Contact Us

Newsroom

News Releases - Other News Topics

 

EPA Analysis Shows Decrease in 2011 Toxic Chemical Releases in Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts, 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 Massachusetts, 433 facilities reported in 2011 approximately 3.2 million pounds (a decrease of 1,118,170 pounds). Approximately 58.58 percent of releases in Massachusetts were emitted to the air during 2011. Approximately 0.7 percent of releases in Massachusetts were released to the land 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 Massachusetts were:
2011 Rank2011 ChemicalTotal on-and off-site disposal or other releases2010 Rank
1Hydrochloric acid (1995 and after "acid aerosols" only)694,0781
2Zinc compounds482,8682
3Ammonia218,2363
4Toluene213,2866
5N-butyl alcohol179,8907
6Certain glycol ethers151,2008
7Methanol119,0969
8Xylene (mixed isomers)83,50810
9Barium compounds69,25612
10Chromium compounds (except chromite ore mined in the transvaal region)65,27721

The ten facilities that reported the largest quantity of on- and off-site environmental releases in Massachusetts under TRI for 2011 were:
2011 RankCompany2011 Total on-and off-site disposal or other releases2010 Rank
1DOMINION ENERGY BRAYTON POINT LLC. BRAYTON POINT RD, SOMERSET MASSACHUSETTS 02726 (BRISTOL)617,5671
2CROWN BEVERAGE PACKAGING. GLEN & SHEPARD ST, LAWRENCE MASSACHUSETTS 01843 (ESSEX)290,0783
3ACUSHNET CO BALL PLANT III. 215 DUCHAINE BLVD, NEW BEDFORD MASSACHUSETTS 02745 (BRISTOL)221,3945
4SOLUTIA INC. 730 WORCESTER ST, SPRINGFIELD MASSACHUSETTS 01151 (HAMPDEN)171,1866
5ACUSHNET CO BALL PLANT II. 256 SAMUEL BARNETT BLVD, NORTH DARTMOUTH MASSACHUSETTS 02714 (BRISTOL)132,2658
6DOMINION ENERGY SALEM HARBOR S TATION. 24 FORT AVE, SALEM MASSACHUSETTS 01970 (ESSEX)123,5674
7IRVING OIL TERMINALS INC. 41 LEE BURBANK HWY, REVERE MASSACHUSETTS 02151 (SUFFOLK)109,17412
8DUNCAN GROUP. 69 NORMAN ST, EVERETT MASSACHUSETTS 02149 (MIDDLESEX)79,77211
9IDEAL TAPE CO. 1400 MIDDLESEX ST, LOWELL MASSACHUSETTS 01851 (MIDDLESEX)79,3109
10CALLAWAY GOLF BALL OPERATIONS INC. 425 MEADOW ST, CHICOPEE MASSACHUSETTS 01013 (HAMPDEN)68,8497

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 Web site.

More information:

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

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

#† #† #