This Comment examines the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) proposed expansion of the Toxic Release Inventory (TRl) reporting requirements under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986. The TRI program allows the EPA to provide public information pertaining to the release of chemicals by certain industrial facilities into the environment. In October of 1996, the EPA published its intention to expand reporting requirements, including the collection of material accounting (MA) data elements. MA data tracks the lifecycle of chemicals from raw materials to end product; therefore, industry officials oppose MA reporting as unjustifiably extensive. Environmental advocates, however, believe that MA data is essential for being able to accurately assess health and safety risks faced by communities. This Comment contains background information of EPCRA and the TRI program. It also addresses the proposed EPA rule providing for Phase-III expansion of the TRI program and the political pressures faced by the EPA in doing so. A critical analysis will focus on the appropriate extent of the public's right-to know, the inconsistency of MA reporting with TRI's purpose, and the EPA's lack of authority to collect MA data. For these reasons, this Comment concludes that the proposed Phase-III expansion is not fundamentally or legally sound.
Recommended CitationBarbara Ann Clay, The EPA's Proposed Phase-III Expansion of the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Requirements: Everything and the Kitchen Sink, 15 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 293 (1997)
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