The Emergency Planning Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting season is here. The report is due July 1stfor the preceding year (reporting year). But, now is the time to start it.

The question is “do I have to do it”? If you have 10+ full-time employees and your company’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code qualifies, see NAICS , then you must keep reading.

If you answer, “yes, I fall into this”, you are required to perform calculations and keep records onsite determining how much you Manufacture, Process, or Otherwise Use for a TRI Section 313-listed chemical above the respective reporting threshold for EVERY year of operation. Click here for the list of chemicals. 313 Chemicals Some chemicals are listed by category only, i.e, chromium compounds. So, know your chemicals before you start this process!

“Manufacture” means to make, formulate, or import that 313 chemical. So, if your process takes a substance and produces a 313 chemical as a waste, by-product, or final product, you qualify under the manufacture definition.

“Process” means the preparation of a 313 chemical for “distribution in commerce”. That preparation translates to anything that happens to it onsite where> 0.5 lb of 313 chemical gets removed off the material per year. Anything less qualifies under the Article Exemption and isn’t processed. The reporting threshold for “manufactured” and “processed” chemicals is 25,000 lbs/yr.

“Otherwise use” means any use of a Section 313 chemical or mixture not covered by the terms manufacture or process. The reporting threshold for this is 10,000 lbs/yr.

There is an important exemption to understand called “De Minimis”. When the amount of a 313 chemical is <0.1 or 1.0 %, depending on the 313 chemical in your materials, those materials are exempted from the calculations. This is huge and exempts many materials that my clients use.

There are some chemicals, however, which have reporting thresholds that range from 0.1 grams to 100 pounds per year. These are called Potential Bioaccumulative Toxins (PBT’s). See PBT List. Processes with trace levels of these chemicals are troublesome because they have no de minimis levels and trip the thresholds most often unknowingly.

If your calculations demonstrate that you must report for one or more 313 chemicals, reporting is online via CDX TRI-ME webpage.FYI………this is not a quick process! A plant manager or company president typically has to certify and getting them in the system takes a few weeks. Your company must also prepare the data which must be added (can also be an outside consultant).The data entered into TRI-ME measures amounts of the 313 chemical that is emitted to air, water, or waste, recycled, AND where it went. No worries! If you don’t have exact data, but only ranges, the software provides for that.