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Latest Toxic Release Inventory Shows Continued Decline in Chemicals Released into Environment

Release Date: 04/12/2006
Contact Information: Mike Frankel, 215-814-2665 and Joan Schafer, 215-814-5143

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released today the 2004 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) which provides information on toxic chemicals used and released by utilities, refineries, chemical manufacturers, paper companies, and many other facilities across the nation. The TRI is compiled from data submitted to EPA by industry and the states.

The 2004 TRI data indicates a decrease of 18 million pounds of chemical releases as compared with 2003. A total of 381.8 million pounds of chemicals were released during 2004 to the air, water or landfills by facilities in the mid-Atlantic region which is comprised of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Releases in this same geographic area totaled 399.8 million pounds in 2003. When compared with the 2000 TRI data of 464.7 million pounds, the 2004 figures represent a 17.8 percent reduction in toxic pollutants released in the region.

“The TRI is a valuable resource for citizens and government alike,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “Communities can use this data to begin dialogues with local facilities to encourage them to reduce emissions or develop pollution prevention plans; public interest groups use it to educate the public about toxic chemical emissions and potential risk; and EPA and the states use it to set priorities and allocate environmental protection resources to the most pressing problems.”

The TRI also has been credited with arming communities with valuable knowledge and encouraging facilities to reduce their releases of toxic chemicals into the environment through source reduction, or pollution prevention measures.

Today’s data includes information on releases and other wastes from more than 650 chemicals and chemical compounds that companies are required to report under EPA=s Toxic Release Inventory Program. The data includes chemicals that were released at the company=s facility and those transported to disposal facilities off site.

Some chemical categories of TRI reporting are characterized as persistent bioaccumlative toxics, including lead and lead compounds, and mercury and mercury compounds. The data reflects a decrease in lead and lead compounds from 8.7 million pounds in 2002 to 7.6 million pounds in 2004 (in 2003 it was 7.4 million pounds) and a decrease from 58,920 pounds in 2002 to 42,384 in 2004 for mercury and mercury compounds (in 2003 it was 48,154 pounds). It is important to review the full data in context, since in many cases changes from one year to the next are less important than longer term trends.

The reporting of data to the TRI is required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), passed in 1986. The TRI provides the amount, location, and type of releases to the environment -- whether a pollutant is emitted into the air, discharged into the water, or released onto the land. It also includes information on waste shipped off-site for disposal or further treatment.

It is important to note that these chemical emissions are reported to EPA under the TRI and generally do not reflect illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment.

TRI information is easily accessible online to the news media and the public at . For more detailed information on a specific facility, go to .

Below is list of the three facilities that reported the largest volume of on-site pollutant releases for each of the mid-Atlantic states.

DELAWARE

1) NRG Energy Inc.’s, Indian River Generating Station in Millsboro, Sussex County, reported the highest volume of on-site releases - just over 4.8 million pounds. These releases show an increase of 0.9 million pounds when compared to the levels reported for the previous year, due to increase in coal usage.

2) The Edge Moor Hay Road Power Plant in Wilmington, New Castle County, was ranked second with slightly less than 1.6 million pounds of on-site releases. The 2004 releases show a decrease of 0.2 million pounds when compared to the 2003 releases.

3) Premcor Refining Group, Inc. in Delaware City, New Castle County, ranked third with 1.5 million pounds of on-site releases. The 2004 releases show a decrease of 0.2 million when compared to the 2003 releases.

The releases from these three facilities were primarily acid aerosols from fuel combustion and land disposal of metals.
MARYLAND

1) Brandon Shores & Wagner Complex of Baltimore Gas & Electric, Baltimore, Baltimore County, reported the highest volume of on-site releases at 11.6 million pounds. These releases show a decrease of 1.2 million pounds when compared to the 2003 releases.

2) Mirant Morgantown Generating Station, Newburg, Charles County, was ranked second with 6.5 million pounds of on-site releases. The 2004 releases show a decrease of 1.5 million pounds when compared to the 2003 releases.

3) Mirant Chalk Point Generating Station, Aquasco, Prince Georges County, ranked third with 4.6 million pounds of on-site releases. The 2004 release show a decrease of .2 million pounds when compared to 2003 releases.

These releases were primarily acid aerosols from fuel combustion and land disposal of the metals contained in ash.


PENNSYLVANIA

1) Reliant Energies Inc., Keystone Station in Shelocta, Armstrong County, reported the highest volume of on-site releases at 17.2 million pounds. The 2004 releases show an increase of .2 million pounds when compared to 2003 releases.

2) EME Homer City Generation in Homer City, Indiana County, ranked second with 8.1 million pounds of on-site releases. The 2004 releases show a decrease of .4 million pounds when compared to the 2003 releases.

3) Allegheny Energy Inc. Hatfield Power Station, Masontown, Greene County, ranked third with 6.9 million pounds of on-site releases. The 2004 releases show a decrease of one million pounds when compared to the 2003 releases.

The releases from these three facilities were primarily acid aerosols from fuel combustion and land disposal of metals contained in ash.

VIRGINIA

1) Chesterfield Power Station, in Chester, Chesterfield County, reported the highest volume of on-site releases at 5.4 million pounds. The 2004 releases show a decrease of 1.1 million pounds when compared to the 2003 releases. The releases from this facility were primarily acid aerosols from fuel combustion and land disposal of the metals contained in ash.

2) The Mead Westvaco Corp., Bleached Board Division, in Covington, Covington City County, ranked second with 4.5 million pounds of on-site releases. The 2004 releases show a decrease of .1 million pounds when compared to the 2003 releases. The releases from this facility were primarily air releases of methanol, acid aerosol and ammonia.

3) International Paper, Franklin Mill Plant in Franklin, Isle of Wight County, ranked third with 3.5 million pounds of on-site releases. The 2004 releases show a decrease of .1 million pounds when compared to 2003 releases. The releases from the facility were primarily methanol, acid aerosols and ammonia.

WEST VIRGINIA

1) American Electric Power’s Amos Plant, Winfield, Putnam County, reported the highest volume of on-site releases at 16.7 million pounds. The 2004 releases show a decrease of 1.3 million pounds when compared to 2003 releases.

2) American Electric Power’s Mitchell and Mountaineer Plants located in Moundsville, Marshall County, and New Haven, Mason County, were ranked second and third with total on-site releases of 16.1 and 8.4 million pounds, respectively. Last year’s releases were 18.0 and 10.3 million pounds, respectively.

These releases, like most power plants releases consist largely of acid aerosols from fuel combustion and land disposal of metals contained in ash.

A very positive highlight for West Virginia is the Dominion Mount Storm Power Station in Mount Storm, W.V. where releases decreased from 7.4 million pounds in 2000 to 3.1 million pounds in 2004. The decrease is the result of the installation of pollution control equipment for particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride and a catalyst for oxides of nitrogen.

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