Reporting Changes for Reporting Year 2020 for EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory Program

By: Karl Jerome Bacho, CPP

Per Section 7321 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the EPA’s annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program has added certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Reporting Year (RY) 2020 list of chemicals covered by the TRI under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Section 313. A summary of the changes are provided below:

  • For RY 2020, 172 PFAS are initially being added. The reporting forms for these chemicals are now available in the TRI Reporting Software (TRI-MEweb). For RY 2021, three PFAS will be added to the TRI list. A searchable list of the TRI-listed PFAS chemicals be found here.
  • The NDAA established a reporting threshold of 100 pounds for each of the listed PFAS under the categories of manufacturing, processing, or otherwise use.
  • PFAS can meet certain reporting exemptions if they fall under certain categories. These categories are provided below:
    • De minimis exemption: The de minimis exemption allows covered facilities to disregard certain minimal levels of the toxic chemicals in mixtures. For perfluoroalkyl acid (PFOA), the de minimis level is 0.1%. The other TRI-listed PFAS have a de minimis level of 1%.
    • Articles exemption: Listed toxic chemicals present in an article at a facility are not required to consider the quantity when determining whether an applicable threshold has been met.
    • Janitorial or facility ground maintenance exemption: Listed toxic chemicals used in used in janitorial or other custodial or facility grounds maintenance activities (e.g. bathroom cleaners, fertilizers) are exempt from threshold determinations and waste management calculations.
    • Structural component exemption: Listed toxic chemicals contained in certain uses of structural components of a facility are not required to consider the quantity when determining whether an applicable threshold has been met.
    • Personal use exemption: Certain uses of foods, drugs, cosmetics, or other personal items containing listed toxic chemicals are not subject to TRI threshold determinations and waste management calculations.
    • Intake air and water exemption: Toxic chemicals present in process water and non-contact cooling water as drawn from the environment or municipal sources, or toxic chemicals used in air as either compressed or as part of combustion is exempt.

The TRI for RY 2020 is due July 1, 2021. NV5’s environmental health and safety and air quality experts can provide a thorough review of your facility’s chemical inventory and hazardous waste to determine TRI applicability. For more information, contact us at (562) 495-5777.