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EPA issues national and state toxic chemical release reports for 2005

Release Date: 03/22/2007
Contact Information: Barbara Conklin, 303-312-6619, conklin.barbara@epa.gov; Richard Mylott, 303-312-6654, mylott.richard@epa.gov

(Denver, Colo. - March 22, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued its annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report, which provides details about the amount of toxic chemicals released into the air, discharged into water, placed on the land or underground, and disposed of as waste by facilities across the country. The data made available today are for releases that took place during 2005.

    "After more than 20 years, the Toxic Release Inventory continues to be a fundamental tool in our efforts to protect public health and the environment," said EPA deputy regional administrator Kerrigan Clough. "The TRI is an important record of the production and use of toxic chemicals in our communities and a valuable resource that citizens, companies and governments can use to make informed decisions about the potential impacts of these chemicals."

    More than 23,400 facilities nationwide reported to EPA’s TRI program in 2005.  These facilities reported 4.34 billion pounds of on-site and off-site disposal or other releases of nearly 650 toxic chemicals.  Over 88 percent of the total was disposed of or otherwise released on-site; almost 12 percent was sent off-site for disposal or other releases. Nationally, total reported TRI releases increased from 4.2 billion pounds in 2004 to 4.3 billion pounds in 2005. This slight increase represents the first annual increase in reported releases since 2000. Annual changes are not unusual. A number of possible reasons for the increase include: production increases, fluctuations in the content of raw materials used in particular industries or changes in releases at large facilities that impacts the national data.

    This year’s data shows that progress is being made in reducing releases of several chemicals of special concern. For example, between 2004 and 2005 dioxin releases decreased by 23 percent and mercury releases fell by nine percent. In addition, several individual industries have made significant progress in reducing releases. Petroleum refining releases dropped 10 percent, transportation equipment registered a six percent decrease and chemical manufacturing cut releases by four percent.

    Total U.S. TRI Releases in Billions of Pounds

    Total Releases Total Releases All Industries
    All Industries --- Except Metal Mining

    2001 5.6 --- 3.3
    2002 4.8 --- 3.2
    2003 4.4 --- 3.2
    2004 4.2 --- 3.2
    2005 4.3 --- 3.1

    The TRI database provides a comprehensive overview of toxic chemical releases in the U.S. Included in the report is a listing of individual states and the amounts of toxic chemicals released into the environment within their borders. Data on types of chemicals and quantities released and managed can also be accessed from EPA's national Web site by zip code, city, county, or on an individual facility basis. To consult the TRI database, visit http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.


    Colorado Information
    Colorado facilities reported 25,665,802 total pounds of toxic chemicals released to the environment in 2005, with 74 percent released on site. On-site releases include chemicals released to the air, water and land at the facility. Chemicals that are transferred to other sites for disposal to the environment are not included in the on-site releases total. Total on-site releases by all reporting industries in Colorado increased from 18,882,885 pounds in 2004 to 19,079,193 pounds in 2005. For more details, please consult Colorado 2005 TRI information on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.

    On-Site Releases of Toxic Chemicals in Colorado in Millions of Pounds

    All Industries --- All Industries Except Metal Mining
      2001 35.6 --- 13.6
      2002 21.2 --- 15.3
      2003 18.0 --- 12.1
      2004 18.9 --- 12.2
      2005 19.1 --- 12.7

      Montana Information
      Montana facilities reported 59,012,894 total pounds of toxic chemicals released to the environment in 2005, with 98 percent released on site. On-site releases include chemicals released to the air, water and land at the facility. Chemicals that are transferred to other sites for disposal to the environment are not included in the on-site releases total. Total on-site releases by all reporting industries in Montana decreased from 60,072,291 pounds in 2004 to 57,742,324 pounds in 2005. For more details, please consult Montana 2005 TRI information on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.

      On-Site Releases of Toxic Chemicals in Montana in Millions of Pounds

      All Industries --- All Industries Except Metal Mining

      2001 60.9 --- 36.4
      2002 32.4 --- 14.7
      2003 44.6 --- 15.4
      2004 60.1 --- 16.2
      2005 57.7 --- 16.2

      North Dakota Information
      North Dakota facilities reported 23,035,677 total pounds of toxic chemicals released to the environment in 2005, with 61 percent released on site. On-site releases include chemicals released to the air, water and land at the facility. Chemicals that are transferred to other sites for disposal to the environment are not included in the on-site releases total. Total on-site releases by all reporting industries in North Dakota decreased from 14,383,633 pounds in 2004 to 13,971,136 pounds in 2005. For more details, please consult North Dakota 2005 TRI information on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.

      On-Site Releases of Toxic Chemicals in North Dakota in Millions of Pounds

      All Industries

      2001 16.9
      2002 16.0
      2003 14.1
      2004 14.4
      2005 14.0


      South Dakota Information
      South Dakota facilities reported 7,926,408 total pounds of toxic chemicals released to the environment in 2005, with 98 percent released on site. On-site releases include chemicals released to the air, water and land at the facility. Chemicals that are transferred to other sites for disposal to the environment are not included in the on-site releases total. Total on-site releases by all reporting industries in South Dakota decreased from 8,394,306 pounds in 2004 to 7,785,451 pounds in 2005. For more details, please consult South Dakota 2005 TRI information on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.

      On-Site Releases of Toxic Chemicals in South Dakota in Millions of Pounds

      All Industries --- All Industries Except Metal Mining
        2001 13.5 --- 7.2
        2002 11.9 --- 5.8
        2003 10.2 --- 6.1
        2004 8.4 --- 6.5
        2005 7.8 --- 6.7

        Utah Information
        Utah facilities reported 172,622,269 total pounds of toxic chemicals released to the environment in 2005, with 99 percent released on site. On-site releases include chemicals released to the air, water and land at the facility. Chemicals that are transferred to other sites for disposal to the environment are not included in the on-site releases total. Total on-site releases by all reporting industries in Utah increased from 163,942,536 pounds in 2004 to 170,830,842 pounds in 2005. For more details, please consult Utah 2005 TRI information on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.

        On-Site Releases of Toxic Chemicals in Utah in Millions of Pounds

        All Industries --- All Industries Except Metal Mining
          2001 254.8 --- 65.5
          2002 176.2 --- 61.8
          2003 240.0 --- 57.5
          2004 163.9 --- 53.0
          2005 170.8 --- 73.0


          Wyoming Information
          Wyoming facilities reported 15,623,107 total pounds of toxic chemicals released to the environment in 2005, with 93 percent released on site. On-site releases include chemicals released to the air, water and land at the facility. Chemicals that are transferred to other sites for disposal to the environment are not included in the on-site releases total. Total on-site releases by all reporting industries in Wyoming decreased from 15,275,169 pounds in 2004 to 14,552,204 pounds in 2005. For more details, please consult Wyoming 2005 TRI information on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.

          On-Site Releases of Toxic Chemicals in Wyoming in Millions of Pounds

          All Industries
            2001 16.9
            2002 17.0
            2003 18.2
            2004 15.3
            2005 14.5

            ...........

            The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 required EPA to establish the Toxics Release Inventory. The TRI is an on-line, computerized database that contains toxic chemical release information covering nearly 650 chemicals and chemical categories collected from reports submitted to EPA and the states by manufacturing companies, coal and metal mines, electric utilities, hazardous waste treatment sites, chemical distributors and federal facilities.

            Information contained in the TRI is used by federal, state and local governments, citizens and businesses to track the generation, release, fate and transport of various chemicals over time. Using this information, governments, businesses and citizens can work together to promote pollution prevention and improve the quality of air, water and land resources. Data may be used to help assess cumulative environmental impacts and risk, target areas of concern in a neighborhood or watershed, or identify specific pollution prevention activities.

            The 2005 TRI EPA national press release is available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/tri. Additional background information on the TRI program and direct access to TRI data are available on-line at: http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer or http://www.epa.gov/enviro.

            For data use assistance, contact the EPA Region 8 TRI Coordinator Barbara Conklin at 303-312-6619 or via e-mail at conklin.barbara@epa.gov. Easy- to-use TRI Internet Instructions are also available on the EPA Region 8 web page at www.epa.gov/region8/toxics_pesticides/epcra/resources.html.