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EPA Analysis Shows Increase in 2011 Toxic Chemical Releases in Maine

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 Maine, the reporting data show that overall releases of pollutants to the environment have increased 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 Maine, 87 facilities reported in 2011 approximately 10.8 million pounds (an increase of 1,231,072 pounds). Approximately 38.67 percent of releases in Maine were emitted to the air during 2011. Approximately 31.45 percent of releases in Maine 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 Maine were:
2011 Rank2011 ChemicalTotal on-and off-site disposal or other releases2010 Rank
1Nitrate compounds2,769,5981
2Methanol2,312,0192
3Zinc compounds1,912,7383
4Manganese compounds1,355,1684
5Ammonia862,4125
6Hydrochloric acid (1995 and after "acid aerosols" only433,8166
7Acetaldehyde192,9997
8Chromium compounds (except chromite ore mined in the transvaal region)108,1428
9Barium compounds99,71711
10Cresol (mixed isomers)89,6029

The ten facilities that reported the largest quantity of on- and off-site environmental releases in Maine under TRI for 2011 were:
2011 RankCompanyTotal on-and off-site disposal or other releases2010 Rank
1MCCAIN FOODS USA INC. 319 RICHARDSON RD, EASTON MAINE 04740 (AROOSTOOK)2,499,3051
3VERSO PAPER HOLDINGS LLC. ANDROSCOGGIN MILL RILEY RD, JAY MAINE 04239 (FRANKLIN)2,118,3512
4SD WARREN CO. 1329 WATERVILLE RD, SKOWHEGAN MAINE 04976 (SOMERSET)1,633,8063
2RUMFORD PAPER CO. 35 HARTFORD ST, RUMFORD MAINE 04276 (OXFORD)2,174,0824
5WOODLAND PULP LLC. 144 MAIN ST, BAILEYVILLE MAINE 04694 (WASHINGTON)780,1705
7RED SHIELD ACQUISITION LLC. 24 PORTLAND ST, OLD TOWN MAINE 04468 (PENOBSCOT)351,3556
6S D WARREN CO. 89 CUMBERLAND ST, WESTBROOK MAINE 04098 (CUMBERLAND)378,8217
8LINCOLN PAPER & TISSUE LLC. 50 KATAHDIN AVE, LINCOLN MAINE 04457 (PENOBSCOT)211,3598
9GREAT NORTHERN PAPER LLC. 50 MAIN ST, EAST MILLINOCKET MAINE 04430 (PENOBSCOT)170,6169
10VERSO PAPER BUCKSPORT MILL. RIVER RD, BUCKSPORT MAINE 04416 (HANCOCK)137,02010

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 Maine Fact Sheet (http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm)

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

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