EPA Will Require Electronic TRI Reporting
Updated: Aug 30
On August 27, 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that all Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting will be required to be done electronically. The rule will go into effect on January 21, 2014 for the 2013 reporting cycle, due on July 1, 2014. Additionally, if facilities need to report on years prior to 2013, they must also do so electronically after the January effective date.
The TRI tracks the usage of specific toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. Facilities that use these chemicals must report all releases of the chemical on an annual basis. Releases include emitting a chemical to the air or water or through land disposal. The report also requires information on recycling, energy recovery and treatment of the toxic chemicals. Currently there are over 650 chemicals on the TRI reporting list. The reported information is then available to the public. According to the EPA, the TRI program “creates a strong incentive for companies to improve environmental performance”.
Requiring electronic reporting “improves the quality and accuracy of TRI data and allows EPA to get the data to the public faster”. Electronic reporting is completed using a program entitled TRI-MEweb. If a facility is new to TRI reporting, they must first create a user account on the EPA’s CDX network. In order to fully submit a TRI report, a number of steps must be completed including the following:
Sign an Electronic Signature Agreement (ESA)
Add facility profile information
Add a chemical report for each toxic chemical released at a facility
Validate the reported information for each chemical
Transmit the validated forms to CDX and wait for certification
Once a submission is certified, an email will be sent to the user
The certifying official named by the facility must then log in and certify the submission
Finally, the final TRI forms are submitted
This process can become cumbersome, particularly if a facility has multiple toxic chemicals to report. EES can help facilities to achieve compliance with the TRI regulation as well as the new requirement for electronic reporting.
This rule is one in a series of rules the EPA is releasing regarding electronic reporting. Recently, the EPA proposed a rule for electronic reporting of Clean Water Act reports.
To view more information in the electronic TRI reporting rule, click here.