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EPA Issues Southeastern Toxics Release Inventory Data

Release Date: 12/16/2010
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov


Report shows a 68 million pound decrease since 2008

(ATLANTA – December 16, 2010) According to the 2009 national analysis of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI), facilities in the southeast released approximately 657 million pounds of toxic chemicals, a 9.4 percent decrease from 2008. The TRI program publishes information on toxic chemical disposals and releases into the air, land and water, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities in neighborhoods across the country.

In the southeast, approximately 4,200 facilities reported data. Together they generated 3.8 billion pounds of toxic chemicals in production-related wastes. Of this total, approximately 3.1 billion pounds were recycled, burned for energy recovery, or treated; and 657.3 million pounds were disposed or otherwise released to the environment. The analysis also shows over a 7 percent decrease in the number of facilities reporting to TRI from the previous year, continuing a trend from the past few years. Some of this decline may be attributed to the economic downturn; however, EPA plans to investigate why some facilities reported in 2008 but not 2009.

EPA added 16 chemicals to the TRI list of reportable chemicals in November 2010. These chemicals are reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens, and represent the largest chemical expansion of the program in a decade. Data on the new TRI chemicals will be reported by facilities on July 1, 2012.

Facilities must report their chemical disposals and releases by July 1 of each year for the preceding calendar year. This year, EPA made the 2009 preliminary TRI dataset available in July, the same month as the data were collected. This is the earliest release of TRI data to the public ever.

TRI was established in 1986 by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and later modified by the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. Together, these laws require facilities in certain industries to report annually on releases, disposal and other waste management activities related to these chemicals. TRI data are submitted annually to EPA and states by multiple industry sectors including manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste facilities.

Detailed charts for the southeast including trends analysis (Top 10 Sectors, Top 10 Chemicals, Top 10 Counties and Top 10 Facilities) are available at http://www.epa.gov/region4/air/airtoxic/RSEI_Charts.htm

More information on the 2009 TRI analysis: http://www.epa.gov/tri