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New Toxic Release Data for New Hampshire Shows Drop in Pollution Discharges; EPA Data Also Includes List of Top 10 Emitters in NH

Release Date: 06/30/2003
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1014

BOSTON – Data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency show an 91 percent decline since 1988 – and a 50 percent drop since 2000 – in toxic releases to the environment by facilities in New Hampshire.

The Toxic Release Inventory data, made available each year to the public and on the world wide web, covers pollution releases to air, water and land by power plants, manufacturers and other facilities. In New Hampshire, 4.8 million pounds of chemicals were released by 156 facilities in 2001, the most recent year for which data is available.

The 2001 data is the second year that reporting was required for a group of persistent pollutants known as bioaccumulative toxins (PBTs). These compounds, including mercury, dioxins, PCBs and lead, do not break down in the environment and build up in organisms, including fish, wildlife and humans. These compounds can have adverse effects on women of child bearing age, pregnant women, fetuses and babies. In 2001, facilities in New Hampshire released 102 pounds of mercury, and 50,692 pounds of lead and lead-containing compounds.

"Knowledge about what's being discharged into the environment is hugely important, both for EPA and for the public," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "This TRI data lets us see the volume and kinds of pollution being discharged into the environment and where those discharges are coming from. This information is a cornerstone for environmental protection at the federal, state and local level. I'm especially pleased to see impressive increases in new facilities reporting on PBT emissions. This reporting is very important as we focus on eliminating threats from mercury, lead and other toxins that, even in very small amounts, can have adverse effects on developing children."

"This latest report confirms the continued commitment of New Hampshire businesses to minimize their environmental footprint," stated Michael Nolin, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. "New Hampshire's on-going progress in toxics use reduction demonstrates that government and industry can work together to achieve a healthier environment, even during this difficult economic period."

Nationwide, in 2001 facilities released 6.16 billion pounds of toxins to the air, the water, or to land both on- and off-site releases. The list of chemicals emitted and facilities required to report has expanded several times since the inventory was begun for 1988 releases, but comparing releases in 2001 of only those chemicals and industry sectors reported in 1988 show an 54.5% drop nationwide. Nationally, PBT chemicals accounted for 454.4 million pounds of total on- and off-site releases in 2001.

Today's data includes information on releases and other wastes from 667 toxic chemicals and chemical categories that companies are required to report under EPA's TRI Program. The data includes toxics released at the company's facility and those transported to disposal facilities off site. All manufacturing companies, as well as coal and oil fired power plants, that produce or use above the threshold limit for any chemical are required to participate. Thresholds range from thousands of pounds to 100 or ten pounds for PBTs, down to 0.1 grams for dioxin-like compounds.

The following is a list of New Hampshire's 10 largest on- and off-site emitters of the toxic chemicals. No attempt has been made to adjust the totals to reflect the relative seriousness of the chemicals emitted. It is important to note that these chemical emissions are reported to EPA under the TRI and do not reflect illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment.

Facility
Pounds released
Merrimack Station, Bow
2,841,988
Schiller Station, Portsmouth
468,592
Venture Holdings Corp. (Dba Bailey Mfg.), Seabrook
418,793
Groveton Paper Board Inc., Groveton
152,058
Kalwall Corp. Panels & Accessories Div., Manchester
80,197
Kalwall Corp. Flat Sheet Div., Bow
63,403
Newington Station, Newington
51,047
Nashua Corp., Merrimack
39,221
Johnson & Johnston Assoc. Inc., Hampstead
33,782
Sprague Avery Lane, Newington
25,232

The reporting of data to the Toxics Release Inventory is required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, passed in 1986. The TRI provides the amount, location and type of release to the environment -- whether a pollutant is emitted into the air, discharged into the water, or released onto the land. It also includes information on waste shipped off-site for disposal or further treatment. The TRI has been credited with arming communities with valuable knowledge and encouraging facilities to reduce their releases of toxic chemicals into the environment through source reduction, or pollution prevention, measures.

TRI information is easily accessible to the news media and to the public. Information is available on-line,
http://www.epa.gov/tri, in hard copy and in a variety of computer formats, including CD-ROM. For copies or more information, the public is encouraged to call EPA's toll-free Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Hotline at 1(800) 424-9346.