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U.S. EPA Issues 2008 CNMI Toxic Release Data

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

Latest report shows territory releases among lowest in the nation

(12/08/09) HONOLULU – Four facilities in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) reported a total of 5,570 pounds of toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in 2008, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Overall at 55, CNMI ranks among the lowest of 56 states and territories in total chemical releases in the nation.

In relation to data from the previous year, total releases have decreased about 14% or 879 pounds.

“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.”

CNMI FACILITIES REPORTING 2008 RELEASE INFORMATION TO TRI:
Hawaiian Rock Products Saipan
Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc., Saipan Aviation Terminal
Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc., Saipan Terminal
Shell Marianas

Data for 2008 in CNMI show:
* Air releases increased 18%, 855 pounds

* Total on-site land releases decreased by 93%, 478 pounds

* Island facilities did not report any releases to the water or through underground injection

* Off-site releases decreased by 100% from 1,256 pounds, as no such releases were reported by CNMI facilities in 2008.
The data come 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 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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