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Basic Concepts Session Transcript
Slide 1 - Title Screen
Welcome to the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, Section 313, Toxics Release Inventory online training for the 2013 reporting year. This is the Basic Concepts Module of a two part training course that is made up of this module and an Advanced Concepts module. The Basic Concepts module will walk you through the process of determining whether or not your facility is required to report to the Toxics Release Inventory, or TRI, and if so, how you actually prepare and submit information to TRI. The Advanced Concepts module assumes a basic understanding of the TRI requirements and focuses on key concepts that will help to ensure accurate TRI reporting.
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Slide 2 - Agenda
In this module we’ll first provide a brief overview of the TRI program and help you determine whether or not your facility is covered by TRI. We’ll look at the industry sectors covered by TRI and the TRI chemical list and threshold quantities. Next, we’ll cover a number of exemptions to TRI reporting that might apply to your facility. We go over how to determine whether or not your facility exceeded any of the activity thresholds, which would trigger TRI reporting.
And, finally we will look at the Form R and Form A, which are the two reporting options under TRI.
In the Advanced Concepts module, we cover recent changes and updates to the TRI program, guidance on chemicals with special reporting requirements, the EPA audit policy, where you can get additional information and assistance with TRI requirements, the TRI-Made Easy reporting software, and submitting TRI Forms through the EPA’s Central Data Exchange.
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Slide 4 - What is EPCRA Section 313 & TRI?
Now let’s look at the basic requirements of Toxics Release Inventory reporting. What is TRI? The Toxics Release Inventory was established by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, or EPCRA 313. Facilities that are covered under EPCRA 313 must complete a TRI chemical form for each TRI chemical for which they’ve exceeded an activity threshold. There are more than 600 chemicals and chemical categories on the TRI chemical list. If a facility exceeds an activity threshold for a chemical, AND they are in a “covered sector,” AND they have the equivalent of ten or more employees, they must submit a TRI report. TRI reports must be sent to the United States EPA and your designated state or tribal authority.
Slide 5 - TRI Process – 2 Part Process
The process of completing your TRI forms is a two-step process. In the first step, you determine if your facility is required to report to TRI, and if so, you determine which TRI chemicals you handle in your facility, and then which of these you would need to report on.
Step 2, shown on the right, is the release and waste management reporting. This is the information that you would put on a TRI form.
We will cover both of these steps in detail in this Basic Concepts Module.
Slide 6 - TRI Reporting Process
To be required to report to TRI, your facility must meet ALL of the criteria shown here. A stepwise process can be used to determine if and what you would need to report to TRI. The first step is determining whether or not your facility is covered under EPCRA Section 313 and would, therefore, need to consider its toxic chemicals for TRI reporting. Whether or not your facility is covered is based on the types of activities carried out at the facility and the number of employees working for your facility. NAICS is the North American Industry Classification System, which assigns numeric codes to characterize the activity taking place at the facility. We will talk more about the NAICS codes requirement shortly.
The next step is to determine for which TRI chemicals you must submit a TRI report. Covered facilities need to look at the TRI chemicals that are on the list and that may be present at the facility. Next, facilities need to look at how the chemicals are used. Are they manufactured? Processed? Or otherwise used? These are the TRI threshold activities. We will be describing each of these in more detail.
Next, facilities must calculate the quantity of the TRI chemical that is manufactured, processed, or otherwise used, and compare those quantities to the TRI activity thresholds. Only when activity thresholds are exceeded would the facility be required to complete and submit a TRI report, either a Form R or a Form A.
What information do facilities report to TRI? For the Form R, which is the more common means of TRI reporting, facilities report on how the TRI chemical is managed as waste, including onsite releases, treatment, energy recovery, recycling of the TRI chemical and offsite transfers, and pollution prevention activities that are conducted at the facility for that chemical.
Now, we’ll cover each of these steps in more detail.
Slide 8 - Industrial Sectors Covered
This table shows the private sector industries that are covered by TRI. The covered sectors include: manufacturing; portions of metal mining; portions of coal mining; certain electric utilities; treatment, storage, and disposal facilities; solvent recovery facilities; chemical distributors; and petroleum bulk terminals.
Slide 9 - Covered NAICS Codes
The TRI program uses the 2012 North American Industry Classification System, or “NAICS” codes, to define which facilities are covered under TRI.
The TRI-covered NAICS codes are listed in the Code of Federal Regulations as well as in the TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions document. The list is rather lengthy. And it does include a number of exceptions and limitations.
At the website shown here, facilities can determine whether their primary NAICS code is one that is covered by TRI regulations.
Slide 10 - Federal Facilities
Federal facilities may also be covered by TRI. There are no restrictions based on NAICS codes for Federal facilities. So, any Federal facilities, such as prisons, national parks, or hospitals, could be covered under TRI.
Federal facilities also need to have 10 or more full time employees to be covered by TRI. And, to be required to submit a TRI report, they would need to exceed one or more of the activity thresholds for the TRI chemicals present at the facility. The federal agency or department that owns or operates the facility is responsible for determining whether or not it is required to report. If the facility is operated by a private contractor, this executive order does not alter or remove their legal obligation to report.
Slide 11 - Definition of "Facility"
As previously mentioned, the reporting unit under TRI is the facility. Primary NAICS codes determinations and employee threshold determinations are made at the facility level. Chemical threshold determinations are also made at the facility level. Therefore, the definition of a facility under TRI is very important. EPA defines a facility as “all buildings, equipment, structures, and other stationary items which are located on a single site or contiguous or adjacent sites and which are owned or operated by the same person (or by any person which controls, is controlled by, or under common control with such person).”
A key point here is that establishments or operations owned or operated by the same company or federal agency that are contiguous or adjacent are considered a single facility under TRI. In some instances, a single site or adjacent properties may be have multiple and distinct establishments, each considered to be a unique and separate economic unit. Together, these establishments comprise a single facility under TRI if they are owned or operated by the company or agency.
Slide 12 - Example of a Multi-Establishment Facility
We mentioned that establishments are unique economic units within a facility. In the facility shown here, there are three unique establishments. There is a food processing establishment, a farm, and a warehouse. These establishments are all owned by the same company and are located at adjacent or contiguous sites and, therefore, are together considered a single facility under TRI. However, only the NAICS code of the processing establishment is a covered NAICS code under TRI.
Whether or not this facility would be covered by TRI depends in part on the primary NAICS code of the entire facility. The primary NAICS code for the facility is determined by the economic value added provided by each of the establishments.
Slide 13 - Multi-Establishment Facility
If any of these establishments contributes the majority of the economic value, or ‘value added’, of the facility, the NAICS code for that establishment would become the primary NAICS code for the entire facility. Essentially, ‘value added’ can be thought of as the value of the services the establishment provides, or the value of the products leaving the establishment less the value of the materials entering the establishment.
In this case, the processing facility, NAICS code 311421, comprises 60% of the ‘value added’ for the entire facility. The farm and the warehouse each comprise 20%. Therefore, the primary NAICS code for the entire facility is 311421. For more on calculating value added for establishments, see the TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions.
Slide 14 - Multi-Establishment Facility
If no establishment contributes the majority of the value added, the primary NAICS code for the facility becomes that of the establishment that has the largest percent of the value added. In this case, the processing facility of NAICS code 311421 comprises 40% of the value added, whereas the farm and the warehouse each comprise 30%. In this case, based on the plurality, the processing NAICS code again becomes the NAICS code for the entire facility.
Because the processing NAICS code is one that is covered under TRI, the entire facility would need to consider its employee thresholds and chemical use.
Slide 15 - Multi-Establishment Facility
Federal facilities can also be made up of multiple establishments. Let’s look at a couple of examples where we have multiple establishment Federal facilities that might be required to report under TRI.
In the example on the left, there are three separate government establishments operating independently on the same or adjacent properties. There is the Department of Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Under TRI, these establishments would fall under two separate facilities. One facility would be made up of the HUD establishment.
The other facility would be made up of the Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security establishment. The Coast Guard is part of DHS and, therefore, DHS is the parent agency for the Coast Guard. Assuming there are 10 or more full-time employees working for the facility, DHS would then be responsible for identifying and quantifying the TRI chemical use at both the DHS and Coast Guard establishments and applying that towards the activity thresholds for the entire facility. Likewise, HUD would also be responsible for identifying all the chemicals at the HUD facility and applying that towards their activity thresholds.
In the example on the right, there is a single Federal agency and two contractors operating independently at the same facility. In this case, the three establishments would be considered a single facility and DOE, as the parent agency, would be responsible for quantifying the toxic chemicals use at the entire facility and applying that towards the activity thresholds.
In both examples, while threshold determinations must be done at the facility level, any subsequent reporting required could be done by each of the establishments separately. In both examples, while threshold determinations must be done at the facility level, any subsequent reporting required could be done by each of the establishments separately.
Slide 16 - Employee Threshold
For private sector facilities that have determined that they meet the primary NAICS code requirements and Federal facilities, the next step is to determine whether or not they meet the employee threshold requirement. As mentioned, facilities with 10 or more full-time employees are covered by TRI.
10 or more full-time employees is defined as 20,000 hours worked at or for the facility. This includes operational staff, administrative staff, contractors, sales staff, drivers, and off-site corporate support. The only thing it doesn’t include is contracted drivers and contractors providing intermittent services such as trash removal and janitorial services.
Facilities need to add up all of the hours, both part-time and full-time, worked at their facility, and apply that towards this 20,000 hour threshold.
Quiz 1 - Question 1
Would the facility described below be covered by TRI and, therefore, need to consider its toxic chemical use for possible reporting?
Select Yes or No.
A manufacturing facility, owned by ABC Corporation, with 100 full-time employees.
The answer is Yes. As a manufacturing facility, its primary NAICS code will be among those covered by EPCRA Section 313 (TRI). In addition, the facility employs more than 10 full-time employees. This facility would need to consider whether it has exceeded any activity thresholds for TRI chemicals or chemical categories, to determine if it needed to report.
Quiz 1 - Question 2
Would the facility described below be covered by TRI and, therefore, need to consider its toxic chemical use for possible reporting?
Select Yes or No.
A maintenance and warehouse facility, owned by ABC Corporation, with 5 full-time employees, a few blocks away from the manufacturing facility described in Question 1.
The answer is No. The facility’s maintenance and warehouse activities are represented by a primary NAICS code that will not be among those covered by EPCRA 313 (TRI). In addition, the facility has fewer than 10 full-time employees. This facility would not need to report.
Quiz 1 - Question 3
Would the facility described below be covered by TRI and, therefore, need to consider its toxic chemical use for possible reporting?
Select Yes or No.
A maintenance and warehouse facility, owned by ABC Corporation, with 5 full-time employees, next door to the manufacturing facility described in Question 1.
The answer is Yes. The maintenance and warehouse activities are considered part of the manufacturing facility because they are on adjacent properties. Since the employee threshold is exceeded, this facility would need to consider any chemical use at the warehouse and maintenance establishment along with that of the manufacturing facility, to determine if the facility needed to report.
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Slide 19 - Thresholds (PBT and Non-PBT)
As previously mentioned, TRI reporting is only triggered when a facility exceeds one or more of the three activity thresholds: manufacturing, processing, and otherwise use. Facilities must quantify the amount of each TRI chemical and chemical category involved in each of these three activities. Then, compare the amounts to the thresholds.
In some cases the same discrete amount of a TRI chemical can go through more than one threshold activity. In such cases, the chemical must be counted towards each threshold activity.
Remember that threshold calculations are based on cumulative quantities of each TRI chemical over the reporting year. If a threshold is exceeded for any of the threshold activities, then a TRI report must be prepared and submitted for that chemical.
Slide 20 - Section 313 Chemicals (Non-PBT) and Thresholds
We’ve talked about the thresholds activities. Now, what are the actual threshold quantities that would trigger TRI reporting? For chemicals that are not considered to be persistent, bioaccumulative toxic, or “non-PBT chemicals”, the thresholds for manufacturing are 25,000 pounds. For processing, 25,000 pounds, and for otherwise use, 10,000 pounds. These are the thresholds for the majority of the TRI chemicals.
Slide 21 - Listed PBT TRI Chemicals
Persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemicals, or PBTs, are a subset of the chemicals on the TRI chemical list. PBT chemicals have lower activity thresholds than other TRI chemicals and they also have some special rules when reporting them to TRI. Currently there are 20 chemicals and chemical categories that are designated as PBTs under TRI.
Slide 22 - PBT Chemicals and Thresholds
The actual threshold quantities that trigger reporting vary depending on the chemical. For eight of the chemicals, the threshold is 100 pounds per year. For those chemicals that are considered to be highly persistent and bioaccumulative, the threshold is 10 pounds per year. And for dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, the threshold is .1 grams per year, which reflects the highly toxic nature of this chemical category. For PBT chemicals, the threshold quantities are the same for manufacturing, processing, and otherwise use.
Slide 23 - Section 313 Chemicals and Chemical Categories
So what are the TRI chemicals? The current TRI chemical list contains over 600 individual chemicals and chemical categories. The list can be found in EPA’s Reporting Forms and Instructions in Table II, which is available on the TRI website and through the TRI-MEweb reporting application.
The TRI chemicals are listed alphabetically by name and they are also listed again by their CAS number or chemical abstract service number. There is also a list of chemical categories. Coming up we’ll talk about the differences between individual chemicals and chemical categories in more detail. Be aware that the TRI chemical list changes almost every year. Make sure that you’re always using the most current TRI chemical list.
Slide 24 - Chemical List Changes
A 2013 rulemaking added o-nitrotoluene to the TRI chemical list. Reporting for this chemical will begin in Reporting Year 2014 for forms due to the Agency on July 1, 2015. Facilities that manufacture, process or otherwise use o-nitrotoluene should begin gathering data for threshold determination and potential waste management reporting.
Starting with Reporting Year 2012, Reporting is required for hydrogen sulfide if threshold criteria are met.
Also note that 16 chemicals were added to the TRI list of chemicals for Reporting Year 2011. These 16 chemicals are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens. This action is part of EPA’s ongoing efforts to examine the scope of TRI chemical coverage and provide communities with more complete information on toxic chemical releases.
Slide 25 - Section 313 Chemicals with Qualifiers
Many of the listed TRI chemicals have parenthetic qualifiers. These chemicals are only subject to TRI reporting if they are manufactured, processed, or otherwise used in the specific form described in the qualifier.
The tables shown here are just some of the qualifiers for TRI chemicals. For example, the first one, aluminum, has the qualifier ‘fume or dust’. This means that aluminum would only be considered under TRI in the fume or dust form. Isopropyl alcohol is another example. It would only need to be considered under TRI if the facility is manufacturing isopropyl alcohol and using a process called the ‘strong acid process’.
Another example is sulfuric acid, which is only considered under TRI in an acid aerosol form. Facilities that have aqueous sulfuric acid which are not aerosolizing the acid in any way would not need to consider their sulfuric acid towards the threshold or reporting. These are just some of the qualifiers on the TRI chemical list. Facilities should always be sure to be aware of the chemical qualifiers associated with the chemicals that may be present at their facility.
Slide 26 - TRI Chemical Categories
Facilities need to take care in identifying chemicals used or generated at their facility that may fall within a TRI chemical category group. Chemical categories are groups of individual chemicals which must be considered together towards activity thresholds and reporting under TRI.
Many chemical categories are metal compound chemical categories some of which are show here. In many cases, the elemental forms of the metal are also reportable as a separately listed TRI chemical.
Let’s look at lead compounds as an example. Any unique chemical substance that contains lead as part of its chemical infrastructure would be considered part of the lead compounds chemical category.
Note that some of these chemical categories also contain qualifiers. For example, in the case of barium compounds, the category does not include barium sulfate; however, all other barium compounds would need to be considered toward this chemical category.
Slide 27 - EPCRA TRI Chemical Categories (examples)
Chemicals can also be grouped into chemical categories under TRI. In some cases, the category is defined as a general class of chemicals, for example, in the case of chlorophenols. And in other cases, there is a list of individual chemicals that makes up the chemical category. In the case of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, there are 17 individual compounds that make up the chemical category. These are just some of the non-metal chemical categories on the TRI chemical list.
Slide 28 - Manufacturing Activities
Now, let’s look at each of the threshold activities in more detail. The first is manufacturing. Manufacturing includes intentionally producing the TRI chemical because that is what your facility does – either manufactures the TRI chemical for sale or distribution – or manufactures it to be used on-site in another process.
Chemicals can also be coincidentally manufactured, in which case the chemical is not intentionally manufactured but it is created as an impurity or byproduct in the process. Coincidentally manufacturing a TRI chemical can happen at any point in the facility, including in waste treatment and when combusting fuels.
Importing of a TRI chemical, or causing a TRI chemical to be imported into the United States, is also considered to be a manufacturing activity under TRI.
Slide 29 - Processing Activities
The next threshold activity is processing. Processing of a TRI chemical involves distributing a TRI chemical into commerce. This can be done either as a reactant in the manufacturing of another substance which is distributed into commerce, or it could be that the TRI chemical is being added as a formulation or article component to a product which is then distributed into commerce. Repackaging of a TRI chemical with subsequent distribution into commerce also is a processing activity under TRI.
Note that, under TRI, processing also includes sending a TRI chemical off-site for recycling.
Finally, processing may also include the unintentional processing of a TRI chemical if it appears as an impurity in a raw material that your facility uses and which leaves the facility in the product.
Slide 30 - Repackaging as a Processing Activity
Let’s look at repackaging in more detail. Any repackaging of a TRI chemical for distribution in commerce is considered processing. Repackaging could be from any type of container to any other type of container. The containers could be similar sizes, or they could be very different such as pipelines into tanks or vice-versa.
As long as the TRI chemical is going from one container to another and then is being distributed into commerce, the chemical would be considered processed under TRI. Repackaging does not include taking samples from containers for the purposes of quality assurance and it does not include simple re-labeling of a container. As long as the TRI chemical stays within the container, placing a label on the container itself would not be considered repackaging.
Any repackaging without distribution into commerce would not be considered processing. For example, TRI chemicals contained in a 55 gallon drum that are placed into smaller containers and distributed around the facility to be used at the facility and which are not being distributed into commerce would not be considered towards the processing thresholds.
Slide 31 - Otherwise Use Activities
‘Otherwise use’ includes most activities that are not considered manufacturing or processing. Chemicals that are otherwise used include chemical processing aids like solvents, manufacturing aids like lubricants, refrigerants, or catalysts. Otherwise use often includes ancillary activities, chemicals that are used, for example, to remediate wastes or chemicals that are used to clean process equipment.
Chemicals that are contained within tools or other equipment at the facility would be considered otherwise used.
Slide 32 - Otherwise Use Activities (continued)
Otherwise use also includes any disposal, stabilization, or treatment for destruction of a TRI chemical if the chemicals are received from off-site for the express purposes of further waste management.
Also, any on-site combustion of TRI chemicals for energy recovery is also considered an otherwise use activity. This includes energy recovery of wastes generated on-site and wastes received from off-site. In addition, TRI chemicals that are manufactured as a result of waste management activities on any material that is received from off-site for the purpose of waste management would be considered towards your otherwise use threshold. Under TRI, waste management activities include recycling, combustion for energy recovery, treatment for destruction, waste stabilization and release to the environment, including disposal. These activities in themselves, with the exceptions of off-site recycling and on-site energy recovery, are not threshold activities as long as the waste was not received from offsite for the purpose of waste management.
Slide 33 - Calculating Activity Thresholds
When calculating activity thresholds, facilities must remember that the threshold quantity is the total amount of the chemical that is manufactured, processed, or otherwise used over the reporting year. It is not the amount of TRI chemical that was released or managed as waste. Remember to apply the total amount of the chemical to each activity threshold including all threshold activities at the facility. If your facility reuses or recycles TRI chemicals over and over through the reporting year, only the original amount is counted towards the activity thresholds plus any amount that was added during the year.
Note that it is not critical to calculate the threshold quantity exactly; however, it is important to know whether or not you have exceeded the threshold using the best available information.
Slide 34 - Threshold Determination for Compound Categories
When determining thresholds for chemical categories, be sure to count all the compounds that fall within the category. Even if they’re different compounds used in different operations around your facility. Apply the entire weight of the compounds in the category when determining your thresholds quantities.
Note that while the weight of the entire compound must be applied to the threshold for the chemical category, releases and other waste management estimates for Form R reporting have different requirements for metal and nitrate compounds.
Slide 35 - Activities That Are Not TRI Threshold Activities
There are some activities that are not considered to be threshold activities under TRI. In other words, the activities are not considered manufacturing, processing, or otherwise use. For example, storage. In itself, storage of a TRI chemical would not need to be considered towards an activity threshold. Remediation of on-site contamination would not be considered a threshold activity as long as the waste was on-site and not brought in from off-site for the purposes of waste treatment, or waste management.
As mentioned, re-labeling of a container without repackaging is not considered a threshold activity. Directly reusing a TRI chemical on-site and any on-site recycling of a TRI chemical are not considered threshold activities. Transferring of a TRI chemical off-site for further waste management, not including offsite recycling, is not considered a threshold activity.
None of the TRI chemicals associated with these activities would need to be considered towards an activity threshold. However, if a TRI chemical threshold was exceeded in some other manner at your facility, a TRI form would be required for that chemical. Any release and waste management reporting for that chemical would need to include any releases or other waste management associated with these activities.
Quiz 2 - Question 1
A plant uses benzene as a raw material to manufacture liquid industrial adhesive. The plant adds 27,000 lbs of benzene to its liquid adhesive-making operation during the reporting year, but 3,000 lbs are volatilized during the operation. How much of the benzene should be applied toward the processing activity threshold? Select your choice.
A. 27,000 lbs
B. 24,000 lbs
C. 3,000 lbs
A is correct. 27,000 total lbs of benzene is processed. Always apply the total amount that enters a process toward the activity threshold. Because the plant’s benzene use exceeds the 25,000 lb processing threshold for non-PBT chemicals, the facility would need to complete a TRI form for benzene. The quantity released to the environment would be reported on the TRI Form R.
Quiz 2 - Question 2
If a facility processes 20,000 lb of 2-Butoxyethanol in one operation and 10,000 lb of 2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)ethanol in another operation during the reporting year, what should it apply towards it's processing threshold for glycol ethers? Select your choice.
A. 10,000 lb
B. 20,000 lb
C. 30,000 lb.
Answer C is correct. 2-Butoxyethanol and 2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)ethanol are both chemicals within the glycol ethers chemical category; therefore, the quantities of each chemical that is processed during the reporting year should be summed. The facility has exceeded the reporting threshold for processing (25,000 lb) and would need to report for the glycol ethers chemical category.
Quiz 2 - Question 3
A facility processes 18,000 lbs copper sulfate, 10,000 lbs of cuprous oxide, and otherwise uses 12,000 lbs of aqueous sulfuric acid solution in a closed system. For which TRI chemicals or chemical categories would the facility need to submit a TRI form? Select your choice.
A. copper compounds and sulfuric acid
B. only copper compounds
C. only sulfuric acid
Answer B is correct. The facility has exceeded the 25,000 lb processing threshold for copper compounds (18,000 + 10,000 = 28,000) and would need to submit a TRI form for copper compounds. The qualifier for sulfuric acid indicates that it is only reportable in an aerosol form. Because the facility only used the sulfuric acid in an aqueous form (and does not generate acid aerosols), it does not need to consider it towards the otherwise use threshold, and no report for sulfuric acid is required.
Section III: Reporting Exemptions
Slide 38 - Reporting Exemptions
Next we will be covering a number of exemptions to TRI reporting. The purpose of reporting exemptions is to reduce the burden of reporting associated with small or ancillary operations. If an exemption applies, then all the associated amount of the TRI chemical does not need to be included in threshold determinations, or release reporting. It’s important to note that exemptions only apply in certain limited circumstances.
Slide 39 - Reporting Exemptions
The TRI exemptions include the de minimis exemption, the articles exemption, and the laboratory activities exemption. A number of exemptions apply only to facilities in the metal and coal mining sectors. There are also a series of exemptions for the otherwise use of TRI chemicals in motor vehicle maintenance, routine janitorial or facility grounds maintenance, structural components, personal use, intake water and air.
Slide 40 - De Minimis Exemption
Let’s look at a de minimis exemption first. Under the de minimis exemption, the quantity of a non-PBT TRI chemical in a mixture or other trade name product is exempt from TRI if – in the case of an OSHA-defined carcinogen, the TRI chemical is present at a concentration less than 0.1%. Or, in the case of a non-OSHA-defined carcinogen, at a concentration of less than 1%. The de minimis concentrations are provided for each chemical on the TRI chemical list, which is Table II of the reporting forms and instructions. It is also available from the TRI assistance library and the TRI-ME reporting software.
Slide 41 - De Minimis Exemption
So how does the de minimis exemption work? De minimis exemption generally applies to non-PBT chemicals that are in mixtures or trade name products received from off-site that are processed or otherwise used. This includes TRI chemicals in mixtures that are imported when the concentration of the TRI chemical in the mixture is below the applicable de minimis level. It can also apply if a facility coincidentally manufactures a non-PBT chemical as an impurity, and this impurity remains in a product distributed in commerce, then the quantity of the chemical that is distributed in commerce may be eligible for the de minimis exemption. In other words, the de minimis exemption does not apply to manufacturing of chemicals in most cases, including coincidentally manufacturing of TRI chemicals as by-products, which are removed from the process. The de minimis exemption also does not apply to wastes because waste is not considered to be a mixture. And it does not apply to PBT chemicals. PBTs, or persistent, bioaccumulative toxics, are a subset of the TRI chemicals comprised of 20 chemicals and chemical categories. PBT chemicals are discussed in detail in the Advanced Concepts Module.
Slide 42 - PBT Chemicals and the De Minimis Exemption
The de minimis exemption cannot be used for PBT chemicals. As for the supplier notification requirements, suppliers are not required to notify users of the presence of a TRI chemical that is below the de minimis concentration. However, the users of the mixtures containing TRI chemicals are still required to consider all quantities of TRI chemicals known to be present.
The de minimis exemption is the only exemption that does not apply to PBT chemicals. All of the other exemptions apply to both PBT and non-PBT chemicals.
Slide 43 - De Minimis Exemption: How It Works… (cont.)
Let’s look at a couple of examples for which the de minimis exemption can and cannot be used. First, let’s say we have a raw material coming into a facility and the raw material is 90% toluene. So in this case it comes into the facility above the de minimis concentration for toluene of 1%. However, during the process, the concentration of the toluene in the production process decreases to a level less than 1% or below the de minimis concentration. Would we be able to apply de minimis exemption?
De minimis would not apply in this situation, even after the point where the concentration of the toluene goes below the 1% de minimis. Once the TRI chemical is above the de minimis concentration, the de minimis exemption cannot be taken for that chemical mixture. So in this case the facility would need to consider the toluene towards its activity thresholds, and towards any release of waste management reporting required.
Slide 44 - De Minimis Exemption: How It Works… (cont.)
Let’s look at the opposite situation where we again have toluene but this time it is coming into the facility in a raw material at a concentration below the de minimis and it’s getting concentrated through the process to a level that is above the de minimis concentration. In this case, the de minimis exemption can be applied to the mixture at any point before it goes above de minimis concentration. However, as soon as it goes above that concentration, it must be considered towards your threshold determination in any release or waste management reporting. So again, all the toluene before it goes above de minimis concentration would be considered exempt from threshold determination and reporting.
However, after it goes above the de minimis concentration, the TRI requirements get turned on and the facility would need to consider the toluene toward the threshold determination in any subsequent reporting. For more information on the de minimis exemption, see the TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions document.
Slide 45 - Article Exemption Applicability
Next, let’s look at the articles exemption. The article exemption applies to TRI chemicals contained in articles. There are three criteria that must be met to be considered an article under TRI. First, an article is formed into a specific shape or design during its manufacture. Second, an article has an end-use function that is dependent in whole or in part on that shape or design. And, third, an article does not release a TRI chemical under normal processing or use conditions at the facility.
Slide 46 - Article Exemption: How it Works
Now let’s look at how the article exemption works in more detail. If a TRI chemical is released from an article during its normal use, it very well may negate the article’s exemption. In order to maintain the article’s status, the total TRI chemicals released from all like articles or like items must be either: 1) in a form having a specific shape or design, or 2) recycled directly or directly reused, or 3) must be less than or equal to half a pound. In a form having a specific shape or design generally means that the releases from the article must still look like and be recognized as pieces of the article. If more than half a pound of TRI chemical is released from all the like items used at the facility in the course of the year, and the releases are not in a form with a specific shape or design, and they are not recycled or directly reused, none of the items meet the article exemption. Also, because the item’s end use function must depend upon its design or shape, articles cannot be altered significantly. For example sheet metal must maintain its initial thickness; and wire and pipe must maintain its initial diameter to be considered exempt as articles.
Slide 47 - Article Exemption: Examples
Now let’s look at an example where wire is cut into specified lengths. Wire itself would be considered an article, but in cutting the wire to the specified lengths, there is some waste of off-spec cuts and some dust. The generation of the off-spec cuts that are still recognizable as pieces of wire will not by themselves negate the article’s status.
Quantities of the dust and off-spec cuts that are not recognizable as pieces of wire and that are greater than half a pound for any TRI chemical and not recycled or directly reused would negate the article status.
Let’s look at the example of fluorescent light bulbs which contain mercury, a TRI chemical. When the bulbs are no longer of use at a facility, they are crushed in an enclosed container for recycling at the facility. In this case the fluorescent bulbs would still be exempt. The normal use of the fluorescent bulbs at this facility as lighting does not release mercury.
While the occasional crushing of bulbs at this facility may release mercury, the crushing is not considered normal use of the bulb at this facility. Therefore, these releases would not disqualify the bulbs from the exemption at this facility if all other criteria are met. Note that the mercury in the bulbs may be is exempt from TRI reporting at this facility, but other regulatory requirements associated with the proper management of waste fluorescent bulbs should be followed.
Slide 48 - Article Exemption
Facilities need to be careful that they do not inappropriately use the articles exemption. Because it only takes ½ pound of TRI chemical released or disposed of over the course of a year to negate the articles status, often when metals containing TRI chemicals are machined, cut, or ground, in any manner, the article exemption would not apply. Also, generally, the article exemption does not apply to the actual manufacturing of articles.
Slide 49 - Laboratory Activity Exemptions
The next exemption is the laboratory activities exemption. TRI chemicals that are used in laboratories, under the direct supervision of a technically qualified individual, are exempt if they are used for sampling and analysis, research and development, quality assurance, or quality control. TRI chemicals used in laboratory activities are not exempt in the case of specialty chemical production, pilot-scale plant operation, activities that are not conducted in an actual lab, and support services such as photo processing or equipment maintenance and cleaning.
Slide 50 - Motor Vehicle Maintenance Exemption
Next, let’s look at the motor vehicles maintenance exemption. This is one of the ‘otherwise use’ exemptions. The TRI chemicals that are otherwise used to maintain vehicles that are operated by the facility would be eligible for this exemption. By motor vehicles, we are including cars, trucks, military vehicles, and forklifts. Motor vehicle maintenance includes body repairs, painting, parts washing and plating, fueling, and adding other fluids to the vehicle. Note that this is an ‘otherwise use’ exemption, so it does not apply to the manufacture of TRI chemicals from the combustion of fuel in vehicles.
Also, if vehicles are a product of the facility and TRI chemicals are being added to that product, either as a fuel or in some other way, that would be considered processing and not ‘otherwise use’. So those chemicals would not be exempt.
Slide 51 - Routine Janitorial or Facility Grounds Maintenance Exemption
The routine janitorial or facility grounds maintenance exemption covers the otherwise use of TRI chemicals and products and materials used for cleaning facilities and maintaining their grounds. Examples include: pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals that are in cleaners that are used in non-process areas. TRI chemicals that are used for facility equipment maintenance or cleaning or maintenance activities that are directly associated with the production process would not be eligible for the routine janitorial or facility grounds maintenance exemption.
Note that this exemption only applies to chemicals that are “otherwise used”. If part of your facility’s “process” is to provide these types of services, for example, grounds maintenance activities at a national park, then the TRI chemicals may not be considered “otherwise used” and may not be exempt.
Slide 52 - Structural Component Exemption
TRI chemicals otherwise used in certain structural components of the facility may also be exempt. First, such chemicals must meet the following requirements: the structural component must be part of the facility structure and it cannot be process related. So non-process-related structural items might include water pipes for potable water and any other non-process-related pipes and structures. Typical items that would not be eligible for the exemption – refractory brick, boiler tubes, process-related pipes, anodes used in electroplating, grinding wheels, metal working tools, and things of that nature. Federal facilities may have structural components that are integral to their “process” and the chemicals in these components would NOT qualify for the exemption. For example, the chemicals used as a wood preservative for a Navy pier used to dock ships, would not be exempt.
Slide 53 - Other Section 313 “Otherwise Use” Exemptions
The remaining otherwise use exemptions apply to personal use of TRI chemicals and TRI chemicals found in intake water and air. With the personal use exemption, chemicals that are used for employee personal use such as refrigerants or air conditioners that are solely for employee comfort, disinfectants used in potable water such as chlorine or phenols used in the medical dispensary are exempt.
Also TRI chemicals that are found in intake water and air, used at a facility, as long as the facility is not responsible for them being in the intake water and air are also exempt under TRI.
Slide 54 - Sector Specific Exemptions
There are also a number of industry-specific, or NAICS-code specific exemptions. The first one applies to certain coal mining activities that would be exempt from threshold determinations and release reporting. For coal mining, the exempt activities include the physical removal or exposure of the ore or coal prior to the beneficiation of the material. Similarly, certain metal mining activities are also exempt from TRI reporting.
Section IV: Threshold Determination
Slide 56 - Chemical Information Management
To ensure accurate TRI threshold determination, be sure to consider all activities and sources of the TRI chemicals at the facility. It might help to track chemicals as they enter the facility. Consider chemicals that are purchased or that are in inventory. Consider chemicals used by contractors, because you’re responsible for your contractors’ use of TRI chemicals as well. Don’t forget capital purchases and one time purchases. And don’t forget materials that may be manufactured as byproducts or intermediates. These should all be considered towards activity thresholds.
It helps to get the cooperation and support from all the different groups at the facility who may be purchasing or using TRI chemicals. Be comprehensive. For example, consider TRI chemicals that may be in steel or aluminum alloys that may be above the de minimis concentration. Manganese is one example.
Slide 57 - Threshold Determinations
There are a number of different sources of information available to facilities – to both identify the chemicals and concentrations, collect the data, and calculate the thresholds. We have talked about some of these already – such as MSDS’s and product specifications. Facilities should also consider any waste profiles or testing . Also, consider using any other data about the wastes leaving and raw materials entering your facility. Inventory or purchase records are often a good source of information. Production data can help you in quantifying the amounts of TRI chemicals to apply towards thresholds.
Regulatory reports, either air permits or water, chemical analyses associated with permits applications, and waste reports – are all potential sources of information on TRI chemicals.
Slide 58 - Determining Concentrations in Mixtures or Other Trade Name Products
Concentration of a TRI chemical can often be obtained from the Material Safety Data Sheet or other product information. In some cases the exact concentration of the TRI chemical is provided. For example, in the case – if a Material Safety Data Sheet provides a concentration of 25% for a TRI chemical, facilities would use 25% for their activity threshold determinations and any subsequent reporting.
In other cases, the MSDS may provide only an upper bound for the TRI chemical. For example, if the MSDS says there is at most 25% of the TRI chemical, in those cases facilities would actually use 25%, the upper limit, in their calculations. Oftentimes an MSDS will provide a range for a TRI chemical. For example, if the MSDS says 30 to 50%, facilities would use the midpoint of the range – in this case, 40%.
In some cases, a lower bound is provided for a TRI chemical in a mixture. If a lower-bound is provided, facilities would subtract out any other known constituents, creating an upper bound, thereby creating their own range, and use the midpoint of the range. For example, if an MSDS says the product contains at least 75% of the TRI chemical. In that case, we know that there is anywhere between 75% and 100% of the TRI chemical. The midpoint of that range would be 87.5%.
In some cases, the MSDS may say there is at least 75% of the toxic chemical and there is also, for example, 15% water. In this case, we know that the upper bound is 85%. The midpoint of the range of 75 to 85% would be 80%.
Slide 59 - TRI Chemicals Contained in Mixtures
When determining threshold quantities, be sure to only include the portion of the mixture that is the TRI chemical, and not the weight of the entire mixture. The de minimis exemption applies only to non-PBT chemicals that are in mixtures and in concentration that is less than 1% or .1% for carcinogens. The de minimis exemption allows for low concentrations of TRI chemicals in mixtures to be ignored in most cases.
It is not related to the quantity of the mixture used. Note that metal alloys can be thought of as a solid mixture or solution. Like any other mixture, you would multiply the concentration of the TRI chemical that is in the alloy by the total weight of the alloy to determine the threshold quantity.
Slide 60 - Determining Concentrations in Wastes
Facilities don’t always know whether or not the TRI chemical is present in a mixture at a concentration that is above its de minimis. For example, in cases where the MSDS gives a range or an upper bound, use the guidance we discussed earlier for how to determine what concentration to use and compare that to the de minimis. In the situation where you know the TRI chemical is present but it’s below the detection limit, use your engineering judgment. If the chemical is expected to be there, assume that it’s at a level of half the full detection limit. If you don’t expect the TRI chemical to be present, you can assume that its concentration is zero.
Slide 61 - Supplier Notification
Under TRI, facilities that supply TRI chemicals to others must provide information about those TRI chemicals. For example, they must identify the TRI chemical by name and by CAS number and must identify that this chemical is subject to Section 313 or TRI reporting requirements. They must provide a concentration or a range of concentrations for the TRI chemical that is in a mixture or a trade name product.
They must provide this notification at least annually or attach it to the Material Safety Data Sheet for the chemical. If any changes occur related to the TRI chemical or its concentration, they must provide that information as well. Usually, MSDSs contain a Regulatory Information section which should identify the TRI chemicals present and their concentrations.
Slide 62 - Watch for Double Counting
Be sure to watch out for double counting when calculating threshold quantities. Count the original amount of the chemical used in a threshold activity over the course of the reporting year only once. For materials that are in use from previous years, only count the quantity that was added during the current reporting year. Remember that chemicals that are stored or stockpiled that are not manufactured, processed, or otherwise used during the reporting year are not counted for threshold determinations.
Also note that any chemicals that are sent off-site for recycling and returned to the facility are considered new materials and would be counted again towards activity thresholds.
Slide 63 - Watch for Double Counting Within the Same Activity Threshold!
Be sure to watch out for double counting within the same activity threshold. For example, if a facility blends a TRI chemical in a product mixture and then the mixture is repackaged for sale into another container, those are both considered processing activities – the blending and the repackaging. While a chemical is processed twice, only count the quantity once towards the processing threshold.
For example, let’s look at a facility where 20,000 pounds of toluene were blended with other chemicals to create a paint product. The paint product was then repackaged into 55 gallon drums for sale. The processing threshold quantity for this facility for that reporting year is only 20,000 pounds.
Slide 64 - Multi-Establishment Facility
Facilities that are comprised of multiple establishments must take care to avoid both double counting and under counting of TRI chemicals used across the facility. Multi-establishment facilities are facilities that are comprised of separate economic or organizational units within the facility. Sometimes these separate units can create barriers to information exchange and gaps or overlaps in TRI reporting responsibilities. For threshold determinations, facilities must consider the aggregate amount of TRI chemicals used throughout the facility, including all of the establishments. If a threshold is exceeded, a TRI form is required. Multiple establishment facilities can file separate Form R reports for each part of the facility.
On the TRI Form R and in the reporting software, the filer can designate their submittal for a part of the facility. Remember to report all non-exempt releases and other waste management activities of reportable TRI chemicals for all parts of a facility. When reporting as multiple establishments, avoid double-counting of the same chemicals. When facilities do reports as separate establishments within the same facility, the quantities on the reports will be added together by EPA, and the reports that are made available to the public will show the aggregate amounts.
Slide 65 - Example: EPCRA Section 313 Non-PBT Chemical Reporting Threshold Worksheet
Here we show a threshold worksheet, which can help you to quantify the amounts of TRI chemicals to apply towards your activity thresholds and to determine whether or not you’ve exceeded an activity threshold. In this example, Omni Chemical has filled out a worksheet for toluene.
In the first step, they’ve identified all the mixtures or products that contain toluene at their facility. A degreaser, some paints, and a wash parts washer fluid. They’ve recorded where this information was obtained, the percent of the TRI chemical by weight, and a total weight of the mixture. In each case, they’ve multiplied the percent of the TRI chemical by the total weight to obtain the quantity of the TRI chemical that was either manufactured, processed, or otherwise used.
In this case, the toluene was all ‘otherwise used.’ The total quantity otherwise used is 10,500 pounds. The next step is to identify TRI chemicals that may be exempt. In this case, the bathroom paint, the paint that’s used in the bathrooms, is exempt under the structural components exemption.
None of the toluene in the bathroom paint would need to be considered towards the otherwise use activity threshold. So the facility is able to subtract the 1,500 pounds in the paint from their total to obtain 9,000 pounds of toluene that was otherwise used at the facility in the reporting year. Because the threshold for the otherwise use of toluene is 10,000 pounds, they have not exceeded the threshold and would not need to complete a TRI report for toluene.
Slide 66 - Lessons Learned
In threshold determinations and TRI reporting, it helps to begin the process early. Facilities should put systems into place that gather the information in real time. Researching information on TRI chemicals, oftentimes more than a year after they were used at your facility, can be difficult. Use the team approach. Spread the work by involving the people that are using or managing these TRI chemicals – engineers, people in purchasing, in the health and safety department are some examples. Be sure to keep good records, and to document your work.
Slide 67 - Record Keeping and Documentation
It’s very important to keep good records. Keeping detailed records improves the reporting accuracy and the quality of the data. Also, it will reduce replication of effort from year to year. Facilities should also keep good records of calculations, information sources, and assumptions, so that they can form the basis of procedures for completing their threshold determinations and reports in future years. Such practices help insure consistency from year to year especially when the personnel responsible for TRI requirements changes. Also, record keeping is required by EPA. Facilities must keep their records for three years. And, the EPA can review those records if an audit is conducted at the facility.
Slide 68 - TRI Process – 2 Part Process
The process of completing your TRI forms is a two-step process. We have now reviewed the first step, in which you determine if your facility is required to report to TRI, and if so, which TRI chemicals you would need to report on. We are now ready to move on to the second step, shown on the right. This is the actual release and waste management reporting – in other words, the information that you would put on a TRI form.
Section V: Overview of Form R
Slide 70 - Overview of Form R
In the next part of this module, we’ll talk about the TRI Form R. Assuming your facility has exceeded an activity threshold for a TRI chemical, it may be required to complete a TRI Form R. For each TRI chemical for which an activity threshold is exceeded, a form would be required to be submitted to the EPA and to the designated state or tribal authority.
The Electronic Reporting rule requires electronic reporting for all non-trade secret forms, including new reports, revisions and withdrawals. Beginning on January 21, 2014, all non-trade secret TRI reporting, which accounts for nearly all TRI forms submitted, must be submitted using TRI-Meweb.
Slide 71 - Form R Content
Let’s look a little closer at the TRI Form R. The TRI Form R is comprised of two main parts. The first part contains facility-specific information about your facility. There are five sections for reporting information about your facility.
The second part covers information about the chemical for which your facility is reporting. There are eight sections in part two. The first four sections identify the chemical, how it is used at the facility, and the maximum amount on site. The next four sections are what we call the meat of the TRI reporting, and this is where facilities report the actual quantities of the TRI chemicals that were managed as waste.
When using the TRI-MEweb application to complete the Form R, the sections of the Form R are not covered sequentially. This allows TRI-MEweb to streamline the reporting process. We will now discuss data required to complete the TRI Form R as it is presented in TRI-MEweb.
Note that much more detail and instructions for completing each section of the TRI Form R can be found in the “Reporting Forms and Instructions” document available from the TRI program website and through the TRI assistance library.
Slide 72 - Facility Identification
Part one of the Form R requests facility name, address, and TRI Identification number. Identification information is preloaded into TRI-MEweb if your facility has reported in the past. First, confirm the facility name, or select it from a list if there is more than one facility associated with the TRI-MEweb account. Next, specify whether or not the Form you are completing covers the entire facility, or if it only covers part of the facility, with the rest of the TRI reporting for the facility being covered in other form submissions. You can edit facility information that has been preloaded by selecting “Edit” after selecting the facility.
Note that TRI IDs stay with a facility even if the facility ownership changes. Facilities that have never filed a TRI report in the past, should enter “New Facility” in place of a TRI ID, and a TRI ID will be assigned by EPA. Federal facilities’ names should include the federal department or agency followed by the site name. If you are unsure of your facility’s name or whether or not it has filed a TRI form in the past, you can go to the website shown here to search EPA’s Facility Registry System.
Slide 73 - Facility Identification (continued)
In the facility identification section, facilities also indicate whether they are a federal facility or a “Government Owned Contractor Operated” facility, or neither.
Private sector facilities report information on their parent company, including its name and Dun and Bradstreet number. The parent company is the highest level of ownership within the United States and is pre-loaded in TRI-MEweb. If you do not have a parent company, check “No U.S. Parent Company (for TRI Reporting purposes).”
For your Dun and Bradstreet number, facilities can search via TRI-MEweb or they can use the website and telephone number shown here to obtain this information.
Federal facilities enter the highest level department or agency and check “NA” for Dun and Bradstreet number.
Slide 74 - Facility Identification (continued)
Private sector facilities are also required to enter the Dun and Bradstreet number for the facility. Again, for assistance facilities can use the search tool in TRI-MEweb or the telephone number and website shown here.
Next, facilities enter the industry codes that best represent their operations. NAICS codes are available in TRI-MEweb or can be found in the website shown here. Remember that the primary NAICS code is the code that represents the largest portion of the facility’s operations as defined by “value added”.
Slide 75 - Part II - Chemical-Specific information
Part two of the Form R is for chemical specific information. First, facilities identify the TRI chemicals on which they are reporting. Facilities enter the chemical name and the “chemical abstract service” number or the TRI chemical category code or select it from the list provided in TRI-MEweb. For those facilities that are claiming a trade secret the chemical name is only entered and the public version of the TRI Form R shows only the generic descriptive for the chemical.
In some cases, the facility’s chemical supplier may have claimed a trade secret for a particular TRI chemical and the facility does not know the actual name of the TRI chemical for which they are submitting a report. In this scenario, the facility enters the generic descriptive provided.
For each Form submitted to EPA, facilities must also provide both technical and public contact information. A technical contact is a person who can answer technical questions from EPA and states about the TRI submittal. The public contact is a person who can answer inquiries from the public about the TRI data.
Slide 76 - Activities and Uses
Next, facilities report the activities and uses of the TRI chemical at the facility. Be sure to check all applicable boxes.
Slide 77 - Tools and Data Sources for Release Calculations
Where do you get the information to calculate your releases and waste management quantities for your Form R? Some sources are listed here. Previous year Form R reports and documentation are a starting point for many TRI filers. Process flow diagrams, monitoring data – again, you don’t have to collect it for TRI, but you may have already collected it for other purposes. Permit applications are another source – often many release estimates go into the application and that may be useful for TRI reporting.
Other environmental reports may be helpful sources – for example, you may have state pollution prevention reports or RCRA biennial reports. If you have a NPDES permit, you may have discharge monitoring reports that include one or more of the TRI chemicals. Be sure to look across media for potential sources. Waste management manifests can be a good source of information for estimating the quantity of a chemical sent offsite.
Slide 78 - Estimating Quantities Released
When estimating release and waste management quantities for sections 5 and 6 of Part two of the Form R, be sure to consider all sources and uses of the TRI chemical, not just your main feedstocks. For example, consider chemicals that are used to clean production equipment, fuels, maintenance chemicals, catalysts, and lubricants for machinery. These all could be sources of TRI chemicals.
Reasonable estimates are required by law. However, the best approach is usually facility-specific. The data and approach must be documented and should be consistent. Facilities are required to use their best available information. While measuring and monitoring are not required by TRI, it may be that existing measurements and monitoring data are the best available information. Facilities need to determine the best reasonable approach to their estimates.
Slide 79 - Data Precision
Be as precise as possible when reporting release and waste management quantities. For non-PBT chemicals, facilities report release and waste management quantities in whole numbers. In other words, no decimal numbers for non-PBT chemicals. For non-PBT chemicals, quantities of a half pound or less can be rounded down to zero. In general, EPA requests two significant figures, if available. If your estimate is more precise, additional figures should be used. However, the level of precision reported should be based upon the precision of the underlying data used in the calculations. However, for non-PBT chemicals, range code reporting is allowed in sections 5 and 6 for quantities less than 1,000 pounds. Range codes cannot be used for PBT chemicals.
Slide 80 - Data Precision (continued)
Data precision requirements are different for PBT chemicals, because of the much lower thresholds associated with these chemicals. While non-PBT chemicals are reported to the nearest whole number, for PBT chemicals, facilities report to the nearest 10th of a pound. The exception is for dioxin, where quantities should be reported to the nearest 100 micrograms. For PBT chemicals, reported quantities can be rounded down to zero if less than .05 pounds. Quantities of 50 micrograms or less of dioxin can be rounded down to zero.
When using the TRI-ME web reporting application, the systems recognize the chemicals as PBT or non-PBT and will allow decimal reporting for PBT chemicals and not for non-PBT chemicals.
Slide 81 - “NA” vs. “0”
It is important for TRI filers to understand the difference between reporting a zero and reporting “N/A,” for “not applicable.” Use “N/A” when there is no possibility of that chemical being released to or otherwise managed as waste in that medium.
For example, in Section 5 of the Form R, facilities enter the quantity of the TRI chemical that went to their on-site landfill. If the facility does not have an on-site landfill, there is no way that the chemical could go to an on-site landfill, so they report “N/A”. Facilities should use zero when no release occurs or less than half a pound of the non-PBT chemical is directed towards that medium.
For example, if a facility has a waste stream discharged to water and has control equipment in place that completely removes the TRI chemical from the waste stream prior to discharge, they would enter a zero as the quantity discharged. They use a zero instead of N/A because a discharge is possible if, for example, their control equipment was not removing 100% of the chemical. Note that a Basis of Estimate code is required for all numerical estimates, including zero. A Basis of Estimate code should not be entered when “N/A” is reported.
Slide 82 - Maximum On-Site Amount
Facilities are also required to report the maximum quantity of the TRI chemical that was on site at any one time during the reporting year. The quantity is reported by entering a code representing a range of pounds of the chemical. The codes are available from the “Reporting Forms and Instructions” document and from the TRI-ME reporting software. Note that this quantity is comprehensive of all locations and uses of the chemical at the facility including quantities in storage, in the process stream, and in wastes. This is different from Tier two maximum amount on site which includes the weight of the entire mixture and does not include quantities in hazardous wastes.
Slide 83 - Quantity Entering Each Medium
Next, facilities report the quantities of the TRI chemical that are released to each environmental medium on-site. In sections 5 and 6 of the TRI Form R, facilities have the option of reporting one of three “range codes” in place of actual quantities of chemicals, if the quantity is less than 1,000 pounds, AND if the chemical is not a PBT chemical. Range codes cannot be used for PBT chemicals, instead the actual quantity must be entered for PBT chemicals.
Slide 84 - Basis of Estimate Codes
For each chemical quantity entered in Sections 5 and 6 of the Form R, facilities much also indicate how the quantity was estimated by entering a “basis of estimate” code. Is the estimate based on data from a continuous monitoring system? If so, enter a Basis of Estimate code of M1. Enter “M2” if the estimate is based upon periodic or random monitoring. Is the estimate based on a mass balance calculation? That would be a Basis of Estimate Code of C. If the quantity is based on a published emission factor, then enter “E1” as the Basis of Estimate code. E2 is for site-specific emissions factors that are non-published, that were perhaps developed through in-house testing, or were provided by the vendor of your process or pollution control equipment. The last code, “O”, is for “other” and is used for engineering calculations. O is also any other method that is not covered by the other codes.
In some cases, the quantity entered on the TRI Form could be based on multiple estimation techniques. In these cases, enter the basis of estimate code that represents the largest portion of the estimate.
Slide 85 - Fugitive or Non-Point Air Emissions
In this section of the TRI-MEweb reporting application and in Form R, facilities are required to enter the quantity of the TRI chemical that is released to the air from fugitive and non-point sources. Fugitive and non-point emissions include leaks, evaporative losses, building ventilation, and any other air emissions that cannot be traced to a discreet point. As with all estimates entered in Sections 5 and 6, enter the basis of estimate code that best represents the estimation technique used.
In the example shown, a facility knows that it used 5,000 pounds of a volatile solvent during the reporting year. They also know that 4,950 pounds of the solvent were contained in the adhesive product that they manufactured. Using a simple mass balance calculation, they are able to determine that 50 pounds of the TRI chemical were released to the air through fugitive emissions. The facility then enters 50 pounds in Section 5.1 along with a basis of estimate code of “C”.
Slide 86 - Estimating Releases When No Data Available (Fugitive)
Another common question is: how do you come up with an estimate when there are no data available? This comes up often in the case of fugitive emissions. Facilities may have a process and a chemical for which they know that fugitive air emissions occur, based on the nature of the process or of the chemical, but do not know how to go about quantifying those fugitive emissions.
The example shown here is for a metalworking operation where there is metal dust on the floor indicating fugitive air emissions are occurring.
However, if the facility does not track or measure the dust, how can they quantify these fugitive emissions?
Facilities can work with the operations personnel familiar with the operation in determining when the dust is generated, how it is generated, and its composition (and specifically how much of the TRI chemical in question does it contain). Then they use their best engineering judgment to indicate the quantity of release. Because it will not be a precise estimate, they may want to consider using a range code. They will also have to indicate the Basis of Estimate code for the quantity of fugitive emissions, which is likely the “O” Basis of Estimate code for engineering judgment.
Slide 87 - Stack or Point-Source Air Emissions
Next, facilities are asked to enter the quantity of the TRI chemical that was released to the air via stacks or other point sources such as vents, pipes, ducts, storage tanks, and any other confined stream. In some cases these emissions may already be monitored or estimated for air permits or other regulatory requirements. In other cases they can be estimated from emissions factors and production data. An example of an estimate based on a published emissions factor is shown here. A facility combusting 500,000 tons of coal in a fluidized bed combustor obtained a published emissions factor for mercury in such a system.
Using the emission factor, they were able to determine that 110 pounds of mercury was released through the stack, which they entered on the TRI form along with a basis of estimate code of “E1”.
Slide 88 - On-Site Wastewater Discharges
Wastewater discharges are reported in two places in the TRI-MEweb reporting application and Form R. First, facilities report releases directly discharged to a stream or water body. Often these are regulated and monitored as part of an NPDES permit. Facilities enter the name of the water body if it has a name. If it does not have a name, then report the name of the nearest downstream water body that does have a name.
Be aware that the quantity of TRI chemical reported should also include any stormwater runoff containing the TRI chemical. After entering the total quantity, facilities indicate the percent of the total that can be attributed to stormwater releases.
The other place on the Form R where wastewater discharges are reported cover discharges to a POTW. Because the POTW will conduct further waste management on the discharged chemicals, these discharges are considered offsite transfers, so they are reported separately in TRI-MEweb or in Section 6 of Form R.
Slide 89 - Calculating Wastewater Discharges
Remember that facility wastewater released directly to a stream or water body, either through a discharge pipe or through storm water, are reported as an onsite wastewater discharge and discharges to a POTW are reported as offsite transfers for further waste management.
To calculate the quantity of the TRI chemical discharged, facilities may have monitoring data available, such as may be required under a NPDES report. If no monitoring data exist, facilities should use the most appropriate methods including general process knowledge and mass balance calculations.
Slide 90 - Calculating Wastewater Discharges
Here is an example calculation for wastewater discharges using already existing and available monitoring data. This example is for methanol discharges, where this facility collected samples twice during the reporting year. The first sample was taken on March 1st, when the chemical was released at a concentration of 1.0 milligrams per liter with a flow rate of 1.0 million gallons per day. Converting milligrams per liter and million gallons per day into pounds per day results in 8.33 pounds per day by applying the appropriate conversion factors. Their second sample was taken on September 8th, where they measured the chemical at a concentration of 0.2 milligrams per liter, at a flow rate of 0.2 million gallons per day. Calculating that with the appropriate conversion factors again, comes out to 0.33 pounds per day. The two samples of 8.33 and 0.33 pounds/day are averaged to get 4.33 pounds per day.
The number that goes on the Form R is not in pounds per day, but in pounds for the reporting year. So, this quantity must be multiplied by the operating days, say 365 days, to get the total pounds per year.
The second method shown, labeled “incorrect way,” shows a method where the two concentrations are averaged and then separately the two flow rates are averaged to calculate pounds per day. This method is not as accurate because the concentration and the flow rate specific to each sample should stay together. Note that the basis of estimate code for this calculation is “M2” for periodic monitoring.
Slide 91 - On-Site Injection Wells
Facilities also must report releases of the TRI chemical to underground injection wells. Underground injection wells are classified and regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Quantities are entered separately for Class one wells and for Class two through five wells. Facilities that do not have underground injection wells should check “NA” in this section.
Slide 92 - Disposal to Land On-Site
There are a variety of ways that facilities can dispose of TRI chemicals to the land. In this part of the TRI-MEweb reporting software and Form R, facilities report the quantity of the chemical released to the land via onsite RCRA subtitle C landfills, other landfills, land treatment or land farming, RCRA Subtitle C surface impoundments, other surface impoundments, and other disposal.
“Other disposal” includes any spills or leaks to land. Note that if a portion of the TRI chemical that is disposed of to land onsite volatilizes to the air or washes to a water body during the reporting year, that quantity is not reported here, but in the section most appropriate for that medium.
Slide 93 - On-Site waste Management
In completing the Form R, facilities also report how, and how much of, the TRI chemical was managed as a waste on-site. Specifically, how much of the chemical was treated for destruction in air pollution control devises or wastewater treatment processes, for example; how much was used for energy recovery, how much was recycled, and descriptions of the actual processes that the waste stream went through at the facility. The information entered in this part of the TRI-MEweb reporting application covers Section 7 and portions of Section 8 of the Form R.
Slide 94 - Waste Treatment Methods and Efficiency
Under TRI, “treatment” means that the waste chemical is removed or destroyed. In the Waste Treatment Methods and Efficiency section, facilities describe each waste stream containing the TRI chemical using a “waste stream code” that denotes whether the waste stream is solid, liquid, or gaseous. Next, facilities enter the codes that represent each of the waste treatment methods that the waste stream goes through in order. All treatment methods must be recorded, even if the method does not affect the TRI chemical.
The quantities of the TRI chemical in each the waste stream are also reported. Finally, the facility reports a code that represents the range of treatment efficiency that the combined waste treatment methods had on the TRI chemical.
Note that all of the codes required for Section 7 can be obtained from the “Reporting Forms and Instructions” and through the TRI-ME web reporting applications.
Slide 95 - Energy Recovery Methods and Quantity
The next section covers on-site energy recovery processes that the TRI chemical goes through and the quantities of the TRI chemical that was combusted for energy recovery. Only chemicals that have a significant heat value and for which the heat energy is actually recovered should be reported in this section. Up to three codes representing each energy recovery method that the TRI chemical enters are reported.
Slide 96 - Recycling Methods and Quantity
The next section covers on-site recycling processes that the TRI chemical goes through. Note that recycling recovers the TRI chemical from the waste stream so that it can be used over again. It does not include energy recovery. The quantity and up to two codes representing each recycling method that the TRI chemical enters are reported.
Slide 97 - Off-Site Transfers
The off-site transfers section of TRI-MEweb covers Section six of Form R. Off-site transfers include any transfers of the TRI chemical to another facility for the purpose of waste management including off-site waste treatment, recycling, energy recovery, or disposal. As in Section 5, any quantity reported in Section 6 that is under 1,000 pounds AND that is for a non-PBT chemical can instead be represented by one of the range codes shown here. Also, as in Section 5, basis of estimate codes are required for each quantity entered.
Note that similar quantities reported in Section 8 of Form R must be actual values and not range codes. The Section 8 Calculator in TRI-MEweb, which uses information reported in sections 5 and 6, will assume the midpoint of any ranges reported in Sections 5 and 6 when calculating quantities for Section 8.
Slide 98 - Transfers to POTWs
Facilities must report the quantities of TRI chemicals that are transferred in wastewater to a publicly owned treatment works, or POTW. When reporting a discharge to a POTW, TRI-MEweb and the Form R require the name of the POTW to which the TRI chemical is being transferred. Facilities can use a search tool in TRI-MEweb or one of the EPA websites shown here to find the official name of their POTW.
In the example shown here, a facility used engineering calculations to determine that it generated wastewater containing 300 pounds of lead particulates during the reporting year. Before being discharged to the POTW, the wastewater underwent a filtration step that was thought to have a 95 percent removal efficiency for this size of particulates. Therefore, the quantity of lead reported as transferred to the POTW is 15 pounds and the basis of estimate code for this combination of estimation techniques is “O”.
Slide 99 - Other Off-Site Transfers
The Off-site transfers section of TRI-MEweb also covers all other transfers of the TRI chemical off-site for waste management. The name, address and EPA ID, if applicable, of the facility receiving the TRI chemical is entered. For each off-site location, the quantity and basis of estimate code associated with each waste management activity are entered. The types of waste management activities are specified using the appropriate “M code” for each activity. The list of “M codes” are available in the “Reporting Forms and Instructions” document as well in the TRI-MEweb reporting application. The quantities of TRI chemical sent off-site to be managed as waste are often recorded by facilities as part of their regulatory requirements and recordkeeping systems. Facilities should take advantage of existing sources of information to assist with developing their estimates for this and other sections of the TRI Form R.
Slide 100 -Off-Site Waste Transfers
Here are some tips specific to reporting off-site transfer quantities. First, Identify all possible sources of waste sent off-site. Hazardous waste is one source and waste manifests may be helpful in calculating the quantity of some TRI chemicals sent off-site. However, also consider TRI chemicals in non-hazardous wastes, such as chemicals in waste oil, coolant, trash, or scrap metal. Also consider container residue – the RCRA definition of an “empty” drum may still contain TRI chemicals. These quantities need to be included as off-site transfers on Form R. For all quantities of the TRI chemical sent offsite for waste management, remember to record the “M” code, describing how the chemical was managed offsite. If a waste going offsite for incineration contained 100 pounds of the TRI chemical, 100 pounds would be reported as an “other off-site transfer” along with the name and location of the site it is being sent to, and the “M code” for incineration. If another waste stream contained 300 pounds of the same TRI chemical and was being sent to a different location for metals recovery, the 300 pounds would be listed separately, along with the name and location of the receiving facility, and the M code for metals recovery.
Slide 101 - Release and Waste Management Estimates
Here are a few helpful hints for estimating release and waste management quantities reported on the Form R.
First, consider all sources of information and use the best available information for release and waste management estimates.
Be sure to estimate the quantity of the TRI chemical and not the entire waste stream. For example, when using data from a waste manifest that shows the weight of the entire waste mixture sent off-site, be sure to base release and waste management estimates on only the amount of the TRI chemical in that waste mixture.
Be sure to differentiate between your fugitive and your stack air emissions.
When reporting for a VOC, or volatile organic compound, be sure to estimate fugitive losses of the chemical – it is unlikely to have zero fugitive air emissions.
Pay attention to the TRI chemical qualifiers and remember that the form of the chemical described in the qualifier is the only form that needs to be considered for TRI.
Also, always check your math and document your work.
Be aware that errors can carry over from year to year.
Slide 102 - Pollution Prevention Hierarchy
The final section of the Form R, Section 8, is the section of Form R focused on pollution prevention. This pollution prevention hierarchy shown here was institutionalized by the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, and the idea here is that facilities always want to be moving up this triangle toward source reduction. Facilities should look for opportunities for source reduction and think about how they can avoid creating wastes in the first place. If that is not possible, they should look at opportunities for recycling the chemical. If that’s not possible, they move down the hierarchy and determine if the chemical can be treated. If there is no way to destroy the chemical, then their last resort is disposal or release to the environment. So, we always want to be evaluating ways to move towards source reduction. Section 8 of the TRI Form R is intended to help track progress and identify opportunities for pollution prevention. In Section 8, facilities report quantities for the current reporting year, as in the other sections of the form, but quantities are also reported for the previous year, and they are projected out for the next two years. This provides a trend over time to look at to determine if there are more opportunities to move up this pollution prevention hierarchy.
Slide 103 - Source Reduction and Recycling (Section 8)
Now we will discuss how to complete the Source Reduction and Recycling portion of Form R, which is covered in Section 8.
In Section 8.1, the quantity of the chemical released is reported. In Sections 8.2 and 8.3, the quantities of the chemical used for energy recovery on-site and off-site are reported. Remember, to be reported as energy recovery, the TRI chemical must have a significant heat value and that heat must be recovered. In Sections 8.4 and 8.5, the quantities of the chemical recycled on-site and off-site are reported. And, in Sections 8.6 and 8.7, the quantities of the chemical treated on-site and off-site are reported. Under TRI, treatment means “destroyed”, so metals, which cannot be destroyed, should not be reported in these sections.
Adding up the quantities in section 8.1 through 8.7 gives the total quantity of waste generated from production activities at the facility. This includes the total quantity released, treated, recycled, or used for energy recovery. Some of these quantities may have already been calculated to complete Form R section 5 for on-site releases and section 6 for off-site transfers. The TRI-MEweb application includes a Section 8 calculator tool that will help with these calculations. However, the quantities reported in sections 5 and 6 of the form can differ from those reported in Sections 8.1 through 8.7. The sections 5 and 6 quantities should include any TRI chemicals released and transferred as part of a remedial clean-up action or catastrophic one time event. These non-production-related quantities are NOT included in Sections 8.1 through 8.7. TRI-MEweb will ask if any of the quantities reported in sections 5 and 6 were associated with remedial actions or catastrophic one time events, and if so, how much. Then, using the information already entered into TRI-MEweb, the Section 8 calculator will populate the quantities for the current year column of Section 8. However, in the Source Reduction and Recycling portion of the Form R, as shown here, facilities are not only required to report on the current year’s activities, but also the previous year’s quantities and estimates for the next two years.
If your facility reported on this chemical in the previous year, TRI-MEweb will pre-populate the prior year column. Facilities then only need to estimate quantities for the following two years.
Slide 104 - Section 8: Relationship to Sections 5 and 6
For facilities completing the Form R on paper, this table shows the subsections of Section 8 that may be derived from information that was already recorded in Section 5 (onsite releases) and in Section 6 (offsite transfers) of the Form R. For example, all the quantities recorded for the chemical as on-site releases are all reported in Section 8.1. Section 8.1 is the quantity of the chemical released and disposed, onsite and offsite. Offsite releases and disposals come from the part of the Form R where offsite transfers are entered, and includes only those transfers that were ultimately released or disposed rather than treated or recycled or used for energy recovery. Recall that for each off-site transfer, a code was entered representing the disposition of that chemical.
Also, information for Sections 8.3, 8.5, and 8.7 may have already been calculated in other parts of the form. Here we direct you to where in the Form these quantities may have already been reported.
Slide 105 - Section 8: Relationship to Section 7
When completing the Form R on paper, the quantities needed for the three subsections of Section 8 shown here have not already been considered in previous sections of the Form R. In sections 8.2, 8.4 and 8.6, facilities report the quantities of the TRI chemical used for on-site energy recovery, on-site recycling, and on-site treatment, respectively. Again, to be reported as energy recovery, the TRI chemical itself, and not only the entire waste stream, must have an energy value and be must be combusted in an energy recovery unit. To be reported as recycling, the TRI chemical itself must be recycled. And to be reported as treatment, the TRI chemical itself must be destroyed. Note that metals cannot be destroyed.
Slide 106 - Remedial, Catastrophic, or One-Time Amounts
If quantities of the TRI chemical were released to the environment or transferred offsite as a result of a remediation activity, or a catastrophic or one-time event, these quantities are reported separately when completing the Source Reduction and Recycling portion of the Form. This does not include chemicals that are treated onsite, recovered for energy onsite, or recycled on-site, no matter how those chemicals were generated. Note that these quantities are entered in Section 8.8 of the Form R and they are exclusive of the quantities entered in Section 8.1 through 8.7. In other words, there is no overlap. For example, if a facility has an ongoing remedial action for a TRI chemical, and there are fugitive releases to the air associated with that remedial action, the quantity of the chemical released to the air is not reported in section 8.1 because the release is from the remedial activity. The quantity is reported in Section 8.8. Facilities using TRI-MEweb are asked to quantify any amounts of the TRI chemical associated with remedial actions or catastrophic or one-time events and the Section 8 calculator automatically deducts these amounts from Sections 8.1 through 8.7.
Also note that quantities reported in Section 8.8 do NOT include preventable quantities, like those associated with spills from a production process, or a leaking pipe, or anything that could have been prevented, such as through more rigorous prevention or maintenance procedures.
Slide 107 - Production Ratio or Activity Index
The production ratio or activity index for the chemical goes in Section 8.9. The production ratio is a unitless value that compares this year’s production involving this chemical to last year’s production. This helps facilities examine trends in their quantities released and managed. For example, releases could be decreasing over time because pollution prevention is being implemented resulting in increased efficiency. Or releases could be decreasing because production is going down.
The facility must decide if a production ratio or an activity index best reflects the use of the chemical for which they are reporting. For example, if the facility is reporting on a chemical that is in the paint used to paint ovens, using the number of ovens would be a good production ratio. As they make more ovens, they are going to be using proportionally more of the paint, if they do not implement any pollution prevention practices. However, if the chemical is used in a cleaning solution to clean tanks, it may be that the facility is increasing production by running larger jobs that require fewer cleanings. Production isn’t a good indicator of the year-to-year use of that chemical, so they would opt for using an activity index instead.
If a facility does implement pollution prevention practices, they still may see their chemical use remain the same even though their production ratio is greater than one, meaning their production is going up. That would indicate they are using less of the chemical per unit of product.
If production is going up, the production ratio is going to be greater than one. If production is going down, the production ratio or activity index is going to be less than one, as in the tank washout example. Barring significant changes in production or activities at a facility, most production ratios and activity indexes are within 0.5 and 2, which would indicate a 50 percent decrease and a 100 percent increase in production or activities, respectively.
Slide 108 - Production Ratio or Activity Index
Let’s go through a couple of examples to illustrate this.
The first example is an oven manufacturer, and at this facility 40,000 ovens were assembled this reporting year, compared to 35,000 ovens assembled in the prior reporting year. So dividing 40,000 by 35,000 results in a production ratio of 1.14. This is a unitless value. 1.14 would represent a 14% increase in production from last year to this year. But neither 14, or 0.14 should be reported. Only 1.14, the actual ratio, should be reported.
Perhaps the TRI chemical use has no connection to production. Alternatively, facilities may use an activity index instead of a production ratio. In the activity index example shown here, a chemical is used in tank washouts. There were 50 washouts this year compared to 60 the last year. That would result in an activity index of 0.83
Slide 109 - Source Reduction Activities
In the Source Reduction Activities portion of the Form R, section 8.10, facilities report on the source reduction activities, implemented during the reporting year that could reduce the total quantity of chemical released (including disposal), recycled, combusted for energy recovery, or treated. The various source reduction activities are represented by codes that can be found as a “drop down” menu in TRI-MEweb or in the “Reporting Forms and Instructions” document. There are many types of activities that could be considered source reduction activities. Some are listed here. Reporters should review these codes, because they may not realize that some of the activities that they have implemented during the year would count as source reduction. For each source reduction code you enter in TRI-MEweb, a button to the right of the entry allows you to provide details on the source reduction practice in the next section of the Form R (Section 8.11, Optional Pollution Prevention Information).This information will be added to Section 8.11 (Optional Pollution Prevention Information), preceded by the code to which it relates.
If your facility faces barriers preventing any new source reduction practices, this information can also be included in 8.11.
Slide 110 - Optional Pollution Prevention Information
This section of the Form R allows facilities to provide any additional information on their source reduction, recycling, or pollution control activities to supplement their TRI report. The information may include activities from previous years. This section of the TRI Form is optional and is only for information related to source reduction, recycling and pollution control. Completing this section and the previous section provides an opportunity to publicly highlight any steps your facility took to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals entering the environment. Alternatively if your facility faces barriers inhibiting the implementation of pollution prevention, EPA encourages you to use this Section to describe these barriers. EPA has increased the prominence and accessibility of the pollution prevention information reported to TRI. Visit www.epa.gov/TRI/P2 to learn about tools to access this information and identify pollution prevention practices that may be applicable to your facility.
Slide 111 - Optional Pollution Prevention Information
In Section 9.1, facilities can enter any other information related to the Form R submission. Possible examples to include are: changes in production, facility closures, staffing changes, and calculation methods. TRI-MEweb also allows you to use this section to provide explanations related to individual data quality alerts generated by the system.
Quiz 3 - Question 1
A facility manufactures 100,000 pounds of a non-PBT Section 313 chemical. They sell 99,000 pounds as a product. They emit 500 pounds to the air out of a stack, and send 500 pounds off-site for treatment. Do they meet the criteria for submitting a Form A? Select Yes or No.
The answer is Yes. The total amount of the chemical manufactured (100,000 lbs) is below the 1,000,000 lb threshold for using Form A. The total annual reportable amount (1,000 lbs) is below the 5,000 lb threshold for non-PBT chemicals. And the total amount disposed or released to the environment (500 lbs) is below the 2,000 lb threshold for non-PBT chemicals.
Quiz 3 - Question 2
A facility uses 50,000 pounds of nitric acid as a cleaner. The entire amount is neutralized in their on-site wastewater treatment operation and there are no air or water releases. Do they meet the criteria for submitting a Form A? Select Yes or No.
The answer is No. The total amount of the chemical manufactured, processed, or otherwise used (50,000 lbs) is below the 1,000,000 lb threshold for using Form A. However, the annual reportable amount (50,000 lbs) is greater than the 5,000 lb threshold for non-PBT chemicals, because all 50,000 lbs of nitric acid are treated onsite.
Section VI: Alternate Threshold Rule
Slide 113 - Form A Eligibility
If facilities meet the criteria, they have the option of submitting a TRI Form A in lieu of the Form R. The Form A does not require release or other waste management or source reduction information. It mainly is comprised of Part one of the Form R and the name and the CAS number of the chemical.
Determinations for eligibility must be made on a chemical-by-chemical basis and records of these determinations must be maintained. Facilities can submit a combination of TRI Forms R and A if they meet the criteria for submitting a Form A for some chemicals.
Slide 114 - Criteria for Submitting Form A
In order to use the Form A, a facility must meet the following criteria. First the chemical cannot be a PBT chemical. Second, the facility cannot exceed one million pounds of the chemical manufactured, processed, or otherwise used. Third, the facility cannot exceed 500 pounds for the total waste management of the TRI chemical. And by waste management, again, we mean the releases, recycling, energy recovery, and treatment of the TRI chemical.
Slide 115 - TRI-MEweb and Submitting Via CDX
The Electronic Reporting rule requires electronic reporting via TRI-MEweb for all non-trade secret TRI reporting, which accounts for nearly all forms submitted to TRI. Electronic reporting is now required for all new reporting, withdrawals or revisions for Reporting Years 1991 through the current year.
TRI-MEweb has features to help reporters with their submissions including pre-populating forms with information from prior year reporting, validation and error checking steps, and e-mail confirmation of transmitted and certified submissions. Additionally, tutorials to help users with TRI-MEweb are available on the TRI website.
Paper submissions should only be used for trade secret reporting. Information about trade secret reporting is available on the TRI website.
Slide 116 - Accessing TRI-MEweb
To begin using TRI-MEweb, you must register and log into EPA’s Central Data Exchange, also known as CDX, which also hosts many other reporting applications for EPA programs. Users register either as a preparer or a certifying official. Preparers may perform every portion of the submission process except for the final electronic signature or certification step, which must be performed by a certifying official. The certifying official should be in senior management role for the reporting facility or company. Anyone representing the facility may be a preparer.
To begin reporting for a facility, all uses must gain access to their facility’s profile, using one of three options: the first option is to enter the TRI Facility ID and the facility’s technical contact name and phone number. The second option is to enter a six-digit access key, which is provided to the technical contact. The third option is to begin a new profile for a facility that has never reported to TRI.
New certifying officials must submit an electronic signature agreement, also known as an ESA, to be able to certify forms. An ESA is submitted only once so long the certifying official continues to represent the facility. There are two options for submitting an ESA. The first option uses a third-party vendor to verify the certifying official’s identity, and is completed in real time. The second option is to mail in a signed paper form generated by TRI-MEweb, which takes a minimum of five business days to process. Certifying officials should complete their ESA well in advance of the July 1st filing deadline to ensure they will be able to certify forms on time.
For CDX and TRI-MEweb related help, including registering for CDX, password resets, accessing your facility profile in TRI-MEweb, or completing an ESA, please contact the CDX helpdesk.
Slide 117 - For More Information and Assistance
This concludes the TRI Basic Concepts Module. The Advanced Concepts module is the second part of this two part training course.
The Advanced Concepts module assumes a basic understanding of the TRI program requirements. It reviews some of the basic concepts, but focuses on key concepts that will help to ensure accurate TRI reporting, including guidance on reporting exemptions, threshold determinations, chemicals with special requirements, and more on the recent changes to the TRI program.
The Advanced Concepts module, a great deal of additional TRI reporting guidance, and on-line tutorials for using the TRI-ME web can be accessed from the TRI homepage at www.epa.gov/tri.
Slide 119 - End of Module
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