Why does EPA require electronic submission of non-trade secret TRI forms?
The Government Paperwork Elimination Act allows Federal agencies to provide for electronic submissions and the use of electronic signatures, when practicable. Similarly, EPA's Cross-Media Electronic Reporting Regulation (CROMERR) states that any requirement to submit a report directly to EPA can be satisfied with an electronic submission that meets certain conditions, once the agency publishes a notice that electronic document submission is available for that requirement.
On August 27, 2013, EPA finalized a rule requiring facilities to report non-trade secret TRI forms using software developed by the Agency (78 FR 52860). Currently, EPA provides TRI-MEweb as the online application for submitting TRI reporting forms electronically. Widespread use of TRI-MEweb improves the quality and accuracy of TRI data and allows EPA to get the data to the public faster.
Further information about this rule is available: http://www.epa.gov/toxics-release-inventory-tri-program/electronic-reporting-toxics-release-inventory-data.