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Maine Companies Reduce Their 1999 Toxic Releases by 22 Percent; EPA Lists Ten Largest Pollution Emitters

Release Date: 04/12/2001
Contact Information: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office (617-918-1014) Dwight Peavey, EPA TRI Coordinator (617-918-1829)

BOSTON – Power plants, manufacturers and other facilities in Maine reduced the amount of toxic pollutants released into the air, land and water by 22 percent between 1998 and 1999, according to the latest Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data issued today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since 1988, Maine has reduced pollutant releases by 69 percent which easily outpaces the 46 percent reduction achieved nationally over the same 11-year period.

The 1999 data shows a total of 7,848,668 pounds of chemicals released to the air, water, or landfills by facilities across the state. That's compared to 9,939,439 pounds in 1998. More than 5.4 million pounds of the state's releases in 1999 were air pollutant emissions.

"Maine companies have significantly reduced the amount of toxic chemicals they're using and releasing over the last decade, and the most recent data shows that trend continuing," said Ira W. Leighton, acting regional administrator at EPA's New England Office. "New England as a whole is leading the nation in slashing pollution and is setting the bar on how environmental improvements can occur when companies, the government and communities work together for a common goal."

Since 1988, New England facilities have cut their total pollutant releases by 83 percent.

"A 69 percent reduction in toxics to our environment is a terrific achievement," added Brooke Barnes, acting commissioner at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. "However, with nearly eight million pounds still being released, we have a long way to go. Maine's recently re-enacted toxics reduction law is going to keep us moving in the right direction."

Today's data includes information on releases and other wastes from 644 toxic chemicals and chemical categories of toxics that companies are required to report under EPA's TRI Program. The data includes toxics that were 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, are required to participate.

The following is a list of Maine'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.

COMPANY NAME
ADDRESS
TOTAL # POUNDS
S.D. Warren Co. (Sappi Fine Paper/North America)
Skowhegan
1,164,919
International Paper
Jay
949,160
Fort James Operating Co.
Old Town
798,952
Georgia-Pacific Corp.
Pulp & Bleached Board Div.
Baileyville
795,675
Champion Intl. Corp.
Bucksport
699,094
S. D. Warren Co.
Westbrook
.500,698
Lincoln Pulp & Paper Co. Inc.
Lincoln
348,552
Great Northern Paper Inc.
Millinocket
339,760
Great Northern Paper Inc.
East Millinocket
319,800
Spinnaker Coating
Westbrook
288,090

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, 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.