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EPA issues National and Wyoming toxic chemical release report for 2001 The 2001 report contains new and expanded information on releases of lead to the environment

Release Date: 6/30/2003
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      Denver -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued its annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report, which provides details about the amounts of toxic chemicals released into the air, discharged into water, placed on the land or underground, and disposed of as waste by facilities across the country. The data made available today are for releases that took place during 2001.
“We encourage people to use data from the Toxics Release Inventory to gain a better understanding of the amounts and types of chemical releases in their states and neighborhoods,” said EPA Regional Administrator Robbie Roberts. “The TRI report also serves as a strong incentive for businesses to find innovative ways to prevent pollution.”

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986 required EPA to establish the Toxics Release Inventory. The TRI is an online, computerized database that contains toxic chemical release information covering more than 650 chemicals and chemical categories collected from reports submitted to EPA and the states by manufacturing companies, mines, electric utilities and Federal facilities. More than 24,500 facilities nationwide provide details on their environmental releases. Included in the report is a ranking of U.S. states based on the amounts of toxic chemicals released into the environment within their borders. The database provides a comprehensive overview of toxic chemical releases in the U.S.

The TRI lead rule expanded the information available to the public about releases of lead to the environment. Beginning in 2001, EPA lowered the reporting thresholds for lead and lead compounds from 25,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds to 100 pounds. The lower reporting thresholds apply to all lead and lead compounds except for lead when it is contained in stainless steel, brass or bronze alloys. The reporting threshold is the amount that a facility must exceed in a calendar year before it is required to report its releases under EPCRA. As a result of the lower reporting thresholds, thousands of additional facilities filed TRI reports for lead and lead compounds in 2001. The new lead rule significantly expanded the information available to the public about lead emissions in their communities. Lead and lead compounds are a particular concern because of their toxicity in children.

The 2001 report contains new and expanded information on releases of lead to the environment. As a result of the new lead rule, reported lead releases nationwide rose 14 percent in 2001 to 443.0 million pounds from 387.7 million pounds in 2000. The number of TRI lead reports filed increased 329 percent to 8,561 in 2001 from 1,997 in 2000. Reported lead releases in EPA Region 8, including Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, and North and South Dakota, rose 42 percent to 118.3 million pounds in 2001 from the 2000 level of 83.4 million pounds. The number of TRI lead reports filed by Region 8 facilities increased 370 percent to 268 from 57 in 2000.

Impact of New Lead Rule - Total U.S.
2000 2001

Reported Pounds of Lead Released (millions) 387.7 443.0

The Number of Lead Reports Filed 1,997 8,561

Nationally, total TRI releases fell to 6.1 billion pounds in 2001 from the 7.1 billion pounds reported in 2000, despite increased lead reporting. This significant decrease in releases for 2001 was primarily the result of large year to year variations in releases reported by the hard rock mining industry due to varying waste rock activities and also the result of several mining and related operations that were shut down during 2001. If lead releases are excluded for the 1998 - 2001 period, it is clear that releases of all other TRI chemicals declined in 2001 to the lowest level in the four-year period.
Total U.S. TRI Releases in Billions of Pounds
Including Lead Releases Excluding Lead Releases

1998 7.5 7.2
1999 7.7 7.3
2000 7.1 6.7
2001 6.1 5.7

Wyoming facilities reported 17,591,926 pounds of total TRI releases in 2001, of which 95 percent or 16,689,653 pounds were released on site. On-site releases in 2001 actually fell 16 percent from the 2000 amount of 19,896,998 pounds. On-site releases include chemicals released to air, water and land at the facility. Chemicals that are transferred to other sites for disposal are not included in the on-site release total. Wyoming ranked 41st nationwide in total on-site releases. Despite the new lead rule, reported releases of lead in Wyoming declined from 499,963 pounds in 2000 to 369,120 pounds in 2001. (Please see the Wyoming 2001 TRI State Fact Sheet for more information.)
On-Site Releases of Toxic Chemicals in Wyoming in Millions of Pounds
              1998 21.6
1999 18.8
2000 19.9
2001 16.7

Information contained in the TRI is used by Federal, state and local governments, citizens and businesses to track the generation, release, fate and transport of various chemicals over time. Using this information, governments, businesses and citizens can work together to promote pollution prevention and to protect the quality of their land, air and water. Additionally, this knowledge can be an important tool in the development of environmental policies and to evaluate the effectiveness of environmental programs.

The 2001 TRI EPA national press release and press package are available online at Additional background information on the TRI program and direct access to the TRI are available online at: or For data-use assistance, contact the EPA Region 8 TRI Coordinator Joyel Dhieux at 303-312-6447 or via e-mail at EPA also maintains a national technical hotline (800/424-9346) to help individuals and businesses understand TRI and the reporting requirements.