Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program
Urban Communities: Washington DC Metropolitan Area
TRI facilities in Washington DC Metropolitan Area
Quick Facts for 2011
The Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV metropolitan statistical area, also known as the Washington DC Metropolitan Area, covers 5,564 square miles spread over five counties in Maryland, 10 counties in northern Virginia, and one county in eastern West Virginia. This metropolitan area has a population of 6.1 million, making it the seventh largest in the country. Other principal cities in the metropolitan area include Reston, VA; Bethesda, MD; Gaithersburg, MD; Rockville, MD; and Frederick, MD.
Much of the Washington metropolitan area lies in the Potomac River Basin. The Potomac River and numerous tributaries, including the Anacostia River and Rock Creek, serve as important estuaries as they flow through the area and into the Chesapeake Bay, the largest of 130 estuaries in the United States.
As the Federal Government provides the underlying basis of the economy in the region, there are numerous federal facilities and military installations in and around the Washington metropolitan area, including hospitals, research and development facilities, and defense sites. The area has a large publishing and printing industry and a significant biotechnology sector; overall it does not have a large manufacturing sector.
Electric utilities had the largest total disposal or other releases and reported 78% of the total on-site in the Washington metropolitan area for 2011. They accounted for 91% of total air releases in the area, of which 81% was hydrochloric acid. Federal facilities (shown in the no TRI NAICS code category) reported 66% of surface water discharges, mainly nitrate compounds, and more than 99% of on-site land disposal or other releases, mainly lead and copper and their compounds.
Total on-site disposal or other releases decreased by 13% from 2010 to 2011 for an overall decrease of 93% from 2003 to 2011. Air releases decreased 94% from 2003 to 2011, although they showed a 1% increase from 2010 to 2011. A significant reduction from 2003 to 2011 was reported by three coal-fired electric power plants located in Maryland. They are owned by one company and each installed pollution control equipment during the period 2009-2010. On-site land disposal or other releases decreased by 27% from 2010 to 2011 for an overall decrease of 50% from 2003 to 2011. Surface water discharges decreased by 65% from 2010 to 2011, mainly due to Federal Facilities.
Top Five Chemicals by Environmental Medium
Washington DC Metropolitan Area, 2011
These charts represent the top five TRI chemicals in pounds released for this urban community, and they include neither all chemicals of concern nor the priority or importance of those chemicals within the urban community.