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Testimony: 

Before the Committee on Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

For Release on Delivery Expected at 10:00 a.m. EST: 

Tuesday, February 6, 2007: 

Environmental Information: 

EPA Actions Could Reduce the Availability of Environmental Information 
to the Public: 

Statement of John B Stephenson, 
Director, Natural Resources and Environment: 

GAO-07-464T: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-07-464T, a testimony before the Committee on 
Environment and Public Works, U.S. Senate 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

U.S. industry uses billions of pounds of chemicals to produce the 
nation’s goods and services. Releases of these chemicals during use or 
disposal can harm human health and the environment. The Emergency 
Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 requires facilities 
that manufacture, process, or otherwise use more than specified amounts 
of nearly 650 toxic chemicals to report their releases to water, air, 
and land. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) makes this data 
available to the public in the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Since 
1995, facilities may submit a brief certification statement (Form A), 
in lieu of the detailed Form R report, if their releases of specific 
chemicals do not exceed 500 pounds a year. In January 2007, EPA 
finalized a proposal to increase that threshold to 2,000 pounds, 
quadrupling what facilities can release before they must disclose their 
releases and other waste management practices. 

Today’s testimony addresses (1) EPA’s development of the proposal to 
change the TRI Form A threshold from 500 to 2,000 pounds and (2) the 
impact these changes may have on data available to the public. It also 
provides an update to our 2005 report recommendations on perchlorate. 

GAO’s preliminary observations on TRI are based on ongoing work 
performed from June 2006 through January 2007. 

What GAO Found: 

Although we have not yet completed our evaluation, our preliminary 
observations indicate that EPA did not adhere to its own rulemaking 
guidelines in all respects when developing the proposal to change TRI 
reporting requirements. We have identified several significant 
differences between the guidelines and the process EPA followed. First, 
late in the process, senior EPA management directed the inclusion of a 
burden reduction option that raised the Form R reporting threshold, an 
option that the TRI workgroup charged with analyzing potential options, 
had dropped from consideration early in the process. Second, EPA 
developed this option on an expedited schedule that appears to have 
provided a limited amount of time for conducting various impact 
analyses. Third, the decision to expedite final agency review, when 
EPA’s internal and regional offices determine whether they concur with 
the final proposal, appears to have limited the amount of input they 
could provide to senior EPA management. 

We believe that the TRI reporting changes will likely have a 
significant impact on information available to the public about dozens 
of toxic chemicals from thousands of facilities in states and 
communities across the country. First, we estimate that detailed 
information from more than 22,000 Form Rs could no longer be reported 
to the TRI if all eligible facilities choose to use Form A, affecting 
more than 33 percent of reports in California, Massachusetts, and New 
Jersey. Second, we estimate that states could lose all quantitative 
information about releases of some chemicals, ranging from 3 in South 
Dakota to 60 in Georgia. Third, we estimate that 3,565 
facilities—including 50 in Oklahoma, 101 in New Jersey, and 302 in 
California—would no longer have to report any quantitative information 
to the TRI. In addition, preliminary results from our survey of state 
TRI coordinators indicate that many believe the changes will negatively 
impact information available to the public and efforts to protect the 
environment. Finally, EPA estimates facilities could save a total of 
$5.9 million as a result of the increased Form A eligibility—about 4 
percent of the total annual cost of TRI reporting. According to our 
estimates, facilities will save less than $900 a year, on average. 
Because not all eligible facilities will utilize the increased 
eligibility, actual savings to industry are likely to be less. 

In our May 2005 perchlorate report, we identified over 400 sites in 35 
states where perchlorate has been found in concentrations ranging from 
4 parts per billion to more than 3.7 million parts per billion. We 
concluded that EPA needed more reliable information on the extent of 
contaminated sites and the status of cleanup efforts, and recommended 
that EPA work with the Department of Defense and the states to 
establish a way to track perchlorate information. In December 2006, EPA 
reiterated its disagreement with our recommendation. We continue to 
believe that the inconsistency and omissions in available perchlorate 
data underscore the need for a tracking system to better inform the 
public and others about the locations of perchlorate releases and the 
status of cleanups. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-464T]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact John Stephenson at (202) 
512-3841 or stephensonj@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Madam Chairman and Members of the Committee: 

I am pleased to appear here today before the Committee to discuss our 
ongoing work regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 
Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and to provide you with an update on our 
2005 report on ammonium perchlorate (perchlorate), a primary ingredient 
in solid rocket propellant that recent studies have shown to affect 
human health.[Footnote 1] 

Each year, U.S. industry uses billions of pounds of toxic chemicals to 
produce the nation's goods and services. However, the release of these 
chemicals during transport, storage, use, or disposal as waste can 
potentially harm human health and the environment. Congress passed the 
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) to 
inform citizens about releases of toxic chemicals to the environment; 
to assist governmental agencies, researchers, and other persons in the 
conduct of research and data gathering; and to aid in the development 
of appropriate regulations, guidelines, and standards. Section 313 of 
EPCRA generally requires certain facilities that manufacture, process, 
or otherwise more specified amounts of any of 581 individual chemicals 
and 30 additional chemical categories to annually report the amount of 
those chemicals that they released to the environment, including 
whether those chemicals were released to the air, soil, or water. EPCRA 
also requires EPA to make this information available to the public, 
which the agency does through the TRI database. The Pollution 
Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA) expanded the TRI by requiring facilities 
to report certain data about their waste management practices, 
including amounts of TRI chemicals recycled or treated. 

Facilities comply with TRI reporting requirements by submitting to EPA, 
and their respective state, information for each TRI-listed chemical 
that they use in excess of certain thresholds using what are referred 
to as a Form R report or a Form A Certification Statement. Form R 
captures information about the facility, such as address, parent 
company, industry type, and detailed information about the chemicals it 
released, such as quantity of the chemical disposed or released onsite 
to the air, water, land, and injected underground, or transferred for 
disposal or release off-site. Since 1995, EPA has allowed certain 
facilities to submit information on a brief Form A in lieu of the 
detailed Form R report if they release or manage no more than 500 
pounds of a chemical that is not persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic 
(non-PBT) during the year. Form A provides nearly the same facility 
identification information as Form R, along with basic information 
about the chemical's identity, but it does not contain any of the 
detailed information about the quantities of chemicals used, released, 
or managed as waste found on Form R. 

During the past several years, EPA has engaged in a multi-phased effort 
to reduce the burden on industry by revising TRI regulations and 
increasing Form A eligibility. EPA's Action Development Process (ADP) 
outlines a series of steps that the agency is to follow when developing 
actions such as regulations, policy statements, and risk assessments. 
The purpose of the ADP is ensure that scientific, economic, and policy 
issues are adequately addressed at the appropriate stages of action 
development and to ensure cross-agency participation until the final 
action is completed. ADP steps include (1) chartering a workgroup 
comprised of representatives from various internal and regional offices 
who will develop the action, (2) preparing and executing an analytic 
blueprint for analyses needed to support the action, and (3) conducting 
final agency review. On December 22, 2006, EPA issued the TRI Burden 
Reduction proposed rule, an action that increased the Form A threshold 
for certain facilities to 2,000 pounds of releases for a non-PBT 
chemical. The action also allows, for the first time, certain 
facilities to use Form A for non-dioxin, persistent bioaccumulative 
toxic (PBT) chemicals, such as lead and mercury, provided that they 
release none of the PBT chemical to the environment. 

My testimony is based on ongoing work that we expect to complete in 
June 2007 and, therefore, the information I am presenting is 
preliminary. My statement today addresses two areas related to EPA's 
changes in TRI reporting requirements: (1) the extent to which EPA 
followed internal rulemaking guidelines when developing its December 
2006 TRI burden reduction rule and (2) our preliminary estimates of the 
impact that these changes will have on TRI data available to the public 
and on costs to industry. In addition, as you requested, my statement 
includes a brief summary of our May 2005 report on perchlorate and 
EPA's December 2006 response to our recommendation that the agency 
develop a tracking system for perchlorate releases and cleanup efforts 
across the federal government and state agencies. 

Summary: 

Although we have not yet completed our review, our preliminary 
observations are that EPA did not adhere to all aspects of its 
rulemaking guidelines when developing the new TRI reporting 
requirements. EPA's Action Development Process outlines a series of 
steps to help guide the development of new environmental regulations. 
Throughout this process, however, the senior EPA management has the 
authority to accelerate the rule development process. Nevertheless, 
while we continue to pursue a clearer understanding of EPA's actions, 
we have identified several significant differences between the 
guidelines and the process EPA followed in this case: (1) late in the 
rulemaking process, senior EPA management directed consideration of a 
burden reduction option that the TRI workgroup had previously dropped 
from consideration; (2) EPA developed this option on an expedited 
schedule that appears to have provided a limited amount of time for 
conducting various impact analyses; and (3) EPA's decision to expedite 
Final Agency Review, when EPA's internal and regional offices determine 
whether they concur with the final proposal appears to have limited the 
amount of input they could provide to senior EPA management. First, the 
TRI workgroup charged with identifying options to reduce reporting 
burdens on industry identified three possible options for senior 
management to consider. The first two options allowed facilities to use 
Form A in lieu of Form R for PBT chemicals, provided the facility has 
no releases to the environment, and the third created a "no significant 
change" reporting option in lieu of Form R for facilities with releases 
that changed little from the previous year. Information from a June 
2005 briefing for the Administrator indicated that, while the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) had suggested increasing the Form A 
eligibility for non-PBT chemicals from 500 to 5,000 pounds, the TRI 
workgroup dropped that option from consideration. Second, although we 
could not determine from the documents provided by EPA what actions the 
agency took between the June 2005 briefing for the EPA Administrator 
and the October 2005 issuance of the TRI proposal in the Federal 
Register, the Administrator provided direction after the briefing to 
expedite the process in order to meet a commitment to OMB to provide 
burden reduction by the end of December 2006[Footnote 2]. Subsequently, 
EPA revised its economic analysis to include consideration of the 
impact of raising the Form A eligibility threshold. However, that 
analysis was not completed before EPA sent the proposed rule to OMB for 
review and was only completed just prior to the proposal being signed 
by the Administrator and published in the Federal Register for public 
comment. Third, the extent to which senior EPA management sought or 
received input from internal stakeholders, including the TRI workgroup, 
after directing reconsideration of the option to increase the Form A 
reporting threshold from 500 to 5,000 pounds for non-PBT chemicals 
remains unclear. We have been unable to determine the extent to which 
EPA's internal and regional offices had the opportunity during Final 
Agency Review to determine whether they concurred with the proposal to 
increase the Form A threshold. We will continue to pursue the answer to 
this and other questions as we complete our work. Finally, in response 
to the public comments on the proposal, nearly all of which were 
negative, EPA considered alternative options and revised the proposal, 
thereby allowing facilities to report releases of up to 2,000 rather 
than 5,000 pounds on Form A. 

We believe that the TRI reporting changes will likely have a 
significant impact on information available to the public about dozens 
of toxic chemicals from thousands of facilities in states and 
communities across the country. EPA estimated that the TRI reporting 
changes will affect reporting on less than 1 percent of the total 
chemical releases reported to the TRI annually. While our analysis 
supports EPA's estimate of this impact at a national level, it also 
suggests that changes to TRI reporting requirements will have a 
significant impact on the amount and nature of toxic release data 
available to some communities, information that is ultimately much more 
meaningful to citizens. In addition, preliminary results from our 
January 2007 survey of state TRI coordinators indicates that as many as 
23 states believe that EPA's changes to TRI reporting requirements will 
have a negative impact on various aspects of TRI. To develop a more 
specific picture of the impact of the TRI reporting changes at a local 
level, we used 2005 TRI data to estimate, by state, the impact of EPA's 
changes. First, we estimated that the detailed information from more 
than 22,000 Form R reports may no longer be included in the TRI if all 
eligible facilities begin using Form A. More specifically, Alaska, 
California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode 
Island could have 33 percent fewer chemical reports. Second, we 
estimated that the number of chemicals for which no information could 
be reported under the new rule ranges from 3 chemicals in South Dakota 
to 60 chemicals in Georgia. Thirteen states--including Delaware, 
Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Vermont--could 
have no detailed reports on more than 20 percent of reported chemicals. 
Third, we estimated that a total of 3,565 facilities would no longer 
have to report quantitative information about their chemical use to the 
TRI. In fact, more than 20 percent of facilities in Colorado, 
Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, could have no 
detailed information about their chemical use. Furthermore, citizens 
living in 75 counties in the United States--including 11 in Texas, 10 
in Virginia, and 6 in Georgia--could have no quantitative TRI 
information about local toxic pollution. Finally, with regard to the 
impact of the rule change on industry's reporting burden, EPA estimated 
that, if all eligible facilities take advantage of the reporting 
changes, they could save a total of about $5.9 million--about 4 percent 
of the annual cost of TRI reporting. This is the equivalent of less 
than $900 per facility. However, based on past experience, not all 
eligible facilities will use Form A, so the actual savings to industry 
are likely to be less. 

With regard to your request for an update on our May 2005 report on 
perchlorate, it should be noted that perchlorate releases are not 
reported to the TRI. Perchlorate, a primary ingredient in propellant, 
has been used for decades in the manufacture and firing of rockets and 
missiles. Other uses include fireworks, flares, and explosives. 
Perchlorate is a salt that is easily dissolved and transported in water 
and has been found in groundwater, surface water, drinking water, soil, 
and food products such as milk and lettuce across the country. Health 
studies have shown that perchlorate can affect the thyroid gland and 
may cause developmental delays. We identified more than 400 sites in 35 
states where perchlorate had been found in concentrations ranging from 
4 parts per billion to more that 3.7 million parts per billion, and 
that more than one-half of the sites were in California and Texas. 
However, federal and state agencies are not required to routinely 
report perchlorate findings to EPA, and EPA does not centrally track or 
monitor perchlorate detections or the status of cleanup efforts. As a 
result, a greater number of contaminated sites than we reported may 
exist. Although concern over potential health risks from perchlorate 
has increased, and at least 9 states have established non-regulatory 
action levels or advisories, EPA has not established a national 
drinking water standard citing the need for more research on health 
effects. We concluded in our report that EPA needed more reliable 
information on the extent of sites contaminated with perchlorate and 
the status of cleanup efforts, and recommended that EPA work with the 
Department of Defense and the states to establish a formal structure 
for tracking perchlorate information. In December 2006, EPA reiterated 
its disagreement with the recommendation stating that perchlorate 
information already exists from a variety of other sources. However, we 
continue to believe that the inconsistency and omissions in available 
data that we found during the course of our study underscore the need 
for a more structured and formal tracking system. 

Background: 

In 1984, a catastrophic accident caused the release of methyl 
isocyanate--a toxic chemical used to make pesticides--at a Union 
Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, killing thousands of people, injuring 
many others, and displacing many more from their homes and businesses. 
One month later, it was disclosed that the same chemical had leaked at 
least 28 times from a similar Union Carbide facility in Institute, West 
Virginia. Eight months later, 3,800 pounds of chemicals again leaked 
from the West Virginia facility, sending dozens of injured people to 
local hospitals. In the wake of these events, Congress passed the 
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). 
Among other things, EPCRA provides access by individuals and 
communities to information regarding hazardous materials in their 
communities. Section 313 of EPCRA generally requires certain facilities 
that manufacture, process, or otherwise use any of 581 individual 
chemicals and 30 additional chemical categories to annually report the 
amount of those chemicals that they released to the environment, 
including information about where they released those chemicals. EPCRA 
also requires EPA to make this information available to the public, 
which the agency does in a national database known as the Toxics 
Release Inventory. The public may access TRI data on EPA's website and 
aggregate it by zip code, county, state, industry, and chemical. EPA 
also publishes an annual report that summarizes national, state, and 
industry data.[Footnote 3] 

Figure 1 illustrates TRI reporting using a typical, large coal-fired 
electric power plant as an example.[Footnote 4] The figure notes the 
chemicals that the facility may have to report to the TRI. The primary 
input to this facility is coal that contains small amounts of a number 
of toxic chemicals such as arsenic, chromium, and lead. The facility 
pulverizes coal and burns it to generate electricity. As part of its 
standard operations, the facility releases TRI chemicals such as 
hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid to the air through its stack. The 
facility may also send ash from the burning process to an ash pond or 
landfill, including TRI chemicals such as arsenic, lead, and zinc. In 
addition, the facility may release chemicals in the water it uses for 
cooling. The facility will have to complete a TRI report for air, land, 
and water releases of each chemical it uses above a certain threshold. 

Figure 1: TRI Reporting at a Typical Coal-fired Electric Generation 
Facility: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO based on Waste Policy Center data. 

[End of figure] 

Owners of facilities subject to EPCRA comply its reporting requirements 
by submitting an annual Form R report to EPA, and their respective 
state, for each TRI-listed chemical that they release in excess of 
certain thresholds. Form R captures information about facility 
identity, such as address, parent company, industry type, latitude, and 
longitude and detailed information about the toxic chemical, such as 
quantity of the chemical disposed or released onsite to air, water, 
land, and underground injection or transferred for disposal or release 
off-site. This information is labeled as "Disposal or Other Releases" 
on the left side of figure 2. 

Figure 2: Types of TRI Data Reported on Form R: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: GAO based on 2004 EPA TRI data. 

[End of figure] 

In the PPA, Congress declared that pollution should be prevented or 
reduced at the source whenever feasible; pollution that cannot be 
prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner, 
whenever feasible; pollution that cannot be prevented or recycled 
should be treated in an environmentally safe manner whenever feasible; 
and disposal or other release into the environment should be employed 
only as a last resort and should be conducted in an environmentally 
safe manner. Consequently, EPA expanded TRI by requiring facilities to 
report additional information about their efforts to reduce pollution 
at its source, including the quantities of TRI chemicals they manage in 
waste, both on-and off-site, including amounts recycled, burned for 
energy recovery, or treated. EPA began capturing this information on 
Form R in 1991, as illustrated by "Other Waste Management" on the right 
side of figure 2. 

Beginning in 1995, EPA allowed facilities to use a 2-page Certification 
Statement (Form A) to certify that they are not subject to Form R 
reporting for a given non-PBT chemical provided that they (1) did not 
release more than 500 total pounds and (2) did not manufacture, 
process, or otherwise use more than one-million total pounds of the 
chemical. Form A contains the facility identification information found 
on Form R and basic information about the identity of the chemical 
being reported. However, Form A does not contain any of the Form R 
details about quantities of chemicals released or otherwise managed as 
waste. 

Beginning with Reporting Year 2001, EPA has provided the Toxics Release 
Inventory-Made Easy software (TRI-ME) to assist facilities with their 
TRI reporting. TRI-ME leads prospective reporters interactively through 
a series of questions that eliminate a good portion of the analysis 
required to determine whether a facility needs to comply with the TRI 
reporting requirements, including the threshold calculations needed to 
determine Form A eligibility. If TRI-ME determines that a facility is 
required to report, the software provides guidance for each of the data 
elements on the reporting forms. The software also provides detailed 
guidance for each step through an integrated assistance library. Prior 
to submission, TRI-ME performs a series of validation checks before the 
facility prints the forms for mailing, transfers the data to diskette, 
or submits the information electronically over the Internet. 

Each year, EPA compiles the TRI reports and stores them in a database 
known as the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). In 2004--the latest year 
for which data are publicly available--23,675 facilities filed a total 
of nearly 90,000 reports, including nearly 11,000 Form As. In total, 
facilities reported releasing 4.24 billion pounds of chemicals to the 
environment and handling 21.8 billion pounds of chemicals through other 
waste management activities. 

EPA recently embarked on a three-phase effort to streamline TRI 
reporting requirements and reduce the reporting burden on industry. 
During the first phase, EPA removed some data elements from Form A and 
Form R that could be obtained from other EPA information collection 
databases to simplify reporting. As part of the second phase, EPA 
issued the TRI Burden Reduction Proposed Rule, which would have allowed 
a reporting facility to use Form A for (a) non-PBT chemicals, so long 
as its releases or other disposal were not greater than 5,000 pounds, 
and (b) for PBT chemicals when there are no releases or other disposal 
and no more than 500 pounds of other waste management (e.g., recycling 
or treatment). The phase III changes that EPA was considering proposing 
would have allowed alternate-year reporting, rather than yearly 
reporting. The phase II and III changes generated considerable public 
concern that they will negatively impact federal and state governments' 
and the public's access to important public health information. 

EPA Does Not Appear to Have Followed Internal Guidelines in All 
Respects When Developing TRI Rule: 

Although we have not yet completed our review, our preliminary 
observations are that EPA does not appear to have followed its own 
rulemaking guidelines in all respects when developing the new TRI 
reporting requirements. Throughout the rule development process, senior 
EPA management generally has the discretion to depart from the 
guidelines, including by accelerating the development of the proposed 
regulations. Nevertheless, we discovered several significant 
differences between the guidelines and the process EPA followed in this 
case: (1) late in the rulemaking process, senior EPA management 
directed consideration of a burden reduction option that the TRI 
workgroup had considered but which had subsequently been dropped from 
consideration; (2) EPA developed this option on an expedited schedule 
that appears to have provided a limited amount of time for conducting 
various impact analyses; and (3) the expedited schedule afforded 
little, if any, time for internal stakeholders to provide input to 
senior EPA management about the impacts of the proposal during Final 
Agency Review. 

First, the TRI workgroup charged with identifying options to reduce 
reporting burdens on industry identified three possible options for 
senior management to consider. The first two options allowed facilities 
to use Form A in lieu of Form R for PBT chemicals, provided the 
facility has no releases to the environment. Specifically, the 
workgroup considered and analyzed options to facilities to: 

* report PBT chemicals using Form A if they have zero releases and zero 
total other waste management activities; or: 

* report PBT chemicals using Form A if they have zero releases and no 
more than 500 pounds of other waste management activities. 

The third option was to create a form, in lieu of Form R, for 
facilities to report "no significant change" if their releases changed 
little from the previous year. 

According a June 2005 briefing for the Administrator and interviews 
with senior EPA officials, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
had suggested increasing the Form A eligibility for non-PBT chemicals 
from 500 to 5,000 pounds as a possible burden reduction option. 
However, the TRI workgroup had previously dropped that option from 
consideration. In fact, EPA's economic analysis--dated July 2005--did 
not evaluate the impact of raising the Form A reporting threshold 
because the TRI workgroup pursued the "no significant change" option. 
Nonetheless, by the time the TRI burden reduction proposed rule was 
published in October 2005, it included the option to increase Form A 
reporting eligibility from 500 to 5,000 pounds. 

Second, although we could not determine from the documents EPA provided 
or the discussions we held with EPA officials what actions the agency 
took between the June 2005 briefing for the Administrator and the 
October 2005 publication of the TRI proposal in the Federal Register, 
the Administrator provided direction after the briefing to expedite the 
process in order to meet a commitment to OMB to provide burden 
reduction by the end of December 2006. Subsequently, EPA staff worked 
to revise the economic analysis to consider the impact of raising the 
Form A reporting threshold. However, that analysis was not completed 
before EPA sent the proposed rule to OMB for review and was only 
completed just prior to the proposal being signed by the Administrator 
on September 21, 2005 and ultimately published in the Federal Register 
for public comment on October 4, 2005. 

Third, it appears that EPA management received limited input from 
internal stakeholders, including the TRI workgroup, after directing 
that the proposed rule include the option to increase the Form A 
reporting threshold from 500 to 5,000 pounds. EPA conducted a Final 
Agency Review burden reduction proposal, as provided for in the 
internal rulemaking guidelines. Final Agency Review is the step where 
EPA's internal and regional offices would have discussed with senior 
management whether they concurred, concurred with comment, or did not 
concur with the final proposal. It appears that the review pertained to 
the "no significant change" option rather than increased threshold 
option. As a result, the EPA Administrator or EPA Assistant 
Administrator for Environmental Information likely received limited 
input from internal stakeholders about the increased Form A threshold 
prior to sending the TRI Burden Reduction Proposed Rule to OMB for 
review and publication in the Federal Register for public comment. 

Finally, in response to the public comments to the proposed rule, 
nearly all of which were negative, EPA considered alternative options 
and revised the rule to allow facilities to report releases of up to 
2,000 pounds on Form A. We continue to review EPA documents and meet 
with EPA officials to understand the process EPA followed in developing 
the TRI burden reduction proposal. We expect to have a more complete 
picture for our report in June. 

Impact of Reporting Changes on Information Available to the Public is 
Likely to be Significant: 

We believe that the impact of EPA's changes to the TRI reporting 
requirements will likely have a significant impact on environmental 
information available to the public. While our analysis confirms EPA's 
estimate that the TRI reporting changes could result less than 1 
percent of total pounds of chemical releases no longer being included 
in the TRI database, the impact on information available to some 
communities is likely to be more significant than these national 
aggregate totals indicate. EPA estimated that these reports amount to 
5.7 million pounds of releases not being reported to the TRI (only 
0.14% of all TRI release pounds) and an additional 10.5 million pounds 
of waste management activities (0.06% of total waste management 
pounds). Examined locally, the impact on data available to some 
communities is likely to be more significant than these national totals 
indicate. To understand the potential impact of EPA's changes to TRI 
reporting requirements at the local level, we used 2005 TRI data to 
estimate the number of detailed Form R reports that would no longer 
have to be submitted in each state and the impact this could have on 
data about specific chemicals and facilities. We provide a summary of 
our methodology and estimates of these impacts, by state, in Appendix 
I. In addition, preliminary results from our January 2007 survey of 
state TRI coordinators indicate that they believe EPA's changes to TRI 
reporting requirements will have, on balance, a negative impact on 
various aspects of TRI, including environmental information available 
to the public. 

We estimated that a total of nearly 22,200 Form R reports could convert 
to Form A if all eligible facilities choose to take advantage of the 
opportunity to report under the new Form A thresholds. The number 
ranges by state from 25 Form Rs in Vermont (27.2 percent of Form Rs in 
the state) to 2,196 Form Rs in Texas (30.6 percent of Form Rs in the 
state). As figure 3 shows, Arkansas, Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, and 
South Dakota could lose less than 20 percent of the detailed forms, 
while Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, 
Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode 
Island, and Texas could lose at least 30 percent of Form R reports. 

Figure 3: Impact of TRI Reporting Changes on Number of Form R Reports: 

[See PDF for image] 

Sources: GAO based on 2005 EPA TRI data and Map Info(map). 

[End of figure] 

For each facility that chooses to file a Form A instead of Form R, the 
public would no longer receive detailed information about a facility's 
releases and waste management practices for a specific chemical that 
the facility manufactured, processed, or otherwise used. While both 
Form R and Form A capture information about a facility's identity, such 
as mailing address and parent company, and information about a 
chemical's identity, such its generic name, only Form R captures 
detailed information about the chemical, such as quantity disposed or 
released onsite to air, water, and land or injected underground, or 
transferred for disposal or release off-site. Form R also provides 
information about the facility's efforts to reduce pollution at its 
source, including the quantities managed in waste, both on-and off- 
site, such as amounts recycled, burned for energy recovery, or treated. 
We provide a detailed comparison of the TRI data on Form R and Form A 
in Appendix II. 

One way to characterize the impact of the TRI reporting changes on 
publicly available data is in terms of information about specific 
chemicals at the state level. The number of chemicals for which no 
information is likely to be reported under the new rule ranges from 3 
chemicals in South Dakota to 60 chemicals in Georgia. That means that 
all quantitative information currently reported about those chemicals 
could no longer appear in the TRI database. Figure 4 shows that 
thirteen states--Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, 
Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, 
West Virginia, and Wisconsin--could no longer have quantitative 
information for at least 20 percent of all reported chemicals in the 
state. 

Figure 4: Impact of TRI Reporting Changes on Number of Chemicals 
Reported on Form R: 

[See PDF for image] 

Sources: GAO based on 2005 EPA TRI data and Map Info(map). 

[End of figure] 

The impact of the loss of information from these Form R reports can 
also be understood in terms of the number of facilities that could be 
affected. We estimated that 6,620 facilities nationwide could chose to 
convert at least one Form R to a Form A, and about 54 percent of those 
would be eligible to convert all their Form Rs to Form A. That means 
that approximately 3,565 facilities would not have to report any 
quantitative information about their chemical releases and other waste 
management practices to the TRI, according to our estimates. The number 
of facilities ranges from 5 in Alaska to 302 in California.[Footnote 5] 
As an example, one of these facilities is ATSC Marine Terminal--a bulk 
petroleum storage facility in Los Angeles County, California. In 2005, 
it reported releases of 13 different chemicals--including highly toxic 
benzene, toluene, and xylene--to the air. Although the facility's 
releases totaled about 5,000 pounds, it released less than 2,000 pounds 
of each chemical. As figure 5 shows, more than 10 percent of facilities 
in each state except Idaho would no longer have to report any 
quantitative information to the TRI. The most affected states are 
Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, 
and Rhode Island, where more than 20 percent of facilities could choose 
to not disclose the details of their chemical releases and other waste 
management practices. Furthermore, our analysis found that citizens 
living in 75 counties in the United States--including 11 in Texas, 10 
in Virginia, and 6 in Georgia--could have no quantitative TRI 
information about local toxic pollution. 

Figure 5: Impact of TRI Reporting Changes on Number of Facilities 
Reporting on Form R: 

[See PDF for image] 

Sources: GAO based on 2005 EPA TRI data and Map Info(map). 

[End of figure] 

The Environmental Protection and Community Right-to-Know Act requires 
that facilities submit their annual TRI data directly to their 
respective state, as well as to EPA. Last month, we surveyed the TRI 
program contacts in the 50 states and the District of Columbia to gain 
their perspective on the TRI, including an understanding of how TRI is 
used by the states. We also asked for their beliefs about how EPA's 
increase in the Form A eligibility threshold would affect TRI-related 
aspects in their state, such as information available to the public, 
efforts to protect the environment, emergency planning and 
preparedness, and costs to facilities for TRI reporting. Although our 
analysis of the survey is not final, preliminary results from 49 states 
and the District of Columbia show that the states generally believe 
that the change will have a negative impact on various aspects of TRI 
in their states.[Footnote 6] Very few states reported that the change 
will have a positive impact. The states reported that the TRI changes 
will have a negative impact on such TRI aspects as information 
available to the public and efforts to protect the environment. 
Specifically, 23 states--including California, Maryland, New York, and 
Oklahoma--responded that the changes will negatively impact information 
available to the public, 14 states--including Louisiana, Ohio, and 
Wyoming--reported no impact, and one state, Virginia, reported a 
generally positive impact. Similarly, 22 states responded that the 
change will negatively impact efforts to protect the environment, 11 
reported no impact, and 5 said it will have a positive impact. States 
also responded that raising the eligibility threshold will have no 
impact on TRI aspects such as emergency planning and preparedness 
efforts and the cost to facilities for TRI reporting. For example, 22 
states responded that the change will have no impact on the cost to 
facilities for TRI reporting, 12 said it will have a positive impact, 
and no states said it will have a negative impact. The totals do not 
always sum to 50 because some states responded that they were uncertain 
of the impact on some aspects of TRI. 

Finally, we evaluated EPA's estimates of the burden reduction impacts 
that the new TRI reporting rules would likely have on industry's 
reporting costs, the primary rationale for the rule changes. EPA 
estimated that the TRI reporting changes will result in an annual cost 
savings of approximately $5.9 million. (See table 1.) This amounts to 
about 4 percent of the $147.8 million total annual cost to industry, 
according to our calculations. 

Table 1: EPA Estimates of Annual Savings from Changes to TRI Reporting 
Requirements: 

Option: New PBT chemical eligibility; 
Newly eligible Form Rs: 2,360; 
Eligible facilities: 1,796; 
Burden (hours per form): 15.5; 
Annual burden savings (hours): 36,480; 
Cost savings per form: $748; 
Annual cost savings: $1,764,969. 

Option: Increased eligibility for non-PBT chemicals; 
Newly eligible Form Rs: 9,501; 
Eligible facilities: 5,317; 
Burden (hours per form): 9.1; 
Annual burden savings (hours): 86,924; 
Cost savings per form: 438; 
Annual cost savings: 4,160,239. 

Total; 
Newly eligible Form Rs: 11,861; 
Eligible facilities: 6,670; 
Burden (hours per form): [Empty]; 
Annual burden savings (hours): 123,404; 
Cost savings per form: [Empty]; 
Annual cost savings: $5,925,208. 

Source: EPA based on reporting year 2004 TRI data. 

[End of table] 

This amounts to an average savings of less than $900 annually for each 
facility. EPA also projected that not all eligible facilities will 
chose to use Form A, based on the agency's experience from previous 
years. Furthermore, according to industry groups, much of the reporting 
burden comes from the calculations required to determine and 
substantiate Form A eligibility, rather than from the amount time 
required to complete the forms. As a result, EPA's estimate of nearly 
$6 million likely overestimates the total cost savings (i.e., burden 
reduction) that will be realized by reporting facilities. 

We are continuing to review EPA documentation and meet with EPA 
officials to understand the process they followed in developing the TRI 
burden reduction proposal. We expect to have a more complete picture 
for our report later this year. 

A System to Track Perchlorate Sampling and Cleanup Results Is Still 
Needed: 

Perchlorate is a salt that is easily dissolved and transported in water 
and has been found in groundwater, surface water, drinking water, soil, 
and food products such as milk and lettuce across the country. Health 
studies have shown that perchlorate can affect the thyroid gland and 
may cause developmental delays during pregnancy and early infancy. In 
February 2005, EPA established a new safe exposure level, or reference 
dose, for perchlorate, equivalent to 24.5 parts per billion in drinking 
water.[Footnote 7] However, EPA has not established a national drinking 
water standard, citing the need for more research on health effects. As 
a result, perchlorate, like other unregulated contaminants, is not 
subject to TRI reporting. In May 2005 we issued a report that 
identified (1) the estimated extent of perchlorate found in the United 
States; (2) what actions the federal government, state governments, and 
responsible parties have taken to clean up or eliminate the source of 
perchlorate; and (3) what studies of the potential health risks from 
perchlorate have been conducted and, where presented, the author's 
conclusions or findings on the health effects of perchlorate. 

Perchlorate has been found by federal and state agencies in 
groundwater, surface water, soil, or public drinking water at almost 
400 sites in the United States. However, because there is not a 
standardized approach for reporting perchlorate data nationwide, a 
greater number of sites than we identified may already exist in the 
United States. Perchlorate has been found in 35 states, the District of 
Columbia, and 2 commonwealths of the United States, where the highest 
concentrations ranged from 4 parts per billion to more than 3.7 million 
parts per billion. (At some sites, federal and state agencies detected 
perchlorate concentrations as low as 1 part per billion or less, yet 4 
parts per billion is the minimum reporting level of the analysis method 
most often used.) More than 50 percent of all sites were found in 
California and Texas, and sites in Arkansas, California, Texas, Nevada, 
and Utah had some of the highest concentration levels. However, roughly 
two-thirds of sites had concentration levels at or below 18 parts per 
billion, the upper limit of EPA's provisional cleanup guidance, and 
almost 70 percent of sites had perchlorate concentrations less than 
24.5 parts per billion, the drinking water concentration calculated on 
the basis of EPA's recently established reference dose (see fig. 6). 

Figure 6: Maximum Perchlorate Concentrations Reported in any Media and 
Number of Sites, January 2005: 

[See PDF for image] 

Sources: Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, U.S. 
Geological Survey, and state environmental agencies. 

[End of figure] 

At more than one-quarter of the sites, propellant manufacturing, rocket 
motor testing, and explosives disposal were the most likely sources of 
perchlorate. Public drinking water systems accounted for more than one- 
third of the sites where perchlorate was found. EPA sampled more than 
3,700 public drinking water systems and found perchlorate in 153 
systems across 26 states and 2 commonwealths of the United States. 
Perchlorate concentration levels found at public drinking water systems 
ranged from 4 to 420 parts per billion. However, only 14 of the 153 
public drinking water systems had concentration levels above 24.5 parts 
per billion. EPA and state officials told us they had not cleaned up 
these public drinking water systems, principally because there was no 
federal drinking water standard or specific federal requirement to 
clean up perchlorate. Further, EPA currently does not centrally track 
or monitor perchlorate detections or the status of cleanup activities. 
In fact, several EPA regional officials told us they did not always 
know when states had found perchlorate, at what levels, or what actions 
were taken. As a result, it is difficult to determine the extent of 
perchlorate in the United States or the status of cleanup actions, if 
any. 

Although there is no specific federal requirement to clean up 
perchlorate or a specific perchlorate cleanup standard, EPA and state 
environmental agencies have investigated, sampled, and cleaned up 
unregulated contaminants, such as perchlorate, under various federal 
environmental laws and regulations. EPA and state agency officials have 
used their authorities under these laws and regulations, as well as 
under state laws and action levels, to sample and clean up and/or 
require the sampling and cleanup of perchlorate by responsible parties. 
For example, according to EPA and state officials, at least 9 states 
have established non-regulatory action levels or advisories, ranging 
from under 1 part per billion to 18 parts per billion. Where these 
action levels or advisories are in effect, responsible parties have 
been required to sample and clean up perchlorate. Further, certain 
environmental laws and programs require private companies to sample for 
contaminants, which can include unregulated substances such as 
perchlorate, and report to environmental agencies. According to EPA and 
state officials, private industry and public water suppliers have 
generally complied with regulations requiring sampling for contaminants 
and agency requests to sample or clean up perchlorate. DOD has sampled 
and cleaned up when required by specific environmental laws and 
regulations but has been reluctant to sample on or near active 
installations, unless a perchlorate release due to DOD activities is 
suspected and a complete human exposure pathway is likely to exist. 
Finally, EPA, state agencies, and/or responsible parties are currently 
cleaning up or planning cleanup at 51 of the almost 400 sites where 
perchlorate has been found. The remaining sites are not being cleaned 
up for a variety of reasons. The reason most often cited by EPA and 
state officials was that they were waiting for a federal requirement to 
do so. 

We identified and summarized 90 studies of perchlorate health risks 
published since 1998. EPA and DOD sponsored the majority of these 
studies, which used experimental, field study, and data analysis 
methodologies. For 26 of the 90 studies, the findings indicated that 
perchlorate had an adverse effect. Eighteen of these studies found 
adverse effects on fetal or child development resulting from maternal 
exposure to perchlorate. Although the studies we reviewed examined 
whether and how perchlorate affected the thyroid, most of the studies 
of adult populations were unable to determine whether the thyroid was 
adversely affected. Adverse effects of perchlorate on the adult thyroid 
are difficult to evaluate because they may happen over longer time 
periods than can be observed in a research study. However, adverse 
effects of perchlorate on fetal or child development can be studied and 
measured within study time frames. We also found some studies 
considered the same perchlorate dose amount but identified different 
effects. The precise cause of the differences remains unresolved but 
may be attributed to an individual study's design type or the physical 
condition of the subjects, such as their age. Such unresolved questions 
are one of the bases for the differing conclusions among EPA, DOD, and 
academic studies on perchlorate dose amounts and effects. 

In January 2005, NAS issued its report on the potential health effects 
of perchlorate. The NAS report evaluated many of the same health risk 
studies included in our review. NAS reported that certain levels of 
exposure may not adversely affect healthy adults but recommended that 
more studies be conducted on the effects of perchlorate exposure in 
children and pregnant women. NAS also recommended a perchlorate 
reference dose, which is an estimated daily exposure level from all 
sources that is expected not to cause adverse effects in humans, 
including the most sensitive populations. The reference dose of 0.0007 
milligrams per kilogram of body weight is equivalent to a drinking 
water exposure level of 24.5 parts per billion, if all exposure comes 
from drinking water. In January 2006, EPA issued guidance stating that 
this exposure level is a preliminary cleanup goal for environmental 
cleanups involving perchlorate. 

We concluded that EPA needed more reliable information on the extent of 
sites contaminated with perchlorate and the status of cleanup efforts, 
and recommended that EPA work with the Department of Defense, other 
federal agencies and the states to establish a formal structure for 
better tracking perchlorate information. In December 2006, EPA 
reiterated its disagreement with the recommendation stating that 
perchlorate information already exists from a variety of other sources. 
However, we found that the states and federal agencies do not always 
report perchlorate detections to EPA and as a result EPA and the states 
do not have the most current and complete accounting of perchlorate as 
an emerging contaminant of concern. We continue to believe that the 
inconsistency and omissions in the available data that we found during 
the course of our study underscore the need for a more structured and 
formal system, and that such a system would serve to better inform the 
public and others about the locations of perchlorate releases and the 
status of clean ups. 

Preliminary Observations: 

Contrary to EPA's assertions, in our view EPA's recent changes to the 
Toxics Release Inventory significantly reduce the amount of information 
available to the public about toxic chemicals in their communities. 
EPA's portrayal of the potential impacts of the TRI reporting rule 
changes in terms of a national amount of pollution is quite misleading 
and runs contrary to the legislative intent of EPCRA and the principles 
of the public's right-to-know. TRI is designed to provide states and 
public citizens with information about the releases of toxic chemicals 
by facilities in their local communities. Citizens drink water from 
local sources, spend much of their time on land near their homes and 
places of business, and breathe the air over their local communities. 
We believe that the likely reduction in publicly availability data 
about specific chemicals and facilities in local communities should be 
considered in light of the relatively small cost savings to industry 
afforded by the TRI reporting changes. 

Madam Chairman, this concludes my prepared statement. I would be happy 
to respond to any questions that you and Members of the Committee may 
have. 

GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

For further information about this testimony, please contact me, John 
Stephenson, at (202) 512-3841 or stephensonj@gao.gov. Contact points 
for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be 
found on the last page of this statement. Contributors to this 
testimony include J. Erin Lansburgh, Assistant Director, and Terrance 
Horner, Senior Analyst; Mark Braza, John Delicath, Karen Febey, Edward 
Kratzer, Richard Johnson, and Jennifer Popovic also made key 
contributions. 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: GAO Estimates of the Impact of Reporting Changes on TRI 
Data: 

We analyzed 2005 TRI data provided by EPA to estimate the number of 
Form Rs that could no longer be reported in each state and determine 
the possible impacts that this could have on data about specific 
chemicals and facilities.[Footnote 8] Table 2 provides our estimates of 
the total number of Form Rs eligible to convert to Form A, including 
the percent of total Form Rs submitted by facilities in each state. The 
table also provides our estimates of the number of unique chemicals for 
which no quantitative information would have to be reported in each 
state, including the percent of total chemicals reported in each state. 
The last two columns provide our estimates for the number of facilities 
that would no longer have to provide quantitative information about 
their chemical releases and waste management practices, including the 
percent of total facilities reporting in each state. 

Table 2: Estimated Impact of TRI Reporting Changes on Number of Form 
Rs, Chemicals, and Facilities, by State: 

State: AK; 
Form Rs: Number: 59; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 36.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 8; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 17.0; 
Facilities: Number: 5; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 15.6. 

State: AL; 
Form Rs: Number: 456; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 22.0; 
Chemicals: Number: 34; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 17.1; 
Facilities: Number: 69; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 12.9. 

State: AR; 
Form Rs: Number: 247; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 17.7; 
Chemicals: Number: 18; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 5.8; 
Facilities: Number: 39; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 11.0. 

State: AZ; 
Form Rs: Number: 221; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 27.7; 
Chemicals: Number: 12; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 10.8; 
Facilities: Number: 50; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 15.0. 

State: CA; 
Form Rs: Number: 1,533; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 37.5; 
Chemicals: Number: 36; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 18.2; 
Facilities: Number: 302; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 19.9. 

State: CO; 
Form Rs: Number: 162; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 25.8; 
Chemicals: Number: 11; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 11.1; 
Facilities: Number: 51; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 21.8. 

State: CT; 
Form Rs: Number: 299; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 33.5; 
Chemicals: Number: 16; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 15.4; 
Facilities: Number: 73; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 20.6. 

State: DC; 
Form Rs: Number: 4; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 28.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 2; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 18.2; 
Facilities: Number: 2; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 28.6. 

State: DE; 
Form Rs: Number: 80; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 27.7; 
Chemicals: Number: 24; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 23.3; 
Facilities: Number: 10; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.1. 

State: FL; 
Form Rs: Number: 479; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 27.4; 
Chemicals: Number: 19; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 13.2; 
Facilities: Number: 119; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 17.2. 

State: GA; 
Form Rs: Number: 678; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 30.9; 
Chemicals: Number: 60; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 29.1; 
Facilities: Number: 132; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 16.7. 

State: HI; 
Form Rs: Number: 67; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 37.9; 
Chemicals: Number: 12; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 26.1; 
Facilities: Number: 9; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 23.1. 

State: IA; 
Form Rs: Number: 371; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 27.7; 
Chemicals: Number: 34; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 22.2; 
Facilities: Number: 46; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 10.6. 

State: ID; 
Form Rs: Number: 41; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 14.4; 
Chemicals: Number: 8; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 10.4; 
Facilities: Number: 8; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 7.3. 

State: IL; 
Form Rs: Number: 1,155; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 30.0; 
Chemicals: Number: 37; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 16.4; 
Facilities: Number: 171; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.3. 

State: IN; 
Form Rs: Number: 900; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 25.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 29; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 14.6; 
Facilities: Number: 143; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.4. 

State: KS; 
Form Rs: Number: 291; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 28.3; 
Chemicals: Number: 23; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 16.0; 
Facilities: Number: 41; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.0. 

State: KY; 
Form Rs: Number: 490; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 25.7; 
Chemicals: Number: 28; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 15.3; 
Facilities: Number: 63; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 13.4. 

State: LA; 
Form Rs: Number: 665; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 25.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 34; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 13.1; 
Facilities: Number: 46; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 12.4. 

State: MA; 
Form Rs: Number: 574; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 38.0; 
Chemicals: Number: 23; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 20.4; 
Facilities: Number: 119; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 20.1. 

State: MD; 
Form Rs: Number: 221; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 32.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 24; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 22.6; 
Facilities: Number: 34; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 16.6. 

State: ME; 
Form Rs: Number: 105; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 26.1; 
Chemicals: Number: 8; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 11.3; 
Facilities: Number: 14; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 13.7. 

State: MI; 
Form Rs: Number: 965; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 29.7; 
Chemicals: Number: 36; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 19.0; 
Facilities: Number: 145; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 16.1. 

State: MN; 
Form Rs: Number: 263; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 21.0; 
Chemicals: Number: 20; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 15.4; 
Facilities: Number: 55; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 11.5. 

State: MO; 
Form Rs: Number: 498; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 27.3; 
Chemicals: Number: 43; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 21.7; 
Facilities: Number: 80; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.2. 

State: MS; 
Form Rs: Number: 265; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 25.0; 
Chemicals: Number: 29; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 18.7; 
Facilities: Number: 37; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 11.8. 

State: MT; 
Form Rs: Number: 61; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 21.8; 
Chemicals: Number: 10; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 13.5; 
Facilities: Number: 7; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 15.2. 

State: NC; 
Form Rs: Number: 705; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 30.1; 
Chemicals: Number: 43; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 24.9; 
Facilities: Number: 148; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 17.8. 

State: ND; 
Form Rs: Number: 29; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 13.8; 
Chemicals: Number: 7; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 11.5; 
Facilities: Number: 6; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 12.5. 

State: NE; 
Form Rs: Number: 116; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 20.3; 
Chemicals: Number: 11; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 7.9; 
Facilities: Number: 24; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 12.9. 

State: NH; 
Form Rs: Number: 98; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 29.1; 
Chemicals: Number: 13; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 17.3; 
Facilities: Number: 23; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 16.1. 

State: NJ; 
Form Rs: Number: 582; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 35.1; 
Chemicals: Number: 34; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 16.0; 
Facilities: Number: 101; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 19.3. 

State: NM; 
Form Rs: Number: 96; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 29.2; 
Chemicals: Number: 11; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 15.3; 
Facilities: Number: 15; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 19.2. 

State: NV; 
Form Rs: Number: 96; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 21.2; 
Chemicals: Number: 14; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 18.9; 
Facilities: Number: 19; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.3. 

State: NY; 
Form Rs: Number: 663; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 31.8; 
Chemicals: Number: 33; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 19.1; 
Facilities: Number: 122; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 17.2. 

State: OH; 
Form Rs: Number: 1,557; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 28.5; 
Chemicals: Number: 38; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 12.6; 
Facilities: Number: 218; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 13.8. 

State: OK; 
Form Rs: Number: 273; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 26.1; 
Chemicals: Number: 30; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 23.3; 
Facilities: Number: 50; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 15.2. 

State: OR; 
Form Rs: Number: 236; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 28.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 16; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 15.5; 
Facilities: Number: 47; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 15.5. 

State: PA; 
Form Rs: Number: 1,253; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 29.9; 
Chemicals: Number: 30; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 15.2; 
Facilities: Number: 192; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.9. 

State: RI; 
Form Rs: Number: 112; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 39.3; 
Chemicals: Number: 12; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 17.4; 
Facilities: Number: 30; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 23.4. 

State: SC; 
Form Rs: Number: 596; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 29.0; 
Chemicals: Number: 36; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 17.6; 
Facilities: Number: 78; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 15.0. 

State: SD; 
Form Rs: Number: 44; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 19.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 3; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 5.8; 
Facilities: Number: 10; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 10.5. 

State: TN; 
Form Rs: Number: 569; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 27.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 40; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 20.9; 
Facilities: Number: 105; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 16.2. 

State: TX; 
Form Rs: Number: 2196; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 30.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 29; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 9.3; 
Facilities: Number: 210; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.1. 

State: UT; 
Form Rs: Number: 146; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 19.9; 
Chemicals: Number: 11; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 9.9; 
Facilities: Number: 25; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 12.6. 

State: VA; 
Form Rs: Number: 401; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 25.2; 
Chemicals: Number: 23; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 14.8; 
Facilities: Number: 70; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.3. 

State: VT; 
Form Rs: Number: 25; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 27.2; 
Chemicals: Number: 9; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 23.7; 
Facilities: Number: 6; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 14.6. 

State: WA; 
Form Rs: Number: 276; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 26.4; 
Chemicals: Number: 22; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 19.8; 
Facilities: Number: 43; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 12.5. 

State: WI; 
Form Rs: Number: 692; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 25.4; 
Chemicals: Number: 31; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 21.2; 
Facilities: Number: 113; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 12.5. 

State: WV; 
Form Rs: Number: 222; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 22.8; 
Chemicals: Number: 40; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 24.1; 
Facilities: Number: 35; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 17.4. 

State: WY; 
Form Rs: Number: 60; 
Form Rs: Percent of total: 23.6; 
Chemicals: Number: 9; 
Chemicals: Percent of total: 14.5; 
Facilities: Number: 5; 
Facilities: Percent of total: 10.9. 

State: Total; 
Form Rs: Number: 22,193; 
Facilities: Number: 3,565. 

Source: GAO analysis of EPA 2005 TRI data. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comparison of TRI Data on Form R and Form A: 

Form R: Facility Identification Information: 
* TRI Facility ID Number; 
* Reporting year; 
* Trade secret information (if claiming that toxic chemical is trade 
secret); 
* Certification by facility owner/operator or senior management 
official; 
* Facility name, mailing address; 
* Whether form is for entire facility, part of facility, federal 
facility, or contractor at federal facility; 
* Technical contact name, telephone number, Email address; 
* Public contact name, telephone number; 
* Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code; 
* Dun & Bradstreet number; 
* Parent company information (name, Dun & Bradstreet number). 

Form A: Facility Identification Information: 
* TRI Facility ID Number; 
* Reporting year; 
* Trade secret information (if claiming that toxic chemical is trade 
secret); 
* Certification by facility owner/ operator or senior management 
official; 
* Facility name, mailing address; 
* Whether form is for entire facility, part of facility, federal 
facility, or contractor at federal facility; 
* Technical contact name, telephone number, Email address; 
* Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code; 
* Dun & Bradstreet number; 
* Parent company information (name, Dun & Bradstreet number). 

Form R: Chemical Specific Information; 
* Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number; 
* EPCRA Section 313 chemical or chemical category name; 
* Generic name; 
* Distribution of each member of the dioxin or dioxin-like compound 
category; 
* Generic name provided by supplier if chemical is component of a 
mixture; 
* Activities and uses of the chemical at facility, whether chemical is: 
- produced or imported for on-site use/processing, for 
sale/distribution, as a byproduct, or as an impurity; 
- processed as a reactant, a formation component, article component, 
repackaging, or as an impurity; 
- otherwise used as a chemical processing aid, manufacturing aid, or as 
an ancillary or other use; 
* Maximum amount onsite at any time during the year. 

Form A: Facility Identification Information: 
* Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number; 
* EPCRA Section 313 chemical or chemical category name; 
* Generic name. 

Form R: On-site Chemical Release Data; 
* Quantities released on- site to: 
- air as fugitive or non-point emissions; 
- air as stack or point emissions; 
- surface water as discharges to receiving streams or water bodies 
(including names of streams or water bodies); 
- underground injection; 
- land, including RCRA Subtitle C landfills, other landfills, land 
treatment/application farming, RCRA Subtitle C surface impoundments, 
other surface impoundments, other land disposal; 
* Basis for estimates of releases (i.e., monitoring data or 
measurements, mass balance calculations, emissions factors, other 
approaches); 
* Quantity released as a result of remedial actions, catastrophic 
events, or one-time events not associated with production processes. 

Form A: On-site Chemical Release Data: Not reported on Form A. 

Form R: On-site Chemical Waste Management Data; 
* Quantities managed on- site through: 
- recycling; 
- energy recovery; 
- treatment; 
* Recycling processes (e.g., metal recovery by smelting, solvent 
recovery by distillation); 
* Energy recovery methods (e.g., kiln, furnace, boiler); 
* Waste treatment methods (e.g., scrubber, electrostatic precipitator) 
for each waste stream (e.g., gaseous, aqueous, liquid non-aqueous, 
solids); 
* On-site waste treatment efficiency; 

Form A: On-site Chemical Waste Management Data: Not reported on Form A. 

Form R: Facility Identification Information: Off-site Transfers for 
Release or Other Waste Management; Form A: Facility Identification 
Information: Off-site Transfers for Release or Other Waste Management. 

Form R: Off-site Transfers for Release or Other Waste Management: 
* Quantities transferred to any Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTW); 
- POTW name(s), address(es); 
* Quantities transferred to other location for disposal or other 
release; 
- underground injection; 
- other land release; 
* Quantities transferred to other location for waste management; 
- treatment; 
- recycling; 
- energy recovery; 
* Quantity transferred off- site for release, treatment, recycling, or 
energy recovery that resulted from remedial actions, catastrophic 
events, or one-time events not associated with production processes; 
* Off-site location(s) name and address; 
* Basis for estimates for amounts transferred; 
* Whether receiving location(s) is/are under control of reporting 
facility/parent company. 

Form A: Off-site Transfers for Release or Other Waste Management: Not 
reported on Form A. 

Form R: Source Reduction and Recycling Activities;  
* Total quantities, for (1) the prior and (2) current reporting years 
and estimated totals for (3) the following and (4) second following 
years for: 
- on-site disposal to underground injection wells, RCRA Subtitle C 
landfills, and other landfills; 
- other on-site disposal or other releases; 
- off-site transfer to underground injection wells, RCRA Subtitle C 
landfills, and other landfills; 
- other off-site disposal or other releases; 
- on-site treatment; 
- on-site recycling; 
- on-site energy recovery; 
- off-site treatment; 
- off-site recycling; 
- off-site energy recovery; 
* Production ratio or activity index; 
* Source reduction activities the facility engaged in during the 
reporting year (e.g., inventory control, spill/leak prevention, product 
modifications); 
* Option to submit additional information on source reduction, 
recycling, or pollution control activities. 

Form A: Source Reduction and Recycling Activities. Not reported on Form 
A. 

Sources: EPA TRI Form R and Form A. 

[End of table] 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Perchlorate: A System to Track Sampling and Cleanup Results is 
Needed, GAO-05-462 (Washington, D.C.: May 20, 2005). 

[2] Executive Office of the President of the United States, Office of 
Management and Budget, Progress in Regulatory Reform: 2004 Report to 
Congress on the Costs and Benefits of Federal Regulations and Unfunded 
Mandates on State, Local, and Tribal Entities, 2004. 

[3] [Hyperlink, http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer] and [Hyperlink, 
http://www.epa.gov/enviro] 

[4] These facilities were not included in the original manufacturing 
industries, but EPA began requiring TRI reports from seven new 
industries--including electric utilities that burn coal and/or oil for 
the purpose of generating electricity--starting in 1998. 

[5] Appendix I provides the number of affected facilities for each 
state. 

[6] Survey results from those states responding as of February 1, 2007. 

[7] The reference dose of 0.0007 milligrams per kilogram of body weight 
per day is equivalent to 2 liters of drinking water per day containing 
24.5 parts per billion of perchlorate when consumed by an adult 
weighing 70 kilograms (or 154 pounds), assuming that all perchlorate 
exposure comes from drinking water. 

[8] The EPA anticipates issuing the 2005 TRI Public Data Release in 
April, 2007. 

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