EPA Begins Restoring Toxics Inventory After Downgrading

April 21, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed — get this — adding new chemicals to the Toxics Release Inventory — after nearly a decade of erosion of the TRI under the Bush administration.

The TRI was created to let communities know about what toxics were being released into their air, water, and soil. Under it, companies have to estimate and report the amounts of hundreds of toxic chemicals they handle and emit. It is the data foundation on which many other systems for looking at toxic exposure are based. President Bush had proposed less frequent reporting, and exempting more releases from reporting requirements — but public and Congressional opposition eventually thwarted that.

Now, under President Obama, EPA is proposing adding chemicals to the TRI for the first time since October 1999. The agency announced the proposal to add 16 new chemicals on April 6, 2010.