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Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

Acetonitrile Petition

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Rule Summary

In 1999 and 2013, EPA denied petitions to remove acetonitrile from the list of chemicals subject to reporting requirements under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA). EPA reviewed the available data and determined that acetonitrile did not meet the deletion criterion of EPCRA Section 313(d)(3) due to its potential to cause death in humans. 

Rule History

On February 4, 1998, EPA received a petition from BP Chemicals Inc. and GNI Chemicals Corporation to delete acetonitrile from the list of Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals. On March 5, 1999, EPA denied the petition based on a determination that acetonitrile met the listing criteria of EPCRA section 313(d)(2)(B) and (d)(2)(C) due to its potential to cause neurotoxicity and death in humans and its contribution to the formation of ozone in the environment. 

On June 28, 2002, EPA received a second petition from BP to delete acetonitrile from the list of chemicals reportable under EPCRA Section 313. Specifically, BP argued that acetonitrile met all of the criteria for delisting because: (1) Under generally accepted scientific principles, chronic mortality is not an issue for concern; and (2) EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards concluded that acetonitrile does not have sufficient photochemical reactivity to contribute to ozone formation.  

On March 5, 2013, EPA denied the petition to delete acetonitrile, based on EPA’s conclusion that acetonitrile can reasonably be anticipated to cause serious or irreversible chronic health effects in humans. 

Additional Resources

Denial of Petition: 2013 (PDF)(5 pp, 226 K, About PDF)
Notice of Data Availability (PDF)(2 pp, 178 K, About PDF)
Denial of Petition: 1999 (PDF)(8 pp, 239 K, About PDF)