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Release Date: 4/12/2001
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 744-1587

     SAN FRANCISCO --  Industries in California reported a slight reduction in the amount of toxic chemicals released into the air, land and water in 1999, according to new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

      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.

     The 1999 data shows that California industries have reduced toxic chemical releases from 69.2 million pounds in 1998 to 69 million pounds in 1999.  Total  releases include toxic chemicals discharged to air, water, underground injection, land (including landfills), and the amount transferred off-site for disposal.  Air emissions of toxic chemical went up 8 percent, to 30.8 million pounds, but land disposal decreased 13 percent, primarily in the metal mining sector, from 28 million pounds to 24.5 million pounds.

     Nationally, there has been a chemical emissions decrease of 46 percent in manufacturing industries   about 1.5 billion pounds   over the 12-year history of the program.

     "Thanks to strong regulations and improved environmental practices by business and industry, we continue to see a downward trend in the amount of pollutants entering our air and waterways," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA's Cross Media Division in San Francisco.  "We encourage people to use data from the Toxics Release Inventory in order to gain a better understanding of what's being emitted in their neighborhoods."    

     Since 1987, manufacturing facilities have been reporting their releases of 650 toxic chemicals and chemical categories under this program.  This marks the second year that seven new industrial categories, including metal mining and electric utilities, were required to report.

     In California, releases from manufacturing industries increased by 3 percent since 1998, to 45 million pounds.  Total releases from electric utilities increased by 93 percent, to 1.1 million pounds, and releases from the metal mining sector decreased by 47 percent, to 3.1 million pounds.

     The following is a list of the top facilities for total on- and off-site releases in California:
Chemical Waste Management, Kettleman City, Kings County:
12.8 million pounds

U.S. Army Sierra Army Depot,Herlong, Lassen County:
5.4 million pounds

Safety-Kleen, Buttonwillow, Kern County:
3.6 million pounds

Onyx Environmental Services, Azusa, Los Angeles County:  
3.2 million pounds

McLaughlin Mine, Lower Lake, Lake County:
2.8 million pounds

Chevron USA Prods. Co., El Segundo, Los Angeles County:
2.7 million pounds

Mobil Torrance Refinery,Torrance, Los Angeles County:
2 million pounds

Safety-Kleen,Westmorland, Imperial County:
1.9 million pounds

American XTal Tech, Fremont, Alameda County
1.3 million pounds

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. Samoa Pulp Mill, Samoa, Humboldt County:
1.3 million pounds

     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 1999 TRI data for California are available at

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