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EPA releases 2006 Hawaii Toxics Release Inventory data

Release Date: 02/21/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Three percent reduction overall in Hawaii toxic releases, toxic releases to water also reduced

(02/21/08) HONOLULU - - For the third year in a row, industries operating in Hawaii have reduced toxic releases. According to the latest data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, there was a 2.8 percent reduction of toxic releases in 2006 compared to 2005.

The data comes from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), an annual measure of toxic chemical releases 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 provides important data for regulators, emergency responders, reporters, businesses and communities because it helps them better understand the types and amounts of chemicals being released in our communities,” said Wayne Nastri, EPA administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “We are pleased to report a decrease in the amount of toxic chemicals released in Hawaii in 2006.”

In Hawaii, 38 facilities reported a total of 3 million pounds of toxic chemical releases. This is 87 thousand pounds less than was released in 2005.
Data from Hawaii in 2006 show:
* Water releases decreased by 31 percent, which is 164,000 pounds. Reduced water releases reported by the U.S. Navy – Pearl Harbor Naval Complex is the primary reason for the overall 2.8 percent reduction.
* Air releases decreased by 2 percent or 61,000 pounds.
* Land releases went up 95 percent, or 85,000 pounds. The rise resulted from U.S. Army Schofield Barracks/Wheeler Airfield reporting a large increase in land releases.

TRI reporting is required under the 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 remain in the environment and bioaccumulate in food chains, posing risks to human health and ecosystems. In Hawaii, 112,000 pounds of total on-site and off-site releases of PBT chemicals were reported. This is an increase of 132 percent or 63 thousand pounds from the previous year.

The top facilities in Hawaii for total on-site and off-site releases of all chemicals are:
1. Hawaiian Electric Co Inc Kahe Generating Station (Kapolei, Honolulu County) with 792,651 pounds.
2. U.S. Navy Pearl Harbor Naval Complex (Pearl Harbor, Honolulu Co.) with 329,226 pounds
3. Hawaiian Electric Co Inc Waiau Generating Station (Pearl City, Honolulu County) with 317,592 pounds
4. Chevron Products Co - Hawaii Refinery (Kapolei, Honolulu County) with 237,621 pounds
5. Hawaii Electric Light Co Inc Hill Generating Station (Hilo, Hawaii Co.) with 230,140 pounds
6. Maui Electric Co Ltd Kahului Generating Station (Kahului, Maui Co.) with 220,131 pounds
7. AES Hawaii Inc. (Kapolei, Honolulu County) with 216,295 pounds
8. Hawaii Electric Light Co Inc Puna Generating Station (Keaau, Hawaii County) with 100,012 pounds
9. Tesoro Hawaii Refinery (Kapolei, Honolulu County) with 97,480 pounds
10. U.S. Army Schofield Barracks/Wheeler Army Airfield (Schofield Barracks, Honolulu County) with 74,850 pounds

Some findings of interest at the national level: Total disposal and other releases are down two percent from last year. Combined air releases of TRI chemicals are down seven percent. Total disposal and other releases of mercury to all media combined increased 17 percent. However, air releases of mercury are down four percent.

From 2001-2006, total releases reported to TRI decreased by 24 percent.

This is the first year facilities are reporting under the December 2006 rule making that expands eligibility for facilities to use a more streamlined, shorter form. The rule provides incentives to facilities to improve environmental performance and reduce the quantity and the toxicity of its releases. For 2006 reporting in the Pacific Southwest Region, there was a small net increase of the short forms submitted. A number of factors could account for the increase, including: changes in production process or products, new TRI reporters, facilities that previously qualified but did not use the short form, or the December 2006 rule.

The following web sites also provide information by city, county, and facility on TRI: http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/ and http://www.epa.gov/enviro. State fact sheets are available at: http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm.

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