U.S. EPA Releases 2010 Toxics Release Inventory Analysis

Jan 25th, 2012 | By | Category: Environmental Management





From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA released its annual national analysis of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2010 on January 5, 2012. The TRI program publishes information on toxic chemical disposals and other releases into the air, land, and water, as well as information on waste management and pollution prevention activities in neighborhoods across the country. Total releases including disposals for the latest reporting year, 2010, are higher than the previous two years but lower than 2007 and prior year totals.


The 2010 TRI data show that 3.93 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were released into the environment in United States, a 16 percent increase from 2009. The increase is mainly due to changes in the metal mining sector, which typically involves large facilities handling large volumes of material. In this sector, even a small change in the chemical composition of the ore being mined ― which EPA understands is one of the reasons for the increase in total reported releases ― may lead to big changes in the amount of toxic chemicals reported nationally. Several other sectors including the chemical and primary metals industries also reported increases in toxic releases in 2010.

Total air releases decreased 6 percent since 2009, continuing a trend seen over the past several years. Releases into surface water increased 9 percent and releases into land increased 28 percent since 2009, again due primarily to the metal mining sector.


EPA has improved this year’s TRI national analysis report by adding new information on facility efforts to reduce pollution and by considering whether economic factors could have affected the TRI data. With this report and EPA’s Web-based TRI tools, citizens can access information about the toxic chemical releases into the air, water, and land that occur locally. Finally, EPA’s first mobile application for accessing TRI data, myRTK, is now available in Spanish, as are expanded Spanish translations of national analysis documents and Web pages.


About TRI

TRI data is submitted annually to EPA and states by multiple industry sectors including manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste facilities. Facilities must report their toxic chemical releases to EPA under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) by July 1st of each year. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also requires information on waste management activities related to TRI chemicals.


More Information

More on the 2010 TRI analysis and TRI Web-based tools: http://www.epa.gov/tri

More on myRTK: http://www.epa.gov/tri/myrtk/


Photograph: Red Barn Door by Dani Simmonds Everett, Washington, U.S.A.


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