On October 22, 2015, U.S. EPA issued a formal response to a Petition, submitted by a group of environmental organizations in 2012, to add the Oil and Gas Extraction Sector (defined by SIC code 13) to the group of sectors subject to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements. U.S. EPA responded granting in part and denying in part the petition. Specifically, the Agency granted the petition with respect to natural gas processing facilities, finding that “TRI-listed chemicals are regularly manufactured, processed or otherwise used” at natural gas processing plants and that “the addition of natural gas processing facilities to TRI would meaningfully increase the information available to the public and further the purposes” of the TRI program. However, recognizing the unique nature of the industry sector, U.S. EPA determined it would not be appropriate to regulate all SIC 13 activities at the smallest individual unit – i.e. individual wells, compressor stations, and booster stations – as neither the employee nor the chemical thresholds are likely to be met.
A proposed rule is forthcoming. Per its response to the petition, U.S. EPA anticipates providing additional detail as to the precise SIC/NAICS codes that will be proposed for addition to TRI reporting.