Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program

Addition of NPEs Category to TRI List Proposed Rule

Rule Summary

On November 16, 2016, EPA proposed a rule that would add a nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) category to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) list of reportable chemicals. NPEs are nonionic surfactants used in adhesives, wetting agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, dispersants, defoamers, cleaners, paints, and coatings.

EPA proposed this rule because we believe that longer-chain NPEs can break down in the environment to short-chain NPEs and nonylphenol, both of which are highly toxic to aquatic organisms. For this reason, EPA believes NPEs meet the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) section 313(d)(2)(C) toxicity listing criteria.

Rule History

Basis for Adding an NPEs Category

EPA believes that NPEs meet the ECPRA section 313(d)(2)(C) environmental effects listing criteria based on the available toxicity data, which indicate that short-chain NPEs are highly toxic to aquatic organisms. Long-chain NPEs, while not as toxic as short-chain NPEs, degrade in the environment to produce products that include highly toxic short-chain NPEs and nonylphenol. Nonylphenol is even more toxic to aquatic organisms than short-chain NPEs, and EPA added it to the TRI toxic chemical list in September 2014.

Definition of the NPEs Category

EPA is proposing to create an NPEs category that would cover 13 NPEs as identified through Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Numbers (CASRNs) and names:

CAS Number Chemical Name
7311-27-5 Ethanol, 2-[2-[2-[2-(4-nonylphenoxy)ethoxy]ethoxy]ethoxy]-
9016-45-9 Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), α-(nonylphenyl)-ω-hydroxy-
20427-84-3 Ethanol, 2-[2-(4-nonylphenoxy)ethoxy]-
26027-38-3 Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), α-(4-nonylphenyl)-ω-hydroxy-
26571-11-9 3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24-Octaoxahexacosan-1-ol, 26-(nonylphenoxy)-
27176-93-8 Ethanol, 2-[2-(nonylphenoxy)ethoxy]-
27177-05-5 3,6,9,12,15,18,21-Heptaoxatricosan-l-ol, 23-(nonylphenoxy)-
27177-08-8 3,6,9,12,15,18,21,24,27-Nonaoxanonacosan-1-ol, 29-(nonylphenoxy)-
27986-36-3 Ethanol, 2-(nonylphenoxy)-
37205-87-1 Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), α-(isononylphenyl)-ω-hydroxy-
51938-25-1 Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), α-(2-isononylphenyl)-ω-hydroxy-
68412-54-4 Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), α-(nonylphenyl)-ω-hydroxy-, branched
127087-87-0 Poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), α-(4-nonylphenyl)-ω-hydroxy-, branched

If this rule is finalized, facilities that manufacture, process or otherwise use NPEs covered under these names and CASRNs would file just one TRI reporting form.

Uses of NPEs

NPEs are nonionic surfactants used in adhesives, wetting agents, emulsifiers, stabilizers, dispersants, defoamers, cleaners, paints, and coatings.

Additional Resources

Learn more about NPEs.


EPA estimates that 178 facilities would be affected by this proposed rule. 114 of these facilities are each expected to submit a TRI reporting Form R containing release and waste management data for NPEs. The other 64 facilities are expected to submit the shorter TRI reporting Form A.