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EPA Releases Annual Report on Releases of Pollution to Air, Water and Land in Virgin Islands

Release Date: 06/30/2003
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(#03075) NEW YORK, N.Y.-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued its annual report detailing the most recent data available on the amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment of the U.S. Virgin Islands by industrial and other facilities. Due to past reporting errors, the 2001 report shows an increase to levels of toxics released in the Virgin Islands between 2000 and 2001. Since 1988, EPA has made the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) available to the public every year to help Americans know more about the chemicals present in their local environment and to track environmental trends over time. The data in today’s report is for releases that took place in 2001. New this year is information on estimated lead emissions to the environment. In addition, the thresholds for reporting a number of toxic chemicals were reduced.

“Informing the public with basic information about toxic chemicals in their communities is among the most effective, common-sense steps to protect the health of families and children from the threats posed by pollution,” EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny said. “That is why EPA has consistently expanded the type and amount of information available to the public under the Right-to-Know program,” she pointed out.

The total reported toxic releases in the Virgin Islands of the over 600 chemicals and chemical categories currently tracked from a number of industries by TRI were up from approximately 671,681 pounds in 2000 to 1,032,199 pounds in 2001. The increase was due to higher amounts of carbonyl sulfide, carbon disulfide and nitrate compounds emissions reported by Hovensa based on more extensive sampling at their facility. Hovensa has informed EPA that it will revise past TRI reports and use specialty catalysts to reduce their emissions in the future.

The public can access specific on-line TRI information related to their community by visiting EPA’s Web site at: http://www.epa.gov/tri.