US EPA promulgated a Final Rule on June 12, 2018 to add a category for nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) to the reporting requirements in Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
Commonly referred to as the Toxic Release Inventory, or TRI, program, Section 313 of EPCRA requires facilities in certain industries to report to EPA if they manufacture, process, or use certain hazardous chemicals in volumes that exceed regulatory thresholds. Identify your site’s chemical inventory and release reporting responsibilities under EPCRA and CERCLA with the Superfund and Right-to-Know Act Regulations Online Course.
What Are NPEs?
Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) are nonionic surfactants—i.e., they reduce tension between materials, making them easier to separate—used in the manufacture of cleaning products, adhesives, wetting agents, paints, emulsifiers, lawn care products, personal care products, and detergents. NPEs are also used in water treatment, textiles, metal working, oil field operations, and pulp and paper mills.
Because NPEs are often used in “down-the-drain,” household-type products, contamination has been found in the water, sediment, soil, and aquatic life. The chemicals have also been found in human breast milk, blood, and urine.
For a complete list of chemicals covered by this rulemaking, see EPA’s Final Rule in the Federal Register.
Does TRI Reporting Cover My Site?
To determine whether EPCRA Section 313 reporting applies to your site’s activities, you can ask yourself four questions.
- Is your facility’s primary SIC code on the EPCRA Section 313 list?
- Does your facility employ ten or more full-time equivalent employees?
- Does your facility manufacture, process, or use EPCRA Section 313 chemicals?
- Does your facility exceed any of the activity thresholds for EPCRA Section 313 reporting?
For more details on EPCRA reporting applicability, read Know Your EPCRA Reporting Responsibilities.
EPCRA TRI Reporting Thresholds
The EPCRA TRI reporting thresholds are typically 25,000 pounds for chemicals manufactured or processed and 10,000 pounds for chemicals “otherwise used.” For so-called “chemicals of special concern” listed at 49 CFR 372.28, the reporting thresholds are significantly lower.
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