Information provided for informational purposes only

Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.

33/50 Program: The Final Record

Releases and Transfers by Chemical

On-site releases and transfers off-site to treatment and disposal that facilities reported to TRI for the 17 targeted chemicals for 1988, 1990, 1995, and 1996 appear in Table 4. For 1988 to 1995, the largest percentage reduction-88%-was reported for 1,1,1-trichloroethane, an ozone-depleting chemical discussed in more detail below. The largest absolute reduction-199 million pounds-was reported for toluene. Toluene, the chemical with the largest releases and transfers in 1988 (367 million pounds), remained the top 33/50 chemical in 1995 (169 million pounds) and 1996 (150 million pounds).

As illustrated in Figure 5, most of the chemicals showed consistent downward trends. However, reductions occurred at a different pace among the various chemicals. Figure 6 illustrates percentage changes for the 33/50 chemicals. Figure 6 also makes clear the more consistent reductions among organic chemicals on the 33/50 Program list, with the notable exception of carbon tetrachloride, and the more erratic results among inorganic substances on the list.

Organics versus Inorganics

Organic chemicals on the 33/50 Program's target list constituted the majority of the releases and transfers reported, as shown in Figure 7. Facilities also reported larger reductions by far for the organic chemicals than for inorganics, as shown in Figure 8. Releases and transfers of organic chemicals declined throughout 1988-1996, including a reduction of nearly 50% during 1990-1995. For the inorganic compounds, however, releases and transfers decreased 30% during 1990-1995 and increased before and after that time period. Because organic chemicals accounted for such a large proportion of the total reporting of 33/50 chemicals, their large percentage reductions determined the overall percentage reduction for the 33/50 chemicals.

Ozone Depleters

Among the organic substances targeted by the 33/50 Program were two ozone-depleting chemicals, carbon tetrachloride and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA). The Montreal Protocol, opened for international signature in 1987 and amended in 1990 and 1992, called for phasing out the production and use of designated ozone-depleting chemicals by January 1, 1996. Implementing this agreement, the United States banned production of carbon tetrachloride and TCA by that deadline.

Carbon tetrachloride accounted for a relatively small portion of total releases and transfers of 33/50 chemicals, and its releases and transfers also declined substantially before the 33/50 Program began (from 5.3 million pounds in 1988 to 2.9 million pounds in 1990, a 49% decrease). With 201 million pounds of releases and transfers in 1988, however, the chemical 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) constituted a much larger portion of the 33/50 Program's baseline. Further, releases and transfers of TCA) decreased only 9% from 1988 to 1990. (See Table 4 and Figure 6.)

From 201 million pounds in 1988, releases and transfers of TCA dropped to less than 25 million pounds in 1995 and under 10 million pounds in 1996. TCA accounted for one fifth of the overall reduction in 33/50 chemicals for 1988-1996. As noted, carbon tetrachloride was the one 33/50 organic chemical whose releases and transfers increased in the latest year (from a little over 1 million pounds in 1995 to 2 million pounds in 1996).

As shown in Figure 9, the two ozone-depleters posted the greatest percentage reductions in releases and transfers of 33/50 Program chemicals from 1990 to 1996. While other 33/50 Program chemicals decreased 40% from 1990 to 1995 and 9% in 1996, releases and transfers of carbon tetrachloride and TCA decreased 86% during the 33/50 Program years and 54% in the year after. Even though the ozone depleters accounted for such large reductions, the other 33/50 chemicals did meet the 50% reduction goal based on the 1988 baseline, as shown in Figure 10.

Return to:
Introduction and Key Findings
Program Goals Met and Exceeded
33/50 Program Releases and Transfers: Overview
Company Participation
Continue to:
Releases and Transfers by Type
Releases and Transfers by State
33/50 Program Chemicals in Waste
Production-related Waste by Chemical
Production-related Waste by Management Method
Source Reduction Activity

33fin05.htm, March 1999