TRI only requires covered facilities to report their chemical waste generation and "end-of-the-pipe" chemical releases. It does not require reporting of information about chemical use, which would be very valuable for identifying opportunities for pollution prevention.
TRI DOES NOT TRACK CHEMICAL USE
TRI's reporting requirements apply to only a small part of the total life cycle of toxic chemical production, use, and disposal. Expanding TRI to include chemical use information would enable:
1) consumers to learn about the incorporation of toxic chemicals into they products they buy,
2) workers to learn more about chemicals they handle in the workplace,
3) the public to learn about potential "upstream" (i.e., extraction, processing, transportation, handling, and storage) impacts of chemicals used in a TRI facility, and
4) facilities to identify opportunities to make more efficient use of chemical inputs.
Chemical use information is collected under state law in Massachusetts in New Jersey. The experience in those states is that chemical use information leads to reductions in the use of toxic chemicals and the creation of waste, much in the same way that TRI has resulted in reductions in "end-of-the-pipe" releases. These pollution prevention opportunities include cost-effective improvements in production
processes and products which address the underlying source of toxic pollution rather than simply trying to manage problems after they are created.