PBT reporting thresholds to be lowered

The USEPA proposed on 5 January to force industrial facilities to report the emission of persistent, bioaccumulative toxic chemicals (PBTs) at lower levels than at present.

Facilities are not at present required to report their PBT releases to the air, water, and land unless they manufacture or process more than 11,340 kg annually or use more than 4,536 kg annually of a PBT.

The EPA hopes to lower PBT reporting thresholds to 45.36 kg or 4.536kg, depending on the extent to which the chemical persists and bioaccumulates.

A 60-day public comment period will begin upon publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register on or about Jan. 7, 1999. The rule can be overturned by Congress during the 60-day period.

The EPA claim the proposed rule will lead to a 25% increase in public reporting of toxic chemical releases and to more reporting of environmental releases of several PBTs including dioxin and mercury.PCBs, aldrin and heptachlor and others that are known to cause a variety of health hazards at low doses, including reproductive disorders and cancer.

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