With the July 1 deadline approaching, facilities are gearing up for their TRI reporting. This crucial report helps track toxic chemical releases and pollution prevention activities at industrial and federal facilities. Every facility involved in preparing, storing, and manufacturing chemicals needs to understand the TRI and its significance. This blog aims to provide comprehensive insights into the TRI’s function and importance. Read on to learn more.

Every chemical manufacturing firm produces chemical waste. However, releasing toxic substances can harm the environment and human health. This is where the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) becomes essential. TRI tracks the waste management of specific toxic chemicals that may threaten human health and the environment.

Many organizations and agencies must make critical decisions about chemical safety management and disposal. The TRI report is an invaluable resource for this decision-making process. Keep reading to learn and understand more about TRI and its importance.


Toxics Release Inventory (TRI): What is it?


TRI is a publicly accessible database that provides detailed information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities in the United States. The database is maintained by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The database includes data reported annually by various industry groups and federal facilities. It was created by section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act(EPCRA). 

U.S. facilities in various industries must report their chemical releases annually. They must detail how much of each chemical is released into the environment. They also need to report how chemicals are managed through recycling, energy recovery, and treatment. Additionally, they must include any practices used to prevent or reduce chemical waste generation.

The information submitted by facilities is compiled into the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). It helps several organizations help with some crucial decision-making processes. 


1. The History of the TRI Program


The TRI program was created in response to public concerns after tragic events. In 1984, a deadly gas leak in Bhopal, India, killed thousands, which has marked it as one of the worst industrial disasters ever. The following year, a similar incident occurred in West Virginia. To improve community safety and transparency, Congress passed the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) in 1986. This law requires facilities to report toxic chemical releases and other related data to the EPA and local authorities through the TRI program. 


2. What are the Chemicals that Come under TRI?


The TRI program mainly includes chemicals that may be the cause of several human health diseases. For instance, it lists chemicals for diseases such as cancer, significant adverse acute human health effects, and adverse environmental effects. 


Here are some important facts you need to know to understand the TRI chemical list.


  • Currently, there are 794 individually listed chemicals.
  • The TRI program also covers 33 chemical categories.
  • The facilities that handle, produce, or store TRI-listed chemicals must submit annual reporting forms.
  • The TRI chemicals list does not include all toxic chemicals used in the U.S. 


3. What Data Does the TRI include?


The TRI is a useful database that includes the following information:


  • Chemicals Included: 

TRI compiles data on quantities of chemicals listed on the TRI list of toxic chemicals. Therefore, it informs about all the listed chemicals that were released into the environment or regarded as waste. 


  • Release and Management: 

It tracks releases into the environment and waste management practices of all toxic chemicals by industrial and federal facilities.


  • Pollution Prevention: 

TRI also captures data on pollution prevention activities reported by these facilities. In easy terms, this database records all the measures that such facilities may have taken to prevent pollution. 


  • Data Availability: 

The EPA mandates that all facilities disclose information on chemical waste management and pollution prevention efforts. This data is then made available to the public via downloadable files and various data access tools provided by the agency. 


  • Community Awareness: 

The primary goal of TRI is to inform communities about toxic chemical releases and waste management in their vicinity. Thus, it helps to build awareness of chemical waste and waste management data and techniques. 


  • Informed Decision Making: 

Organizations do need to make crucial decisions related to chemical disposal and also waste management. The TRI aims to support informed decision-making by industry, government, non-governmental organizations, and the public.


  • Chemical List: 

It’s mainly a chemical list that includes the names of toxic substances that may severely damage the environment and also human health. Since 2020, the TRI chemical list includes 767 individually listed chemicals and 33 chemical categories.


  • Reporting Facilities:

Facilities subject to annual TRI reporting include federal facilities. Besides, it also includes other facilities in manufacturing, metal mining, coal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste treatment sectors, among others. Ontime submission with the required details is necessary. 


Submission Process of TRI:


Not all facilities must submit a TRI report. Below we have explained the reporting criteria. Before knowing the submission process check out the criteria discussed below. To understand the process of TRI form submission, continue reading the following points:


Reporting Criteria:


  • Not all facilities need to submit the TRI reports. Facilities must be in an industry sector subject to TRI reporting. Mainly facilities from manufacturing, mining, and electric power generation must submit the report.


  • Facilities with 10 or more full-time employees are required to submit TRI reports. Therefore, it is crucial to consider the total number of employees to verify eligibility for TRI submission.


  • If the facility’s primary NAICS code falls under the TRI program or if it is a federal facility.


  • In case the facility produces, stores, or uses TRI-listed products.


  • In case the facility exceeds any of the thresholds for a chemical or chemical category. 


What does the Facility Must Submit?


  • In case it manufactures, processes, or uses any of the TRI-listed chemicals, the submission of form R will be necessary for each chemical.


  • The submission of form A is necessary if the facility only meets some criteria.


  • The form must be submitted to the EPA and the state in which the facility is situated.


  • TRI-MEweb, for online TRI submissions. 

The Reporting Process:


Check out the following steps for the successful submission of TRI reporting.


  • Determine if your facility meets the reporting criteria. 


  • If your facility is eligible,  gather information on TRI chemicals used throughout the calendar year.


  • The accuracy of the TRI reporting form must be verified and certified. It has to be conducted by any senior representative of an organization.


  • Using the TRI pollution prevention search tool is beneficial, as it allows you to learn from the best practices of other facilities.


What Information Does a Facility Provide?


Through the TRI reporting submission facilities share the following data:


  • How they manage chemical waste through environmental releases(into the air, water, and land), recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and also disposal. 
  • Facilities must also inform the EPA about their efforts to minimize the amount of chemical waste released into the environment.
  • Facilities must report their strategies for preventing the generation of waste in the first place.

What are the Limitations of the Toxics Release Inventory(TRI) Chemical List?


Here are the limitations of the TRI chemical list:


  • The TRI chemical list does not encompass all pollutants released into the environment. It does not include particulate matter and the majority of greenhouse gases.


  • Facilities outside TRI reporting requirements, such as those in non-covered industry sectors or with fewer than 10 employee equivalents, do not submit reports.


  • It does not cover emissions from motor vehicles.


  • TRI data submissions exclude consumer releases of TRI chemicals from household consumer products.

Some Important Tips for Facilities for Effective TRI:


The submission of the Toxics Release Inventory has to be accurate. Here are essential tips to ensure your organization submits accurate TRI reports.

  • Know Your Requirements:

Understand if your facility falls under TRI reporting obligations. So, verify all the reporting criteria for TRI report submission. The verification needs to be based on the industry sector, employee count, and chemical usage thresholds. 

  • Stay Updated: 

Every facility must be fully informed about the substances that are listed on the TRI list. As a result, you’ll know how many of these chemicals your facility utilizes. Thus staying updated with the EPA regulations will be possible. 


  • Accurate Data Collection: 


The TRI form requires sharing accurate information. Begin early in the reporting year to collect comprehensive data on TRI chemicals used, manufactured, or processed. After all, collecting and sharing accurate data is necessary. 


  • Utilize EPA Resources: 


Make use of EPA tools like TRI-Meweb for streamlined reporting. Facilities can also utilize TRI pollution prevention search tools to learn best practices. 

  • Compliance Review: 


Facilities must conduct regular reviews to ensure compliance with reporting deadlines. This also helps with the submission of accurate data without breaching the deadline. 

  • Engage Stakeholders: 


Involve all relevant stakeholders to ensure thorough understanding and compliance with TRI requirements. This is necessary for the appropriate submission of the TRI report by July 1. 



The Toxics Release Inventory is a crucial database that helps organizations with appropriate decision-making. Therefore, facilities must understand its importance and know well about the reporting submission criteria along with all other conditions. 

TRI helps industries stay accountable, prevents pollution, and informs communities about local environmental impacts. With the right understanding of TRI’s importance, everyone can work together to reduce chemical exposures and protect public health and the environment.