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EPA reinstates Toxics Release Inventory reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide after 17-year hiatus

4 November 2011

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reinstating Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide.

TRI is a publicly available database that contains information on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities reported annually by certain industries and federal facilities. The purpose of the action is to better inform the public about toxic chemical releases in their communities and to provide the government with information for research and the potential development of regulations.

Hydrogen sulfide occurs naturally in crude petroleum, natural gas, volcanic gases, and hot springs. It can also result from the breakdown of organic matter, and is produced by human and animal wastes. Hydrogen sulfide can also result from industrial activities, such as food processing, coke ovens, kraft paper mills, tanneries, and petroleum refineries. Individuals living near a wastewater treatment plant, a gas and oil drilling operation, a farm with manure storage or livestock confinement facilities, or a landfill may be exposed to higher levels of hydrogen sulfide.

Hydrogen sulfide was added to the TRI list of toxic chemicals in a final rule published on 1 December 1993. However, on 22 August 1994, EPA suspended the TRI reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide in order to address issues that were raised by members of the regulated community regarding the information used to support the original listing decision. On 26 February 2010, EPA published a Federal Register document that provided the public with the opportunity to comment on EPA’s review of the currently available data on the human health and environmental effects of hydrogen sulfide. After consideration of public comments, EPA has concluded that the reporting requirements for hydrogen sulfide should be reinstated.

This action will be effective for the 2012 TRI reporting year. The first reports for the 2012 TRI reporting year are due from facilities by 1 July 2013.

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