New EPA Toxics Release Inventory data show continued reductions in toxic chemical releases in Region 8
2020 analysis includes new features to make data more accessible to communities
DENVER -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2020 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis, which shows that companies that manage chemicals continue to make progress in preventing pollution and reducing chemical releases into the environment. The report shows continued reductions in toxic chemical releases in Region 8 and that, between 2019 and 2020, total releases of TRI chemicals nationwide decreased by 10 percent.
This 2020 Analysis includes enhancements to make data more useful and accessible to communities, including communities with environmental justice concerns. EPA has added demographic information to the “Where You Live” mapping tool, making it easy to overlay maps of facility locations with maps of overburdened and vulnerable communities. Community groups, policymakers, and other stakeholders can use this information to identify potential exposures to air and water pollution, better understand which communities are experiencing a disproportionate pollution burden and take action at the local level.
To assist communities with reducing pollution, EPA is offering $23 million in grant funding opportunities for states and Tribes to develop and provide businesses with information, training, and tools to help them adopt pollution prevention (P2) practices. For the first time, approximately $14 million in grant funding provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is available with no cost sharing/matching requirement, increasing access to funding for all communities. These grants are also a critical component of the President’s Justice40 initiative, providing a meaningful benefit to communities impacted by legacy pollution issues. As such, EPA will administer this program in accordance with this initiative to ensure at least 40% of the benefits are delivered to underserved communities.
“I am pleased that companies are making strides to reduce pollution, and I encourage states and Tribes to apply for EPA grant funding to help further this progress,” said Deputy Regional Administrator Debra H. Thomas. “When we work together, we can prevent pollution at the source and support business growth while also supporting nearby, often overburdened and vulnerable communities.”
In 2020, facilities in Region 8 managed 917 million pounds of production-related waste and released or otherwise disposed of 335 million pounds (37 percent). Primary metal manufacturers and metal mines drive the quantity of chemical waste managed and released in Region 8. At metal mines, changes in production volumes and in the chemical composition of the extracted ore can vary substantially from year to year, impacting waste quantities reported to TRI and accounting for annual fluctuations in release quantities. Excluding the metal mining sector, releases in Region 8 decreased by 16 percent since 2011. For 2020, 5 percent of Region 8 facilities reported implementing new source reduction activities.
In addition to the new community mapping tools, the National Analysis also includes a new map in the data visualization dashboard that displays international transfers of chemical waste by facilities in each state. Additionally, the National Analysis includes a new profile of the cement manufacturing sector and the addition of greenhouse gas reporting information in certain sector profiles. Users will be able to track greenhouse gas emissions for electric utilities, chemical manufacturing, cement manufacturing, and other sectors. This section will also include information on the benefits of source reduction in these industries.
To access the 2020 TRI National Analysis, visit www.epa.gov/trinationalanalysis.
To access the 2020 TRI Fact Sheets by region and state:
Information on facility efforts to reduce TRI chemical releases is available at www.epa.gov/tri/p2.
Thanks to the passage of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986, which created EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program, and the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990, which expands the program, Americans have greater awareness of how chemicals are being managed in their communities. Today, more than 21,000 facilities report annually on over 800 chemicals they release into the environment or otherwise manage as waste. EPA, states, and Tribes receive TRI data from facilities in industry sectors such as manufacturing, mining, electric utilities and commercial hazardous waste management.