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EPA Issues California Toxics Release Inventory Data for 2011

Release Date: 01/16/2013
Contact Information: Michael Ardito, 415-972-3081, ardito.michael@epa.gov

SAN FRANCISCO – Toxic chemicals managed, treated or released into the environment from facilities operating in California increased in 2011 when compared to 2010, according to the latest Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Community Right-to-Know data helps all of us remain aware of the types and amounts of chemicals being used in our neighborhoods,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “It is great to see pollution prevention activities at reporting facilities, and we encourage them to reduce their chemical releases via this method.”

A total of 1,265 California facilities reported a total of 38 million pounds of toxic chemical releases during 2011. California’s total reported on-site and off-site releases increased 10% (3 million pounds), when compared to 2010 data.

Data from 2011 in California show:

    Air: Air releases decreased 13% (one million pounds) since 2010.
    Water: Water releases increased 10% (258 thousand pounds) since 2010.
    On-Site Land: On-site land releases increased 9% (2 Million pounds) since 2010.
    Underground Injection: Underground Injection releases decreased 67% (2.5 million pounds) since 2010.
    Off-Site Transfers: Total off-site transfers have increased 72% (2.5 million pounds) since 2010.

For detailed state information and the state’s Top 10 releasing facilities please see the state fact sheet at:
http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/ or http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm.

Release data alone are not sufficient to determine exposure or to calculate potential risks to human health and the environment. TRI data, in conjunction with other information, such as the toxicity of the chemical, the release medium (e.g., air), and site-specific conditions, may be used in evaluating exposures that may result from releases of toxic chemicals.

EPA has a new tracking tool that features facilities that reported they have new pollution prevention (P2) practices that have often reduced their releases of TRI chemicals. The tool can be found at: www.epa.gov/tri/p2. The tool can be used to track and compare TRI facility P2 performance, identify facilities that reported reductions in toxic chemical releases due to P2 efforts, identify the P2 measures that were effective for a given industry or chemical, compare waste management practices of facilities within a sector, and view trends in waste management practices for facilities over several years.

In 2012, the EPA reached out to hundreds of communities nationwide through workshops, video-conferences, and webinars to help communities to better use TRI data to protect their environments. Grassroots partners in environmental justice communities, such as the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice in Jurupa Valley, California, helped EPA improve its outreach approaches to better serve diverse neighborhoods. Many of the online resources are listed in the “TRI Toolbox” below:

TRI Toolbox:
-TRI Explorer is a tool that you can use to see the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. It allows a user to look at data by state, county, or zip code; by chemical; or by industry. It provides maps a user can click on to find TRI facilities, chemicals and industries in a particular area. http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer

-For more on the TRI program including additional city, county and facility information, please visit the EPA’s Web sites: http://www.epa.gov/tri, and http://www.epa.gov/enviro.

-The Spanish TRI website is at: http://www.epa.gov/tri/myrtk/spanish/index.htm

-For information geared toward communities please visit: http://www.epa.gov/tri/communities/index.html

-EPA TRI Pollution Prevention Tool: www.epa.gov/tri/p2

-State fact sheets are available at:
http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/ and http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm.

-For more information on the PBT Chemicals Program, please visit the EPA’s Web site at
http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/pbt

The annual data is from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory, one of the EPA’s largest publicly available databases. The annual TRI reporting began in 1988 after the enactment of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. The chemical information in the inventory is calculated by industrial facilities and reported to the EPA. Total releases include toxic chemicals discharged by facilities to air, water, land, and underground, and the amount transferred off-site for disposal. Pollution controls apply to many of the reported releases. Reporting facilities must comply with environmental standards set by local, state and federal agencies.

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