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EPCRA Expands to Encompass Ever-More Facilities and Chemicals

Summer 1995

EPA recently expanded reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, substantially increasing the number of chemicals and chemical compounds for which emissions must be reported beginning with the calendar year 1995. The expansion adds 286 chemicals and chemical compounds to the toxic release inventory, nearly doubling the list of reportable chemicals. In addition to affecting many facilities already submitting reports under the statute, EPA estimates that over 1,200 facilities will have to file reports for the first time. The first reports affected by the rule change will be those reports due July 1, 1996, reflecting 1995 chemical usage.

In its recent rule change, EPA also established or modified reporting requirements for facilities releasing less than 500 lbs. of a chemical. The previous rule required reporting from facilities manufacturing or processing 25,000 lbs. or more, or otherwise using 10,000 lbs., of a listed chemical per year. Facilities exceeding these limits, but having a reportable release of less than 500 lbs., will have a 1,000,000 lb. reporting threshold. Such facilities must file a certification statement and maintain records proving they qualify for the higher threshold, rather than make a Form R submission under EPCRA §313. While careful documentation is required to demonstrate and track qualification for the alternate threshold, some related requirements are eased. One certification statement covering the entire facility must be filed for each chemical subject to the rule.

This major revision of EPCRA reporting requirements foreshadows EPA's plan to continue expanding data collection under the EPCRA program.

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