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Release Date: 05/13/1999
Contact Information: Amy Miller, EPA Press Office (617-918-1042) Dwight Peavey, EPA TRI Coordinator (617-918-1829) Jim Phillips, EPA TRI Data Analyst (617-918-1832)

BOSTON - Manufacturers in Connecticut reduced the amount of toxic pollutants released into the air, land and water by 17 percent between 1995 and 1997, according to data issued today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The reduction in the amount of pollution going into Connecticut's environment far outpaces the 1 percent reduction in environmental releases recorded nationally during the same two years, according to EPA's New England Office. From 1995 to 1997, the most recent year for which numbers are available, New England as a whole reported a 20 percent reduction in environmental releases.

"The continued reductions in pollution emissions once again prove that most Connecticut businesses have a strong environmental ethic," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Administrator. "We are showing the nation that the Connecticut and New England economies can grow at the same time pollution is being reduced. Companies across the region are proving that smart environmental practices equal smart business practices."

"Connecticut businesses have made a clear commitment to reducing toxic releases to the environment and as a result, the state remains a leader nationally," said DEP Commission Arthur J. Rocque Jr. "Toxic releases have been reduced by nearly 90 percent over the past decade in the state, an indication that innovative approaches such as pollution prevention and compliance assurance together with stricter permit requirements have been effective in improving overall environmental quality statewide."

Beginning in 1995, manufacturers were required to send pollutant information to EPA's Toxics Release Inventory for 650 toxic chemicals and chemical categories of toxics that were both released on the company's property and transported to disposal facilities off site. A review of the most recent data shows that Connecticut industries have reduced their on- and off-site pollution from 11,592,757 pounds in 1995 to just 9,669,680 pounds in 1997, the last year for which data is available.

Since 1988, companies have been required to report the release of 320 chemicals at the site of the company. Based on these reporting requirements, Connecticut manufacturers reduced the amount of toxics released into the air, water and land by 88.2 percent between 1988 and 1997, which compares to a 49.2 percent reduction nationally.

The following is a list of Connecticut's five largest on-site emitters of toxic chemicals. It is important to note that these chemical emissions are reported to EPA under the TRI and do not reflect illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment.

Pfizer Inc. Groton 559,360
Cytec IndustriesWallingford510,620
Dow North-AmericaGales Ferry480,512
Spongex InternationalShelton440,246
Olin Corp.Waterbury188,037

The 1997 TRI data also shows that of Connecticut's 210.5 million pounds of toxic wastes, 143 million pounds (68 percent) were recycled, 6.2 million pounds (3 percent) were used for energy recovery, 50.3 million pounds (23 percent) were treated before disposal and 11 million pounds (5 percent) were released at on- or off-site locations.

"The size and scope of our assistance and pollution prevention programs are paying off," DeVillars said. "We are seeing the results in cleaner industries and a healthier environment."

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. The TRI provides the amount, location and type of release to the environment -- whether a pollutant is emitted into the air, discharged into the water, or released onto the land. It also includes information on waste shipped off-site for disposal or further treatment. The TRI has been credited with arming communities with valuable knowledge and encouraging facilities to reduce their releases of toxic chemicals into the environment through source reduction, or pollution prevention, measures.

TRI information is easily accessible to the news media and to the public. Information is available on-line, HTTP://WWW.EPA.GOV/OPPTINTR/TRI, in hard copy and in a variety of computer formats, including CD-ROM. For copies or more information, the public is encouraged to call EPA's toll-free Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Information Hotline at 1(800) 424-9346.