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U.S. EPA Issues 2008 American Samoa Toxic Release Data

Release Date: 12/08/2009
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

Latest report shows territory releases least amount of toxic chemicals in the nation

(12/08/09) HONOLULU – One facility in American Samoa reported a total of 5.66 pounds of toxic chemicals released into the air in 2008, 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.

In relation to 2007 data, total releases are solely from air releases that increased by 18%, one pound.

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.

“We encourage people to use data from the Toxics Release Inventory in order to gain a better understanding of what is being released into their neighborhoods,” said Laura Yoshii, acting EPA administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “Industry and communities informed with accurate information can use TRI as an opportunity to reduce the amount of pollutants released into the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we enjoy.”

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. The lone facility reported nearly six pounds of air releases of polycyclic aromatic compounds.

Annual Toxics Release Inventory reporting began in 1987 after the enactment of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (1996). The inventory provides information to the public 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.

National TRI Findings:

* There was a 6% decrease in total reported releases into the environment nationwide from 2007 to 2008

* The number of facilities reporting chemical releases decreased 5% nationally

* Total PBT chemical releases decreased by 2% nation-wide

For more on the TRI program including additional city, county and facility information, please visit the EPA’s Web sites: http://www.epa.gov/tri, http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer and http://www.epa.gov/enviro.

State fact sheets are available at: http://www.epa.gov/region09/toxic/tri/ and http://www.epa.gov/triexplorer/statefactsheet.htm.

For more information on the PBT Chemicals Program, please visit the EPA’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/pbt
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