Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

Intent to Consider Lifting Administrative Stay on TRI Hydrogen Sulfide Reporting

EPA is taking an important step to provide communities with additional information about toxic chemicals being released to the environment. The Agency is announcing that it is considering lifting the Administrative Stay of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide. The Agencys review of hydrogen sulfide is part of its efforts to examine the scope of TRI chemical coverage and provide communities with more complete information on toxic chemical releases.

Hydrogen sulfide was added to the TRI list of toxic chemicals in a final rule published on December 1, 1993. On August 22, 1994, EPA issued an Administrative Stay of the reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide in order to evaluate issues brought to the Agencys attention after promulgation of the final rule concerning the human health effect basis for the listing and the Agencys use of exposure analyses in TRI listing decisions. Because of the reporting stay, facilities have not been required to file annual TRI reports for hydrogen sulfide. Should EPA finalize the lifting of the stay, communities will have additional information about this toxic chemical.

EPA has completed its evaluation, including a consideration of additional information that has become available since the stay was put in place regarding the human health and environmental effects of hydrogen sulfide. EPA is presenting its rationale for why the Administrative Stay of the reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide should be lifted, based on the completed evaluation. After reviewing any comments received, the Agency will issue a Federal Register document responding to comments and taking appropriate action. Comments on the document are due to EPA by April 27, 2010.

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-TRI-2009-0844; FRL-9119-2, by one of the following methods:

  1. www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
  2. Email: oei.docket@epa.gov
  3. Mail: Office of Environmental Information (OEI) Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code: 28221T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460
  4. Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC), EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Centers normal hours of operation

For further information on submitting comments, contact The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Hotline, toll free at (800) 424-9346 (select menu option #3) or (703) 412-9810 in Virginia and Alaska or toll free, TDD (800) 553-7672.

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Hydrogen Sulfide: Intent to Consider Lifting Administrative Stay, Question & Answers:

For further information contact Daniel R. Bushman, Environmental Analysis Division, Office of Information Analysis and Access (2842T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202-566-0743; fax number: 202-566-0677; email: Dan Bushman (bushman.daniel@epa.gov), for specific information on this document.

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Q: What is the status of hydrogen sulfide?

A: Hydrogen sulfide is included on the list of chemicals reportable under EPCRA section 313 (40 CFR Part 372, Subpart D). However, the reporting requirements are under an Administrative Stay which means that facilities are not required to file reports for hydrogen sulfide.

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Q: Why was the Administrative Stay issued for hydrogen sulfide?

A: EPA issued the Administrative Stay in order to evaluate issues raised by some members of the regulated community after the final rule adding hydrogen sulfide to the EPCRA section 313 list was published. The issues concerned a change in the chronic human health basis for listing between the proposed and final rules and EPAs use of exposure analyses in listing decisions.

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Q: What is the purpose of this new document?

A: The purpose of the document is to provide the public with the opportunity to comment on EPAs review of the available data on the human health and environmental effects of hydrogen sulfide and EPAs belief that the Administrative Stay of the EPCRA section 313 reporting requirements should be lifted based on that data.

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Q: What are the contents of this new document?

A: In addition to background information, the document contains EPAs analysis of the toxicity of hydrogen sulfide, based on EPA's updated Integrated Risk Information System Toxicological Review of Hydrogen Sulfide (2003), as well as a reassessment of the environmental effects of hydrogen sulfide. In addition, the document addresses the concerns raised regarding use of exposure analyses in EPCRA section 313 listing decisions.

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Q: Why does EPA believe that the Administrative Stay should be lifted?

A: EPAs technical evaluation concluded that hydrogen sulfide can reasonably be anticipated to cause chronic health effects in humans and can reasonably be anticipated to cause, because of its toxicity, significant adverse effects in aquatic organisms. In addition, EPA does not believe that an exposure assessment is appropriate for determining whether hydrogen sulfide meets the EPCRA section 313 listing criteria for chronic human health effects or environmental effects. Based on these findings, EPA believes that there is no basis for continuing the Administrative Stay of the reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide, and that the Administrative Stay should therefore be lifted.

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Q: Is EPA revisiting the original listing decision?

A: By this action, EPA is not revisiting the original listing decision. Rather, EPA is merely presenting its rationale for why the Administrative Stay of the reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide should be lifted.

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