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EPA releases 2005 Nevada Toxics Release Inventory data

Release Date: 03/22/2007
Contact Information: Maggie Witt, (415) 972-3370, witt.maggie@epa.gov

(03/22/07) SAN FRANCISCO - Industries operating in Nevada showed an overall increase in toxic releases of 21 percent in 2005 compared to 2004, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The data comes from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory, an annual measure of toxic chemical releases, transfers and waste generated by facilities in the United States. Total releases include toxic chemicals discharged to air, water, underground injection, land –including landfills – and the amount transferred off-site for disposal. Data provided does not mean that facilities with elevated levels are out of compliance with state, local or federal environmental regulations.

“TRI is an important tool for regulators, emergency responders, businesses and communities because it helps them better understand and be aware of the types and amounts of chemicals being released in their neighborhoods,” said Wayne Nastri, the EPA’s administrator for the Pacific Southwest region.

In Nevada, 133 facilities reported a total of 326.2 million pounds of toxic chemical releases, a 56.8 million pound gain.

Leading the upward trend was an increase of 56.6 million pounds in reported releases to land, a 21 percent change, primarily due to mining. In Nevada, metal mining and primary metal facilities account for 96 percent of all on-site and off-site releases, and 97 percent of the on-site releases to land. These industry sectors showed a 24 percent increase in land releases from 2004, or 59 million pounds.

Overall, the state’s air releases increased 179,000 pounds or 10 percent. Looking specifically at mining, those facilities saw a 1 percent, or 5,000 pound, decrease in air releases from reporting year 2004.

There was a 3,000 pound or 2 percent increase in water discharges. A large portion of this increase came from an increase in nitrate compound discharges.

Nevada did experience a minor increase in off-site releases by approximately 1 percent, or 12 thousand pounds.

The reporting of data to the Toxics Release Inventory is required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, passed in 1986. This program has been credited with arming communities with valuable knowledge and encouraging facilities to reduce their releases of toxic chemicals into the environment through source reduction, or pollution prevention measures.

In 2000, the Toxics Release Inventory expanded to include Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic chemicals, or PBTs, and to require reporting for these chemicals at ranges from 0.1 grams to 100 pounds.

PBT pollutants are toxic chemicals that persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in food chains, posing risks to human health and ecosystems. In Nevada, nearly 90 million pounds of total on-site and off-site releases of PBT chemicals were reported. There was an 18 percent, or 19.8 million pounds decrease in PBT releases. This change was driven by the decrease in lead and lead compound releases.

The top ten facilities in Nevada for total on-site and off-site releases of all chemicals are:

1. Newmont Mining Corp Twin Creeks Mine (Golconda, Humboldt County) with 80.9 million pounds.
2. Newmont Mining Corp Carlin South Area (Carlin, Eureka County) with 60.4 million pounds.
3. Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc (Elko, Elko County) with 49.1 million pounds.
4. Coeur Rochester Inc (Lovelock, Pershing County) with 47.7 million pounds.
5. Newmont Mining Corp Lone Tree Mine (Valmy, Humboldt County) with 26.5 million pounds.
6. Robinson Nevada Mining Co (Ruth, White Pine County) with 20.6 million pounds.
7. Newmont Mining Corp Mule Canyon Mine (Battle Mountain, Lander County) with 16 million pounds.
8. US Ecology Nevada Inc. (Beatty, Nye County) with 7.3 million pounds.
9. Cortez Gold Mines (Crescent Valley, Lander County) with 3.1 million pounds.
10. Jerritt Canyon Mine (Elko, Elko County) with 2.6 million pounds.

The top ten facilities in Nevada for total on-site and off-site releases of PBT chemicals are:

1. Coeur Rochester Inc (Lovelock, Pershing County) with 47.7 million pounds.
2. Robinson Nevada Mining Co (Ruth, White Pine County) with 20.2 million pounds.
3. Barrick Goldstrike Mines Inc (Elko, Elko County) with 7.7 million pounds.
4. Newmont Mining Corp Carlin South Area (Carlin, Eureka County) with 5.1 million pounds.
5. Cortez Gold Mines (Crescent Valley, Lander County) with 2.5 million pounds.
6. Newmont Mining Corp Twin Creeks Mine (Golconda, Humboldt County) with 2.3 million pounds.
7. Glamis Marigold Mine (Valmy, Humboldt County) with 1.1 million pounds.
8. Newmont Mining Corp Lone Tree Mine (Valmy, Humboldt County) with 805 thousand pounds.
9. Bald Mountain Mine (Elko, White Pine County) with 716 thousand pounds.
10. Smoky Valley Common Operation (Round Mountain, Nye County) with 583 thousand pounds.

Fact sheets and additional information on the 2005 TRI data for Arizona are available at
http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/report/05/nevada.pdf. The following Web sites also provide useful information on TRI: http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/ and http://www.epa.gov/enviro

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