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EPA Reports On Toxic Releases To Air, Water and Land in the Virgin Islands

Release Date: 06/18/1998
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(#98065) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported today in its annual Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) that the 2.6 million pounds of toxic chemicals listed as released into the Virgin Islands environment in 1988 had dropped to 1.2 million pounds in 1996, a decrease over the eight-year period of 52.5%.

EPA recently analyzed five major industrial sectors and found a national decline in toxic releases, led by chemical manufacturing, followed by primary metals, electrical equipment, pulp and paper, and petroleum refining.

EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox said, "While we are encouraged by the downward trend in the release of chemicals on the original list, we must continue our efforts to maintain it. This data demonstrates that it is possible to decrease pollution and maintain a strong economy."

The annual Toxic Release Inventory is a compilation of the country's latest data on toxic releases in a yearly report that provides a state-by-state and national listing of pollution trends. The year's report covers toxic releases into the air, water and land in 1996.

The report shows that discharges of toxic chemicals into the waters of the Virgin Islands declined from 36,392 pounds in 1995 to 31,720 pounds in 1996. However, toxic chemical releases into the air of the Virgin Islands rose slightly from 1.45 million pounds in 1995 to 1.47 million pounds in 1996. Also, land discharges reported in the Virgin Islands increased significantly from 2,461 pounds in 1995 to 6,526 pounds in 1996.

The increased releases reported in 1996 can be attributed to the chemicals newly-added to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) in 1995. For example, 181,638 pounds of the reported air releases in the Virgin Islands in 1996 are due to new toxics on the list.

The only facility in the Virgin Islands that reported toxic releases in 1996 is Hess Oil Virgin Island Corp. in Kingshill, St. Croix. Ms. Fox added that, "In a continuing effort to make toxic release information more accessible and relevant to the interested public, EPA recently announced a chemical right-to-know initiative that will provide information on the health effects of the high volume chemicals on the list."

Information on TRI is available in public libraries or online at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/tri or by calling the Hotline number at 1-800-424-9346.


For more information contact:
Richard Cahill, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3666 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: cahill.richard@epamail.epa.gov