Section 313 of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (“EPCRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 11001 to 11050, requires covered entities to submit reports to EPA and the applicable State concerning storage, processing, and use of certain toxic chemicals in order to increase the public’s knowledge of, and access to, such information. EPCRA is also known as the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (“TRI”) program. Covered entities are required to submit TRI forms to EPA each year by July 1st. Beginning in 2014, the forms must be submitted electronically. Meeting TRI reporting deadlines is critical because violations of Section 313 reporting provisions may result in federal civil penalties of up to $27,500 per day.
II. Do I need to file a TRI Form?
In order to determine whether your facility is covered by EPCRA, EPA suggests answering four basic questions.
A. Is your facility’s primary SIC code on the EPCRA Section 313 list?
* SIC code 1241 refers to contract mining operations. While SIC code 1241 is not a covered SIC code, any contract mining activities that occur at an otherwise covered facility (e.g., coal mine) would be applied to the facility’s employee and chemical activity thresholds.
B. Does your facility employ ten or more full time equivalent employees?
Facilities must also meet or exceed the 10 or more full-time employees or equivalent criterion to be subject to EPCRA Section 313 reporting requirements. A full-time employee equivalent is defined as a work year of 2,000 hours. If your facility’s staff (including contractors and certain other noncompany personnel) work 20,000 or more hours in a calendar year, you meet the 10 or more full-time employee criterion.
C. Does your facility manufacture, process, or otherwise use any EPCRA Section 313 chemicals?
If you are in a covered SIC code and have 10 or more full-time employee equivalents, you must determine which EPCRA Section 313 chemicals are manufactured, processed, or otherwise used at your facility in excess of threshold quantities. A complete list of EPCRA Section 313 chemicals is available at: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/list_of_lists_revised_7_26_2011.pdf.
The following table lists common EPCRA chemicals involved in the coal industry.
D. Does your facility exceed any of the activity thresholds for an EPCRA Section 313 chemical?
There are three activity thresholds for the EPCRA Section 313 chemicals defined in EPCRA Section 313: manufacturing (which includes importing), processing, and otherwise use. The activity thresholds are 25,000 pounds per year for manufacturing, 25,000 pounds per year for processing, and 10,000 pounds per year for otherwise use. These thresholds apply to each chemical individually. The determination is based solely on the quantity actually manufactured (including imported), processed, or otherwise used. There are some activities which do not meet the definitions of manufacture, process, or otherwise use. For instance, storage, relabeling, or redistribution of an EPCRA Section 313 chemical where no repackaging occurs does not constitute manufacturing, processing, or otherwise use of that chemical. This type of activity should not be included in threshold calculations. In addition, transfers of EPCRA Section 313 chemicals in waste for energy recovery, treatment, or disposal are not considered “distribution into commerce.”
III. How Do I Report?
You must file a TRI report for each EPCRA Section 313 chemical that exceeds a threshold for manufacturing, processing, or otherwise use. EPA requires reports to be submitted electronically using its Toxics Release Inventory – Made Easy Web (“TRI-MEweb”) application. TRI-MEweb is a Web-based application that enables facilities to file a paperless TRI report on-line and requires no downloads or software installations. If you are a first-time EPCRA filer, more information on how to use TRI-MEweb is available at http://www2.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/tri-meweb-resources. If you have any questions regarding EPCRA reporting requirements, please feel free to contact Christopher M. Hunter.