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EPA releases 2007 nationwide Toxics Release Inventory numbers / Although Guam reports overall increases, still ranked among the lowest in nation for total chemical releases

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

(03/19/09) HONOLULU – Six facilities in Guam reported a 21 percent increase in toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in 2007 when compared to 2006, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Overall, Guam ranks among the lowest, 53 out of 56 states and territories, in total releases.

While the island's water and land releases have increased since 2006, underground injection, off-site transfers, and air releases have decreased. The largest increase was of water releases, a 59 percent increase. This 45,000 pound increase in chemical releases to water was reported by the U.S. Navy COMNAVMARIANAS Guam Main Base at Apra Harbor.

“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.”

Guam Facilities
Guam Power Authority
Hawaiian Rock Products Guam
Mobil Oil Guam Inc. (Cabras Island Terminal)
South Pacific Petroleum Corp.
Tanguisson Power Plant
US Navy COMNAVMARIANAS Guam Main Base – Apra Harbor WWTP

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.

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.

These web sites provide useful information on TRI: http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/ and http://www.epa.gov/enviro. For state fact sheets: 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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