The GAO released a preliminary report today critical of how the EPA handled a proposal to change the threshold of toxic chemical releases that must be reported for inclusion in the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).
Currently, if a facility releases annually 500 pounds or less of toxic chemicals, it can fill out the short Form A instead of the long Form R. The information in Form R is included in the TRI, which is available to the public. In January, the EPA proposed changing the minimum amount of releases that require the use of Form R to 2,000 pounds.
In its initial findings, the GAO found that the EPA “did not adhere to its own rulemaking guidelines in all respects when developing the proposal to change TRI reporting requirements.” It found that EPA management essentially forced the threshold change into the decision-making process of the work group that was analyzing changes to the TRI reporting guidelines, then gave the internal and regional offices little time to review the change.
PDFs of the full report and its highlights is available on the report’s abstract page.
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