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EPA releases 2007 nationwide Toxics Release Inventory data / American Samoa reports the least amount of toxic releases of any state or territory in the nation

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

(03/19/09) HONOLULU – One facility in American Samoa reported a total of 4.8 pounds of toxic chemicals released into the air in 2007, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Overall, American Samoa ranks the lowest in total chemical releases – out of 56 states and territories.

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 only facility reporting in American Samoa is Star-Kist Samoa with nearly five pounds of air releases.

“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.”

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

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 more information on TRI see: 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

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