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Policy

Rules Reinstated For Toxic Releases

by Cheryl Hogue
April 27, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 17

Two years of relaxed reporting requirements for toxic chemical releases have ended for many chemical plants and other industrial and federal facilities. Last week, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson reinstated rules for Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting that were in effect until the Bush Administration loosened them in December 2006. Jackson took the action because Congress in March overturned the controversial 2006 TRI changes as part of a fiscal 2010 spending bill (C&EN, March 16, page 7). Jackson's move affects reporting of 2008 TRI data, which are due on July 1. Facilities now must use a long form when filing annual TRI reports if they release or dispose of more than 500 lb of a listed toxic substance. Under the 2006 changes—which were supported by the American Chemistry Council, an industry group—facilities could file short forms if they released or disposed of less than 2,000 lb of a chemical. The long form requires data on the volume of the substance released and whether the chemical was released to air, water, or land. The short form does not require either piece of information.

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