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EPA Provides Incentives to Reduce Chemical Emissions and Increase Recycling Nationwide

Release Date: 12/18/2006
Contact Information: Jessica Emond, (202) 546-4355 / emond.jessica@epa.gov Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov; Lina Younes, (202) 564-4355 / younes.lina@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - Dec. 18, 2006) Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) rule that encourages reductions in chemical emissions and increases in recycling at facilities nationwide. EPA also announced today its decision to continue requiring TRI data reporting on an annual basis.

"EPA is delivering a cleaner, healthier nation by encouraging businesses to make environmental improvements now and in the future," said Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. "Cleaner businesses are more efficient businesses, which is good for the environment, good for the economy and good for the American people."

These changes in no way affect the specific chemicals or amounts of chemicals facilities are authorized to release to the environment. In addition, the final rule does not exempt any facility from reporting their releases, nor does it remove any chemicals from the TRI. The rule allows facilities that completely eliminate releases of persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs), and recycle and treat no more than 500 pounds of such chemicals, to use a shorter reporting form. By reducing long-lasting PBTs, EPA and facilities are delivering a cleaner environment.

For non-PBT chemicals, the rule allows businesses to use the simpler reporting form if their releases are no more than 2,000 pounds of waste as part of an overall waste management limit of 5,000 pounds. By imposing the 2,000 pound cap on releases for non-PBT chemicals, EPA is encouraging businesses to rely on preferred waste management methods, such as recycling and treatment, rather than disposal and other releases.

Over the past several years, EPA has worked with its partners to increase the efficiency, accuracy and timeliness of TRI data. Stakeholders requested that EPA share TRI data sooner without waiting for further analyses. In response, for the last three years, EPA has provided the public with the electronic Facility Data Release (e- FDR) months before the annual Public Data Release (PDR). Last year, there was a 24 percent increase in electronic reporting forms for 2005 data. Electronic reporting allows EPA to process the data faster, with built-in quality checks, to improve accuracy.

TRI is a publicly available EPA database, which contains information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities reported annually by certain industries and federal facilities.

More information about the final rule: epa.gov/tri/tridata/modrule/phase2/forma.htm

About TRI: epa.gov/tri