The Emergency Planning Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting season is here again. The report is due July 1st for the preceding year (reporting year).

Assuming you have the 10+ full-time employees and your company’s NAICS qualifies you, then it’s time to dust off that CDX login and password. “But, I did that last year?” No matter. That password expires in 90 days, so redo that password now before you go into panic stress mode at the 11th hour.

Also remember that just because you didn’t have to report last year, doesn’t mean you don’t have to this year. And don’t forget, your reportable 313 chemical throughputs change every year. You may have only reported 4 chemicals last year. Well, don’t make the rookie mistake and just report the same chemicals for 2015 that you did in 2014 because “nothing’s changed” and you don’t have the calculations to back it up. Things always change. While you may be right and things haven’t drastically changed, if you don’t go through the process and rock solid data as the basis for why you reported the way you did, you could be liable for EPA deviations and fines.

“Process” means the preparation of a 313 chemical for “distribution in commerce”. That preparation translates to anything that happens to it being onsite where > 0.5 pound 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 “processed” chemicals is 25,000 pounds per year.

Now, did you also know that those packing foams that have 313 chemicals also qualify under the definition of “Processed”? “Wait a minute! That’s not part of the product itself (how it’s always been translated) therefore, it can’t be under the definition.” Well it just does. EPA ruled that since you need that chemical as part of the product to delivery that it has a 25,000 pound per year threshold. If it hadn’t gotten that EPA ruling, it would be “otherwise used”.

“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 pounds per year. So, it makes a difference if you’re a high volume shipper of delicate/sensitive parts/products.

Question? Did you change plant managers this year? Please remember that you’ll have to get them certified with a new Electronic Signature Agreement, which can take from an hour to 10 days. If you get your signer through the online process, it may only take you an hour. But, if your signer fails it, they must do it by the paper approach which takes 7 to 10 days. Plan accordingly!