The Toxic Release Inventory is a resource for learning about toxic chemical releases and pollution retention activities, as reported by industrial and federal facilities.
For organizations dealing with toxic chemicals, TRI reporting is an incredibly important aspect of health and safety. Under TRI reporting, organizations must take an inventory of their toxic chemicals and must report when releases occur that are over certain dangerous thresholds. TRI reporting lists hundreds of chemicals that need to be reported, along with the TRI reporting thresholds. Toxics release information will govern what has to be reported, and EHS professionals will follow this governance.
TRI-MEWeb and the TRI Explorer are available to help organizations find out more information about the toxic chemicals that they need to track and report. There is an annual TRI reporting deadline that organizations need to meet to ensure that the local, state, and federal agencies are all aware of the chemicals they are keeping in their inventory.
Through TRI reporting, government entities can create comprehensive strategies and protocols that will govern the event of an incident. As long as the government is aware of the chemicals being used, they can create fast response disaster preparedness plans. But if they aren’t aware of the chemicals that are being used in their area, they won’t be able to respond quickly during an incident. Chemical spills are often more dangerous the longer they are allowed to go on.
For the organization, TRI reporting also gives them a chance to explore their chemical inventory, refresh their knowledge on their chemical thresholds, and create their disaster preparedness response plan. Organizations should always have a comprehensive response plan and team in place to respond to chemical spills and other potential disasters, as they could cause damage to the health of their employees, citizens, and the surrounding environment.
EHS professionals who are managing TRI reporting can use software to simplify the process.
- Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) is an inventory of the dangerous chemicals that a company may be using. Not all companies need to undergo TRI reporting, but there are hundreds of chemicals it may apply to.
- Companies need to follow strict protocols and deadlines when it comes to reporting the chemicals that they are using and spills that go beyond the potentially toxic thresholds of those chemicals.
In 1986, ECPRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act) was created to help communities plan for chemical emergencies. Today, EHS professionals use toxic release inventory data, definitions, and maps to help with their reporting.
ECPRA governs toxic release inventory data, the toxic release inventory definition (based on the chemicals that are known to be hazardous), and even a toxic release inventory map, which citizens can use. Citizens can use the EPA TRI National Analysis Where You Live tool to see whether there are releases in their area or look up the EPCRA section 313 chemical list for reporting year 2019 to know which chemicals are being reported on. NAICS TRI reporting, TCEQ TRI reporting, and the TRI National Analysis 2018 are all examples of resources that are available to the public.
The goal of EPCRA is both improved disaster control and improved transparency. In the past, TRI reporting industries were still required to clean up toxic spills, but they weren’t necessarily required to report these issues quickly. A TRI reporting spreadsheet can now be used to quickly report which chemicals are being used even before a disaster occurs, so local, state, and federal governments can create response plans.
EPCRA was created in response to the Bhopal disaster, during which thousands were injured following a chemical spill. Because people didn’t know that the Bhopal disaster had occurred quickly enough and that the chemicals were being used in the area, they weren’t able to respond as quickly as they otherwise might have been able to.
Companies without TRI reporting may not have their own disaster preparedness plans in place, or may not have suitable plans. The government has to be aware of the chemicals that are being used so they can create their response teams. Part of TRI reporting is that local firefighters need to be aware of the chemicals in use. Otherwise, if there was an incident at a plant nearby, the firefighters might be exposed to things that they weren’t aware were present.
Thus, TRI reporting is an incredibly important part of chemical containment and disaster readiness. EHS professionals can track everything through their platforms, which makes it easier to complete their reporting. Without platforms, it can be difficult, as hundreds of chemicals need to be tracked, and they all have different reporting thresholds. Further, these chemicals need to be reported to a wide array of agencies, and there may be different deadlines for each.
- The EPCRA act of 1986 was created after the Bhopal disaster, as a way to increase transparency and improve overall response.
- EHS professionals can use release inventory data, definitions, and maps to help with their reporting.
- Citizens are also able to use tools to look up potential toxic chemical releases in their area.