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EPA Proposes to Codify Parent Company Definition for TRI Reporting
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By Lynn L. Bergeson and Carla N. Hutton
 
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposed rule on September 28, 2021, that would codify the definition of “parent company” for purposes of reporting to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). 86 Fed. Reg. 53577. Although the existing regulation requires a facility reporting to TRI to identify its parent company in annual reporting forms, no codified definition of this data element exists. EPA states that a codified definition of parent company would allow it to address various corporate ownership scenarios explicitly and reduce the reporting burden caused by regulatory uncertainty. The proposed rule would clarify existing regulations to reporting facilities and add a foreign parent company data element, if applicable, while improving data quality. The proposed rule addresses the following ownership scenarios:

  • A facility is owned by a single company that is not owned by another company;
  • A facility is owned by a single company that is owned by another company;
  • A facility is owned by multiple companies, including companies that are themselves owned by other entities;
  • A facility is owned by a joint venture or cooperative;
  • A facility is owned, at least in part, by a foreign company; and
  • A facility is owned by the federal government, or a state, tribal, or municipal government.

EPA also proposes to require facilities reporting to TRI to use standardized naming conventions for parent company reporting, as provided in the annual TRI Reporting Forms and Instructions (RFI), available as a downloadable Excel file (“Standardized Parent Company Names”) at http://www.epa.gov/tri/rfi. EPA states that these naming conventions address common formatting discrepancies, such as punctuation, capitalization, and abbreviations (for example, “Corp” for “Corporation”). Comments are due November 29, 2021. According to the notice, under the Paperwork Reduction Act, comments on the information collection provisions are best assured of consideration if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives a copy of comments by October 28, 2021.