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Proposal to Improve Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds Reporting

Release Date: 03/09/2005
Contact Information:


Contact: Suzanne Ackerman, 202-564-7819 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

(03/09/05) EPA is proposing to improve Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements for dioxin and dioxin-like compounds. The proposal is expected to allow the public to make more informed environmental decisions, and also responds to requests from reporting facilities. At present, 17 different members of the dioxin and dioxin-like family known to pose health concerns are reported to TRI as one total in grams. Because these chemical members differ widely in toxicity, the potential environmental impact of a given release could be very different than another release with the same total number of grams. Toxic equivalents (TEQs) are a weighted measure based on the toxicity of each compound relative to the most hazardous forms of dioxin (such as 2,3,7,8-TCDD). Adding TEQ information to grams reporting will help the public understand if an increased release is actually more, or less, toxic. Adding TEQ reporting was requested by industry and would use the international standard for characterizing dioxin toxicity. EPA believes these data will provide important context for the public to better understand releases in their communities. Only 1300 facilities nationwide will be affected by this change in reporting. Three options will be considered that vary in the degree to which data reporters, or the Agency, perform the relative toxicity calculations using the established international standards of toxicity. Additional information about the proposed rule and comment period is available at: http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/teq/teqmodrule.html .