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EPA Analysis Shows Decrease in 2011 Toxic Chemical Releases in Connecticut

Release Date: 01/16/2013
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Jan. 16, 2013) – EPA’s most recent Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data is now available for the reporting year of 2011. In Connecticut, the reporting data show that overall releases of pollutants to the environment have decreased since the previous reporting year (2010).

TRI information is a key part of EPA’s efforts to provide greater access to environmental information and get information to the public as quickly as possible. TRI reporting provides Americans with vital information about their communities by publishing information on toxic chemical disposals and releases into the air, land and water, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities in neighborhoods across the country.

During 2011, the latest year for which data are available, approximately 18.96 million pounds of chemicals were released in the six New England states, a reduction of about 1,690,960 pounds. In Connecticut, 310 facilities reported in 2011 approximately 2.08 million pounds (a decrease of 691,571 pounds). Approximately 44.6 percent of releases in Connecticut were emitted to the air during 2011. Approximately 11.6 percent of releases in Connecticut were discharged to surface water during 2011. 

“EPA is proud of our long-term commitment of putting accessible, meaningful information in the hands of the American people so we can be informed about chemicals found in our own communities and neighborhoods,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.  “Environmental data such as TRI is fundamental to helping people protect the health of their families and themselves, and provides communities with valuable information on toxic chemical releases.”

Each year, EPA makes publicly available TRI data reported by industries throughout the United States regarding chemical releases to air, water and land by power plants, manufacturers and other facilities which employ ten or more workers and exceed thresholds for chemicals.  Reporting includes information on chemicals released at a company's facility, as well as those transported to disposal facilities off site. TRI data do not reflect the relative toxicity of the chemicals emitted or potential exposure to people living in a community with reported releases. Facilities must report their chemical disposals and releases by July 1 of each year.  EPA made the 2011 preliminary TRI dataset available on Oct. 31, 2012.                                                   

Reporting under TRI does not indicate illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment. EPA works closely with states to provide regulatory oversight of facilities that generate pollution to the nation’s air, land and water. Effective review and permitting programs work to ensure that the public and the environment are not subjected to unhealthful levels of pollution, even as agencies work to further reduce emissions of chemicals to the environment. Enforcement efforts by EPA and states ensure that facilities that violate their environmental permits are subject to penalties and corrective action. Yearly releases by individual facilities can vary due to factors such as power outages, production variability, lulls in the business cycle, etc., that do not reflect a facility's pollution prevention program(s).

The top ten chemicals released to the environment on- and off-site during 2011 in Connecticut were:
2011 Rank2011 ChemicalTotal on-and off-site disposal or other releases2010 Rank
1Nitrate compounds371, 4461
2Zinc compounds176,1175
32-chloro-1, 1, 1, 2-tetrafluoroethane165,0006
4Nickel148,99014
5Dichloromethane134,3382
6Copper compounds101,8614
7Ammonia81,7033
8N-butyl alcohol76,5488
9Toluene69,85712
10Antimony Compounds57,48015

The ten facilities that reported the largest quantity of on- and off-site environmental releases in Connecticut under TRI for 2011 were:
2011 RankCompanyTotal on-and off-site disposal or other releases2010 Rank
1CYTEC INDUSTRIES INC. 528 S CHERRY ST, WALLINGFORD CONNECTICUT 06492 (NEW HAVEN)221,6652
2TYCO HEALTHCARE GROUP LP US SURGICAL DIV. 195 MCDERMOTT RD, NORTH HAVEN CONNECTICUT 06473 (NEW HAVEN)174,5703
3PRATT & WHITNEY. 400 MAIN ST M/S 102-21, EAST HARTFORD CONNECTICUT 06108 (HARTFORD)153,6615
4PCC STRUCTURALS. 839 POQUONNOCK RD, GROTON CONNECTICUT 06340 (NEW LONDON)118,68422
5GBC METALS LLC SOMERS THIN STRIP. 215 PIEDMONT ST, WATERBURY CONNECTICUT 06706 (NEW HAVEN)116,7554
6GENERAL CABLE INDUSTRIES. 1600 W MAIN ST, WILLIMANTIC CONNECTICUT 06226 (WINDHAM)94,3129
7UNIMETAL SURFACE FINISHING LLC (FORMERLY DONHAM CRAFT INC). 15 E WATERBURY RD, NAUGATUCK CONNECTICUT 06770 (NEW HAVEN)83,95611
8SUMMIT CORP OF AMERICA. 1430 WATERBURY RD, THOMASTON CONNECTICUT 06787 (LITCHFIELD)70,0296
9AHLSTROM NONWOVENS LLC. CANAL BANK RD, WINDSOR LOCKS CONNECTICUT 06096 (HARTFORD)61,3388
10CRAY VALLEY USA LLC. 105 ONTARIO ST, STRATFORD CONNECTICUT 06615 (FAIRFIELD)53,56513
This year, EPA is offering additional information to make the TRI data more meaningful and accessible to all communities.  The TRI analysis now highlights toxic disposals and releases to large aquatic ecosystems, selected urban communities, and tribal lands. EPA has improved this year’s TRI national analysis report by adding new information on facility efforts to reduce pollution and by considering whether economic factors could have affected the TRI data. With this report and EPA’s Web-based TRI tools, citizens can access information about the toxic chemical releases into the air, water, and land that occur locally. Finally, EPA’s first mobile application for accessing TRI data, myRTK, is now available in Spanish, as are expanded Spanish translations of national analysis documents and Web pages.

TRI was established in 1986 by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and later modified by the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. Together, these laws require facilities in certain industries to report annually on releases, disposal and other waste management activities related to these chemicals. TRI data are submitted annually to EPA and states by multiple industry sectors including manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste facilities.

EPA continues to work closely with the regulated community to ensure that facilities understand and comply with their reporting requirements under TRI and other community right-to-know statutes. EPA will once again hold training workshops throughout the New England region during the spring of 2013. Training sessions will be set up in each state. Further information will be available on our regional Web site.

More information:

- TRI in Connecticut Fact Sheet (http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm)

- Additional National information on TRI (http://www.epa.gov/tri/)

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