EPA Publishes 2019 Annual Toxics Release Inventory
New data show increased pollution prevention at facilities nationwide
WASHINGTON (January 12, 2021) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2019 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows that EPA and companies that manage chemicals continue to make progress in preventing pollution. The report shows that between 2018 and 2019 total releases of TRI chemicals decreased by 9 percent.
“Today’s announcement underscores my commitment to helping communities and companies get the environmental information they need to prevent pollution and protect public health,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The progress made under the TRI program in 2019 is proof that a cleaner environment and economic growth go hand in hand.”
For the first time in five years, industrial and federal facilities reported an increased number of new source reduction activities that aim to reduce or eliminate the amount of chemical-containing waste facilities create. Facilities also avoided releasing 89 percent of the chemical-containing waste they created and managed during 2019 into the environment by using preferred practices such as recycling, treatment, and energy recovery.
This 2019 Analysis includes new features such as a dynamic and interactive report summary, an infographic illustrating how the TRI fits into the bigger picture of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), and a profile of the fabricated metals manufacturing sector.
Additionally, the 2019 Analysis showcases industry best practices for managing waste and reducing pollution at nearly 22,000 facilities that submitted TRI data for calendar year 2019. EPA encourages facilities to learn from their counterparts’ best practices and adopt additional methods for reducing pollution.
Other 2019 highlights include:
- Air releases decreased by 23 million pounds from 2018 to 2019, continuing a long-term trend.
- Facilities reported initiating 3,285 new source reduction activities to prevent or reduce the creation of TRI chemical waste. This is the first year since 2014 that more new source reduction activities were implemented than in the prior year.
- Regional profiles illustrate the geographic diversity of U.S. industrial operations.
- For the first time, data on nonylphenol ethoxylates, which are surfactants used in adhesives, dispersants, cleaners, paints, coatings, and other products, are reported.
- The percentage of chemical waste generated that facilities recycled in 2019 increased, continuing this trend in facilities opting to use EPA’s most preferred waste management method.
The 2019 TRI National Analysis released today reflects TRI chemical waste management activities, including releases, that occurred during calendar year 2019 and therefore does not indicate any potential impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency that began in the United States in early 2020. Due to the significant analysis of reported information, this summary and interpretation of the most recent TRI data is released approximately six months after the reporting deadline.
A new Spanish TRI website, as well as a Spanish version of the 2019 Analysis, will be available by the end of January. Spanish-speaking communities across the United States will be able to use this resource to learn about TRI chemical releases in their communities—expanding their access to environmental information and making TRI data more easily accessible.
Thanks to the passage of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 which helped create EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory program, Americans now have greater awareness of how chemicals are being managed in their communities. Today, nearly 22,000 facilities report annually on the use and quantities of more than 760 chemicals they release to the environment or otherwise manage as waste to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program. 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 2019 TRI National Analysis, including local data and analyses, visit https://www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis.
Information on facility efforts to reduce TRI chemical releases is available at www.epa.gov/tri/p2.