EPA Expands List of Chemicals Subject to TRI Reporting


Source: SOCMA
Related Topics: TRI US Environmental Protection Agency

EPA’s new final rule adding 16 chemicals to the list of chemicals subject to TRI reporting was published in the Federal Register on Friday, November 26.  The rule went into effect immediately on November 30, and applies to the reporting year beginning January 1, 2011 (reports are due July 1, 2012). 

The chemicals added to the list have been classified by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) in their 11th annual Report on Carcinogens as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”  The chemicals added are:

  • 1-amino-2,4-dibromoanthraquinone;
  • 2,2-bis(bromomethyl)-1,3-propanediol;
  • furan;
  • glycidol;
  • isoprene;
  • methyleugenol;
  • o-nitroanisole;
  • nitromethane;
  • phenolphthalein;
  • tetrafluoroethylene;
  • tetranitromethane; and
  • vinyl fluoride.

In addition, the following chemicals are being added to the EPCRA section 313 chemical category for polycyclic aromatic compounds (PACs):

  • 1,6-dinitropyrene;
  • 1,8-dinitropyrene;
  • 6-nitrochrysene; and
  • 4-nitropyrene.

In comments on this final rule, industry groups had argued that EPA should drop its use of NTP data as the basis for its ruling, and instead should have relied on data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).  In that scenario, only 2 of the aforementioned 16 chemicals would have been added to the TRI list.   (Industry has contended that NTP’s chemical risk data is not reliable enough for regulatory purposes and lacks an adequate peer review process, while IARC has a stronger data validation structure.)  EPA rejected those arguments.

Some sources suggest that this may be the first of several efforts to expand the TRI program, which environmental groups argue was relatively ignored during the Bush Administration have made a priority.  For example, the agency is likely to soon lift a years-long stay on a requirement for facilities to report hydrogen sulfide releases.  Additionally, EPA is said to be seeking to add substances for which they have developed “chemical action plans” to the TRI list. 

On November 19, EPA also submitted a draft proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) which would allow EPA “to consider an alternative approach for calculating the threshold planning quantity (TPQ) , or designated amount of Extremely Hazardous Substances (EHS) chemicals handled at facilities that would trigger emergency planning requirements under EPCRA.”  According to an agency abstract on the proposed rulemaking, it “intends to evaluate various experimental data for accidental air releases of solutions containing solid chemicals when developing revised TQPs.”  EPA is also planning to seek public comment on whether to consider aerosol size as a factor for potential off-site exposure to communities.  (This rulemaking is in response to an industry request to re-examine the rationale for listing the herbicide paraquat dichloride as an EHS when it is handled as a solid in an aqueous solution.)

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