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Document Type: Incoming
To: Carol Browner
From: Robert Twitmyer
Date: 07/03/2000
Subject: TRI Reporting Of Iron And Steel Slag Sold As A Product
Keyword(s): Releases-Releases to Land, Slag
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Body:

National Slag Association
Suite 220, 110 W. Lancaster Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087-4043
Tel: 610-971-4840
Fax: 610-971-4841


July 3, 2000


Carol M. Browner (1101A)
Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460


Re: TRI Reporting Of Iron And Steel Slag Sold As A Product

Dear Administrator Browner:

The National Slag Association (NSA) with it’s 81 members representing the iron and steel slag producers are writing to express concern over the apparent intention of the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or “the Agency) to require “release” reporting by iron and steel manufacturing facilities with respect to sales of slag sold for use as a product. Such a requirement, if finalized, would depart from long-standing existing Agency and industry practice, have serious adverse economic and environmental consequences, and create perverse disincentives to the beneficial reuse of iron and steel slag. Further, such action would contrary to the purposes and goals of the TRI Program to promote the efficient use of resources.

In addition, I am concerned by EPA’s more general position that TRI reporting is limited to “releases” of toxic chemicals, but may apply to all activities, including the sale and use of a product, that may result in a substance entering the environment. EPA’s position would logically require not only the reporting of iron and steel slag sold as a product, but also the sale and use of other products, such as steel beams that contain TRI-reportable chemicals and are applied to land. This view ignores the structure of the statute and the clear intention of the legislation to limit TRI reporting “releases,” which essentially covers the accidental discharge of a substance or the intentional disposal of waste material. The sale of a product is not such an activity, and Congress did not intend for EPA to take such an extreme view.

Representatives of the major steel and slag manufacturing trade associations have met and provided detailed information to EPA officials on this issue, and demonstrated conclusively that the substances contained in slag sold for commercial uses should not be reported as an off-site transfer for disposal. In particular, it is clear that slag generated during the iron and steel production process is a commercially valuable product that is processed and used in a number of applications, including road construction and for agricultural purposes, and competes with other products, such as natural aggregate.

EPA now threatens to destroy the identity of and market for iron and steel stag as a product. Requiring TRI reporting of sales of slag as a product would seriously reduce demand and create unnecessary disincentives for the reuse of these valuable materials, resulting in an otherwise useful product being taken out of the stream of commerce and treated as a waste. This would have an adverse economic impact on the U.S. steel industry, which is already subject to substantial competitive pressure. Further, the EPA’s position is not environmentally sound, as it would promote the land filling of slag and lead to increased mining and consumption of natural aggregates.

In sum, requiring the constituents of slag as a product to be reported under TRI will have significant and unnecessary adverse environmental and economic effects. Further, by stigmatizing the site at which slag is used, the Agency will create unwarranted public alarm.

Accordingly, I request that you answer the following questions:

1) Why has EPA changed its policy with respect to the TRI reporting of iron and steel slag sold for use as road and railroad bed aggregate or other beneficial uses?

2) What analysis of the impact of the reporting change on the iron and steel industry has been performed by EPA?

3) Given that the change in policy radically alters the TRI reporting obligations of the steel and slag producing industries, why did EPA elect not to pursue this change via rulemaking?

4) How does EPA justify requiring the reporting of the sale and use of a product under TRI? Does the Agency believe that TRI reporting is not limited to “releases” as defined in EPCRA? If so, how does EPA justify this position? Does EPA consider sale and use of a product on the land to fall within the TRI definition of “release”? If so, please, explain how and why.

5) What criteria are used to distinguish products from wastes? Are these criteria consistent with previous guidance?

I urge you to review this issue carefully and ensure that sales of iron and steel slag are properly treated under the TRI reporting system. Additional background on this issue available in the materials provided to the TRI office by representatives of the steel and slag manufacturing industries. If you have any further questions, please let us know.


Sincerely,


Robert Y Twitmyer
President


cc: Elaine G. Stanley (2841)
Director, EPA Office of Information, Analysis and Access
Office of Environmental Information
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460



Link to Response: Database 'TRI Regional Coordinators', View 'TRI Correspondence\By Date (1/96 - Present)', Document 'Off-Site Transfers of Iron and Steel Slag for Use As Road and Roadbed Aggregate'
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