submitting Form R reports for RY 1994 (reports due July 1, 1995).
EPA is considering a third phase for the expansion that would include adding data elements to the Form R reports focusing on chemical use information. Mr. Hazen stressed that EPA is in the preliminary stages of analyzing this phase and as a result, EPA does not yet have sufficient information to develop a formal position and one of the purposes of this public meeting was to gain insights on the public's attitude regarding this subject. In particular, EPA hoped to gain insights as to whether the public:
- Considers CUI information useful in terms of right-to- know and pollution prevention issues; and
- Believes that including CUI information would result in exc essive burdens and costs on industry (including costs in terms of competitiven ess (i.e., CBI).
- EPA is interested in gaining insights on whether such information wou ld be useful at a local or national level, or both.
The TRI-P3 expansion is part of a two-track effort at EPA. The other track focuses on Inventory Update Rule (IUR) as part of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The proposed rule to amend TSCA is expected to be published in 1995. EPA is currently considering whether to require facilities to report:
- Every other year instead of every four years;
- Inorganic chemicals (currently exempt);
- EPA identification number to improve linkages between the TSCA inventory and other databases within the Agency; and
- On a calendar year schedule instead of at the discretion of the submitter to choose between calendar year and their fiscal year.
- For both tracks, general goals include:
- Developing a better understanding of the potential for chemical exposures and then screening the chemicals currently in commerce and identifying those of high concern;
- Establishing priorities and goals for EPA's chemical assessment, risk management and prevention programs, and monitoring progress of such programs;
- Identifying potentially safer substitute chemicals for uses of potential concern; and
- Enhancing the effectiveness of chemical risk communications efforts.
Ms. Hazen emphasized the public comment is crucial in assisting EPA understand the issues surrounding the CUI effort. In particular, Ms. Hazen stressed the need for "real world" examples. For instance, scenarios of how requiring CUI information has affected industry financially or in terms of revealing CBI as a result of state programs would greatly benefit EPA in understanding the costs and benefits of this expansion. Likewise, EPA is interested in learning how stakeholders would use CUI data, what formats would be the most useful, and how should data collection and dissemination efforts be focused (e.g., at the facility, local, state, regional, or national level).
1.2 EPA Issue Paper
Matt Gillen, EAD/OPPT, provided a summary of the Issues Paper distributed to the meeting participants designed to solicit ideas and opinion regarding the CUI expansion. Mr. Gillen stressed that the document is an issue and not a position paper and EPA has yet to establish a formal position on this matter. The goal of the paper is to highlight some of the concerns EPA has identified to date; however, Mr. Gillen noted that significant input is still needed prior to EPA forming a formal position. One of the main goals of this public meeting is to develop a better understanding of the issues raised in the document; however, Mr. Gillen stressed that the Issues Paper is not exhaustive. EPA hoped that the participants would assist the Agency in identifying other relevant issues or concerns.
Mr. Gillen noted that the Issues Paper provides background on why EPA is exploring the CUI issue. OPPT has observed that there is significant interest in the environmental and environmental justice community regarding materials accounting (MA) data. MA consists of determining the quantity of a chemical at key junctures in its progression through a production facility. The Issues Paper stressed that certain stakeholders, including labor unions, have a strong interest in EPA collecting MA data for occupational health and safety concerns. EPA would like to gain better understanding of public reaction to other data elements presented in the Issues Paper, including occupational demographics data. EPA is also interested in examples of how these new data elements would be used by stakeholders in order to gauge the expected benefits and costs of collecting such data. Like Ms. Hazen, Mr. Gillen emphasized the need for specific examples to illustrate these issues. The Issues Paper is included as Attachment 2 of this document.
1.3 Comments of Mark Greenwood, Director, OPPT
Mark Greenwood, Director, OPPT, provided comments to the audience on EPA's activities regarding the TRI-P3 expansion. He noted that there is strong public interest in the expansion and that many complex issues have surfaced and others would likely surface as EPA's efforts progress. Mr. Greenwood stressed that more information on use and exposure data is needed and EPA is focusing on a "legitimate process to identify, collect, and distribute use and exposure data." One of EPA's primary goals was to develop the TRI-P3 expansion based on consensus of all interested and affected parties.
Mr. Greenwood reported that he wanted to share the perspectives that he has been hearing on this issue, so that different groups might understand where other groups were coming from. For environmental groups, he described some of the industry concerns about materials accounting. Industry is concerned over additional financial costs and the loss of CBI that could occur from MA reporting. In addition, they are doubtful that this data will be understood by the public, and will thus not be used much. Mr. Greenwood also relayed industry concerns that the data might be misused, not out of bad motives, but because there are so many technical differences between facilities that it may no t be legitimate to make comparisons. He urged the public interest community to think broadly about the concepts of use and exposure so that discussion cou d consider alternative types of information that might be just as useful with less opposition.
Mr. Greenwood emphasized that OPPT was focusing on three broad questions in developing the expansion effort:
- What can this new type of data reveal that would be useful to stakeholders (and also what such data cannot provide)?
- How is MA data relevant to citizen efforts to promote envi ronmental and human health and safety?
- Who is going to use the data and how?
Mr. Greenwood then turned to relay messages and suggestions for industry to think about. He stated that now is the time to engage others on what is the appropriate type of data to assemble in this area. While some in industry may wish that the issue would go away, Mr. Greenwood predicted that this issue is part of an inevitable debate to define the outer edges of the Right to Know. He indicated that Right to Know is a very powerful policy direction that will be part of industry's world for a long time. This is due to a general trend where people want more information in every aspect of their life. He stressed that to a certain extent, the public has "lost faith" in government being able to perform effectively. As a result, there is an increased awareness within government of the importance of customer service and being responsive to the needs of citizens. Mr. Greenwood noted that "self help remedies" are needed to resolve problems. Providing information to the public is, therefore, one of the most significant public services the government can provide. Mr. Greenwood stressed that EPA believes that TRI is an important program that can enable industry, the government, and the public to identify and resolve problems associated with toxic chemicals.
He also stressed that although significant costs are associated with the TRI program, it remains one of the most cost- effective programs managed by EPA. In terms of government programs in supporting the needs of U.S. citizens, TRI provides a valuable costumer service at a reasonable cost.
Mr. Greenwood emphasized that the expansion should focus on a risk-based approach and that one of the goals should be to develop measures for promoting pollution prevention. He emphasized that for the expansion to be effective, EPA needs clear data on the costs and burdens the expansion would place on industry and, in this regard, industry should strive to separate reality from theory. For example, Mr. Greenwood noted that industry has already stressed that the TRI-P3 expansion could compromise CBI. This could result in U.S. companies losing their competitive edge against both domestic and international competition. However, preliminary reviews of state programs requiring MA repor ting (such as programs in New Jersey and Massachusetts) have indicated that few facilities claim data as CBI.
In summarizing EPA's role, Mr. Greenwood stressed that the Agency should be viewed as a broker to identify the concerns of all of the stakeholders and determine areas of consensus. He stressed that EPA views TRI as an important program and is extremely serious about the TRI-P3 expansion effort. He noted that EPA is focusing on identifying the most useful information that can provide a better understanding of the risks associated with toxic chemical usage, emphasizing that identifying the conditions of use is relevant to identifying exposure risks. He also emphasized that CUI data is a measure of a companies ability to promote pollution prevention efforts. EPA is also concerned with CUI because risks are associated with uses that are not currently being captured because the focus of TRI is on releases.
In conclusion, Mr. Greenwood stressed that EPA is in the process of addressing the issue of its legal authority to expand TRI to include CUI data. He also noted that EPA is currently researching ways to link data collection efforts across the Agency and, as part of this effort, the Agency is searching for ways to reduce the reporting burden on facilities by linking different reporting requirements.
2.0 SUMMARY OF KEY THEMES RAISED BY PUBLIC SPEAKERS
A total of 40 individuals requested to speak at the meeting. Of thes e, 38 individuals provided presentations during the meeting. The issues raised by these individuals are summarized below. The transcript of the meeting is available as a seperate document.
Virtually all of the individuals providing presentations emphasized that EPA's goals for TRI expansion should focus on efforts to promote pollution prevention and source reduction activities. Information should be collected and disseminated in a manner that would enable stakeholders to identify pollution prevention opportunities. Many participants believed that collecting CUI information was essential to accomplish this objective. For example, Hillel Gray, National Environmental Law Center, noted that the current TRI program does not provide sufficient data to enable stakeholders to take a "precautionary and preventive approach" to pollution prevention because release data focuses on end-points and not sources. While Wilma Subra, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, noted that TRI data has allowed stakeholders in Louisiana to better understand how chemicals were being released in the state and empowered stakeholders to discuss pollution prevention measures with significant polluters, she also stressed that release information does not provide a comprehensive picture and does not account for all toxic chemical usage. Changes in processes might lead to changes in releases but not in use. If products still contain toxic chemicals, then the potential remains that releases can occur in future downstream uses. If MA data was also included in TRI reporting requirements , communities would have a better understanding of what actually happens to chemicals through their entire life-cycle. Raising the awareness of the chemical life-cycle could promote efforts to reduce the use of toxic chemicals, through, for example, the use of safer substitutes.
Paula Forbis, Environmental Health Coalition, San Diego, also emphasized that TRI data has been extremely useful in her organization's efforts to p rovide information to communities surrounding significant toxic chemical users which has eventually lead to pressure being placed on these users to take pollution prevention measures. However, like other participants, she noted that in focusing on releases instead of uses, citizens do not have a complete pictu re of the chemicals present in their communities. With access to CUI, communities could encourage facilities to take additional pollution prevention and source reduction measures.
Many participants stressed that access to CUI information is a fundam ental right-to-know issue because access to such data will assist stakeholders in holding facilities accountable to claims of source reduction and other pollution prevention activities. Many participants, including Mr. Gray, noted that it is too easy under the current reporting structure for facilities to mask toxic chemical use. Changes in production might result in lower releases occurring, but might not necessarily change chemical use practices. In having CU I available, stakeholders would better understand how facilities are using chemicals and where the chemicals eventually end up. For example, toxic chemicals used in aerosol products would not necessarily be reported under current TRI reporting requirements; however, these products are eventually released into the environment.
Lisa Doerr, Minnesota Citizens for a Better Environment (CBE), stressed the importance of having facilities be accountable for their chemical usage. She noted that TRI provides a tremendous tool for stakeholders to promote accountability. As an example, she displayed a CBE publication entitled Know Your Local Polluter which summarizes the facilities with the most significant releases in Minnesota. Like Ms. Gray, Ms. Doerr emphasized that efforts like the CBE publication promote facilities to be accountable to the communities in which they are located and CUI information would further accentuate accountability of facilities to reduce toxic chemical usage because stakeholders and communities would have more accurate information on toxic chemicals usage and final disposition.
In another presentation, David Monsma, Environmental Action, stressed that requiring MA reporting is consistent with the community right to know aspects of EPCRA. In being accountable for their toxic chemical usage, facilities would gain public confidence.
Paul Orum, Working Group on Community Right to Know, provided an example of how use data ensured accountability. A shoe manufacturer used mercury in their products. Once this information was made available to the public, bad publicity could have resulted in reduced sales and a poor public image. In order to prevent this occurrence, the company found a safe substitute for mercury. Mr. Orum also noted that CUI reporting would also promote accountability because it would provide workers with better information and assist in identifying any changes in the quantity and percentage of toxic chemicals in products.
Mike Leedie, West County Toxics Coalition, stressed that CUI information is extremely important in ensuring that facilities are accountable for the ir pollution prevention claims. For example, CUI data could clarify why a pesticide production plant in California was claiming to be reducing the quantity of toxic chemicals released at the facility while, at the same time, applying and receiving EPA authorization to incinerate the same listed toxic chemicals. CUI information would allow communities to understand this potential discrepancy and would allow EPA to better understand activities at facilities.
Currently, TRI focuses on reporting toxic chemicals released into waste streams, but does not account for toxic chemicals consumed in process operations or incorporated into products. Many participants noted that a significant amount of the toxic chemicals eventually entering the environment come from products and not waste streams. For example, Mr. Gray, Jim Cummings-Saxton, Industrial Economics, John Chelen, Unison Institute, Jeanne Herb and Michael Aucott, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (DEPE), and others, all provided examples of how end-point releases account for a small portion of the total quantity of toxic chemicals used. Significant quantities of these toxic chemicals eventually end up in the environment as a result of other pathways besides waste streams and can impact human health. These individuals stressed that including CUI will assist pollution prevention efforts by providing more complete and potentially more accurate information on how chemicals are used and in determining what happens to them (e.g., contained in products or consumed in process). Many presenters also stressed CUI data will assist in developing a better understanding of the life-cycle of toxic chemicals and enable interested parties to gain a better understanding of long-term effects of chemicals. For example, Charles Griffith, Michigan Environmental Council, emphasized that CUI could assist in identifying chronic effects of toxic chemicals used in products. It was emphasized that negative chronic effects of toxic chemicals on communities can as easily be the result of chemicals in products as chemicals released by facilities. Minnesota State Senator Steve Morris also emphasized the importance and potential benefits of tracking CUI in order to gain better insights of how toxic chemicals in products affect the public.
Industry representatives were strongly concerned that inclusion of CUI data in the TRI program could result in domestic and foreign competition obtaining access to CBI and thus reducing the competitiveness of U.S. firms. For example, John Cabasio, Chemical Specialty Manufacturing Association (CSMA), emphasized that including CUI would potentially reveal research programs and could compromise a companies ability to introduce new products in a fair and competitive market. For example, a facility could identify new products being developed by a certain company as a result of chemical information being made available and then developing and introducing the product before the original company is able to do so. Likewise, Sharon Eisel, representing the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA), emphasized that a significant segment of the industry engages in efforts to extract CBI from other companies and that government programs should not provide additional information to parties engaged in industrial espionage. Patricia Franco, Electronic Industries Association (EIA), also raised concerns over the potential disclosure of CBI as a result of the TRI-P3 expansion.
Other speakers noted, however, that state programs currently requiring CUI reporting have demonstrated that few facilities actually request information to be held as CBI and little to no evidence exists to indicate that CBI information has been compromised as a result of these state programs. For example, Ms. Herb, New Jersey DEPE, noted that less than one percent of facilities submitting reports to the state program request claims for CBI. Industry representatives countered that part of the reason for this low number for requests is that the New Jersey requirements for CBI claims are so stringent that it is very difficult for a claim to be accepted.
Several participants noted that TRI is a useful tool to assess occupational safety and health and that CUI data can be instrumental in identifying potential risks to labor as a result of potential and actual exposure to toxic chemicals. For example, Rex Tingle, AFL-CIO, strongly endorsed expanding TRI to include CUI because such information would be useful to labor organizations in assessing the safety of the facilities in which members work. Mr. Tingle recommended that EPA consider the following data elements regarding TRI-P3 ex pansion:
- Average number of workers over a year;
- Total number of workers potentially exposed;
- Production/process data;
- Intermediate chemicals data;
- (Process) Monitoring results;
- Remediation activities; and
- Number and quantities of spills and releases.
Both Mr. Tingle and Mr. Orum stressed the importance of including both employees and contractors when accounting for individuals potentially exposed to toxic chemicals because of the increasing trend of corporations to downsize regular staff and contract out support services. Mr. Tingle pointed out that although the employee base might be reduced at facilities, in many instances, the work must still be performed and the individuals performing the work may be potentially affected by the use of toxic chemicals in process operations.
Mike Leedie, West County Toxics Coalition, also stressed the importance of being able to track inputs and outputs of toxic chemicals used in process operations, noting that what is left over and is not reported in releases may be in creasing occupational health and safety exposure risks.
Suzana Almanza, Electronic Industry Good Neighbor Campaign, stressed that demographic information is especially important in providing useful information to minorities and woman because these individuals are often performing work in which exposure risks are high. Demographic data would assist efforts in analyzing risks to this sector of the population and provide tools in promoting and improving occupational health and safety.
Connie Tucker, Southern Organizing Committee for Economic and Social Justice, also stressed that including both CUI and demographic reporting requirements in the TRI program would assist in developing a better understanding of chronic occupational health risks resulting from exposure to toxic chemicals in the work place.
Ms. Supra also stressed that workers exposed to toxic chemicals also place their families and communities at potential risk because the potential exists for these workers to carry chemicals (residue on clothing, skin, etc.) off-site. Access to CUI will enable facilities and communities to identify routes of exposure and, therefore, will assist communities identify and take preventive measures to mitigate risks.
Many respondents also questioned the need for occupational data, noting that this type of information is collected under OSHA regulations and programs. Some individuals raised the issue of whether EPA has the authority to require facility to report occupational health and safety data under EPCRA. For example, Wayne Rausch, representing the American Petroleum Institute (API), noted that reporting demographic and occupational data would increase the financial burden on facilities and would only provide information already available through other reporting programs, such as those required by OSHA. Mr. Tingle responded to this comment by stressing that many workers do not understand how to obtain information and TRI provides the opportunity to consolidate reporting requirements and provide easier access to data.
Several participants questioned whether EPA had the authority to expand the TRI program to include CUI and demographic information. For example, Mr. Rausch, API, Mr. Cabasio, CSMA, and Ms. Franco, EIA, all requested EPA to provide a written clarification which explaining EPA's statutory authority to request CUI data under EPCRA. As noted earlier, Mr. Greenwood, Director, OPPT, stated that EPA is currently reviewing this issue.
Other presenters emphasized that EPA has the authority to request CBI data through TRI and stressed that CUI is a fundamental community right to know issue. For example, Mr. Monsma stated that requesting MA data was consistent with EPCRA sections 313(g) and 313(h) and that not providing MA was, in fact, inconsistent with the language and intent of EPCRA. At issue is whether the term "release," as referred to in these subsections, focuses solely on releases from facility waste streams or from any point as a result of a facility using a listed toxic chemical (e.g., eventual releases from products).
All of the representatives from industry stressed their concerns that the TRI-P3 expansion would require a significant additional level of effort which would result in added financial and other burdens on facilities, particularly on small businesses. This, in turn, would erode the competitiveness of companies. It should also be noted that these representatives also agreed that EPA should be focusing on toxic chemical risks, but were uncertain if CUI data was the best source of information. Mr. Cabasio, CSMA, also raised the issue of whether EPA could handle the additional burden of managing the influx of information, especially in an environment of budget reductions. If EPA is unable to effectively manage the increased volume of data, then the information EPA provides to the public would not be useful.
Ms. Herb, New Jersey DEPE, noted that an analysis of the time required to complete the New Jersey state reporting program, indicated that facilities must spend approximately a little over seven hours to complete the state reporting forms. Ms. Eisel, CMA, questioned whether the additional effort facilities would be required to make would be offset by the benefits of having CUI/MA data available, emphasizing the real issue is not one of use but of exposure. She emphasized that CUI information does not necessarily correlate to exposure information and EPA needs to develop a better understanding of what it is asking before reaching any final decisions.
Virtually all of the presenters provided opinions as to why (or why not) CUI data would be useful. For example, Paul Burns, MASSPIRG, emphasized that CUI data could be used to better understand toxic chemical life-cycles, worker exposures, and risks to the public as a result of toxic chemicals in products. Likewise, Jennifer Wright, Oregon PIRG, noted that CUI data could be used as a tool to promote pollution prevention efforts, as a way to hold industrial users of toxic chemicals accountable, and as a device to develop better, more responsive programs to protect public health and safety, especially for minorities working in or living near facilities using toxic chemicals. In essence, Ms. Wright emphasized that CUI data will assist stakeholders in "breaking dependency on toxic chemicals."
Certain presenters did not agree that use equated exposure. For example, Ms. Eisel, CMA, noted that a facility using large quantities of toxic chemicals that practiced safe management and operational practices posed less of a health risk than a facility that used less toxic chemicals but practiced poor operational techniques or used faulty equipment, and as a result, released proportionately more toxic chemicals. CUI data would not necessarily provide the public sufficient information to distinguish between these two facilities. As a result, the facility using safe operations could be penalized (through bad public image, etc.) because TRI data only emphasizes volume and not risks or exposure.
Kevin Mills, Environmental Defense Fund, was one of many presenters that noted that CUI data would be useful at both the local and national level. He suggested that having CUI data available to consumers could help them better choose the products they are willing to purchase. For example, CUI data could assist in potentially identifying the level of chlorine used in manufacturing paper products. With CUI data available, individuals could identify facilities or corporations that use less chlorine and make purchasing decisions based on this knowledge. Such information could then, potentially, fuel corporate decisions on how to market products. Facilities using large quantities of chlorine may decide, in order to remain competitive, that new processes need to be used to reduce chlorine use. As mentioned earlier, a shoe manufacturer eliminated the use of mercury in the manufacturing of shoes because of increased public awareness. These examples illustrate the potential CUI has for promoting pollution prevention initiatives as a result of competitive practices and increased public awareness.
Concerns were raised that EPA might confuse use with exposure. For example, in noting that CMA strongly encourages EPA to continue efforts in identifying and developing programs to reduce the risks resulting from toxic chemical exposure, Ms. Eisel stressed that the majority of risks associated with exposure result from releases and that too many variables exist to make blanket assumptions linking exposure risks to use. She stressed that EPA should not confuse chemical use reduction with chemical risk reduction, the latter being the issue EPA should be addressing. She noted that facilities would potentially have to incur additional costs to adequately demonstrate that large use data does not necessarily equate to higher risks, especially if the facility uses proper handling and operational practices and is cognizant of employee and community safety. Other industry representatives, such as Mr. Rausch, API, and Ms. Franco, EIA, also raised concerns regarding the potential misconceptions between use and exposure.
Other presenters perceptions differed. For example, Suzi Ruhl, Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation (LEAF), emphasized that use data is important to gaining a better understanding to exposure risks, especially when considering chronic exposure risks, or risks associated with toxic chemicals incorporated into products. Likewise, Dan Pontious, Maryland PIRG, stated that use does equate to exposure and that without regulations or programs that provide information to the public, industry will not adequately take the lead in reducing the use and risks of toxic chemicals.
Some presenters emphasized that the TRI-P3 expansion was necessary in order to gain a better understanding of the impact of toxic chemical use on women and minorities. Mr. Tingle, AFL-CIO, Pam Tau Lee, Labor Occupational Health Program, University of California at Berkeley, and Ms. Almanza, Electronic Industry Good Neighbor Campaign, all emphasized that a disproportionate number of facilities using toxic chemicals are located in communities with high percentages of minority residents. Likewise, a significant number of the laborer s handling toxic chemicals in the workplace are minorities and women. Consideration needs to be given to ensure that these citizens have access to information that will enable them to better understand the risks they face in the work place and in their communities. They emphasized that research is lacking to identify why certain minority segments of the populations have higher work-related illnesses and data is needed to perform this necessary research. Including CUI data as part of the TRI program would enhance research efforts and enable minority groups to obtain useful information about their health and the health of their communities.
Many of the presenters emphasized that EPA needs to take the initiative in establishing pollution prevention goals and that including CUI/MA data as part of TRI would greatly assist stakeholders better define priorities and gain insights on how chemicals are used at facilities. Three general issues surfaced during the course of the presentations. These included:
- EPA needs to provide leadership because some states are not willing or able to focus on the issue;
- Inconsistent state programs do not ensure community right to know information is available -- all U.S. citizens should have access to exposure risks; and
- National pollution prevention programs are necessary to reduce exposure risks.
Ms. Ruhl, LEAF, emphasized that citizens in states that do not have CUI data do not have the same access to information and will be unable to gain sufficient understanding of the potential risks associated with toxic chemical use unless a federal program tracks this data. Paul Burns, MASSPIRG, noted that general public and consumer exposures are a national concern. For example, products containing toxic chemicals could be sold in numerous states. Without a national program tracking chemical use, the potential exists that certain segments of the population would not have access to information on toxic chemicals found in the products they use. Mr. Griffith, Michigan Environmental Council, noted that currently Michigan residents are at a disadvantage as compared to citizens of Massachusetts and New Jersey because Michigan does not have a program to track chemical usage. Guy Williams, National Wildlife Federation, stressed that CUI tracking is important to establish national-level pollution prevention goals, strategies, and programs. Finally, some presenters noted that in establishing Federal leadership, EPA would be encouraging state governments to enact similar programs.
Some presenters noted that capturing CUI/MA data would enhance the ability of stakeholders to identify safer substitutes for toxic chemicals. For example, if the public was aware that toxic chemicals were in products they were purchasing and they understood the risks posed by exposure to those chemicals, then public pressure could result in companies changing product components to safer substitutes. Some presenters, like Elizabeth Collaton, Northeast- Midwest Institute, suggested that EPA should include a data element so facilities could report the use of safer substitutes. This would serve both as a check on whether the facility is actually reducing the use of a toxic chemical and also as a source of information to other users of that toxic chemical of a safer substitute. However, other participants raised the concern that EPA did not have the authority to request information on substitute chemicals if those chemicals were not on the TRI list of toxic chemicals.
In expanding the TRI program, EPA has the opportunity to develop a more uniform approach to managing data. Many participants stressed that EPA should be identifying ways to combine reporting requirements. The Agency would then be able to focus on multi-media approaches to pollution prevention. For example, Carolyn Hartmann, U.S. PIRG, emphasized that in including CUI, EPA will be able to more effectively manage information which will enable the Agency to take a multi-media approach to analyzing the causes and effects of pollution as well as develop better pollution prevention programs.
Other presenters stressed that it is important that EPA is able to manage the information facilities report and that the Agency should be wary of reporting requirements that work at cross purposes. For example, EPA should be able to use TRI data to inquire why a facility that is claiming to be signifi cantly reducing the release and use of toxic chemicals requests EPA to authorize an incinerator at the facility.
Currently, TRI data does not provide a comprehensive picture of toxic chemical activity at a facility and EPA outreach programs should emphasize the limitations of the data currently being reported. Many of the presenters emphasized that including CUI data would provide a more comprehensive picture of the uses of toxic chemicals and will enable stakeholders to more effectively use the information to improve public health and safety. For example, Ms. Supra, LEAN, emphasized that occupational data and data on toxic chemicals in products assists labor, industry, and the general public better understand potential exposure risks. Ms. Lee and Ms. Almanza also emphasized that the inclusion of occupational data would greatly enhance the ability to better understand the potential risks faced by women and minorities who face exposure risks in the workplace and in communities near facilities using toxic chemicals.
Some presenters emphasized that a better understanding is needed on exactly who is using TRI data. Many participants noted that TRI data can be misleading. Ed Hopkins, Citizen Action, noted that many in industry believe that TRI data is often used out of context by citizen action and environmental groups. As a result, certain industrial organizations are developing mistrust in how EPA is managing and releasing the data.
Finally, presenters emphasized that EPA needs to implement outreach activities to explain the information that is and is not available. Ms. Herb, NJ DEPE, emphasized that the state of New Jersey had to spend a significant amount of effort performing outreach to ensure that facilities provided accurate data. Mr. Griffith, Michigan Environmental Council, emphasized that it is important to ensure that the data can be verified and explained. By expanding TRI to include CUI data, the numbers provided by industry and managed by the Agency will be easier for stakeholders to verify.
3.0 CONCLUDING COMMENT
Ms. Hazen concluded the meeting by thanking all of the presenters for their input and stressing that their comments were extremely useful and will be taken seriously by EPA. She emphasized that EPA has not developed a formal position nor a specific schedule for expanding TRI to include CUI data and that issues are still being identified. She noted that it is important that EPA considers and understands the positions of all interested and effected parties and, re-emphasizing the point made by Mr. Greenwood, EPA wants to build on consensus. She stressed that EPA strongly encourages all of the individuals and groups represented in the meeting to stay involved in the process and encouraged those in attendance to provide additional information to EPA. She encouraged the participants to assist EPA in identifying additional information and in determining what options are available to obtain CUI data from facilities. EPA is particularly interested in case studies and "real world" examples to illustrate the positions held by participants. Finally, Ms. Hazen stressed that EPA finds that the informal dialogue at public meetings is extremely valuable and that EPA will continue to request support, through additional public meetings and other channels, from the participants.
TRI Phase 3 Public Meeting
Meeting Attendees, September 28, 1994
Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics
Dan Bushman, OPPT/EAD
Thelma Codina, EPA, Region 5
Priscilla Flattery, OPPT/EAD
Lisa Flemming, OPPT/IMD
Matt Gillen, OPPT/EAD
Mark Greenwood, Director, OPPT
Susan Hazen, Director, OPPT/EAD
Michelle Kinard, OPPT/EAD
Elaine Koerner, EPA
John Pratt, OPPT/EAD
Doretta Reaves, EPA
Sam Sasnett, Director, OPPT/TRIB
Gwen Shepard, OPPT, IMD
Anning Smith, OPPT/TRIB
Sharon Stahl, OPPT, IO
B. Thayl, EPA Region 5
Hank Topper, Meeting Facilitator, EAD
Chen H. Wen, EPA
Jim Willis, OPPT, EAD
Public Speakers Suzana Almanza, Electronic Industry Good Neighbor Campaign
Michael Aucott, New Jersey DEPE, Office of Pollution Prevention
Paul Burns, MASSPIRG
John Cabasio, Chemical Specialty Manufacturing Association
John Chelen, Unison Institute
Elizabeth Collaton, Northeast-Midwest Institute
Jim Cummings-Saxton, Industrial Economics
Lisa Doerr, Citizens for a Better Environment
Sharon Eisel, Dow Chemical/Chemical Manufacturers Association
Curtis Fisher, NJPIRG
Paula Forbis, Environmental Health Coalition
Patricia Franco, Electronic Industries Association
Hillel Gray, National Environmental Law Center
Paula Forbis, Environmental Health Coalition
Charles Griffith, Michigan Environmental Council
Carolyn Hartmann, U.S. PIRG
Jeanne Herb, New Jersey DEPE, Office of Pollution Prevention
Ed Hopkins, Citizen Action
Eric Howard, World Wildlife Fund
Raymon Jones, Environmental Careers Organization
Mike Leedie, West County Toxics Coalition
Kevin Mills, Environmental Defense Fund
David Monsma, Environmental Action
Senator Steven Morse, State of Minnesota
Paul Orum, Working Group on Community Right to Know
Cynthia Peterson, League of Woman Voters of Colorado/Pollution Prevention Partnership
Dan Pontious, Maryland PIRG
Tom Powers, Florida PIRG
Wayne Rausch, American Petroleum Institute
Suzi Ruhl, Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation
Jackie Savitz, Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Ted Smith, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
Wilma Subra, Louisiana Environmental Action Network
Pam Tau Lee, Labor Occupational Health Program, UC Berkeley
Rex Tingle, AFL-CIO
Connie, Tucker, Southern Organizing Committee for Economic and Social Justice
Guy Williams, National Wildlife Federation
Jennifer Wright, Oregon PIRG
Others in Attendance
Stan Abramson, King and Spalding
Georjean Adams, 3M Company
David Arthur, JSC, Incorporated
Kevin Bromberg, TRI Coalition
Mark Browbacher, Orckema and Cumeo
Robert D. Bullard, CAU
K. Chmura, Procter and Gamble
Ed Cho, Sidley and Austin
Stephanie Clough, Office of U.S. Senator Reid
Aaron Cobb, IBM
Claudette Cofta, Chemical Manufacturers Association
Laura Coleman, Reynolds Metals Corporation
Susan Conti, Chemical Manufacturers Association
Ray Coss, Dow Corning
Sue Darcey, Pesticides and Toxic Chemical News
Ken Darmer, Shell Oil Company
Steve Davies, Hazmat News
Norbert Dee, National Petroleum Refiners Association
Tony DiBattista, Ciba-Geigy Corporation
John DiFazio, CMSA
Larry Elder, AT&T
Dwight Emereson, Analytical Services, Incorporated
Elin Eysenbach, Proctor and Gamble
Joan Fassinger, General Motors
Brigid Klein, CSMA
Jennifer Flynt, Steel Service Center Institute
Eran Gasko, Gardner, Carter, and Douglas Mark Grimes
Derek Guest, Eastman Kodak
Andrea Hall, Thompson Publishing Group
Gene Harrington, NCPA
Shelly Hearne, Pew Charitable Trusts
Edward L. Jaffee, Jaffee Government Affairs
Rick Jarman, NFPA
Karl Johnson, The Fentizer Institute
Bob Kettle, Texaco
John S, Krodalski, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Connie Kurtz, U.S. Department of the Interior
Ilmar Lusis, Lockheed Corporation
Carole Macko, Bureau of National Affairs
Sara McCoy, Brian Cave
Sonie McDavid, NCPA
Walter McLeod, American Petroleum Institute
Jay Meeks, Beveridge and Diamond
Warren Muir, Hampshire Research
Kirsten Olean, Chemical Manufacturers Association
E. Pangblurn, Latham and Watkins
Ros Palin, CSMA
Don Perander, AK Steel
Patty Pollitzer, Office of U.S. Senator Reid
Jane Powers, U.S. Department of Energy
Mithcell Press, DuPont
Rich Puchalsky, Unison Institute
Tom Purcell, Painting Industries of america
Rick Reibstein, Massachusetts OTA
Steve Rice, National Paint and COating Association
Timothy E. Rumon, Westinghouse Electric Corporation
Cheryl Russel, Boeing Corporation
Amit Sachdev, Chemical Manufacturers Asociation
Greg Schames, AMSA
Scott Schang, Cleary, Gottlieb Ellen Shapiro, AAMA
Bill Smock, SEHSC
Susan Snider, American Forest and Paper Association
Ann Southwick, VNF
Paul Terry, Wintrop Stinson
Ken Traub, Booz-Allen and Hamilton
Belinda Towsed, Boeing Corporation
Connie Tucker, SVE
Tom Tyler, ISRI
Mary Van Cleve, Verner Lipfet S. Vetrano, Clorox
Valerie Vehelta, American Petroleum Institute
D. Wagner, Koch Industries
John Wagner, American Petroleum Institute
Linda Wenlewski, Grace Warren Weinstein NP2R
Terry Wells, ZENECA
Eve Welson, Lockheed Corporation
Leslie Winik, Chemical Manufacturers Association
Nigel Maynard, Inside Washington
Alan Rautio, SBLMC
Karil Kochenderfer, ATMI
John Rex, Eastman Chemical
ATTACHMENT 2: Issues Paper: Expansion of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) to gather chemical use information (CUI): TRI-Phase 3
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