Environmental Protection

Industrial Facilities Must File Chemical Release Reports Electronically Beginning in 2014

The EPA finalizes a rule that requires companies to report chemical releases electronically

On Aug. 27, 2013, the EPA finalized a rule (originally proposed in March 2012) that will require companies to record and submit their chemical release reports through a digital reporting tool, according to Bloomberg BNA and Environmental-Expert.com. The new rule takes effect Jan. 21, 2014 and will be published in the Federal Register.

The EPA will provide the electronic reporting tool, called TRI-MEweb, to companies who report chemical releases through the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program. Reports will be due on July 1 of each year for the prior calendar year.

Though a big change, the new rule is expected to quicken companies’ reporting processes, as the software can pre-populate the form with information from prior years. The software can also help identify possible errors, decrease the EPA’s cost to process forms and allows the public to view TRI information faster. In addition, companies can revise or add to already submitted information with the new tool.

Companies that file trade-secret-related TRI reports are exempt from the new requirement.

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