March 21, 2003
EPA announced the release of the latest Toxics Release Inventory - Made Easy (TRI-ME RY2002) software, a tool to help facilities in determining and completing their Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) section 313 (TRI) obligations.

TRI-ME is an interactive, intelligent, user-friendly software tool that guides facilities through the TRI reporting experience. By leading prospective reporters through a series of logically ordered questions, TRI-ME streamlines the user's analysis needed to determine if a facility must complete a Form R report or Form A certification statement for a particular chemical. For those facilities required to report, the software provides the user with guidance for each data element on the reporting forms. Additionally, this software has a one-stop guidance feature, the TRI Assistance Library that allows users to do keyword searches on the statutes, regulations, and many EPCRA section 313 guidance documents. For the more experienced reporter, TRI-ME allows for direct data entry onto electronic versions of the Form R and Form A certification statement. TRI-ME will check the data for common errors and then prepare the forms, on paper, or magnetic media format, or electronically over the Internet via the EPA's Central Data Exchange (CDX) for submission to EPA.

For reporting year 2000, TRI-ME was distributed as a pilot release to a limited number of facilities.

Beginning with reporting year 2001, and for each reporting year thereafter, TRI-ME has been distributed with the paper version of the TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions in the spring before the July 1 reporting deadline to all facilities who have filed TRI reports in the past 2 years.

The Agency is committed to making the completion of TRI reports easier for facilities, while at the same time improving the quality of the submitted data. TRI-ME is designed to play a big role in achieving these goals.

The software can be downloaded at


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Southern Region, has proposed to assess a $97,500 civil penalty against PerkinElmer Instruments of Shelton, CT, for allegedly violating Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.

The FAA alleges that on February 22, 2002, PerkinElmer improperly offered a fiberboard box containing 83 100-milliliter plastic containers of “atomic absorption modifier solution,” an oxidizer, to United Parcel Service (UPS) for transportation by air. Ground handling employees at the UPS sort facility in Louisville, KY, discovered the shipment.

PerkinElmer offered the hazardous materials for transportation when they were not packaged, marked, classed, described, documented, or in condition for shipment as required by regulations. PerkinElmer also did not make available at all times the required emergency response information.

PerkinElmer had 30 days from receipt of the FAA notice to submit a reply to the agency.


Following up October's announcement of the results of the "eCycling" pilot project, the nation's first collaboration between multi-state government agencies and the electronics industry to offer citizens and small business opportunities to reuse and recycle old computer equipment, televisions and other electronic products, EPA is sponsoring an electronics drop-off collection event this Sat., March 22, in Lindenwold, N.J., (near Camden) from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. All citizens in the Philadelphia area are invited to bring in their privately-owned computers and other consumer electronics for recycling and reuse.

The eCycling program helps prevent toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium from possibly endangering public health and the environment, and it saves precious landfill space. Launched in October 2001 out of EPA's Mid-Atlantic regional office in Philadelphia, eCycling officials evaluate different methods of collecting end-of-life electronics, compile data about the costs of collecting, transporting and processing electronics and help define the roles and responsibilities of government, consumers, electronics manufacturers, retailers and recyclers in recycling. Using funds so far totaling at least half a million dollars from EPA, the Mid-Atlantic states, manufacturers and members of the Electronic Industries Alliance, eCycling held 45 drop-off events in 31 counties during the pilot project, collecting over 2700 tons of used electronics from Mid-Atlantic residents, and preventing over 22,000 cathode ray tubes (CRTs) in televisions from entering the region's landfills and incinerators. (CRTs are a source of the hazardous substance lead.) These collection events will continue to raise awareness of the need to recycle and reuse unwanted electronics, and will further enable government agencies to lead by example. All recyclers in the eCycling program using federal government money must certify that equipment is recycled safely and will not be dismantled or managed overseas. As part of these drop-off events, government and industry share the cost to collect, transport, and process the equipment, and electronics manufacturers Panasonic, Sharp and Sony pay to recycle their respective brands of electronics.

The Electronic Industries Alliance, headquartered in Arlington, Va., is a partnership of electronic and high-tech associations and companies whose mission is promoting the market development and competitiveness of the U.S. high-tech industry through domestic and international policy efforts. For more information about these special electronics collection events, see:


EPA, as the lead agency for the United States, has developed the Strategic Plan for North American Cooperation in the Conservation of Biodiversity, in collaboration with Canada, Mexico and U.S. stakeholders. This is a long-term strategy for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) for the protection and management of shared biological resources in North America. The CEC is a tripartite (Canada, Mexico, United States) organization, which addresses cross border environmental issues in North America. Public comments on the plan are solicited by April 21, 2003. The draft is available at: To submit comments on the Strategic Plan or to request additional information, contact Patrick Cotter, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2260R), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington D.C., 20460, phone (202) 564-6414, email


EPA is working with other federal agencies, the states, tribes, water suppliers and the public to evaluate perchlorate - a component of rocket fuel - as an environmental contaminant. EPA has been revising its 2002 draft health risk assessment that contains preliminary risk estimates that could be used to establish an official reference dose for perchlorate. (A reference dose is a scientific estimate of a daily exposure level that is not expected to cause adverse health effects in humans). However, the 2002 health risk assessment is not final, and substantial uncertainties remain. EPA has decided to submit questions regarding perchlorate health science to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). EPA will not complete or disseminate a final risk assessment until the NAS scientific review is concluded and the NAS comments are addressed. Accordingly, EPA has reaffirmed that its 1999 guidance on perchlorate should remain in effect pending the outcome of the NAS study. EPA also is gathering data to determine whether a drinking water standard for perchlorate is appropriate.