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Latest Toxic Release Inventory Shows Small Decrease in Chemicals Released into Environment

Release Date: 02/21/2008
Contact Information: Contact: Donna Heron (215-814-5113) /

PHILADELPHIA (February 21, 2008 ) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released today the 2006 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) which provides information on toxic chemicals used and released by utilities, refineries, chemical manufacturers, paper companies, and many other facilities across the nation. The TRI is compiled from data submitted to EPA and the states by industry.

“This valuable information provides community residents with a snapshot of facilities in their neighborhoods,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “It has also been credited with encouraging facilities to reduce their releases of toxic chemicals into the environment through source reduction or pollution prevention measures.”

In EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, the 2006 TRI data indicate a small decrease (0.3 %) of 1.1 million pounds of on/off site chemical releases as compared with 2005. A total of 382.1 million pounds of chemicals were released on and off-site during 2006 to the air, water or landfills by facilities in the mid-Atlantic region, which is comprised of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Releases in this same geographic area totaled 383.3 million pounds in 2005. When compared with the 2000 TRI data of 464.7 million pounds released, the 2006 figures represent a 17.8 percent reduction in toxic pollutants released by facilities in the region. This was accomplished by process modifications, raw material substitution and pollution control equipment.

On a national level, total releases reported to TRI from 2001 to 2006 decreased by 24 percent. The data include information on releases and other wastes from more than 650 chemicals and chemical compounds that companies are required to report under EPA=s TRI. Included are chemicals that were released at companies’ facilities and those transported to disposal facilities off site.

This is the second year in a row that TRI data is being made available to the public earlier in the year. Continued increases in electronic reporting and improvements in data processing and analysis make earlier announcements possible.

The reporting of data to the TRI is required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), passed in 1986. The TRI provides the amount, location and type of releases to the environment B 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.

It is important to note that these chemical emissions are reported to EPA under the TRI and generally do not reflect illegal discharges of pollutants to the environment.

TRI information is easily accessible online to the news media and the public at For more detailed information on a specific facility, go to: