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U.S. EPA Releases Latest Report on Chemical Releases in Hawaii / 3-million pounds of toxic chemicals released into environment, majority of releases resulted from power generation

Release Date: 03/19/2009
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(03/19/09) HONOLULU – Toxic releases into the environment from facilities operating in Hawaii increased less than 1 percent in 2007 when compared to 2006, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The data comes from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory, commonly referred to as TRI. It’s one of EPA’s largest publicly available databases, arming communities with valuable information on more than 650 toxic chemicals released by various industries. The chemical information in the inventory is calculated by industrial facilities and reported to the EPA, as required by law.

Total releases include toxic chemicals discharged by facilities to air, water, land, and underground, and the amount transferred off-site for disposal. Regulatory controls apply to many of the reported releases. Reporting facilities must comply with environmental standards set by local, state and federal agencies.

“The Toxic Release Inventory program arms communities with powerful information,” said Laura Yoshii, acting EPA administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “The inventory is a tremendous tool to help protect public health and the environment. Safe communities depend on well-informed citizens.”

Here’s a look at toxic releases in Hawaii from 2005 – 2007 (in pounds):

Total Releases for Reporting Years 2005-2007

Year Air Water On-Site Land Underground Injection Off-Site
2005 2,311,635 522,217 89,734 2,736 176,408
2006 2,254,013 358,266 174,678 4,743 209,594
2007 2,267,711 446,948 141,716 2,670 152,563

Hawaii’s total reported releases increased 0.3% or 10,315 pounds, when compared to 2006 data.

Data from 2007 in Hawaii shows:

        Electric power generating facilities accounted for 67 percent of Hawaii’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) chemical releases, including 83 percent of the air releases.
        On-Site land releases decreased by 33 thousand pounds or 19 percent, led by the U.S. Army Pohakuloa training area range facility, which had a decrease of 28 thousand pounds.
        Water releases increased 89 thousand pounds, a 25 percent change. The U.S. Navy Pearl Harbor Naval Complex reported an increase of 70 thousand pounds over the previous year.
        Approximately 81 thousand pounds of total lead releases were reported. The military facilities released the largest amounts of reported lead, releasing 77 thousand pounds.

Annual Toxic Release Inventory reporting began in 1987. The inventory provides information on annual toxic chemical releases reported by certain industrial and federal facilities. The TRI does not include data on toxic emissions from cars and trucks, nor from the majority of non-industrial sources, such as agriculture. In 2000, TRI expanded to include persistent bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals, or PBTs, at ranges from 0.1 grams to 100 pounds. PBT pollutants are toxic chemicals that remain in the environment and food chain, posing risks to human health and ecosystems.

The top facilities in Hawaii for chemicals releases (reported in pounds) are:
Facility NameCityTotal Releases
1Hawaiian Electric Co Inc Kahe Generating StationKapolei820,976
2US Navy Pearl Harbor Naval ComplexPearl Harbor373,735
3Hawaiian Electric Co Inc Waiau Generating StationPearl City342,801
4Chevron Products Co – Hawaii RefineryKapolei277,526
5Hawaii Electric Light Co Inc Hill Generating StationHilo210,169
6Maui Electric Co Ltd Kahului Generating StationKahului210,123
7AES Hawaii IncKapolei155,988
8Hawaii Electric Light Co Inc Puna Generating StationKeaau92,006
9Maui Electric Co Ltd Maalaea Generating StationKihei88,368
10US Army Schofield Barracks/Wheeler Army AirfieldSchofield Barracks79,115

Some findings of interest at the national level:
      There was a 5 percent decrease in total disposal or other releases into the environment nationwide from 2006 to 2007.
        PBTs make up 12 percent of total releases and have increased by 1 percentage point from 2006-2007. Lead drives overall PBT statistics with 98 percent of total releases for 2007. Lead showed a less than 1 percent increase (3.5 million pounds) from 2006-2007.
        Mercury releases increased by 38 percent (1.9 million pounds).

        On-site land releases are down 6 percent (113 million pounds) since 2006.

For Hawaii TRI highlights, charts, and graphics on the web please visit: ----

The following web sites also provide city, county and facility information 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. Also see, Region 9 TRI Home Page: http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/index.html
Hawaii: http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/report/07/tri-hi.html
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