U.S. EPA Expands Toxics Release Inventory
February 24, 1994
On January 6, 1994, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) proposed to expand the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)
from 320 chemicals to more than 630. The TRI is a database
listing of chemicals released by industries and regarded as
having a potentially adverse effect on people and the
environment. Companies are required to report releases of
these chemicals above a specified threshold both to the EPA
and the state in which the release occurred. The EPA then
makes these data available to the public. Expanding the TRI
will provide citizens with a more complete picture of the
chemicals being released into their communities, and
represents an important step forward for community right-to-
The 313 additions have been proposed because of their acute
human health effects, carcinogenicity or other chronic health
effects. Of these, 170 are pesticides, increasing the number
of pesticides for which releases must be reported from 24 to
194. Included in the proposed additions are Canceled/Denied
or Suspended and Restricted Use pesticides, as well
pesticides undergoing Special Review.
The EPA has stated that they will review public comment on
the proposed rule and issue a final rule by November 30,
1994. Reporting for the chemicals listed in the final rule
would be required for releases occurring during 1995 and
thereafter, with reports to be submitted to the EPA and
states by July 1 of the following year.
By expanding the list of chemicals, the EPA stated that they
hope to focus industry's attention on further pollution
prevention and source reduction. The EPA has also announced
that it plans to further expand the TRI to include some non-
manufacturing industries, such as facilities that mix,
formulate, distribute or dispose of TRI chemicals, later this
year. The EPA is now in the process of identifying non-
manufacturing industries with releases it considers
significant enough to be reported to the TRI. EPA is also
considering establishing a Rsmall release exemptionS for
small businesses after petitions from the Small Business
Administration and the American Feed Industry Association.
Sources: EPA Press Release. January 6, 1994; Pesticide &
Toxic Chemical News, December 15, 1993 and January 12, 1994.
Contact: Gwen Brown, U.S. EPA, Communications, Education and
Public Affairs, Washington DC 20460, phone: (202) 260-1384,
fax: (202) 260-0186.
How to obtain TRI data:.
RTK NET: provides free on-line access to the TRI-data base.
Call (202) 234-8494 for more information.
The EPCRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know)
Information Hotline: call (800) 535-0202 for a copy of the
annual TRI Data Release report. The Hotline can also provide
you with the name and address of EPA Regional contact and
state or territorial contacts in your area who can provide
state-specific reports. In addition, the Hotline can answer
a range of general questions you may have about TRI reporting
requirements, data and available reports. In the U.S.,
community or university libraries may have direct access to
the on-line TRI data base.
TRI-US Service: EPA provides limited assistance for those
who have specialized data needs, or who want assistance in
formulating a data search, through the TRI User Assistance
Service (TRI-US). Call (202) 260-1531 or fax (202) 260-4659
for more information.
Contact Gwen Brown, listed above.
The Pesticide Action Network Updates Service (PANUPS) is a
pesticide-related news service posted weekly by the Pesticide
Action Network North America Regional Center (PANNA). PANNA is
located at 116 New Montgomery Street, #810, San Francisco, CA
94105. Tel: (415) 541-9140. Fax: (415) 541-9253. To receive a
standard information packet about the Pesticide Action Network
send a short e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org.