As TRI Goes Electronic, Speed Records Fall

November 3, 2010

The TRI program set a new speed record in 2010 for getting raw data reported by industry to the general public: 28 days. That's a dramatic improvement over years gone by, when communities did not learn what toxics were being released in their midst until 18 months or more after the fact. Companies have until July 1 to submit estimates of their releases for the previous year; this year, 2010, EPA released the first raw data for 2009 on July 28. That brought the time-lag down to barely 7 months.

The reason for the speed-up is that EPA finally overcame the resistance of reporting companies and got nearly 95 percent of them to file their reports electronically. The percent filing electronically had been going up steadily since the push began during the Bush years. Electronic filing eliminates the time spent keying in data from paper forms — and improves data accuracy as well.