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EPA meets with Colorado Chamber of Commerce to highlight Toxics Release Inventory report and analysis

New TRI data for 2018 show decline in Regional and Colorado releases, increased recycling of chemical waste

02/25/2020
Contact Information: 
Richard Mylott (mylott.richard@epa.gov)
303-312-6654

DENVER — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) met with the Energy and Environment Council of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce in Denver today to discuss the recently released 2018 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis and highlight data associated with chemical releases from facilities in EPA Region 8 and Colorado.

Overall, total on and off-site chemical releases from 242 TRI facilities in Colorado decreased by 23 percent from 2017 to 2018.  In EPA Region 8, which includes the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming, chemical releases from TRI facilities decreased by two percent (7.5 million pounds) from 2017 to 2018. In addition, the amount of production-related chemical waste managed by TRI facilities in the region decreased by 12 percent. Lead and lead compounds were the major chemicals targeted for source reduction. 

In addition, findings from the publicly available TRI report show an increase in recycling of chemical wastes nationwide and indicate that companies continue to find ways to implement new source reduction activities and reduce the quantities of TRI chemicals they release into the environment. In 2018, 46 facilities in EPA Region 8 implemented new source reduction activities. Source reduction reporting rates were highest in the machinery sector, where 13 percent of facilities reported at least one source reduction activity.

“The TRI is a valuable tool that provides the public with detailed information about how chemicals are used and managed in our communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin. “We applaud the Colorado business community’s efforts to reduce the use of chemicals while delivering jobs and products that support local economies.”

“Environmental stewardship is an integral part of Colorado’s identity, and our state’s business leaders reflect that identity by demonstrating that a healthy environment and healthy economy go hand-in-hand,” said John Jacus, Chair of the Energy and Environment Council of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce.  “The Colorado Chamber of Commerce continues to support our members as they work to improve the use and management of chemicals and contribute to cleaner air, land and water in our communities.”

This year’s TRI National Analysis expands the focus on geographical trends in chemical waste management across the country. New features include profiles exploring the diversity of industrial operations in each EPA region and a closer look at data from the hazardous waste management sector and the aerospace manufacturing sector.

The Analysis showcases industry practices for managing waste and reducing pollution at nearly 22,000 facilities that submitted TRI data for calendar year 2018. EPA encourages facilities to learn from their counterparts’ best practices and adopt additional methods for reducing pollution.

To further highlight these industry best practices, EPA is holding events in EPA regions at facilities that implemented new source reduction activities. These facilities demonstrate how innovative projects have helped to improve their environmental performance.

2018 Highlights

  • Releases of TRI-covered chemicals into the environment from the manufacturing sector were lower than expected based on economic activity.
  • Facilities reported initiating 3,120 new activities to prevent or reduce the creation of TRI chemical waste.
  • Nationally, the percent of industrial TRI chemical waste that is recycled instead of released continued to increase.

Along with the 2018 TRI National Analysis, EPA is publishing a new tool on the TRI website to help explain the data reported by the metal mining sector. EPA’s new interactive graphic—which was developed with input from stakeholders—explains how metal mines operate, and generally how and where releases of TRI-listed chemicals happen.

Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), by July 1 of each year covered facilities must report to EPA the quantities of TRI chemicals they released to the environment during the prior calendar year. EPA, states, and tribes receive TRI data from facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric utilities, and commercial hazardous waste management. The Pollution Prevention Act also requires facilities to submit information on pollution prevention and other waste management activities of TRI chemicals.

To access the 2018 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analyses, visit: www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis.

TRI Fact Sheet for Colorado: https://enviro.epa.gov/triexplorer/tri_factsheet.factsheet_forstate?pstate=CO&pyear=2018&pParent=TRI&pDataSet=TRIQ1

TRI Fact sheet for EPA Region 8: https://enviro.epa.gov/triexplorer/region.html?pYear=2018&pLoc=8&pParent=TRI&pDataSet=TRIQ1

Information on facility efforts to reduce TRI chemical releases is available at: www.epa.gov/tri/p2.