- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
Facing increasing Congressional opposition, the EPA announced it will withdraw its 2005 proposal to change Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting frequencies, as reported in Nov. 2005. The administration, however, is going ahead with a plan to free approximately one-third of these companies from reporting requirements, allowing them to use the much shorter Form A rather than the much longer Form R.
In October 2005, President Bush proposed easing air regulations to exempt some companies from having to tell the EPA about what it considered to be small releases of toxic pollutants. That proposal, which drew the ire of several environmentally concerned senators, is still alive, but the president has abandoned his call for TRI reporting to be conducted every other year instead of annually.
“You will be pleased to know that I have decided against moving forward with changes to TRI reporting frequency,” EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson wrote in a letter to Democratic Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both of New Jersey, who had voiced concerns about the plan.
Currently, some 23,000 facilities are required to submit reports annually if they release more than 500 lbs. of the pollutants deemed most toxic by the EPA, including a number of persistent organic pollutants like mercury, DDT and PCBs. The exemptions would not include dioxins like TCDD.
Johnson also made clear in his letter to the senators that the administration plans in 2007 to raise that threshold reporting requirement to 5,000 lbs. Companies would be exempt from the reporting requirements if they store the pollutants on site and claim to release “zero” amounts into the environment. According to EPA officials, the higher threshold would free one-third of the 23,000 facilities from the reporting requirements.
To read more about TRI visit www.epa.gov/tri