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U.S. EPA Issues Toxic Release Inventory Data for Hawaii

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

Latest report shows 3.2 million pounds of chemicals released into environment

(12/08/09) HONOLULU – Facilities operating in Hawaii increased toxic releases by five percent in 2008 compared to 2007, according to the latest data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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 the inventory as a starting point to find opportunities 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.
Here’s a look at toxic releases in Hawaii from 2006 – 2008, reported in pounds:

Here’s a look at toxic releases in Hawaii from 2006 – 2008, reported in pounds:

Year Air Water On-Site Land Underground Injection Off-Site
2006 2,254,027 358,266 174,678 4,743 230,678
2007 2,267,707 446,948 143,011 2,670 156,048
2008 2,281,298 549,838 86,394 3,471 245,556

Data from 2008 in Hawaii show:

* 39 facilities reported 3.2 million pounds of toxic chemical releases

* Total reported on- and off-site releases of toxic chemicals increased 5% due in part to an increase in reported water releases and off-site transfers

* The top five released chemicals are sulfuric acid, nitrate compounds, hydrochloric acid, barium compounds and propylene

* PBT releases have decreased by 40,000 pounds, a 47% change. The top three PBT releases include lead and lead compounds, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and mercury and mercury compounds

* Air releases increased by 14,000 pounds, a 1% change

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.

The top ten facilities in Hawaii for chemicals releases (reported in pounds) in 2008 are:

Facility Name City Total Releases
1 Hawaiian Electric Co Inc Kahe Generating Station Kapolei 820,736
2 US Navy Pearl Harbor Naval Complex Pearl Harbor 552,279
3 Hawaiian Electric Co Inc Waiau Generating Station Pearl City 310,763
4 AES Hawaii Inc Kapolei 240,777
5 Chevron Products Co-Hawaii Refinery Kapolei 230,534
6 Hawaii Electric Light Co Inc. Hill Generating Station Hilo 210,131
7 Maui Electric Co LTD Kahului Generating Station Kahului 210,120
8 Hawaii Electric Light Co Inc Puna Generating Station Keaau 103,005
9 Maui Electric Co Ltd Maalaea Generating Station Kihei 98,349
10 Tesoro Hawaii Refinery Kapolei 89,030

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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