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Question of the Week: Toxic Chemical Inventory (TRI) Reporting

Posted on May 10, 2011 by James Griffin

Q. We are a facility that is subject to the toxic chemical inventory reporting requirements at 40 CFR Part 372. During the previous calendar year we mixed 24,800 pounds of a listed toxic chemical into one of our product formulations. In late December, we did add 200 more pounds into a batch processing unit. However, we did not remove the finished product from the unit for packaging until January. For purposes of 40 CFR Part 372, was the 200 pounds of the toxic chemical in the processing unit at the end of December considered processed in the previous or current year?
 
A. The toxic chemical release reporting (TRI) rules define process as “the preparation of a toxic chemical, after its manufacture, for distribution in commerce” [40 CFR Section 372.3]. In the scenario described you are taking a toxic chemical that has already been manufactured and mixing it with other constituents to make your formulation. Therefore, processing would be the activity to consider in terms of reporting applicability. The TRI rules require reporting for any toxic chemical that is processed in quantities of 25,000 pounds or more per site in a calendar year [40 CFR 372.25(a)].
 
The EPA interprets the activity of processing to be reportable when the toxic chemicals are initially prepared. Therefore, the amount of the toxic chemical that was mixed in the processing unit at the end of December would be added to the processing threshold determination for that calendar year, despite the fact that the finished product was not removed until the following calendar year. Since the 200 pounds must be added to the 24,800 pounds already processed, your facility has met the 25,000 pound processing threshold for this toxic chemical. TRI reporting would be required for this toxic for the previous calendar year.