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EPA releases 2002 nationwide Toxic Release Inventory numbers

Release Date: 6/22/2004
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307

     SAN FRANCISCO -- Industries throughout Arizona, California, and Nevada reported overall decreases in the amount of toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in 2002, according to the latest information released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional office in San Francisco.  Hawaii reported a slight increase over the 2001 reporting figures.

    The overall statewide percentages are:

Arizona -- reportable releases decreased by 46 percent
California --reportable releases decreased by 17 percent
Hawaii -- reportable releases increased by 2 percent *
  * The increase in Hawaii was primarily due to an increase in reporting from federal facilities, including U.S. Navy Pearl Harbor Naval Complex, and electric generating facilities.
Nevada -- reportable releases decreased by 37 percent

    The data comes from the EPA's Toxic Release Inventory, an annual measure of toxic chemical releases, transfers and waste generated by facilities in the United States.

    "TRI continues to be a useful tool for states, counties and communities to know what types and amounts of chemicals are present in their neighborhoods," said Wayne Nastri, EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region.

    A decision in Barrick Goldstrike Mines, Inc. v. Whitman reduced the amount of chemicals mines are required to report from waste rock when it is less than 1 percent of the substance.  This decision reduced the amount of releases that mining facilities are required to report from concentrations of naturally occurring toxic chemicals in waste rock.

    The Newmont Mining Corporation, Lone Tree Mine, reported lead releases of 35.2 million pounds.  This caused lead reporting releases to increase from the  previous reporting year.  However, the facility found an  error in their calculations and will be submitting a revision.  The facility's actual releases will likely be near two million pounds, translating into an actual reduction in lead releases.

     Since 1987, manufacturing facilities have been reporting their releases of more than 650 toxic chemicals and chemical categories under this program.  Federal facilities began reporting in 1994.  In 1998, seven additional  industry sectors began reporting their toxic chemical releases for the first time including:  metal and coal mining, electricity generation, commercial hazardous waste treatment, solvent recovery, petroleum bulk terminals, and wholesale chemical distributors.

    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. This program 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.  

    Fact sheets and additional information on the 2002 TRI data are available at

     The following Web sites also provide useful information on TRI which will be available on Wed., June 23: and

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