Correct TRI Applicability Threshold Determination Can Reduce Reporting Requirements
Many of us understand the applicability requirements to report under 40 CFR Part 372 – Toxic Chemical Release Reporting: Community Right-to-Know (referred to as TRI or Form R). A facility must meet the following criteria for a calendar year to be covered under the rule:
The facility has 10 or more full-time employees.
The facility operated under a listed Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) or North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.
The facility manufactured (including imported), processed, or otherwise used a toxic chemical over an applicable threshold.
Determining applicability per the third criterion can be tricky, particularly in the case of mixtures. In general, a facility is only required to consider the portion of the mixture that consists of the toxic chemical. Some of the notable usage guidelines that facilities should be aware of for this criterion include:
Mixtures with specific concentrations: If the concentration of a chemical is present in a mixture, the facility should determine the weight of the chemical as part of the mixture, not the entire mixture.
Mixtures with upper bound concentrations: If the concentration of a chemical is given as an upper bound concentration, the facility should assume that the chemical is present at the upper bound concentration.
Mixtures with concentration ranges: If the concentration of a chemical is given as a range of concentrations, the facility can assume that the chemical is present at the average of the lower and upper bound concentrations.
Mixtures with unknown concentrations: If the facility knows that a chemical is present, but does not know the specific concentration, and has not been told the upper bound concentration, then the facility is not required to factor that chemical in that mixture into the facility usage.
Mixtures with de minimus concentrations: If a chemical is present in a concentration below 1%, or 0.1% of the mixture in the case of a carcinogen, the facility is not required to factor that chemical in that mixture into the facility usage.
Articles: If a toxic chemical is present in an “article” then a facility is not required to factor that chemical into facility usage. “Article” means a manufactured item: (1) Which is formed to a specific shape or design during manufacture; (2) Which has end use functions dependent in whole or in part upon its shape or design during end use; and, (3) Which does not release a toxic chemical under normal conditions of use.
Uses: A facility is not required to factor a chemical into facility usage if the chemical is used for one of the following purposes: (1) As a structural component; (2) Routine janitorial or grounds maintenance; (3) Personal use of foods, drugs, cosmetics, or other personal items, including supplies in a cafeteria, store, or infirmary; or (4) Use of products for maintaining motor vehicles.
Laboratories: A facility is not required to factor chemicals into facility usage if the chemicals are used in a laboratory (with certain caveats).
At CFR Environmental, we hope your environmental reporting season ends well. If you have any questions, CFR has been assisting industry in the completion of these reports for nearly 30 years. Contact us to make sure your reports are timely and accurate.