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Toxic Releases to Air, Water and Land in New Jersey Decreasing

Release Date: 06/30/2003
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(#03078) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued its annual report detailing the most recent data available on the amount of toxic chemicals released into the environment of New Jersey by industrial and other facilities. The report shows that levels of toxics released in New Jersey generally decreased between 2000 and 2001. Since 1988, EPA has made the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) available to the public every year to help Americans know more about the chemicals present in their local environment and to track environmental trends over time. The data in today’s report is for releases that took place in 2001. New this year is information on estimated lead emissions to the environment. In addition, the thresholds for reporting a number of toxic chemicals were reduced.

“Informing the public with basic information about toxic chemicals in their communities is among the most effective, common-sense steps to protect the health of families and children from the threats posed by pollution,” EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny said. “That is why EPA has consistently expanded the type and amount of information available to the public under the Right-to-Know program,” she pointed out.

Despite the fact that facilities are now responsible for reporting more substances such as lead, the overall reported toxic releases in New Jersey of the more than 600 chemicals and chemical categories currently tracked from a number of industries by TRI were down from approximately 22.9 million pounds in 2000 to 17.9 million pounds in 2001.

The public can access specific on-line TRI information related to their community by visiting EPA’s Web site at: