PFAS Now a "Special Concern" for TRI Reporting

Posted on 11/15/2023 by Lion Technology Inc.

A recent change to the EPCRA Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements for chemical facilities affects the way that some sites will report on production, distribution, and use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the future. 

A Final Rule published on October 31, 2023 adds PFAS to an exclusive section of the TRI reportable chemicals list—the list of “chemicals of special concern” (40 CFR 372.28). 

The Final Rule takes effect on November 2023. It will be in effect for the 2024 reporting year, meaning that first “new” TRI reporting on PFAS will be July 1, 2025.

TRI Reporting: PFAS Now “Chemicals of Special Concern” 

EPA added hundreds of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to the TRI reporting program in recent years, listing each one with a reporting threshold quantity of 100 pounds. EPA did not change the 100-pound TRI threshold for PFAS.

PFAS Now a "Special Concern" for TRI Reporting

However, as “chemicals of special concern,” PFAS are no longer eligible for the de minimis exemption for Toxic Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI de minimis exemption applies to toxic chemicals that are present in mixtures at very low concentrations. This rule also eliminates the de minimis exemption for chemical suppliers. Suppliers must now notify customers about the present of PFAS in chemical mixtures (even in de minimis quantities).

TRI chemicals of special concern, to now include PFAS, are also subject to a more stringent standard for reporting of chemicals concentration ranges in lieu of more exact information.   

Read the PFAS TRI Final Rule in the 10/31 Federal Register.    

If Your Site Receives Chemical Shipments 

Facilities that receive chemical shipments may soon notice that very small quantities of PFAS have been added to the chemical notification forms that suppliers must provide. That change does not mean that the chemical formulation is different than before (not necessarily, anyway). It is more likely that the distributor added to the notification to meet their responsibility for including previously exempted chemical volumes. 

And, because EPA also eliminated the PFAS de minimis exemption for chemical facilities, sites that use large volumes of chemical mixtures containing PFAS or incorporate them into other products may also find that they are required to submit TRI reporting. 

US EPA describes the new rule this way: 

“Removing the availability of certain burden-reduction reporting options will result in a more complete picture of the releases and waste management quantities for PFAS (and)  will increase the number of TRI reports on listed PFAS and the amount of information provided on such reports…” 

[88 FR 74360. October 31, 2023. Changes to Reporting Requirements for PFAS...]

As a result of the rule, the Agency expects to receive as many as 2,015 additional “Form R” submissions in future years. As EPA adds more PFAS to the list of reportable chemicals under EPCRA, facilities that make, ship, or use these substances, more facilities will find themselves newly subject to the TRI reporting rules. For some, it may even be the first time. 

Catch Up on New PFAS Regulations (and Much More!) 

If you’re new to the field of environmental compliance or need an update on changing EPA rules, online training is a convenient way to quickly build in-depth expertise. Lion's unique and deeply-detailed Complete Environmental Regulations training prepares environmental professionals to identify the 40 CFR regulations that impact your facility and take the steps need to achieve compliance. 

Jump on tor Lion's last webinar training of the year on December 14–15—or learn at your own pace with the interactive, resource-packed online course

Tags: environmental compliance, environmental reporting, EPCRA, PFAS, TRI

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