HHS General Administration Manual Part 30 Environmental Protection

(as of February 25, 2000)

SUBJECT: Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA) Requirements

30-70-00-- Background
30-70-05-- Applicability
30-70-10-- Responsibilities
30-70-20-- Pollution Prevention Policy
30-70-30-- Definitions
30-70-40-- Toxic Chemical Source Reduction and Recycling Reporting
30-70-50-- Public Availability of Source Reduction Information
30-70-60-- Compliance
30-70-70-- Public Availability of Information

30-70-00 -- Background

The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. '' 13101-13109, establishes national policy that pollution is to be prevented or reduced at the source. The Act also requires the reporting of efforts to reduce toxic chemical releases through source reduction and recycling. This reporting requirement affects all facilities required to submit Form R under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) (see 30-60).

The Administrator of EPA is required by the PPA to develop a strategy to promote source reduction and to submit a biennial report to Congress that describes the actions taken to implement the strategy and analyzes the source reduction and recycling data submitted on Form R. EPA must also promote source reduction practices in other federal agencies; review EPA regulations to determine their effect on source reduction; make matching grants to states to promote the use of source reduction techniques by businesses; and establish a Source Reduction Clearinghouse.

30-70-05 -- APPLICABILITY

  1. Agency Facilities. Executive Order 12856 provides that EPCRA and the PPA apply to all Federal executive agencies that either own or operate a "facility" as that term is defined in EPCRA, if such facility meets the EPCRA's threshold requirements for compliance. The statutory definition of facility is:

    all buildings, equipment, structures, and other stationary items which are located on a single site or on contiguous or adjacent sites and which are owned or operated by the same person (or by any person which controls, is controlled by, or under common control with, such person). For purposes of emergency release notification, the term includes motor vehicles, rolling stock, and aircraft (42 U.S.C. 11049(4)).

    EPA regulations revise the statutory definition of facility to include "manmade structures in which chemicals are purposefully placed or removed through human means such that it functions as a containment structure for human use." (40 CFR '' 355.20, 370.2). The purpose of the revision was to clarify that the definition applies to certain subsurface structures.

    Executive Order 12856 modifies the statutory definition of facility in one respect. Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV must comply with the reporting provisions of the PPA without regard to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) delineations that apply to the organization's facilities, and such reports shall be for all releases, transfers, and wastes at such facilities without regard to the SIC code of the activity leading to the release, transfer, or waste. All other existing statutory or regulatory limitations or exemptions on the application of EPCRA section 313 shall apply to the PPA reporting requirements in this chapter (see 30-60-70).

  2. Covered Facilities. The reporting requirements of this chapter apply to facilities that must submit a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Report (Form R) under section 313 of EPCRA. A completed Form R must be submitted for each toxic chemical manufactured, processed, or otherwise used at a covered facility in excess of the threshold quantity established for that chemical (see 30-60-70). Each OPDIV/STAFFDIV must apply all of the provisions of this chapter to each of its covered facilities, except for a federal agency facility outside the customs territory of the United States.

  3. GOCO'S.

  4. Executive Order 12856 does not alter the obligations which government-owned, contractor-operated facilities (GOCOS) have under EPCRA and the PPA independent of that order or subjects such facilities to EPCRA or PPA if they are otherwise excluded. However, each OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall include the releases and transfers from all such facilities when meeting all of its responsibilities under this chapter.

  5. Preliminary List of Covered Facilities. The Secretary was required by Executive Order 12856 to provide the Administrator of EPA by December 31, 1993, with a preliminary list of facilities that potentially meet the requirements for reporting under the threshold provisions of EPCRA, PPA, and Executive Order 12856.

30-70-10 -- Responsibilities

  1. HHS. An objective of Executive Order 12856 (see 30-80) is to ensure that all Federal agencies conduct their facility management and acquisition activities so that, to the maximum extent practicable, the quantity of toxic chemicals entering any wastestream, including any releases to the environment, is reduced as expeditiously as possible through source reduction; that waste that is generated is recycled to the maximum extent practicable; and that any wastes remaining are stored, treated, or disposed of in a manner protective of public health and the environment.

    Executive Order 12856 requires the Secretary to comply with the reporting provisions set forth in section 6607 of the PPA (42 U.S.C. ' 13106), all implementing regulations, and future amendments to these authorities, in light of applicable guidance as provided by EPA.

  2. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs. The head of each OPDIV/STAFFDIV is responsible for ensuring that the OPDIV/STAFFDIV takes all necessary actions to prevent pollution in accordance with Executive Order 12856, and for that organization's compliance with the provisions of the PPA. Compliance with the PPA means compliance with the same substantive, procedural, and other statutory and regulatory requirements that would apply to a private person. An OPDIV/STAFFDIV should consult with EPA when a question arises as to the applicability of Executive Order 12856 to a particular facility.

30-70-20 -- Pollution Prevention Policy

  1. Pollution Prevention Act. Section 6602 (b) (42 U.S. C. ' 13101(b)) of the PPA states that it is the national policy of the United States that:

    pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible; pollution that cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner whenever feasible; pollution that cannot be prevented or recycled should be treated in an environmentally safe manner whenever feasible; and disposal or other release into the environment should be employed only as a last resort and should be conducted in an environmentally safe manner.

    OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are to incorporate the environmental management hierarchy stated in this policy into their environmental management practices and procedures.

    Source reduction is fundamentally different and more desirable than waste management and pollution control. Preventing pollution before it is created is preferable to trying to manage, treat, or dispose of pollution after it is generated. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to reduce or prevent pollution at the source through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and raw materials use. Such changes can result in substantial savings in reduced raw material, pollution control, and liability costs as well as help protect the environment and reduce risks to worker health and safety.

  2. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs. The head of each OPDIV/STAFFDIV is responsible for ensuring that the OPDIV/STAFFDIV takes all necessary actions to prevent pollution in accordance with Executive Order 12856, and for that organization's compliance with the provisions of the PPA. Compliance with the PPA means compliance with the same substantive, procedural, and other statutory and regulatory requirements that would apply to a private person. An OPDIV/STAFFDIV should consult with EPA when a question arises as to the applicability of Executive Order 12856 to a particular facility.

30-70-20 -- Pollution Prevention Policy

  1. Pollution Prevention Act. Section 6602 (b) (42 U.S. C. ' 13101(b)) of the PPA states that it is the national policy of the United States that:

    pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible; pollution that cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner whenever feasible; pollution that cannot be prevented or recycled should be treated in an environmentally safe manner whenever feasible; and disposal or other release into the environment should be employed only as a last resort and should be conducted in an environmentally safe manner.

    OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are to incorporate the environmental management hierarchy stated in this policy into their environmental management practices and procedures.

    Source reduction is fundamentally different and more desirable than waste management and pollution control. Preventing pollution before it is created is preferable to trying to manage, treat, or dispose of pollution after it is generated. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to reduce or prevent pollution at the source through cost-effective changes in production, operation, and raw materials use. Such changes can result in substantial savings in reduced raw material, pollution control, and liability costs as well as help protect the environment and reduce risks to worker health and safety.

  2. Executive Order 12856. Executive Order 12856 indicates that the Federal government should become a leader in the field of pollution prevention through the management of its facilities, its acquisition practices, and in supporting the development of innovative pollution prevention programs and technologies. Additional policies and requirements that apply to pollution prevention are contained in chapter 30-80.

30-70-30 -- Definitions

  1. Pollution Prevention. Executive Order 12856 defines "pollution prevention" in section 2-203 to mean "source reduction," as defined in the PPA, and other practices that reduce or eliminate the creation of pollutants through:

    • increased efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy, water, or other resources; or

    • protection of natural resources by conservation.

    EPA has issued a Statement of Definition of Pollution Prevention that is identical to the definition in section 2-203 of Executive Order 12856 (Memorandum from F. Henry Habicht II, Deputy Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, Subject: EPA Definition of "Pollution Prevention", to All EPA Personnel (May 28, 1992)). The Statement of Definition explains that recycling, energy recovery, treatment, and disposal are not included within EPA's definition of pollution prevention. In distinguishing between prevention of pollution and recycling, EPA includes "in-process recycling" within the definition of "pollution prevention." "Out-of-process recycling" is part of recycling and is not part of the definition. The Statement of Definition also comments that recycling that is conducted in an environmentally sound manner shares many of the advantages of prevention--it can reduce the need for treatment or disposal, and conserve energy and resources.

    Note: A different definition of pollution prevention is used in guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality in NEPA matters (see 30-50-50).

  2. Source Reduction. "Source reduction" is defined in PPA section 6603(6) (42 U.S.C. ' 13102(5)) to mean any practice that:

    • reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment or disposal; and

    • reduces the hazards to public health and the environment associated with the release of such substances, pollutants, or contaminants.

    The term includes equipment or technology modifications, process or procedure modifications, reformulation or redesign of products, substitution of raw materials, and improvements in housekeeping, maintenance, training, or inventory control.

    The term "source reduction" does not include any practice that alters the physical, chemical, or biological characteristics or the volume of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant through a process or activity that is not integral to and necessary for producing a product or providing a service.

30-70-40 -- Toxic Chemical Source Reduction and Recycling Reporting

  1. Requirement. Section 6607 of the PPA (42 U.S.C. ' 13106) directs each facility that is required to file an annual toxic chemical release form (Form R) under Sec. 313 of EPCRA to include a toxic chemical source reduction and recycling report with its toxic chemical release filing. The report must cover each toxic chemical required to be reported on Form R. Form R is discussed in 30-60-70. Reporting requirements under the PPA cover releases of toxic chemicals to all media (air, water, and land)

  2. Reporting Period. A facility that is subject to the EPCRA section 313 and PPA section 6607 reporting requirements shall submit annually a Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Reporting Form (Form R) to EPA and to affected States and Indian tribes (see 30-60-70). Executive Order 12856 provides that the first year of compliance for Federal agencies with the PPA's reporting requirements shall be no later than for the 1994 calendar year, with reports due on or before July 1, 1995

  3. Toxic Chemicals to be Reported. The toxic chemicals that are subject to EPCRA section 313 and PPA section 6607 reporting are listed in 40 CFR ' 372.65. Additions to, or deletions from, the list are described each year in the EPA Toxic Chemical Release Inventory Reporting Form R and Instructions published in the Federal Register and available in booklet form from EPA. A completed Form R must be submitted for each toxic chemical manufactured, processed, or otherwise used at a covered facility in excess of the threshold quantity established for that chemical (see 30-60-70). Form R now includes data elements mandated by section 6607 of the PPA. A facility must provide information about source reduction and recycling activities related to each toxic chemical reported on Form R.

  4. Information to be Reported based on the "Instructions for Completing EPA Form R"

    1. Chemical Quantities. Facilities must provide the following quantity information (in pounds) for each toxic chemical reported on Form R for the current reporting year, the prior year, and quantities anticipated in both the first year immediately following the reporting year and the second year following the reporting year (future estimates):

      1. Quantity of the toxic chemical (prior to recycling, treatment or disposal but not including one-time events) entering any waste stream or otherwise released* into the environment.

        * Reportable releases include "any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the environment (including the abandonment of barrels, containers, and other closed receptacles)." (EPCRA ' 329(8); 42 U.S.C. ' 11049(8)).

      2. Quantity of the toxic chemical or a mixture containing a toxic chemical that is used for energy recovery on-site or is sent off-site for energy recovery, unless it is a commercially available fuel;

        Note : Reportable on-site and off-site energy recovery is the combustion of a residual material containing a TRI toxic chemical when (I) the combustion unit is integrated into an energy recovery system (i.e., industrial furnaces, industrial kilns, and boilers); and (ii) the toxic chemical is combustible and has a heating value high enough to sustain combustion.

      3. Quantity of the toxic chemical or a mixture containing a toxic chemical that is recycled on-site or is sent off-site for recycling;

      4. Quantity of the toxic chemical or a mixture containing a toxic chemical that is treated on-site or is sent to an off-site location for waste treatment; and

      5. Total quantity of toxic chemical released directly into the environment or sent off-site for recycling, waste treatment, energy recovery, or disposal during the reporting year due to any of the following events:

        1. Remedial actions,

        2. Catastrophic events, such as earthquakes, fires, or floods; or

        3. One-time events not associated with normal or routine production processes.

          Note: The PPA separates the reporting of quantities of toxic chemicals recycled, used for energy recovery, treated, or disposed that are associated with normal or routine production operations from those that are not. Other sections of Form R dealing with releases to the environment and off-site transfers must include all releases and transfers as appropriate, regardless of whether they arise from catastrophic, remedial, or routine process operations.

        Information available at the facility that may be used to estimate the prior year's quantities include the prior year's Form R submission, supporting documentation, and recycling, energy recovery, or treatment operating logs or invoices. However, for the first year of reporting these data elements, prior year quantities are required only to the extent such information is available. EPA expects reasonable future quantity estimates using a logical basis. Reporting facilities should take into account protections available for trade secrets as provided in EPCRA section 322 (42 U.S.C. '11042) (see 30-60-80).

    2. Production Ratio or Activity Index. The facility must report a ratio of reporting year production to prior year production, or an "activity index" based on a variable other than production that is the primary influence on the quantity of the reported toxic chemical recycled, used for energy recovery, treated, or disposed.

    3. Source Reduction Activities. If a facility engaged in any source reduction activity for the reported toxic chemical during the reporting year, the facility shall report the activity that was implemented. This information is to be reported only if a source reduction activity was newly implemented specifically (in whole or in part) for the reported toxic chemical during the reporting year. "Source reduction activities" are those actions that are taken to reduce or eliminate the amount of the reported toxic chemical released, used for energy recovery, recycled, or treated. Actions taken to recycle, treat, or dispose of the toxic chemical are not considered source reduction activities. Form R provides for the reporting of source reduction activities by category. The categories include:

      • Good Operating Practices

      • Inventory Control

      • Spill and Leak Prevention

      • Raw Material Modifications

      • Process Modifications

      • Cleaning and Degreasing

      • Modified Containment Procedures for Cleaning Units

      • Surface Preparation and Finishing

      • Product Modifications

    4. Source Reduction Techniques. If a facility engaged in any source reduction activity for the reported toxic chemical during the reporting year, the facility must also report the method used to identify the opportunity for the activity implemented. Methods to identify source reduction opportunities include:

      • Internal or external pollution prevention opportunity audit(s)

      • Materials balance audits

      • Participative team management

      • Employee recommendations (under a formal OPDIV/STAFFDIV Program or independent of a formal program)

      • Federal or state government technical assistance program

      • Trade association/industry technical assistance program

      • Vendor assistance

    5. Additional Source Reduction, Recycling, or Pollution Control Information. Form R provides an opportunity for a reporting facility to indicate any additional information on source reduction, recycling, or pollution control activities implemented at the facility in the reporting year or in prior years for the reported toxic chemical.

  5. Relationship to RCRA Reporting. The reporting categories for quantities recycled, treated, used for energy recovery, and disposed apply to completing the source reduction section as well as to the rest of Form R. According to EPA, these categories are to be used only for TRI reporting. They are not intended for use in determining, under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C regulations, whether a secondary material is a waste when recycled. These categories (and their definitions) also do not apply to the information that may be submitted in a Hazardous Waste Report by hazardous waste generators and treatment, storage, and disposal (TSD) facilities to EPA or an authorized state under RCRA sections 3002 and 3004 (42 U.S.C. '' 6922, 6924). Differences in terminology and reporting requirements for toxic chemicals reported on Form R and for hazardous wastes regulated under RCRA occur because EPCRA and the PPA focus on specific chemicals, while the RCRA regulations and the Hazardous Waste Report focus on wastes, including mixtures.

  6. Form R Availability. Reports under EPCRA section 313 and PPA section 6607 are made on EPA Form R (EPA Form 9350-1), the Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) Reporting Form. EPA encourages facilities to submit the required information to EPA by using magnetic media (computer disk or tape) in lieu of Form R. More complete guidance on obtaining Form R and sources of information regarding, the submittal of Form R is contained in section 30-60-70.

  7. Where Reports Are to be Sent. Form R is submitted to EPA, affected States, and affected Indian tribes.

  8. Send reports to EPA by mail to:

    EPCRA Reporting Center
    P.O. Box 23779
    Washington, D.C. 20026-3779
    Attn: Toxic Chemical Release Inventory

    To submit a Form R via hand delivery or certified mail, the EPCRA Hotline (800535-2002) may be called to obtain the street address of the EPCRA Reporting Center.

    Additional information on submitting a Form R is contained in section 30-60-70.

  9. Trade Secrets. The provisions of EPCRA section 322 (42 U.S.C. ' 11042) dealing with the protection of trade secrets apply to the reporting requirements of this section in the same manner as to the reports required under section 313 of EPCRA (see 30-60-80).

30-70-50 -- Public Availability of Source Reduction Information

OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs. Unless such documentation is withheld pursuant to a statutory requirement or Executive Order, the public shall be afforded ready access to all reports required to be prepared by an OPDIV/STAFFDIV under this chapter. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are encouraged to provide such reports to the state and local authorities where their facilities are located for an additional point of access to the public. Public availability of information submitted on Form R is also discussed in section 30-60-80.

EPA. The PPA and Executive Order 12856 require the Administrator of EPA to make available to the public the source reduction information gathered pursuant to the PPA and such other pertinent information and analysis regarding source reduction as may be available to the Administrator. Subject to the trade secret provisions of EPCRA, EPA must make the data collected on Form R, pursuant to section 6607 of the PPA, publicly available in the same manner as the data collected under EPCRA section 313. The Administrator has also established, in accordance with PPA section 6606 (42 U.S.C. ' 13105), a Source Reduction Clearinghouse to compile information, including a computer data base that contains information on management, technical, and operational approaches to source reduction. The data base permits entry and retrieval of information by any person.

30-70-60 -- Compliance

  1. Internal Reviews. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall conduct internal reviews and audits, and take such other steps, as may be necessary to monitor compliance with the requirements of this chapter and Executive Order 12856.

  2. Annual Progress Report. The Secretary will submit annual progress reports to the EPA Administrator beginning on October 1, 1995, regarding the progress that has been made in complying with all aspects of Executive Order 12856, including the pollution reduction requirements. This report and OPDIV/STAFFDIV responsibilities are described in Chapter 30-80.

  3. Technical Assistance from EPA. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are encouraged to request technical advice and assistance from EPA in order to foster full compliance with Executive Order 12856 and this chapter.

  4. EPA Monitoring. Executive Order 12856 provides that the Administrator of EPA, in consultation with the Secretary, may conduct such reviews and inspections as may be necessary to monitor compliance with the PPA responsibilities contained in this chapter. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are to cooperate fully with the efforts of the Administrator to ensure compliance with Executive Order 12856. Should the Administrator notify an OPDIV/STAFFDIV that it is not in compliance with an applicable provision of Executive Order 12856, the OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall achieve compliance as promptly as is practicable.

  5. State and Local Pollution Prevention Requirements. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs are encouraged to comply with all State and local pollution prevention requirements to the extent that compliance with such laws and requirements is not otherwise already mandated.

  6. Funding Pollution Prevention Programs. In accordance with Executive Order 12856, OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall place high priority on obtaining funding and resources needed for implementing pollution prevention strategies, plans, and assessments by identifying, requesting, and allocating funds through line-item or direct funding requests. Funding requests shall be made in accordance with the Federal Agency Pollution Prevention and Abatement Planning Process and through budget requests as outlined in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars A-106 and A-11, respectively.

  7. Life Cycle Analysis and Total Cost Accounting. OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs should apply, to the maximum extent practicable, life cycle analysis and total cost accounting principles to all projects needed to meet the requirements of this chapter.

  8. Contractors. All OPDIVs/STAFFDIVs shall provide, in all future contracts between the organization and its relevant contractors, for the contractor to supply all information the OPDIV/STAFFDIV deems necessary for it to comply with this chapter. In addition, to the extent that compliance with this chapter and Executive Order 12856 is made more difficult due to lack of information from existing contractors, an OPDIV/STAFFDIV shall take practical steps to obtain the information from such contractors that is needed to comply.

  9. Prior Agreements for Application of EPCRA and PPA. The compliance dates for application of EPCRA and PPA set forth in Executive Order 12856 are not intended to delay implementation of earlier timetables already agreed to by a Federal agency and are inapplicable to the extent they interfere with those timetables.

30-70-70 -- Civil and Criminal Penalties

EPCRA section 325(c) (42 U.S.C. ' 11045(c)), which provides civil and administrative penalties for failure to report TRI information, also applies to the PPA's requirement to report toxic chemical source reduction and recycling information on Form R. The penalty for failure to file a Form R is $25,000 for each day of violation of the law.

EPCRA section 325(c) penalties do not apply to a governmental entity. Moreover, Executive Order 12856 does not make the provisions of section 325 applicable to any Federal agency or facility, except to the extent that such Federal agency or facility would independently be subject to such provisions.

Last Revised: October 17, 2003