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 Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.

Box 2. Measure of Progress: Releases and Transfers

The types of on-site environmental releases reported to TRI have not changed from the first reporting year-air emissions, surface water discharges, underground injection, and on-site releases to land. The types of off-site transfers that must be reported, however, have expanded. In the early years of TRI, facilities reported off-site transfers to treatment (by private facilities or by publicly owned treatment works, POTWs) and to disposal. Although TRI later began collecting data on transfers off-site to recycling and to energy recovery, these were not covered by the 33/50 Program. The 33/50 Program therefore measured its progress in reducing all release types plus transfers to treatment, POTWs, and disposal, based on the original TRI reporting categories.

With publication of the 1996 TRI data, EPA revised its summary presentations to reflect more closely the character of certain off-site transfer types, specifically transfers to disposal. Because off-site disposal also results in environmental release of the chemical, EPA began categorizing these transfers as an off-site release. Data tables in this report adhere to this scheme, presenting total on- and off-site releases (including transfers to disposal as off-site releases) plus off-site transfers to treatment (including POTWs). "Releases and transfers" in this report refers to these specific release and transfer categories.

Tables and figures in this report emphasize three time periods in the 33/50 Program's history: 1988-1990 captures information before the program began, 1990-1995 measures progress during the program's tenure, 1995-1996 tracks developments in the first year after the program ended. Some tables and figures compare amounts reported for 33/50 chemicals to reporting for all other TRI chemicals. To control for changes in the TRI chemical list over time, year-to-year comparisons of this type are based on a consistent list of chemicals reported in all years 1988 to 1996. Because TRI facilities can correct or revise their reports at any time for any year, summary data measuring the achievements of the 33/50 Program change somewhat from year to year. Data in this report are from the 1996 TRI database, as summarized in 1996 Toxics Release Inventory: Public Data Release, EPA 745-R-98-005, May 1998.


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