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Changes to the 2020 TRI (Toxic Release Inventory) Report

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

There are several changes coming for the 2020 Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Report covering activities occurring in calendar 2020 and reported no later than July 1, 2021.

The most significant changes are related to the reporting of newly listed per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) starting in with the TRI report due on July 1, 2021.

PFAS are substances that are found in a variety of different products and industries including firefighting foams, food packaging, stain/grease repellent products, and health and beauty products. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its PFAS Action Plan in February 2019 to address the agency’s approach to addressing PFAS. These chemicals have become a public health concern as they accumulate in the body for long periods of time and the scientific evidence shows that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans.

The TRI reporting of PFAS is mandated by the section 7321of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) enacted on December 20, 2019. This section of the NDAA adds 172 per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the chemical list requiring facilities to report usage via the TRI under section 313 of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

The PFAS reporting threshold is 100 pounds for each one of the 172 compounds. This is significantly lower than the traditional reporting thresholds of either 25,000 or 10,000 pounds depending on how the chemical is used in a facility. Note that each individual compound has its own 100-pound reporting threshold; these chemicals were not added as a category. The de minimis concentration for all of the PFAS additions is 1%, except for Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which is 0.1%.

One of the most common sources of PFAS is the aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) that is used in some facilities fire systems particularly where water cannot or should not be used. Although storage of AFFF alone does not necessarily constitute a threshold activity, any use of the material such as system activation during a fire or test or decommissioning of a system could subject the facility to TRI reporting for PFAS. Any PFAS activities resulting from fire systems would be reported in the “otherwise used” category.

Facilities must use the best available data to report under TRI. It is possible that current Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and other documents may not contain the required information for the newly added PFAS chemicals. EPA is recommending that facilities contact their vendors in advance to gather the necessary information.

A supplier must notify each customer of any listed toxic chemical present (including PFAS) in a mixture or tradename product with the first shipment of the mixture or tradename product in each reporting year, as per 40CR 372.45(c)(1) at a minimum. Many companies are not currently complying with this requirement except through the provision of an SDS. This option only meets the requirement if all toxic chemicals are specifically reviewed and listed including all grouped category compounds such as copper compounds, lead compounds and the glycol ethers compound category.

A facility may also elect to contact a supplier to help it comply with TRI reporting requirements. It is recommended to contact the manufacturer to determine the PFAS in facility’s raw material, because current Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and other related documents may not have this information.

Please contact Baron Environmental Associates at (908) 508-9000 for assistance with completing your facility’s 2020 TRI report or preparing a material tracking system to prepare for its preparation.

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