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Massachusetts Companies Reduce Their 1998 Toxic Releases by 80 Percent Since 1988; EPA Lists Ten Largest Pollution Emitters

Release Date: 05/11/2000
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042) Dwight Peavey, EPA TRI Coordinator (617-918-1829)

BOSTON - Manufacturers in Massachusetts reduced the amount of toxic pollutants released into the air, land and water by 80.2 percent between 1988 and 1998, according to data issued today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The reduction in the amount of pollution going into Massachusetts's environment outpaces the 45.3 percent reduction in environmental releases recorded nationally during the same decade, according to EPA's New England Office. From 1988 to 1998, the most recent year for which numbers are available, New England as a whole reported an 80 percent reduction in environmental releases.

"Massachusetts companies have significantly reduced the amount of toxic chemicals they're using and releasing over the last decade," said Mindy S. Lubber, Regional Administrator for EPA New England. "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."

The figures comparing1988 to1998 reflect the total releases of 320 chemicals that companies have been required to report to EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) since 1988. A review of the most recent data shows that Massachusetts industries have reported a reduction in their on- and off-site pollution from 32,303,089 pounds in 1988 to just 6,395,698 pounds in 1998, the last year for which data is available.

Beginning in 1995, manufacturers were required to send pollutant information to EPA's Toxics Release Inventory for 650 toxic chemicals and chemical categories of toxics that were both released at the company's facility and transported to disposal facilities off site. The following is a list of Massachusetts's 10 largest on- and off-site emitters of the 650 toxic chemicals. Seven sectors, including utilities, that were not required to report in past years are included on this year's top ten list. 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.

Canal Electric Co. Sandwich 2,048,646
USGEN New England Somerset 1,286,736
Clean Harbors of Braintree Braintree 1,244,116
USGEN New England Salem 1,093,060
Starmet Corp. Concord 750,260
Somerset Power Somerset 716,331
Mt. Tom Station Holyoke 579,665
Globe Manufacturing Co. Fall River 547,621
Crown Cork and Seal Co. Inc. Lawrence 392,023
Rexam GraphicsSouth Hadley 242,610

"Starting this year, we have a much fuller picture of the pollution being emitted by companies in our region," said Lubber. "By adding power plants to the reporting requirements, we can better understand the environmental costs of our energy demands and, more importantly, work aggressively work to reduce those impacts."

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,, 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 Information Hotline at 1(800) 424-9346.