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Glossary


 
Glossary
A - C
D - F
G - M
N - R
S - Z
 
Discussions about TURA generally include terms that are not used in everyday conversations. They also include many acronyms and abbreviations. Listed below are the words and acronyms in alphabetical order. Select a letter range above to skip to that section of the list.
 
 
 
A - C
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Alloy
a substance possessing metallic properties and composed of two or more elements of which at least one must be a metal. The term refers to those cases where there is an intentional addition to a metal for the purpose of improving certain properties.
 
Base year
the benchmark year from which a facility measures progress in reducing the byproducts and emissions attributable to the production unit. In each succeeding reporting year the byproducts/emissions attributable to the production unit are compared to those in the base year, on a per unit of product basis.
 
BRI
see Byproduct Reduction Index
 
Byproduct
all non-product outputs of toxic or hazardous substances generated by a production unit, prior to handling, transfer, treatment or release.
 
Byproduct Reduction Index (BRI)
The change in the amount of byproduct generated relative to the amount of production. The BRI is calculated as follows: BRI = 100 x (A-B) / A where A = (Byproduct quantity in the base year) / (number of units of product produced in the base year) and B = (Byproduct quantity in the reporting year) / (number of units of product produced in the reporting year)
 
CERCLA
the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. S9601 et. seq. (Public Law 92-500). Commonly referred to as "Superfund."
 
Chemical Use
amount in pounds of the manufacture, processing and otherwise use of a chemical. Relabeling or redistributing a container of a toxic substance where no repackaging of the toxic substance occurs does not constitute use or processing of the toxic substance.
 
 
D - F
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Delisted
a chemical removed from a toxic chemical list. A chemical remains reportable under TURA as long as the chemical remains on the CERCLA list.
 
Emission(s)
a release of a toxic or hazardous substance to the environment or a transfer of a toxic or hazardous substance in waste to an off-site location.
 
EPA (US EPA)
United States Environmental Protection Agency.
 
EPCRA
the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, 42 U.S.C. S11001 et. seq. (Public Law 99-499).
 
Facility
the buildings, equipment, structures, and other stationary items which are located on a single site or on contiguous or adjacent sites and which are owned or operated by the same person, or by any person who controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, such person.
 
Full-Time Equivalent
An FTE is defined as 2,000 work hours per year. The 10 FTE criteria is met if a total of 20,000 hours were worked by all employees (including "consultants") whether they worked full or part-time.
 
 
G - M
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Intermediate product
a) in chemical manufacturing, any chemical substance that is consumed, in whole or in part, in chemical reactions used for the intentional manufacture of another chemical substance or mixture, or that is intentionally present for the purpose of altering the rate of chemical reactions, other than a non-isolated intermediate as defined by TURA; b) in any other setting, any manufactured substance, compound, or product that is consumed, in whole or in part, in a chemical or physical process for the intentional manufacture of another product, becomes a component part of another product, or that is intentionally present for the purpose of aiding the manufacture of another product, other than a non-isolated intermediate as defined in this chapter.
 
Large quantity toxic user (LQTU)
any toxics user who manufactures, processes or otherwise uses any toxic or hazardous substance in an amount the same as or greater than the applicable threshold amount in a calendar year at a facility.
 
Manufacture
to produce, prepare, import or compound a toxic or hazardous substance. This definition includes "coincidental" manufacture of a substance during manufacturing, waste treatment or fuel combustion. (e.g., the unintentional manufacture of hydrochloric acid during combustion of fossil fuels or the intentional manufacture of a metal compound). Note that relabeling or redistributing a container of a toxic substance where no repackaging of the toxic substance occurs does not constitute manufacturing, use or processing of the toxic substance.
 
Manufactured chemicals
Very little manufacturing of TURA chemicals occurs in Massachusetts. Chemicals reported as "manufactured" account for only 3% of the total statewide use. Approximately 70% of the total amount reported as manufactured is reported as being generated as byproduct. This suggest that most of the chemicals reported as manufactured are "coincidentally manufactured" (i.e., produced as a byproduct of some other activity). An example of this is the production of nitrate compounds as a result of wastewater treatment or the creation of acid gases in power generation.
 
Mixture
means any combination of two or more chemicals, if the combination is not, in whole or in part, the result of a chemical reaction. However, if the combination was produced by a chemical reaction but could have been produced without a chemical reaction, it is also treated as a mixture. A mixture also includes any combination that consists of a chemical and associated impurities.
 
Multi-media
having to do with all environmental media including, but not limited to, water, land and air and workplaces within facilities.
 
 
N - R
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Non-isolated intermediate
any intermediate which is not intentionally removed from the equipment in which it is manufactured, including any reaction vessel in which it is manufactured, equipment which is ancillary to the reaction vessel or similar equipment, and any equipment through which the intermediate passes during a continuous flow process, but not including tanks or other vessels or equipment in which the substance or product is stored after manufacture.
 
On-site Releases to the Environment (TRI)
all byproducts that are released to the air, discharged to surface waters, on-site releases to land and underground injection wells.
 
Otherwise Used
any use of a toxic substance that is not covered by the terms "manufacture" or "process" and includes use of a toxic substance contained in a "mixture" or trade name product (i.e., in the cleaning of parts).
 
Otherwise Used Chemicals
this category represents 16% of the 1.2 billion pounds of total statewide use reported in 1997 by all TURA filers. "Otherwise used" chemicals are involved in such ancillary activities as cleaning or providing the carrier solvent for paint application.
There has been, in fact, a dramatic reduction in this category since 1994, when the remaining CERCLA chemicals were phased in. TURA filers reported a 25 million-pound reduction in "otherwise used chemicals," from 220 million in 1994 to 195 million in 1997.
 
POTW (publicly-owned treatment works) operators
holders of discharge permits for any devices and systems owned by the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions and used in the storage, treatment, recycling and reclamation of municipal sewage or industrial wastes of a liquid nature to implement 33 U.S.C. S1281, or necessary to recycle or reuse water at the most economical cost under the estimated life of the works, including intercepting sewers, outfall sewers, sewage collection systems, pumping, power, and other equipment, and the appurtenances; extensions, improvements, remodeling, additions, and alterations thereof; elements essential to provide a reliable recycled supply such as standby treatment units and clear well facilities; any works, including the land that will be an integral part of the treatment process (including land used for the storage of treated wastewater in land treatment systems prior to land application) or is used for ultimate disposal of residues resulting from such treatment; any other method or system for preventing, abating, reducing, storing, treating, separating, or disposing of municipal waste, including storm water runoff, or industrial waste, including waste in combined storm water and sanitary sewer systems.
 
Process
the preparation of a toxic or hazardous substance, including without limitation, a toxic substance contained in a mixture or trade name product, after its manufacture, for distribution in commerce (e.g., in the formulation of paints or coatings, any listed constituents are processed, in the manufacture of polystyrene, the styrene monomer is processed): a) in the same form or physical state, or in a different form or physical state, from that in which it was received by the toxics user so preparing such substance; or b) as part of an article containing the toxic or hazardous substance. Note that repackaging a chemical is considered processing it although relabeling or redistributing a container of a toxic substance where no repackaging of the toxic substance occurs does not.
 
Processed Chemicals
In Massachusetts, the predominant activity is "processing," where a listed chemical is incorporated into a product. Copper accounts for about 21% of the 956 million pounds of chemicals reported processed in 1997. The 205 million pounds of copper were used to make such products as electric wire, printed circuit boards, fuses, grinding wheels, jewelry, and dyed fabrics.
 
Product
a) a product, a family of products, an intermediate product, a family of intermediate products, or a desired results or a family of result; b) a byproduct that is used as a raw material without further treatment.
 
Production unit
a process, line, method, activity, or technique, or a combination or series thereof, used to produce a product.
 
Production ratio
This is a number that the facility reports under TRI. The number represents the change in production in each individual reported chemical since the last reporting year. Generally, production ratios are between .1 and 10. Negative numbers are errors. Numbers greater than 10 are highly unusual, but can be correct in cases such as batch chemical processing. These numbers are investigated by the data team and corrected where necessary and possible.
 
Releases
A release is a discharge of a toxic chemical to the environment. This includes releases to the air, either as a stack or fugitive emission, discharges to bodies of water such as streams or lakes, or discharges to the ground or underground.

 
S - Z
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SARA
the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act 42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq. (1986)
 
SIC code
Standard Industry Classification - the identification code assigned to facilities by the United States Department of Commerce. This is one of the areas where TURA's requirements differ from those of EPCRA. EPCRA reporting is only required of firms that derive more than 50% of their business from manufacturing (SIC codes 20 - 39). Under TURA, the SIC code criteria is met if any of your business activities are conducted in the areas represented by TURA's longer list of included SIC codes. The TURA list includes manufacturing plus business activities such as transportation, wholesale trade, and business or personal services.
 
Shipped in Product
the quantity in pounds of the chemical that leaves the facility as product.
 
Small quantity toxics user (SQTU)
any toxics user who is not a large quantity toxics user.
 
Threshold amounts
the threshold amounts for a facility to be a Low Quantity Toxics User (LQTU) are:
  • 25,000 pounds for a toxic substance that was manufactured or processed during the reporting year; or
     
  • 10,000 pounds for a toxic substance that was otherwise used during the reporting year.
Once a facility breaks either of the above threshold amounts, it must report on each listed toxic substance that the facility manufactures, processes or otherwise uses at an amount equal to or greater than 10,000 lbs. This is true, even though the initial test for determining whether a facility is a LQTU and has a threshold or 25,000 lbs. for the manufacture or processing of a chemical.
 
As a result, under TURA, manufactured or processed chemicals in the 10,000 - 25,000 lbs. range are reportable. By contrast, for federal EPCRA reporting, chemicals are reported only if they are manufactured or processed in an amount equal to or greater than 25,000 lbs.
 
Note: If the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency sets a threshold quantity for facility reporting on a toxic or hazardous substance under Section 313 of EPCRA which is lower than a corresponding threshold amount specified in the bulleted points above, the department shall change the corresponding threshold for that substance under this chapter to be the same as the federal threshold.
 
Total Use
the total quantity in pounds of TURA chemicals reported as manufactured, processed, and otherwise used.
 
Toxics user
any person who owns or operates any facility that manufactures, processes or otherwise uses any toxic or hazardous substance that is classified in SIC Codes ten through fourteen, inclusive, twenty through forty, inclusive, forty-four through fifty-one, inclusive, seventy-two, seventy-three, seventy-five, or seventy-six.
 
Toxics
toxic or hazardous substances.
 
Toxic or hazardous substance
any chemical substance in a gaseous, liquid or solid state which is identified on the toxic or hazardous substance list, but which will not include any chemical substance when it is (1) present in an article; (2) used as a structural component of a facility; (3) present in a product used for routine janitorial or facility grounds maintenance; (4) present in foods, drugs, cosmetics or other personal items used by employees or other persons at a facility; (5) present in a product used for the purpose of maintaining motor vehicles operated by a facility; (6) present in process water or non-contact cooling water as drawn from the environment or from municipal sources, or present in air used either as compressed air or as part of combustion; (7) present in a pesticide or herbicide when used in agricultural applications; or (8) present in crude, lube or fuel oils or other petroleum materials being held for direct wholesale or retail sale.
 
Toxic or hazardous substance list
the list of toxic or hazardous substances established according to TURA
 
Trade secret
any formula, plan, pattern, process, production data, device, information, or compilation of information which is used in a toxics user's business, and which gives said toxics user an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.
 
Transfers and Releases
total transfers and releases reported under TRI. Releases refer to emissions of the toxic to land, water, or air. Transfers indicate that the toxic will be treated in some manner such as those indicated below under 'transfers off-site.'
 
Transfers Off-site
byproducts that are transferred off-site for energy recovery, recycling, treatment, and disposal.
 
TRI - Toxic Release Inventory
a national computerized database compiled from the §313 reports by the US EPA, as required by SARA which is accessible to the public in print and electronic formats.
 
TUR - Toxics use reduction
in-plant changes in production processes or raw materials that reduce, avoid, or eliminate the use of toxic or hazardous substances or generation of hazardous byproducts per unit of product, so as to reduce risks to the health of workers, consumers, or the environment, without shifting risks between workers, consumers, or parts of the environment. Toxics use reduction shall be achieved through any of the following techniques:
  • Input substitution: changing the raw materials of a product to use nontoxic or less toxic raw materials.
     
  • Product reformulation: reformulating or redesigning end products to be nontoxic or less toxic upon use, release, or disposal.
     
  • Production unit redesign or modification: using production units of a different design than those used previously;
     
  • Production unit modernization: upgrading or replacing production unit equipment or methods.
     
  • Improved operation and maintenance: modifying existing equipment or methods by such steps as improved housekeeping, system adjustments, or process/product inspections.
     
  • Recycling, reuse, or extended use of toxics: by using equipment or methods that are integral to the production unit.
However, toxics use reduction shall not include or in any way be inferred to promote or require incineration, transfer from one medium of release or discharge to other media, off-site or out-of-production unit waste recycling, or methods of end-of-pipe treatment of toxics as waste.
 
TURA
Toxic Use Reduction Act
 
TURI
the Toxics Use Reduction Institute
 
 


 
 
 
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