Toxics Release Inventory Reporting Requirements for Ethylene Oxide and Ethylene Glycol Expanded by EPA

The scope of reporting requirements of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) is being expanded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In particular, this incorporates the addition of 29 contract sterilization facilities not previously reporting on releases of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol. Here we review the TRI and consider the associated extension of reporting requirements.

Toxics Release Inventory

Comprised of 770 chemicals and 33 chemical categories, the TRI is used for tracking the release of certain toxic chemical substances into the environment from over 21,000 facilities throughout the United States. Releases may include emissions into air or water. They may also include landfill disposal.

Chemicals selected for inclusion in the TRI include those that cause one or more of the following:

  • Substantial harmful environmental effects
  • Serious detrimental acute human health effects
  • Serious detrimental chronic human health effects, or cancer

Companies that use, produce, or process any of these chemicals at or over designated levels are required to report these amounts annually for inclusion in the TRI.

Extending Reporting Requirements

The EPA has the authority, via the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), to extend TRI reporting requirements to certain facilities based on a variety of criteria. In the Fall of last year, 31 contract sterilization facilities that had not been reporting on ethylene oxide or ethylene glycol releases were contacted by the EPA in this regard. The Agency made the decision to extend reporting requirements to the majority of them (ethylene oxide - 29 of the 31; ethylene glycol - 16 of the 31). As ethylene oxide is a precursor of ethylene glycol, both chemicals existed at some of the facilities, accounting for the overlap within the 29 facilities. Reporting requirements were not extended to 2 of the 31 facilities. As of the start of this year, all 29 facilities will be required to monitor their activities relative to ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol. Submission of TRI information is slated to begin next year.

Over time the EPA will continue evaluating other contract sterilization facilities that use ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol, with the option to extend TRI reporting requirements to them as deemed appropriate.

Additional Toxic Chemical Information and More

Including release data on a diverse range of toxic chemical substances in the United States, the TRI is a critical tool for the management of chemical releases and pollution prevention. For accessing additional information on TRI substances, as well as an abundance of other chemicals, ToxPlanet offers a collection of invaluable resources.

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