TRI Discontinued Latitude and Longitude
Starting in reporting year 2005, EPA no longer requires TRI facilities to report locational information (latitude and longitude data) or program ID data (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) IDs, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) IDs and Underground Injection Code (UIC) IDs). Through reporting year 2004, the latitude and longitude information had been reported by facilities in Part I, section 4.6 of the Form R and Form A certification statement. The program ID data had been reported by facilities in Part I, sections 4.8, 4.9 and 4.10 of the same forms.
This action was the result of the TRI Reporting Forms Modification Rule which was finalized on July 12, 2005. This final rule eliminates certain information from the TRI reports, simplifies other reporting elements, and in some cases, reduces duplicate data collection. It reduces the cost of compiling and submitting TRI reports modestly, while ensuring the public continues to receive high quality data that have practical utility.
The TRI Reporting Form Modification rule is one of several phases that are being enacted to reduce burden on reporting facilities. To see additional proposed actions for further burden reduction, see the TRI Website.
In addition to burden reduction, several other factors contributed to the decision to discontinue the collection of Latitude and Longitude and Program ID data by TRI. First, The Facility Registry Service (FRS) is EPA's authoritative source for facility data. FRS centrally collects, manages and disseminates data that identifies facilities and other points of environmental interest. FRS gathers data from a number of resources including EPA programs, state and local governments and commercial sources. Through the Pick Best Process, FRS tests and verifies all locational data and determines the best values to represent a facility. Due to the extensive, accurate and efficient way FRS collects latitude and longitude data, the TRI program felt its utilization would be beneficial to both regulated facilities and data users.
Using FRS allows the TRI program to use locational infrastructure that is in compliance with the Agency's Latitude/Longitude Data Standard. This leads to better quality data across EPA programs.
Using FRS further promotes the objective of upgrading TRI's collection and dissemination processing with EPA's Enterprise Architecture (EA). The EA is a blue print for the modernization and re-engineering of all EPA data collection, processing and dissemination systems. The EA calls for the establishment and use of an authoritative system of registries. The FRS is one of those systems. By following the EA and utilizing FRS data, TRI eliminates a duplicative data collection process, achieves a higher degree of data quality, and improves data integration potential among EPA and other federal programs.
TRI's decision to discontinue the collection of Latitude and Longitude and Program ID data was based on reducing facility burden. In addition, several factors including utilization of the FRS, taking advantage of FRS's data quality improvements and integration with EPA's enterprise architecture were contributing factors in the decision.