The federal government has enacted broad “Right-To-Know” laws that require the disclosure of certain routine information, not necessarily related to obtaining permits or to monitoring compliance with specific environmental standards. Foremost among these is the Toxic Release Inventory. Other routine reports required by the federal government include the emergency and hazardous chemical inventory forms and the toxic chemical reduction and recycling report.
The Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) is a computerized database that includes information from over 22,000 facilities within the United States. Most manufacturing industries having more than ten full-time employees are covered, with the exception of oil processing facilities, power plants, and mining facilities.
Covered facilities must report in any year if they manufacture, import or process more than 25,000 pounds, or use more than 10,000 pounds, of certain listed toxic chemicals. see 40 C.F.A. pt. 372. facilities must submit a separate tri form for each chemical. the form requires basic information about the location, owner, and site of the facility; information about how the chemical is manufactured, processed, or used; an estimate of the maximum amount of the toxic chemical present on the site; a description of each waste stream, the treatment or disposal methods used, and the efficiency achieved in treating the wastes; and, most importantly, the annual quantity of the toxic chemical entering each environmental medium.
The information must be certified as accurate and complete by a “senior official with management responsibility for the person or persons completing the report.” There are several exemptions from tri reporting, including for example trade secret information, chemicals used in laboratories, or chemicals present in the structure of the facility or in an article. 42 u.s.c. secs. 11023, 11042.
State environmental reporting requirements. Many states also have environmental reporting requirements.