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Welcome to the TRI Explorer online tutorial. This tutorial is designed to teach you how to use the TRI Explorer to answer environmental questions. You can use the TRI Explorer to access data reported to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and identify facilities and chemical disposal or other release patterns that warrant further study and analysis. Combined with hazard and exposure information, the TRI Explorer can be a valuable tool for risk identification. The online tutorial is intended for all users of the TRI Explorer including environmental groups, researchers, concerned citizens, members of industry, and government officials.
This tutorial is divided into two parts:
This transcript covers the basics of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and the TRI Explorer. It will introduce you to the information that is available to you from TRI, as well as how to access this information using the TRI Explorer.Back to Top
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) was created under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986. EPCRA Section 313 requires EPA and the States to annually collect data on releases and transfers of certain toxic chemicals from industrial facilities and to make the data available to the public.
In 1990 Congress passed the Pollution Prevention Act, which required that additional data on waste management and source reduction activities be reported under TRI.
Currently, industrial facilities from manufacturing and certain other sectors must report to TRI on over 600 chemicals and chemical compounds if the given facility manufactures, processes, or otherwise uses a listed chemical in quantities greater than the reporting threshold quantity and has ten or more full-time equivalent employees.
TRI data are reported annually by facilities for each individually listed chemical. Information reported by facilities includes:
The TRI Explorer is a web based tool that provides the public access to TRI reported data. It can be used to find patterns in chemical disposal and other releases, and can be combined with hazard or exposure information to identify risks associated with toxic chemicals.
The TRI Explorer is located at www.epa.gov/triexplorer.Back to Top
The TRI Explorer is located within EPA’s main web site: www.epa.gov/triexplorer.
The top section of the TRI Explorer interface page provides tools to help you to navigate and explore epa.gov. A You are here bar indicates your location within the structure of epa.gov. A Search box next to it can be used to search either all of ww.epa.gov or the TRI Explorer web site. To the left of the Search bar, there are links to recent additions to and contact information for the TRI Explorer. In the top right corner of this page, a Bookmarks link enables you to access the TRI Explorer from a social bookmark site.
Just below the top section you will find information on new features in the TRI Explorer as well as links to Hints for First-time users, Assumptions used in the analysis, and help on allowing pop-up windows.
A bit further down the page are TRI Explorer’s navigational tabs:
By default, the TRI Explorer starts on the Release Reports tab.Back to Top
Choosing the About TRI Explorer tab will redirect you to the TRI Explorer introduction page. This page answers the questions "What is the TRI Explorer?" and "What are the limitations of TRI Data?" It also provides links to more information including contacts, general information about the TRI program, the TRI regulations, policy and statute page, and metadata for each section of the TRI Form R.
The State Fact Sheet tab allows you access to fact sheets that summarize basic TRI reported information for a state in a year since 2002.
The remaining three tabs — Release Reports, Waste Transfer Reports, and Waste Quantity Reports — enable you to generate more detailed reports from TRI data using customizable queries.Back to Top
The Release Reports tab is used to generate reports that present totals for toxic chemical disposal and other releases reported to TRI.
Disposal and other releases include:
Disposal and other releases are classified as either on-site or off-site. On-site disposal and other releases occur at the facility which reported the releases. Off-site disposal and other releases occur at another location.
The Release Reports tab lets you choose between six report types and one map type, filter what records are included in the report, and choose what columns of information are displayed.Back to Top
At the left of the Release Reports tab, a list of report and map types is provided. These include:
By default, the TRI Explorer is set to generate Chemical Reports. You can select a different report type by clicking its name in the list of report and map types.Back to Top
In the middle column of the Releases Reports tab, you will find filtering variables. Different filtering variables are available for each report type. Selecting a filtering variable will limit the report to just those records that correspond to your selection.
For Facility reports, you can filter on five variables:
In the right column of the Release Reports tab are the report columns that can be included in a report. Available columns differ by report type. Columns totaling releases can be included in all release report types. Other columns may also be available — for example, TRIF ID, Number of Form Rs, Number of Form As, and Longitude/Latitude can be included for Facility Reports.
To generate a report in this tab, you must work from left to right. First, select the report type. Then, select filtering variables. Last, select the columns to include.Back to Top
Let’s try creating a sample report: an industry report for facilities in Louisiana that reported ammonia. This report will let you compare disposal and other releases of ammonia reported by facilities in Louisiana across industries.
To create this report:
The Waste Transfer Reports tab is very similar to the Release Reports tab. You can use it to generate the same six report types and one map type with the same filters available in the Releases Reports tab.
The main difference between the Waste Transfer Reports and Release Reports tabs is the information presented. Reports generated using the Waste Transfer Reports tab include all reported transfers of toxic chemicals to off-site locations and exclude on-site releases and other disposals. Transfers presented include:
The approach used to generate reports using the Waste Transfer Reports tab is the same as for the Release Reports tab. To generate a report you work left to right to designate information to include in the report: first, select a report or map type; next, select any filters; and then select the columns to include in a report. Then you would press the Generate Report button. A sortable and downloadable table will be presented to you, and you can use the Go To New Report button to return to the main TRI Explorer page.Back to Top
The Waste Quantity Reports tab also mirrors the Release Reports tab. It generates the same six report types and one map type with the same filters. But the Waste Quantity Reports tab is used to generate reports that present information reported to TRI that concerns source reduction and recycling activities.
Waste quantities are presented for:
Like the Waste Transfer Reports and Release Reports tabs, you can generate a report by working from the left to the right. To do so, you would select a report or map type, then select any filters; and then check off the columns to include in a report. After making your selections, you would press the Generate Report button. The report would be presented to you in a table you could sort and download.Back to Top
The State Fact Sheet tab is simpler than the Release Reports, Waste Transfer Reports, and Waste Quantity Reports tabs. It enables you to quickly generate a fact sheet which presents summary statistics that give a basic overview of TRI data reported by facilities in a state.
The information in a State Fact Sheet includes:
Fact sheets are available for every state and some territories in the United States for every year since 2002.Back to Top
To generate a State Fact Sheet, you must first select a year and then a state. You can use the drop down menu titled Year of Data to select a year and either the drop down list of states or the US map to select a state.
To generate a State Fact Sheet for Louisiana in 2005, you would: