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EPA Issues Nevada Toxics Inventory Data

Release Date: 12/16/2010
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan (415) 947-4149, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov


Report shows a 16 million pound decrease since 2008

SAN FRANCISCO – Toxics managed, treated or released into the environment from facilities operating in Nevada decreased 8 percent in 2009 when compared to 2008, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The 16 million pound decline reflects reported decreases in air, water, and land disposals.

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

“These annual reports arm citizens and local governments with information about toxics that could pose potential hazards in their area,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Federal law ensures that all communities have a “Right-To-Know” so they can make informed decisions to reduce chemical use and plan for emergency responses.”

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

Release data alone are not sufficient to determine exposure or to calculate potential risks to human health and the environment. TRI data, in conjunction with other information, such as the toxicity of the chemical, the release medium (e.g., air), and site-specific conditions, may be used in evaluating exposures that may result from releases of toxic chemicals.

Here’s a look at toxic disposals and releases in Nevada from 2007 – 2009, reported in pounds:

Reporting Year
Type of Release200720082009
Air 1,756,341 1,550,110 1,631,934
Land (On-site)197,183,994196,366,905179,536,919
Underground Injection 0 0 0
Water 144 160 118
Off-site disposal 2,940,978 1,874,256 2,374,338

Data from 2009 in Nevada shows:

      Air releases increased 5% (82 thousand pounds)

      Water releases decreased 27% (43 pounds)
      On-site land releases decreased 9% (17 million pounds)
      Total off-site transfers increased 27% (500 thousand pounds)
      Underground Injection releases did not change since 2008 (0 reported).The top five released chemicals are copper and copper compounds, zinc, lead and lead compounds, barium and barium compounds and manganese and manganese compounds.
      In Nevada, 56 million pounds of total releases of persistent bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs) were reported a decrease of 40% or 38 million pounds. Arsenic and arsenic compounds top the list.
Annual Toxics Release Inventory reporting began in 1987 after the enactment of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. The inventory provides information to the public 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 Nevada for total on-site and off-site releases during 2009 of all chemicals (reported in pounds) are:
Facility NameCityTotal Releases
1Newmont Mining Corp Twin Creeks MineGolconda 47,984,557
2Barrick Gold Corp Goldstrike MineElko 41,478,744
3Newmont Mining Corp Southern Carlin MineCarlin 28,273,751
4Newmont Mining Corp Copper Canyon MineBattle Mountain 20,422,374
5Barrick Gold Corp Cortez MineCrescent Valley 19,561,629
6Robinson Nevada Mining CoRuth 11,127,558
7US Ecology Nevada IncBeatty 2,569,162
8Tronox LLCHenderson 1,944,163
9Smoky Valley Common OperationRound Mountain 1,593,595
10Queenstake Resources USA Inc – Jerritt Canyon MineElko 1,038,716

TRI Explorer
TRI Explorer is a tool that you can use to see the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. It allows you to look at data by state, county, or zip code; by chemical; or by industry. It provides maps that you can click on to find TRI facilities, chemicals and industries in a particular area.

National TRI Findings:
      There was a 12% decrease in total reported releases into the environment nationwide from 2008 to 2009
      The number of facilities reporting chemical releases decreased 7% nationally
For more on the TRI program including additional city, county and facility information, please visit the EPA’s Web sites: http://www.epa.gov/tri, http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer and http://www.epa.gov/enviro.

State fact sheets are available at:
http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/ and http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm.

For more information on the PBT Chemicals Program, please visit the EPA’s Web site at
http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/pbt

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