Frequent Questions

Are chemicals used for both personal use and process-related activities exempt?

A facility subject to EPCRA Section 313 uses chlorine to treat water that serves both as process water and as drinking water for the facility's employees.  When making threshold determinations and release and other waste management calculations, can the facility owner or operator claim the personal use exemption in 40 CFR Section 372.38(c)(3) for the amount of chlorine used to treat the employees’ drinking water?


The personal use exemption allows a facility owner or operator to disregard quantities of toxic chemicals employed solely for personal use by employees or other persons at the facility.  It does not apply, however, when a discrete amount of an EPCRA Section 313 toxic chemical is employed both for personal use and process-related activities.  Thus, in this example, the chlorine used to treat water that serves dually as employee drinking water and facility process water is not eligible for the personal use exemption.  Similarly, if the facility supplies heat to its employees' offices by combusting fuel, and that fuel also powers the facility's process-related equipment, the facility owner or operator cannot claim the personal use exemption for any of the toxic chemicals present in the fuel.  Additional guidance on otherwise use exemptions, such as the personal use exemption, can be found in the Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Forms and Instructions and in the Revised 1998 EPCRA Section 313 Questions and Answers Document.

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