Washington, D.C. - EPA's Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) data is available this year earlier than ever before for local communities and national analysis. Facility-specific data was released last September and the full national data released today.
'EPA is getting quality data out to the public faster through electronic reporting which is good for the environment, good for states and good for our partners in industry,' said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Environmental Information Molly O'Neill.
This year's data shows that progress is being made in reducing releases of several chemicals of special concern. For example, between 2004 and 2005 dioxin releases decreased by 23 percent and mercury releases fell by nine percent. In addition, several individual industries have made significant progress in reducing releases. Petroleum refining releases dropped 10 percent transportation equipment registered a six percent decrease and chemical manufacturing cut releases by four percent.
Review of the last five years of data shows chemical releases reported to TRI have decreased by 22 percent nationally. The 2005 data shows a three percent increase overall in total disposal and other releases. Annual changes are not unusual. A number of possible reasons for the increase include: production increases, fluctuations in the content of raw materials used in particular industries or changes in releases at large facilities that impacts the national data.
Some 95 percent of the 23,000 facilities used electronic reporting which was instrumental in making the information available to the public quicker and more efficiently than in previous years.
TRI tracks the chemicals and industrial sectors specified by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 and its amendments. The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990 also mandates that TRI reports must include data on toxic chemicals treated on-site, recycled, and burned for energy recovery. 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 for 2005: http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri05/index.htm
More information about TRI: http://www.epa.gov/tri/