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Chemical Releases to Air and Water Drop Drastically in USVI

Release Date: 04/12/2006
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(New York, NY) The quantity of toxic chemicals released into the air and water by industry in the U.S. Virgin Islands has fallen by more than 25%, from a total of 1.7 million pounds in 1998 to a total of 1.2 million pounds in 2004, according to data in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) issued today. The release of lead into the environment of the Virgin Islands declined by over 25% from 2003 to 2004 from 1,221 pounds to 905 pounds, and the amount of total releases, including land disposal, dropped by 5.4% in the same period. TRI provides Americans with vital information about chemicals released into their communities, and is an important instrument for industries to gauge their progress in reducing pollution. On a national level, over 23,000 facilities reported on approximately 650 chemicals for calendar year 2004.

“This inventory is one of the most effective tools for reducing pollution because it provides invaluable information to both the public and industry,” said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. “While the report is principally designed to inform the public, facilities also use it to identify promising areas for preventing pollution.”

Thanks to improvements in EPA’s system, the vast majority of facilities now report data electronically and detailed information about specific facilities is more readily accessible to the public.

TRI tracks the chemicals released by facilities specified by the Emergency Community Right to Know Act of 1986 and its amendments. The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990 also mandates that TRI data include information on toxic chemicals treated on-site, recycled, and burned for energy recovery. The TRI is the most comprehensive source of information about chemicals released into the environment.

The TRI data and background information are available to the public at http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri04/index.htm. Communities can also quickly and easily identify local facilities and chemical releases by using the TRI explorer mapping tool, available at http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer.

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