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EPA releases 2007 nationwide Toxics Release Inventory data / Reports rank CNMI among the lowest in the nation for toxic releases

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

(03/19/09) HONOLULU – Three facilities in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) reported a total of 6,448 pounds of toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in 2007, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Overall, CNMI ranks among the lowest, 55 out of 56 states and territories, in total chemical releases.

In relation to data from the previous year, total releases have decreased about 5 percent.

“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.”

CNMI FACILITIES REPORTING 2007 RELEASE INFORMATION TO TRI:
Hawaiian Rock Products Saipan
Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc./Saipan Aviation Terminal
Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc./Saipan Terminal
Data from 2007 in CNMI shows:
* CNMI companies did not report any releases to the water or to underground injection, and land releases increased less than one pound.
* Air Releases decreased 11 percent – by 576 pounds.
* Shell Marianas did not report to TRI this year, causing a decrease in releases.

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, it 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.

Members of the media: If you would like to schedule an interview with the EPA to discuss the toxic release inventory, please contact the media liaison listed above.

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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