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Environment

TRI changes may slow environmental research

July 24, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 30

EPA's plans to lighten industry's paperwork burden on Toxics Release Inventory reporting would thwart research, the agency's Science Advisory Board told EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson earlier this month. Under a 2005 proposal endorsed by two chemical industry associations and other trade groups, EPA would allow many facilities that use TRI-listed compounds to provide less data than they do now on their annual releases of toxics. The agency also is exploring the possibility of requiring TRI reports every other year rather than annually (C&EN, Oct. 31, 2005, page 22). In a letter, the science advisers said both changes could "hinder the advances of environmental research used to protect public health and the environment." TRI is the only reliable source of longitudinal data that researchers can use to examine trends in facility and company environmental performance, conduct risk assessments of changes in toxic releases, and carry out spatial analyses of toxic hazards, the advisers say.

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