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  • Writer's pictureTom Petersen

Lead Emissions Reporting Greatly Expanded

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reports due on July 1, 2002 will include data on lead and lead compound emissions from United States businesses that manufacture, process or use more than 100 pounds of lead annually. Previous annual TRI reports included lead estimates only from businesses that manufactured, processed or used lead in much larger quantities (25,000 or 10,000 pounds, depending on the situation).


According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lead is highly toxic, persists in the environment and bio-accumulates in people and aquatic organisms. Small amounts of lead that enter the environment can result in elevated concentrations that can result in adverse effects. Children exposed to lead can suffer from damage to the brain and central nervous system, slow growth, hyperactivity, and behavior and learning problems. Adults exposed to lead can suffer pregnancy complications, high blood pressure, nervous disorders and memory and concentration problems.


The Bush Administration announced the new rule for lead emissions reporting in April 2001, however, its impact is only now being felt, as businesses begin preparing their TRI reports for year 2001 emissions. The rule classifies lead and lead compounds as persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals. Other PBT chemicals with low TRI reporting thresholds include dioxin, mercury and PCBs (also aldrin, benzo(g,h,i)perylene, chlordane, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene, isodrin, methoxychlor, octachlorostyrene, pendimethalin, pentachlorobenzene, polycyclic aromatic compounds, tetrabromobisphenol A, toxaphene, and trifluralin – now that’s a mouthful!).


Under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, certain businesses are required to submit reports each year on the amounts of EPCRA Section 313 chemicals their facilities released into the environment (either routinely or as a result of accidents), or otherwise managed as waste. The reports, due each July 1, must be sent to the EPA and to designated state agencies. Those who fail to report as required could face penalties of up to $27,500 per day.


A description of the TRI program. Questions about TRI reporting can be directed to the hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9877.


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