U.S. EPA Issues Arizona Toxic Release Data, Copper and Zinc Among Most Common
Release Date: 12/08/2009
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415-947-4149, firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest report shows 95 million pounds of toxics released into environment, increase of more than 6 million pounds
(12/8/09--SAN FRANCISCO) Toxic releases into the environment from facilities operating in Arizona increased seven percent in 2008 when compared to 2007, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The 6.6 million pound increase is primarily due to an increase in on-site land releases from mining facilities.
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.
“We encourage people to use data from the Toxics Release Inventory in order to gain a better understanding of what is being released into their neighborhoods,” said Laura Yoshii, acting EPA administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “Industry and communities informed with accurate information can use the inventory as a starting point to find opportunities to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we enjoy.”
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.
- Data from 2008 in Arizona show:
§ Overall toxic releases increased by 7% mostly due to an increase in on-site land releases from mining facilities
§ 274 facilities in Arizona reported 95.2 million pounds of toxic chemical releases
- § Air releases decreased 14%, 601 thousand pounds
- § Water releases increased 1,250%, 55 thousand pounds
§ 87% of Arizona’s on and off –site releases can be attributed to mining or primary metal facilities
- § The top five released chemicals are copper, zinc (fume or dust), lead, barium, and manganese
§ 17.5 million pounds of on and off-site releases of PBT chemicals were reported, a decrease of 1.6 million pounds, or 8% since 2007
§ Arizona ranks #6 in the United States for reported mercury releases
Annual Toxics Release Inventory reporting began in 1987 after the enactment of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (1996). 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 Arizona for total on-site and off-site releases of all chemicals (reported in pounds) are:
|Facility Name||City||Total Releases|
|1||Asarco LLC Ray Complex/Hayden Smelter & Concentrator||Hayden||25,316,913|
|2||Freeport-McMoran Miami Inc.||Claypool||25,304,600|
|3||Cyprus Tohono Corp.||Casa Grande||13,394,257|
|4||Freeport-McMoran Morenci Inc.||Morenci||8,630,764|
|5||Springerville Generating Station||Springerville||3,194,773|
|6||Freeport-McMoran Sierrita Inc.||Green Valley||2,394,534|
|7||Cholla Power Plant||Joseph City||2,353,324|
|8||Coronado Generating Station||Saint Johns||2,214,812|
|9||Freeport-McMoran Bagdad Inc.||Bagdad||2,065,794|
|10||BHP Copper Inc. Pinto Valley Operation||Miami||2,019,233|
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 6% decrease in total reported releases into the environment nationwide from 2007 to 2008
- § The number of facilities reporting chemical releases decreased 5% nationally
§ Total PBT chemical releases decreased by 2% nation-wide
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
And join the LinkedIn group: http://www.linkedin.com/e/vgh/1823773/