Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Toxic Chemical Reporting: EPCRA Section 313

Section 313 of EPCRA required EPA to establish an inventory of routine toxic chemical emissions from manufacturing. Applicable facilities are required to submit a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Form (Form R) for specified chemicals. Form R must be submitted to EPA and designated state officials annually by July 1, covering the preceding calendar year.

You are subject to Section 313 reporting if your facility meets all three of the following criteria:

  • Manufacturing is conducted in your facility (SIC codes 20 through 39)
  • You have 10 or more full-time employees (or the equivalent 20,000 hrs/year)
  • Your facility uses toxic chemicals (see list below) in amounts greater than "threshold" quantities (see "thresholds" below)
List of Chemicals
There are over 500 chemicals and chemical categories on the Section 313 chemical list. The current list can be found in the Form R instructions. You can download the current Form R and the instructions from an EPA web site (click HERE). Through rulemaking, EPA can modify this list.

To determine if you use chemicals that are on the Section 313 list, review information provided by your chemical suppliers. Your chemical supplier is required to inform you if any of the Section 313 toxic chemicals are contained in mixtures sold to you. However, don't rely solely on this source of information. Investigate your processes to determine if listed chemicals are used. If necessary, ask your suppliers for clarification. Also, consult with your Regional Section 313 contact or call the EPCRA hotline (800-535-0202), if you need additional assistance.

Certain listed chemicals have "qualifiers." These qualifiers indicate that these toxic chemicals are subject to the section 313 reporting requirements only when a certain activity is performed. The following examples are reportable only if they are manufactured, processed, or otherwise used in the specific form(s) listed below (see complete list of qualifiers in Form R instructions):

  • Hydrochloric acid--Only if it is an aerosol form (includes mists, vapors, gas, fog, and other airborne forms of any particle size).
  • Sulfuric acid--Only if it is an aerosol form (includes mists, vapors, gas, fog, and other airborne forms of any particle size).
  • Aluminum--Only if it is in a fume or dust form.
  • Aluminum oxide--Only if it is a fibrous form.
  • Ammonia (includes anhydrous ammonia and aqueous ammonia from water dissociable ammonium salts and other sources; 10 percent of total aqueous ammonia is reportable under this listing)--Only 10 percent of aqueous forms and 100 percent of anhydrous forms.
  • Zinc--Only if it is in a fume or dust form.
Thresholds are specified amounts of toxic chemicals used during the calendar year that trigger reporting requirements. The Section 313 thresholds are:
  • If you otherwise use any of the listed toxic chemicals (without incorporating it into any product or producing it at the facility), the threshold quantity is: 10,000 pounds per toxic chemical or category over the calendar year.
  • If you process any of the listed toxic chemicals, the threshold quantity will be: 25,000 pounds per toxic chemical or category over the calendar year.
  • If you manufacture or import any of the listed toxic chemicals, the threshold quantity will be: 25,000 pounds per toxic chemical or category over the calendar year.
What do the terms "otherwise use," "process," or "manufacture" mean?

Otherwise Use - A toxic chemical that is otherwise used by a facility is not intentionally incorporated into a product. Examples include:

  • Using a solvent as a dilute when mixing paint for application to parts
  • Using chlorine in wastewater treatment
  • Using a metal cutting fluid that contains diethanolamine
  • Using trichloroethylene to degrease parts
Process - in general, is the incorporation of a toxic chemical into a product and includes making mixtures, repackaging, or using a chemical as a feed-stock, raw material, or starting material for making another chemical. Examples of processing include:
  • Adding a solvent as a diluent when making a paint, coating, or other mixture that will be sold as a product.
  • Using a chemical as reactant in the manufacture of a pesticide (e.g., using chemical A to make chemical B).
Manufacture - means to produce, prepare, import, or compound one of the toxic chemicals on the list. For example, if you make a dye for clothing by taking raw materials and reacting them, you are manufacturing the dye. You would also be covered if you were a textile manufacturer who imported a dye on the list for purposes of applying it to fabric produced at your plant.

EPA can revise these threshold quantities and covered SIC codes.

The following information is required on Form R:

  • The name, location and type of business
  • Off-site locations to which the facility transfers toxic chemicals in waste for recycling, energy recovery, treatment or disposal
  • Whether the chemical is manufactured (including importation), processed, or otherwise used and the general categories of use of the chemical
  • An estimate (in ranges) of the maximum amounts of the toxic chemical present at the facility at any time during the preceding year
  • Quantity of the chemical entering each medium--air, land, and water--annually
  • Waste treatment/disposal methods and efficiency of methods for each waste stream
  • Source reduction and recycling activities
  • A certification by senior facility official that the report is complete and accurate
You can download the current Form R and instructions from an EPA web site.

You can also obtain the reporting form and instructions from your Regional Section 313 or the EPCRA Information Hotline (800-535-0202).

Maintain copies of Form Rs and any supporting information for a period of three years after the due date of the report.

Getting Yourself Organized
If you are required to report, you should:

  • Begin to develop the appropriate information to report your releases and your source reduction and recycling activities.
  • Maintain a recordkeeping system that will help you estimate releases for future years.
  • Refer to coating specific guidance documents.
  • You should designate someone at your facility to be responsible for reporting under Section 313. That person should obtain reporting forms and instructions and should be aware of the reporting deadline: July 1 of each year.
What Happens to Data You Submit
The purpose of the EPCRA Section 313 reporting requirement is to inform the public and government officials about routine releases of toxic chemicals to the environment. It will also assist in research and the development of regulations, guidelines, and standards.

Reports are sent to EPA and designated state agencies. EPA established and maintains a national toxic chemical inventory (TRI). The public is able to access this database using the Internet and other means. See the Other Resources section of this guide for access to TRI data.

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