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News Releases from Region 09

EPA Issues 2014 Toxic Release Inventory data for Arizona

Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report that showed that the majority of toxic chemicals managed at industrial facilities in the U.S. increased as a result of production, while releases into the environment decreased. The trend showing a decrease in releases to the environment is attributed to an increase in recycling rates.

A total of 271 Arizona facilities reported 129.8 million pounds of production-related toxic chemicals, 34.6 million pounds recycled and 76.8 million pounds released on-site. Arizona's total releases (both on-site and off-site) was 78.5 million pounds, an increase of 10 percent when compared to the 70.1 million pounds reported in 2013.

"People have a right to know what chemicals are being produced in their communities, and how to find out by accessing the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory on the web," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "The latest data shows that industry is recycling more and more each year, which is good for the economy and for the environment."

The top 5 producers in Arizona are:

Asarco Hayden Smelter, a copper mine and smelter in Hayden
Freeport-McMoran, a mine in Miami
Freeport-McMoran, a mine in Morenci
Springerville Generating Station, an electric utility Springerville
Asarco Mission Complex, a mine in Sahuarita

The top 5 recyclers in Arizona are:

Apache Nitrogen, an ammonium nitrate products producer in Saint David
Asarco Hayden Smelter, a copper mine and smelter in Hayden
CMC Rebar, a metal fabricator in Mesa
Safety Kleen, a waste treatment facility in Chandler
Rogers Corp Advanced Circuits, a circuits manufacturer in Chandler

Nationally in 2014, approximately 84 percent of the 25 billion pounds of toxic chemicals were managed through the use of preferred practices such as recycling, energy recovery, and treatment. Recycling accounted for approximately 48 percent of that figure.

In the TRI, a "release" generally refers to a chemical that is emitted to the air, water, or placed in some type of land disposal unit. Most of these releases are subject to a variety of federal and state requirements designed to protect human health and the environment. Typically, facilities that report to the TRI, considered producers, are larger industrial operators involved in manufacturing, metal mining, electric power generation, chemical manufacturing and hazardous waste treatment.

TRI data is submitted annually to EPA, states, and tribes by facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, metal mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste. Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), by July 1 of each year facilities must report their toxic chemical releases for the prior year. The Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 also requires facilities to submit information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities related to TRI chemicals.

The current TRI toxic chemical list contains 594 individually-listed chemicals in 31 chemical categories. In general, chemicals covered by the TRI Program are those that cause one or more of the following: cancer or other chronic human health effects, significant adverse acute human health or environmental effects.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was enacted to encourage and support emergency planning efforts at the state and local level, and to provide the public with information concerning the amounts, location and potential effects of chemical hazards present in their community. To accomplish this, EPCRA created TRI, a publicly available EPA database that contains information on toxic chemical releases and other waste management activities reported annually by certain industries and federal facilities.

For more information about the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and to get TRI factsheets for your community, please visit: http://www2.epa.gov/epcra

For more Arizona information, including multi-year trends, please visit: http://iaspub.epa.gov/triexplorer/tri_factsheet.factsheet_forstate?pstate=AZ&pyear=2014&pParent=TRI&pDataSet=TRIQ1

To learn more about how different facilities have managed and reduced their toxic chemical wastes and how they compare to similar facilities, use the TRI Pollution Prevention (P2) tool: http://www3.epa.gov/enviro/facts/tri/p2.html