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Lead and Lead Compounds; Lowering of Reporting Thresholds for TRI Reporting


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From: Codina.Thelma@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV
Date: Tue Nov 16 1999 - 11:32:32 CST


EPA will hold public meetings to obtain comment on issues
relating to the Agency's August 3, 1999 proposed rule to lower the
reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds which are subject to
reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) and section 6607 of the Pollution
Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA), commonly known as TRI..

The meeting in Chicago, IL will be held at 9:00 AM, December 2, at the
Environmental Protection Agency, the Lake Michigan Room (12th Floor),
77 West Jackson Boulevard.

Please come for your views to be heard and invite your contacts to come.
Thanks!

---------------------- Forwarded by Thelma Codina/R5/USEPA/US on 11/16/99 10:23
AM ---------------------------

CN=Group Envsubset/OU=DC/O=USEPA/C=US@EPA on 11/15/99 12:18:56 PM

Please respond to epa-tri2@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov

To: epa-tri2@valley.rtpnc.epa.gov
cc:

Subject: Lead and Lead Compounds; Lowering of Reporting Thresholds

[Federal Register: November 15, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 219)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 61807-61810]
>From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr15no99-22]

=======================================================================
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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 372

[OPPTS-400140C; FRL-6394-1]
RIN 2070-AD38

Lead and Lead Compounds; Lowering of Reporting Thresholds;
Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release Reporting; Public
Meetings

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule; public meetings.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: EPA will hold public meetings to obtain comment on issues
relating to the Agency's August 3, 1999 proposed rule to lower the
reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds which are subject to
reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community
Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) and section 6607 of the Pollution
Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA). Currently, the EPCRA section 313
reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds are 25,000 pounds
manufactured or processed, or 10,000 pounds otherwise used. The August
3, 1999 proposed action would lower the threshold for each category to
10 pounds. EPA expects that the proposed action will significantly
increase the number of reports submitted for lead and lead compounds,
as well as result in a number of Toxic Release Inventory (TRI)
facilities filing reports for the first time under EPCRA section 313
and section 6607 of PPA.

DATES: The first meeting will take place in Los Angeles, CA on November
30, 1999, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The second meeting will take place in
Chicago, IL on December 2, 1999, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The third
meeting will take place in Washington, DC on December 14, 1999, from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The meeting in Los Angeles, CA will be held at the Junipero
Serra State Building at 107 South Broadway in the auditorium, Room 1138
(1st and Broadway). The meeting in Chicago, IL will be held at the
Environmental Protection Agency, the Lake Michigan Room (12th Floor),
77 West Jackson Boulevard. The meeting in Washington, DC will be held
at the Environmental Protection Agency, Auditorium, Education Center,
401 M St., SW.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: To sign up to speak at the meeting or
for general information on section 313 of EPCRA, contact the Emergency
Planning and Community Right-to-Know Hotline, Environmental Protection
Agency, Mail Code 5101, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC 20460, Toll
free: 1-800-535-0202, in Virginia and Alaska: 703-412-9877 or Toll free
TDD: 1-800-553-7672.
    For technical information on the EPCRA section 313/PPA section 6607
lead and lead compounds proposed rulemaking contact: Daniel R. Bushman,
Environmental Protection Agency, Mail Code 7408, 401 M St., SW.,
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number 202-260-3882, e-mail address:
bushman.daniel@epa.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this Public Meeting Announcement Apply to Me?

    This announcement is directed to the public in general. It may,
however, be of particular interest to facilities that manufacture,
process, or otherwise use lead or lead compounds. Specific industry
groups that may want to attend may include, but are not limited to: (1)
Facilities in electronic components and accessories (SIC code 367),
including printed circuit boards (SIC code 3672) that use lead-based
solder, flux, cable coverings, piezoelectric ceramics or conduct other
activities associated with lead and/or lead compounds; (2) facilities
in motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment (SIC code 371) that use
bearing metals, casting metals, terne metals, solder, brake linings or
conduct other activities associated with lead and/or lead compounds;
(3) facilities in plating and polishing (SIC code 3471) that use zinc
anodes or conduct other activities associated with lead and/or lead
compounds; (4) facilities in printing and publishing (SIC code 27),
including commercial printing (SIC code 275) that use inks containing
lead in their pigment base or conduct other activities associated with
lead and/or lead compounds; and (5) facilities in manufacturing
industries (SIC codes 20-39) that combust coal, oil, or wood.
    Other entities or individuals may also be interested in attending.
The Agency has not, therefore, attempted to describe all the specific
entities that may be interested in attending these public meetings. If
you have any questions about the public meetings, please consult the
technical person listed under ``FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.''

B. How Can I Get Additional Information, Including Copies of this
Document or Other Related Documents?

    1. Electronically. You may obtain electronic copies of this
document, and certain other related documents that might be available
electronically, from the EPA Internet Home Page at http://

[[Page 61808]]

www.epa.gov/. To access this document, on the Home Page select ``Laws
and Regulations'' and then look up the entry for this document under
the ``Federal Register--Environmental Documents.'' You can also go
directly to the Federal Register listings at http://www.epa.gov/
fedrgstr/.
    You may access the proposed rule and other information about the
TRI program from the TRI Home Page at http://www.epa.gov/tri/. An
electronic version of the economic analysis of the potential impact of
the proposed rule, which is contained in a document entitled ``Economic
Analysis of the Proposed Rule to Modify Reporting of Lead and Lead
Compounds under EPCRA Section 313,'' is also available on the Internet
at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/economics/new.htm/.
    2. In person. The Agency has established an official record for the
related proposed rulemaking under docket control number OPPTS-400140.
The official record consists of the documents specifically referenced
in the proposed rule, any public comments received during the comment
period, and other information related to the proposed rule, including
any support documents and information claimed as Confidential Business
Information (CBI). The official record includes the documents that are
physically located in the docket, as well as the documents that are
referenced in those documents. The public version of the offical
record, which includes printed, paper versions of any electronic
comments that may be submitted during the comment period, is available
for inspection in the TSCA Nonconfidential Information Center, North
East Mall Rm. B-607, Waterside Mall, 401 M St., SW., Washington, DC.
The Center is open from noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday,
excluding legal holidays. The telephone number of the Center is (202)
260-7099.

II. Background Information

    Lead and lead compounds are toxic chemicals that persist and
bioaccumulate in the environment. As the TRI program has evolved over
time and as communities identify areas of special concern, EPA has
recognized the need to modify thresholds and other aspects of the EPCRA
section 313 reporting requirements to assure the collection and
dissemination of relevant, topical information and data. Towards that
end, EPA is proposing to increase the utility of the TRI to the public
by lowering the reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds. Lead
and lead compounds, being persistent bioaccumulative toxic (PBT)
chemicals, are of particular concern because they remain in the
environment for significant periods of time and concentrate in the
organisms exposed to them. EPA believes it is important that the public
understand that these PBT chemicals can have serious human health and
environmental effects resulting from low levels of release and
exposure. Lowering the reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds
would ensure that the public has important information on the
quantities of these PBT chemicals released or otherwise managed as
waste, that would not be reported under the current thresholds.
    EPA issued a proposed rule on August 3, 1999 (64 FR 42222) (FRL-
6081-4) to lower the reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds
which are subject to reporting under section 313 of EPCRA and section
6607 of PPA. The proposed rule also included a limitation on the
reporting of lead when contained in certain alloys and proposed
modifications to certain reporting exemptions and requirements for lead
and lead compounds. The comment period for the proposed rule was
initially scheduled to close on September 17, 1999. On September 21,
1999, EPA issued a document (64 FR 51091) (FRL-6382-9) extending the
comment period 45 days until November 1, 1999. On October 29, 1999, EPA
issued a document (64 FR 58370) (FRL-6391-6) extending the comment
period an additional 45 days until December 16, 1999.
    On January 5, 1999 (64 FR 688) (FRL-6032-3), EPA proposed: (1) To
lower the reporting thresholds for certain PBT chemicals that are
subject to EPCRA section 313 and PPA section 6607; (2) to lower the
reporting thresholds for dioxin and dioxin-like compounds, which were
previously proposed for addition to the EPCRA section 313 list of toxic
chemicals; and (3) to add certain PBT chemicals to the EPCRA section
313 list of toxic chemicals. On October 29, 1999, EPA finalized this
rule (64 FR 58666) (FRL-6389-11) and it will take effect on December
31, 1999. For purposes of EPCRA section 313(d)(4), the chemical
additions shall be considered made as of November 30, 1999, and shall
apply for the reporting year beginning January 1, 2000. These PBT
chemicals are of particular concern not only because they are toxic but
because they remain in the environment for long periods of time, are
not readily destroyed, and accumulate in body tissue. Relatively small
releases of PBT chemicals can pose human and environmental health
threats and consequently releases of these chemicals warrant
recognition by communities.

III. Agency Request for Comments

A. General Comments Requested

    These meetings are intended to provide an additional opportunity
for public comment on all aspects of the August 3, 1999 proposed rule
to lower the EPCRA section 313 reporting thresholds for lead and lead
compounds, as well as on the issues recently raised concerning the
potential small business impacts of the proposed rule and the Agency's
small entity impact analysis. As described in the August 3, 1999
proposed rule, EPA is specifically soliciting comments on how the
proposed rule would affect EPCRA section 313 reporting on lead and lead
compounds, the impacts these proposed changes would have on the burden
of section 313 reporting for lead and lead compounds, and the benefits
such reporting would provide the public.
    The Agency is particularly interested in receiving comments on the
general policy issues, as they apply to lead and lead compounds, that
were discussed and raised for comment in Unit IX. of the preamble to
the PBT proposed rule (see 64 FR 688, at 717). It is important for EPA
to clarify that the August 3, 1999 proposal does not introduce any new
issues beyond those associated with lead and lead compounds (e.g.,
persistence data for lead, bioaccumulation data for lead, estimated
number of reports for lead). The Agency is therefore only seeking
comments on the generic issues that relate specifically to the proposal
to lower the reporting threshold for lead and lead compounds.
    The changes that EPA is proposing to make to the reporting
requirements for lead and lead compounds are discussed in detail in
Unit VI. of the August 3, 1999 proposed rule, including the
applicability to lead and lead compounds of the general amendments to
EPCRA section 313 reporting requirements for PBT chemicals presented in
the January 5, 1999 proposed PBT rule. Accordingly, comments on the
following issues, which were previously identified and for which
comment was sought in Unit IX. of the preamble to the proposed PBT rule
(see 64 FR 688, at 717), are only requested on this proposal insofar as
the comments relate particularly to lead and lead compounds: (1)
Whether EPA should attempt to estimate the releases that would be
reported at an ``average'' facility at each of the identified options
for a lowered threshold, the appropriate methodology for estimating
releases

[[Page 61809]]

from all affected industry sectors, and whether EPA should then use
those estimates to select the lowered threshold that would capture some
overall percentage of releases, e.g., 75 - 80%; (2) whether EPA should
consider lowering the reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds
based on either persistence or bioaccumulation (rather than both); (3)
whether EPA should consider other mechanisms for further minimizing the
potential impacts associated with lowering the reporting thresholds for
lead and lead compounds (i.e., it was suggested that EPA develop a
modified Form A with thresholds more appropriate for lead and lead
compounds, retain de minimis thresholds for lead and lead compounds
(perhaps at a lower level)), retain whole number reporting, the half-
pound rule, and range reporting for lead and lead compounds, establish
an activity qualifier restricting the lower reporting threshold to the
manufacture of lead and lead compounds, retaining the higher current
thresholds with respect to import, process or use activities, and that
EPA modulate the frequency of reporting.

B. Comments Requested Specifically on Small Business Impacts

    The Agency is specifically interested in information concerning the
potential small business impacts of the proposed rule. In particular,
concerns have been raised recently regarding the Agency's outreach to
small businesses potentially impacted by the proposed rule, and the
Agency's analysis of the potential impacts on small businesses. It has
been suggested, for example, that the methodologies used by the Agency
in its analysis did not adequately identify all of the types of small
businesses that could be potentially affected by the proposed rule, and
that the Agency has not, therefore, properly estimated the potential
impacts on small businesses.
    The Agency's small entity analysis is contained in a document
entitled ``Economic Analysis of the Proposed Rule to Modify Reporting
of Lead and Lead Compounds under EPCRA Section 313,'' which is
available in the public version of the official record for the proposed
rule and available electronically as described in Unit I.B.
    As described in the Economic Analysis, EPA conducted a screening
analysis of the potential impact of the proposed rule on small entities
before making its determination that the proposal would not have a
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
Since EPA does not know the specific identity of every affected firm
prior to reporting, EPA modeled the characteristics of potentially
affected firms. For the manufacturing industries (SIC codes 20-39), EPA
developed separate revenue profiles based on ``small'' and ``large''
current TRI reporters. Firms were classified based on Small Business
Administration size standard definitions. Within these two categories
(i.e., small and large firms), EPA further categorized the small and
large firms by looking at the firms with ``low,'' ``medium,'' and
``high'' revenues. For example, among small firms, EPA calculated the
potential impact percentages for small firms with revenues at the 25th
percent quartile, the 50th percent quartile, and the 75th percent
quartile. These revenue quartiles represent small firms with low,
medium, and high revenues.
    Based on current ``small'' TRI reporting firms, EPA used a revenue
value of $4 million for the small manufacturing firm with ``low''
revenues (i.e., the 25th percent quartile). EPA's estimate of the
average cost of filing a single TRI report on lead and lead compounds
at a facility ranges from approximately $3,600 to $7,700 depending on
the circumstances of the reporting facility. Therefore, the Agency's
analysis indicates that a firm would not be expected to have an impact
of greater than 1% of revenues in the first reporting year unless it
had revenues of less than $770,000 per affected facility. In subsequent
reporting years, the firm would have to have revenues of less than
$360,000 per affected facility. Facilities that report to TRI must have
at least 10 full-time employees.
    EPA developed revenue profiles for small and large firms with low,
medium, and high revenues within the manufacturing industries (SIC
codes 20-39). EPA did not develop separate revenue profiles for small
and large firms within each 4-digit SIC code. This approach was chosen
to avoid double-counting expected reporting from facilities that both
burn fuel and make other use of lead and lead compounds. Not all of the
data that EPA identified is disaggregated to the 4-digit SIC code
level. Therefore, EPA adjusted for double-counting at the manufacturing
level. EPA also developed separate revenue profiles for small and large
firms in other potentially affected industry groups, such as coal
mining, electric utilities, and petroleum bulk terminals.
    EPA is particularly interested in comments on the assumptions and
methodologies used by the Agency in its analysis, including the
following: The Agency's evaluation of the potential impacts on small
businesses within the aggregated manufacturing sectors (SIC codes 20-
39) using revenue profiles that reflect the characteristics of typical
small and large firms that currently report to TRI; the Agency's
segmentation of potentially impacted small business into three main
revenue levels for analytical purposes, and whether the smallest level
(i.e., 25% quartile at $4 million) is an appropriate revenue level for
considering the potential impacts on the smallest of the small
businesses that will be affected by the proposal; and whether the
Agency's estimates of the average time to comply with the proposed rule
should vary depending upon the size of the facility or firm, i.e., is
the average cost or hourly burden of filing a single report greater for
small businesses than for large businesses.
    EPA is particularly interested in receiving information and/or
detailed suggestions for improving EPA's methods of estimating the
economic impact of the proposed rule on small entities and the number
of small entities that may experience a significant economic impact.
For example, EPA is interested in any available information relating to
the following: (1) Categories of facilities not identified in the
economic analysis that may be affected by the proposal; (2) the
specific activities or processes associated with lead or lead compound
manufacture, process, or otherwise use in the category; (3) the number
of facilities with 10 or more full-time employees in the category that
would be affected, in particular those facilities with annual revenues
of less than $770,000; (4) the estimated quantity of lead and lead
compounds manufactured, processed, or otherwise used by facilities in
the category; (5) the estimated quantity of lead and lead compounds
released or otherwise managed as waste by facilities in the category;
(6) possible firm-level revenues and/or profits for facilities in the
category that would assist EPA in evaluating the financial resources
available to comply with the proposed rule; and (7) any additional
recommendations for reducing reporting burden associated with the
proposed rule that provided communities with information about the
release and waste management of PBT chemicals within their community,
especially any such suggestions that specifically address the burdens
on small businesses.

C. Comments and Suggestions for Minimizing TRI Reporting Burdens

    EPA believes that the additional information provided by lowering
the TRI reporting thresholds for PBT

[[Page 61810]]

chemicals, including lead and lead compounds, will be valuable to
communities and will significantly enhance their knowledge about toxic

chemical releases and other waste management activities that may be of
concern to them. At the same time, EPA recognizes that the August 3,
1999 proposal, along with the rule lowering reporting thresholds for
various other PBT chemicals (64 FR 58666), will increase the total
burden imposed by the TRI program on facilities that must provide the
information. EPA has therefore initiated a number of burden reducing
activities in the TRI program to help minimize reporting burden, while
continuing to provide communities with high quality right-to-know
information to meet the goals and objectives of EPCRA section 313. For
example, EPA is developing reporting guidance, including guidance
specifically for small businesses, which will simplify and ease
reporting burdens. These efforts include the development of intelligent
reporting software with built-in error checking routines and
calculation methodologies; the development of a single facility
identification program for facilities that report to EPA; and the
development of guidance to facilitate more consistent use of chemical
nomenclature, reporting units, and time frames across different
programs.
    As a means of identifying other potential areas for reducing TRI
reporting burden, EPA initiated an intensive stakeholder process to
comprehensively evaluate current TRI reporting. An important part of
this stakeholder process was a review conducted by the Toxics Data
Reporting (TDR) Committee of the National Advisory Council on
Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT). The TDR Committee report
is available on the Internet at www.epa.gov/tri, and is also discussed
in the proposed rule (see 64 FR 42222, at 42224). Although the TDR
Committee did not reach final consensus on most issues, the TDR
Committee presented various ideas for burden reduction, including the
creation of an intelligent software program for reporters, the
integration of reporting across programs, the provision of industry-
specific guidance, the expansion of the EPCRA section 313 exemptions,
and options for increasing eligibility for the alternate threshold as
certified by Form A.
    In addition to the TDR Committee report, EPA has received other
suggestions for burden reduction in the TRI program. Although EPA has
already requested comment on the suggestion that EPA effectively modify
the frequency of reporting for PBT chemicals (see 64 FR 688, at 718),
and lead and lead compounds (Unit III.C. of the proposed rule), it has
been suggested that EPA consider changing the frequency of reporting
under EPCRA section 313 in general, i.e., require biennial reporting.
EPA is requesting comment on the utility of biennial reporting and
whether that approach would provide for significant burden reduction
for affected facilities. EPA welcomes comment on the availability of
information that would allow the Agency to make the requisite findings
under EPCRA section 313(i)(3)(B), especially how consideration of
alternate reporting requirements should pertain to the facilities in
the recently added industry sectors for which first reports have just
recently been received, the lack of readily available information on
EPCRA section 313 chemicals from existing sources, and what available
information may exist to allow EPA to address the requirements of the
law.
    EPA places great importance on reducing burden on the public and is
currently considering the various suggestions it has received,
including the ideas in the TDR Committee report, and others received
from industry and other agencies. EPA welcomes additional suggestions,
and specifically requests comment on the ideas presented in the TDR
Committee report, particularly those that relate to burden reduction.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 372

    Environmental protection, Chemicals, Community right-to-know,
Hazardous substances, Intergovernmental relations, Reporting and
recordkeeping requirements, Superfund.

    Dated: November 9, 1999.
Susan H. Wayland,
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and
Toxic Substances.
[FR Doc. 99-29716 Filed 11-12-99; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-F


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