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EPA releases 2003 nationwide Toxics Release Inventory numbers: CNMI ranks 56th in the nation in total releases

Release Date: 5/11/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU – Three facilities in the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands reported a total of 6,027 pounds of toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in the year 2003, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“TRI continues to be a useful tool for states, counties and communities to know what types and amounts of chemicals are present in their neighborhoods,” said Wayne Nastri, EPA(s administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “In CNMI, the releases to the air increased at one of the facilities reporting release data.”

The CNMI’s total releases increased 8 percent in 2003 when compared to 2002 due to an increase of benzene releases to the air from the Saipan Terminal of Mobil Oil Mariana Islands Inc.

This information is part of the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory, an annual measure of toxic chemical releases, transfers and waste generated by facilities in the United States. The TRI data reflect numbers submitted to the EPA by business and industry, and does not mean that facilities with elevated levels are out of compliance with state, local or federal environmental regulations.

Nationwide, disposal and other releases of TRI chemicals totaled almost 4.44 billion pounds from over 23,000 U.S. facilities submitting over 91,000 chemical forms. From reporting year 2002 to 2003, there was a 6 percent decrease in total disposal or other releases into the environment. This was largely attributable to the metal mining sector (18 percent).

Since 1987, manufacturing facilities have reported their releases of 650 toxic chemicals and chemical categories under this program. Federal facilities began reporting in 1994. In 1998, seven additional industry sectors began reporting their toxic chemical releases for the first time including: metal and coal mining, electricity generation, commercial hazardous waste treatment, solvent recovery, petroleum bulk terminals, and wholesale chemical distributors.

The reporting of data to the Toxics Release Inventory is required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, passed in 1986. This program has been credited with arming communities with valuable knowledge and encouraging facilities to reduce their releases of toxic chemicals to the environment through source reduction, or pollution prevention measures.

Fact sheets and additional information on the 2003 TRI data are available at:

The following Web sites also provide useful information on TRI which will be available at: and

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