Issue Date: November 14, 2011
Hydrogen Sulfide Reporting To Begin
Gas and oil drilling operations, refineries, paper mills, and other facilities must report their annual emissions of hydrogen sulfide to EPA, starting in 2012.An EPA rule issued on Nov. 4 reinstates right-to-know reporting for H2S emissions under the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). EPA added the compound to TRI at the end of 1993 but suspended reporting requirements in mid-1994 after industry opposition. Environmental groups in 2009 asked the agency to reconsider that decision, citing concerns about elevated levels of H2S detected in some residential neighborhoods. According to EPA, the compound can “reasonably be anticipated to cause serious or irreversible chronic human health effects.” Exposure to the chemical can cause adverse effects to the nervous system and irritate the upper respiratory tract, EPA says. Plus, it can cause serious harm to or kill aquatic organisms, including fish, at relatively low concentrations, the agency adds. The Hydrogen Sulfide Consortium, an industry group, argued against TRI reporting for the chemical, saying there is no evidence that routine releases of H2S pose a risk.
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