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Chemical Releases to Air and Water Drop Drastically in New York State from 1998 to 2004

Release Date: 04/12/2006
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(New York, NY) The quantity of toxic chemicals released into the air and water by industry in New York State fell by more than 35%, from 50 million pounds in 1998 to a total of 31 million pounds in 2004, according to data in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) issued today. The amount of total releases, including land disposal, dropped by 8.9% in the state from 2003 to 2004. TRI provides Americans with vital information about chemicals released into their communities, and is an important instrument for industries to gauge their progress in reducing pollution. On a national level, over 23,000 facilities reported on approximately 650 chemicals for calendar year 2004.

“This inventory is one of the most effective tools for reducing pollution because it provides invaluable information to both the public and industry,” said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. “While the report is principally designed to inform the public, facilities also use it to identify promising areas for preventing pollution.”

Thanks to improvements in EPA’s system, the vast majority of facilities now report data electronically and detailed information about specific facilities is more readily accessible to the public.

TRI tracks the chemicals released by facilities specified by the Emergency Community Right to Know Act of 1986 and its amendments. The Pollution Prevention Act (PPA) of 1990 also mandates that TRI data include information on toxic chemicals treated on-site, recycled, and burned for energy recovery. The TRI is the most comprehensive source of information about chemicals released into the environment.

The TRI data and background information are available to the public at Communities can also quickly and easily identify local facilities and chemical releases by using the TRI explorer mapping tool, available at