EPA will require composites manufacturers and other reporters to submit annual Toxics Release Inventory forms using electronic software provided by EPA, according to a notice in the August 27 Federal Register.  Beginning with TRI reports for 2013, to be filed with EPA in early 2014, facilities will be required to use EPA’s web-based application to prepare and submit required forms. EPA will no longer accept hard copy submissions.

Manufacturing facilities processing more than 25,000 pounds of styrene, methyl methacrylate or other TRI-listed chemical in a given year are required to annually submit TRI “Form R” reports describing chemical releases and disposal. Composites manufacturers using more than approximately 3 drums of styrene-containing resin a week typically find they trigger the TRI reporting requirement.

In its August 27 notice, EPA stated that electronic submission of TRI forms will provide numerous benefits, including making it easier for facilities to report accurate information, expediting form completion due to the pre-population of many form elements, decreasing the cost to EPA of processing forms, and providing TRI information more quickly to the public.

EPA will also now require facilities to submit electronically via the Internet any revision or withdrawal of previously submitted TRI reporting forms. The only exception to the electronic reporting requirement is for the few facilities that submit trade secret TRI information, which will continue to submit their trade secret reporting forms and substantiation forms in hard copy.

Following the 1984 accidental release of methyl isocyanate from a chemical facility in Bhopal, India, which killed thousands of people, and a similar release in 1985 at a facility in West Virginia, in 1986 Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.  This act required EPA to issue regulations supporting and promoting emergency planning and providing the public with information about releases of toxic chemicals in their communities. Section 313 of EPCRA established the Toxics Release Inventory.