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EPA issues National and Colorado toxic chemical release report for 2004

Release Date: 04/12/2006
Contact Information: Joyel Dhieux, 303-312-6447 Frank Montarelli, 303-312-6780

(Denver, Colo., April 12, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued its annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report, which provides details about the amount 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 2004.

"The Toxic Release Inventory is the most comprehensive source of information on the generation and management of toxic chemicals in the United States," said EPA regional administrator, Robert E. Roberts. "It is a resource that all of us can use to understand what is happening in our communities and a valuable tool that public officials, federal facilities and businesses can use to identify opportunities to prevent and reduce 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 on-line, 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, coal and metal mines, electric utilities, hazardous waste treatment sites, chemical distributors and Federal facilities. More than 23,600 facilities nationwide provide details on their releases of chemicals to the environment. Included in the report is a listing of individual states and the amounts of toxic chemicals released into the environment within their borders. Individual cities and zip codes can also be selected from the TRI database and have releases within their confines broken out by type of chemical and by quantity released. The database provides a comprehensive overview of toxic chemical releases in the U.S.

Nationally, total TRI releases fell to 4.2 billion pounds in 2004 from 4.4 billion pounds reported in 2003. This decrease in releases for 2004 continues a four-year trend since 2000 in declines in total national releases by all reporting industries. A 168 million pound decrease in on-site releases by metal mines in 2004 from 2003 was a significant contributory factor to the total decline in national releases.

Total U.S. TRI Releases in Billions of Pounds

Total Releases Total Releases All Industries
All Industries Except Metal Mining

2000 6.7 3.8
2001 5.6 3.3
2002 4.8 3.2
2003 4.4 3.2
2004 4.2 3.2

Colorado facilities reported 24,293,017 total pounds of toxic chemicals released to the environment in 2004, with 78%, or 18,882,885, released on site. On-site releases include chemicals released to the air, water and land at the facility. Chemicals that are transferred to other sites for disposal to the environment are not included in the on-site releases total. Total on-site releases by all reporting industries in Colorado increased in 2004 from 2003 due largely to increases reported by the metal mining industry. The total for all industries except for metal mining also showed a slight increase to 12.2 million pounds in 2004 from 12.1 million pounds in 2003. Colorado ranked 37th nationwide in total on-site releases. (Please see Colorado 2004 TRI information on the Internet at

On-Site Releases of Toxic Chemicals in Colorado in Millions of Pounds

All Industries Except
All Industries Metal Mining

2000 24.8 13.1
2001 35.6 13.6
2002 21.2 15.3
2003 18.0 12.1
2004 18.9 12.2

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 the quality of the air, water and land.

The 2004 TRI EPA national press release is 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 Easy to use TRI Internet Instructions are also available on the Region 8 web page at