EPA trying to ease toxic reporting

The Environmental Protection Agency is developing "intelligent" software to guide users through filing reports online about the release of toxic chemicals.

The software, dubbed "TRI-ME," will be a component of the Toxic Release Inventory, a publicly accessible database that contains information about toxic chemicals being used, manufactured, treated, transported or released into the environment.

TRI-ME will offer pinpoint guidance and keyword searches to help users file reports, said Maria Doa, director of the TRI program division. For example, users could search for "ammonia" to learn all the steps and information needed to file a report about ammonia releases.

Users also will be able to find information about whether it is necessary to file a report for a certain chemical or type of facility. If a report is necessary, users can ask the program to "guide me" when they are unsure about a step, Doa said.

There is no timetable for the program's release, Doa said.

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