As expected, the new Obama EPA has begun the process of “un-doing” some of the rules put into place by the previous administration. In December of 2006, the Bush EPA issued the TRI Burden Reduction Final Rule that expanded Form A eligibility for non-Persistent, Bioaccumulative, Toxic (non-PBT) chemicals to 5,000 pounds and allowed use of Form A for the first time for PBT chemicals under limited circumstances. This rule was met with concern over the availability of required data under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and resulted in a lawsuit by 13 states to restore the TRI Form A thresholds and usage to what they were prior to the 2006 rule.
On April 21, 2009, Lisa Jackson – the new EPA Adminstrator – reversed the 2006 rule and restored the original TRI Form A threshold.
Following the rule signature, all reports on PBT chemicals must be submitted on the more detailed Form R. For all other chemicals, the shorter Form A may only be used if the annual reporting amount is 500 pounds or less and less than 1 million pounds of the chemical was manufactured, processed or otherwise used during the reporting year.
TRI-ME software and other reporting assistance materials are being revised and will be available soon. TRI reports for 2008 are due on July 1, 2009.